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Celebrations of Death

Celebrations of Death
The Anthropology of Mortuary Ritual

2nd Edition

  • Date Published: February 1992
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521423755

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About the Authors
  • This revised edition of a cross-cultural study of rituals surrounding death has become a standard text in anthropology, sociology and religion. Part of its fascination is that in understanding other people's death rituals we are able to gain a better understanding of our own. The authors refer to a wide variety of examples, from different continents and epochs. They compare the great tombs of the Berawan of Borneo and the pyramids of Egypt, as well as the dramas of medieval French royal funerals and the burial alive of the Dinka 'masters of the spear' in the Sudan, and other rituals which at first sight seem to have little in common. Many of these cases are anthropological classics, but the authors place them in an alternative context, so as to shape a novel synthesis on the anthropology of death ritual. A fresh introduction reviews theoretical developments in the field since the book first appeared in 1979.

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: February 1992
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521423755
    • length: 258 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • contains: 18 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Preface
    Introduction to the second edition
    1. Preliminaries
    Part I. Universals and Culture:
    2. Emotional reactions to death
    3. Symbolic associations of death
    Part II. Death as Transition:
    4. The living and the dead: a re-examination of Hertz
    5. Death rituals and life values: rites of passage reconsidered
    Part III. The Royal Corpse and the Body Politic:
    6. The dead king
    7. The immortal kingship
    Part IV. Seeing Ourselves Anew:
    8. American deathways
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Authors

    Peter Metcalf, University of Virginia

    Richard Huntington, International Science and Technology Institute, Inc., Washington DC

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