Death, Mourning, and Burial: A Cross-Cultural Reader / Edition 1

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There are few topics that stir the imagination more than the study of how humans across cultures have dealt with the inevitable and universally shared experience of death. In Death, Mourning, and Burial, an indispensable introduction to the anthropology of death, readers will find a rich selection of some of the finest ethnographic work on this fascinating topic. The collectionoffers cross-cultural readings thatspan the period from dying to afterlife, approach this transition as a social process, and demonstrate the great variation of cultural responses to death.

Death, Mourning, and Burial is divided into six parts that mirror the social trajectory of death: conceptualizations of death; death and dying; uncommon death; grief and mourning; mortuary rituals; and remembrance and regeneration. Each part includes one or two foundational texts on the anthropology of death---on topics such as the disruption of social ties and their restoration through ritual---as well as recent and exciting studies that demonstrate the intellectual breadth of the anthropology of death, such as those on organ donation, “disappearances,” and cannibalism.

Not only will Death, Mourning, and Burial serve as a sourcebook and primary text for anthropology classes, it will provide a fine-grained book designed to bring a genuinely cross-cultural perspective to all those studying death and dying.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

“An invaluable resource, this enormously welcome volume traces the historical development of the cross-cultural study of death and provides readers the luxury of a single-volume collection of anthropology’s classic contributions to the field.”
Jenny Hockey, University of Sheffield

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Death and anthropology : an introduction
Pt. I Conceptualizations of death
1 Magic, science and religion
2 The terror of death
3 Symbolic immortality
4 The hour of our death
5 How others die : reflections on the anthropology of death
Pt. II Death and dying
6 Death omens in a Breton memorate
7 The meaning of death in northern Cheyenne culture
8 Kinds of death and the house
9 Displacing suffering : the reconstruction of death in North America and Japan
Pt. III Uncommon death
10 Witchcraft, oracles and magic among the Azande
11 Burial alive
12 State terror in the netherworld : disappearance and reburial in Argentina
Pt. IV Grief and mourning
13 The Andaman islanders
14 Metaphors of mediation in Greek funeral laments
15 Grief and a headhunter's rage
16 Death without weeping
Pt. V Mortuary rituals
17 A contribution to the study of the collective representation of death
18 The rites of passage
19 The phase of negated death
20 "Thus are our bodies, thus was our custom" : mortuary cannibalism in an Amazonian society
Pt. VI Remembrance and regeneration
21 Sacrificial death and the necrophagous ascetic
22 The nineteenth-century Tlingit potlatch : a new perspective
23 Dead bodies animate the study of politics
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