Rethinking Ghosts in World Religions

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The central theme of this volume is to re-examine the received concepts and images of ghosts in various religious cultures ranging from the Ancient Near East and Egypt to the Old Testament, the Classical Era, Early Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Early India, and Medieval China. As a religious phenomenon, the realm of ghosts has been less studied than the realm of the divine. Through a collaborative effort by scholars from different disciplines, this volume proposes a multi-cultural approach to construct a wider and complicated picture of the phenomenon of ghosts and spirits in human societies and to have a grasp of the various problems involved in understanding the phenomenon of ghost.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
As a whole, Rethinking Ghosts collects several valuable contributions to the study of specters and spirits in the world’s historical religions. - Molly Bassett, Georgia State University in: Religion Vol. 42 (2012).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004171527
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/24/2009
  • Series: Numen Book Series, #123
  • Pages: 342
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Mu-chou Poo, Ph.D. (1984) in Egyptology, Johns Hopkins University, is Research Fellow in the Institute of History and Philology at the Academia Sinica in Taipei. His publications include Enemies of Civilization: Attitudes toward Foreigners in Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and China (SUNY, 2005).
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Table of Contents

Wind and smoke : giving up the ghost of Enkidu, comprehending Enkidu's ghosts Jerrold S. Cooper Cooper, Jerrold S. 23

Belief and the dead in Pharaonic Egypt Christopher J. Eyre Eyre, Christopher J. 33

Where have all the ghosts gone? : evolution of a concept in Biblical literature Sze-kar Wan Wan, Sze-kar 47

Ghosts and responsibility : the Hebrew Bible, Confucius, Plato Steven Shankman Shankman, Steven 77

The Roman Manes : the dead as gods Charles W. King King, Charles W. 95

The ghostly troop and the battle over death : William of Auvergne (d. 1249) connects Christian, Old Norse, and Irish views Alan E. Bernstein Bernstein, Alan E. 115

Ghosts of the European Enlightenment Fernando Vidal Vidal, Fernando 163

Ghost, vampire, and scientific naturalism : observation and evidence in the supernatural fiction of Grant Allen, Bram Stoker and Arthur Conan Doyle Shang-jen Li Li, Shang-jen 183

The cult of Vetala and Tantric fantasy Po-chi Huang Huang, Po-chi 211

The culture of ghosts in the Six Dynasties period (c. 220-589 C.E.) Mu-chou Poo Poo, Mu-chou 237

Allegorical narrative in six dynasties anomaly tales : ghostly sightings and afterworld vengeance Yuan-ji Liu Liu, Yuan-ji 269

Chinese ghosts : reconciling psychoanalytic, structuralist, and Marxian perspectives P. Steven Sangren Sangren, P. Steven 299

Bibliography 311

Index 337

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