Death Burial and Rebirth in Religions of Antiquity

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In Death, Burial and Rebirth in the Religions of Antiquity, Jon Davies charts the significance of death to the emerging religious cults in the pre-Christian and early Christian world. He analyses the varied burial rituals and examines the different notions of the afterlife. Among the areas covered are:
* Osiris and Isis: the life theology of Ancient Egypt
* burying the Jewish dead
* Roman religion and Roman funerals
* Early Christian burial
* the nature of martyrdom.
Jon Davies also draws on the sociological theory of Max Weber to present a comprehensive introduction to and overview of death, burial and the afterlife in the first Christian centuries which offers insights into the relationship between social change and attitudes to death and dying.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of plates
Preface and acknowledgements
Introduction 1
Pt. I Death in the Ancient Near East 23
1 Osiris and Isis: The life-theology of Ancient Egypt 27
2 Zoroaster, Ahura Mazda and Ahriman 40
3 Canaanites and Mesopotamians 47
4 Mere texts or living realities? The possible influence of the older thanatologies on Judaism and Christianity 60
Pt. II From caves and rock-cut tombs to Judaism 69
5 The general archaeology of the Ancient Near East 71
6 Judaism: Towards the common era 84
7 Burying the Jewish dead 95
8 Good luck with your resurrection! Opening the heavens and raising the dead 110
Pt. III Romans and Greeks: A theodicy of good fortune? 125
9 Roman and Greek philosophies of death 127
10 Roman religion and Roman funerals 139
11 Ovid's 'ever-varying forms': Greek mythologies, sarcophagi and the boundaries of mortality 155
12 Ovid's 'bonds of love and duty': Funerals, epitaphs, orations and death in the arena 167
Pt. IV Christians, martyrs, soldiers, saints 187
13 Christian burial 191
14 The nature of martyrdom 201
Epilogue: Sacrificial living and sacrificial dying: Christians in the world 217
Appendix 221
Bibliography 225
Index 240
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