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By Antonius C. G. M. Robben

In loss of life, Mourning, and Burial, an essential creation to the anthropology of loss of life, readers will discover a wealthy collection of many of the most interesting ethnographic paintings in this attention-grabbing topic.Comprised of six sections that replicate the social trajectory of loss of life: conceptualizations of dying; demise and demise; unusual demise; grief and mourning; mortuary rituals; and remembrance and regenerationIncludes canonical readings in addition to fresh stories on themes comparable to organ donation and cannibalismDesigned for someone involved in problems with demise and loss of life, in addition to: violence, terrorism, battle, nation terror, organ robbery, and mortuary ritualsServes as a textual content for anthropology periods, in addition to delivering a surely cross-cultural point of view to all these learning loss of life and loss of life

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Extra info for Death, Mourning, and Burial: A Cross-Cultural Reader (The Human Lifecycle: Cross-Cultural Readings)

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We will also touch upon another large dimension in which the complex symbol of death is transmuted and transcended by man – belief in immortality, the extension of one’s being into eternity. Right now we can conclude that there are many ways that repression works to calm the anxious human animal, so that he need not be anxious at all. I think we have reconciled our two divergent positions on the fear of death. The ‘‘environmental’’ and the ‘‘innate’’ positions are both part of the same picture; they merge naturally into one another; it all depends from which angle you approach the picture: from the side of the disguises and transmutations of the fear of death or from the side of its apparent absence.

Cochrane, ‘‘Elie Metschnikoff and His Theory of an ‘Instinct de la Mort,’ ’’ International Journal of Psychoanalysis 1934, 15:265–70; G. Stanley Hall, ‘‘Thanatophobia and Immortality,’’ American Journal of Psychology, 1915, 26:550–613. N. S. Shaler, The Individual: A Study of Life and Death (New York: Appleton, 1900). Hall, ‘‘Thanatophobia,’’ p. 562. , Alan Harrington, The Immortalist (New York: Random House, 1969), p. 82. See Jacques Choron’s excellent study: Death and Western Thought (New York: Collier Books, 1963).

But Freud did not appreciate that religious symbols of life after death or life beyond death can mean something other than literal images of angels living serenely in a blissful heaven or, negatively, damned souls condemned to eternal suffering in the fires of hell. The image of immortality can connect with the experience of spiritual death and rebirth which may occur many times during one’s earthly existence. Spiritual rebirth in this sense may be interpreted as a dying to profane or vulgar existence and a regenerated life on a more intense and meaningful plane, an experience that gives rise to profound and revitalizing hope.

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