Details

Understanding Death


Understanding Death

An Introduction to Ideas of Self and the Afterlife in World Religions
1. Aufl.

von: Angela Sumegi

23,99 €

Verlag: Wiley-Blackwell
Format: PDF
Veröffentl.: 19.06.2013
ISBN/EAN: 9781118323113
Sprache: englisch
Anzahl Seiten: 280

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Beschreibungen

A comprehensive survey of how religions understand death, dying, and the afterlife, drawing on examples from Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and Shamanic perspectives.  Considers shared and differing views of death across the world’s major religions, including on the nature of death itself, the reasons for it, the identity of those who die, religious rituals, and on how the living should respond to death Places emphasis on the varying concepts of the ‘self’ or soul Uses a thematic structure to facilitate a broader comparative understanding Written in an accessible style to appeal to an undergraduate audience, it fills major gap in current textbook literature
Preface ix Acknowledgments xiii 1 Understanding Death 1 Return from the Dead 4 Debates and Definitions 9 Death and the Self 14 Ritual and Transformation 19 Notes 22 References and Further Reading 22 2 Primal Perspectives on Death 25 Soul Theories of Primal Peoples 28 The Destiny of Souls 34 Afterlife among theWarao 35 Rituals of Departure 40 A Conversation on Understanding Death 44 References and Further Reading 46 3 Death in the Ancient World 49 Egypt 51 Egyptian Soul Theory 52 Transforming the Body 54 Egyptian Afterlife 56 The Story of Osiris 58 Mesopotamia 61 Gilgamesh and the Search for Immortality 63 The Spirits of the Dead in Mesopotamian Culture 64 Persia 66 Zoroaster and the Evil of Death 67 Salvation for All 68 Notes 71 References and Further Reading 71 4 Jewish Perspectives on Death 73 The Beginning of Death 78 The Soul and Sheol 80 Resurrection and the World to Come 86 The Journey of the Soul 91 Rituals of Departure 97 A Conversation on Understanding Death 101 Notes 103 References and Further Reading 104 5 Christian Perspectives on Death 105 The Death of Jesus 107 Developments in Christian Thought on the Soul 111 Resurrection and Eternal Life 114 Heaven and Hell 119 Rituals of Departure 128 A Conversation on Understanding Death 131 Notes 133 References and Further Reading 133 6 Muslim Perspectives on Death 135 The Names of God 140 Ruh and Nafs 143 The Trial of the Grave 146 The Garden (Janna) and the Fire (Jahannam) 150 Modern Islamic Views on Heaven and Hell 154 Rituals of Departure 156 A Conversation on Understanding Death 159 Notes 161 References and Further Reading 162 7 Hindu Perspectives on Death 165 Feeding the Ancestors 166 The First Sacrifice 168 Death, the Immortal 173 The Inner Controller 174 In the House of Death 180 The Three Paths to Liberation 182 Rituals of Departure 187 A Conversation on Understanding Death 192 Notes 194 References and Further Reading 195 8 Buddhist Perspectives on Death 197 The Life and Death of the Buddha 198 The Noble Truths 201 Karma, Self, and the Wheel of Becoming 204 Nirvana: The Deathless 211 Rituals of Departure 214 A Conversation on Understanding Death 225 Notes 227 References and Further Reading 228 9 Daoist Perspectives on Death 229 The Ancestors 230 Soul Theories 235 The NamelessWay 237 Transformations of the Self 239 The Search for Immortality 242 Rituals of Departure 245 A Conversation on Understanding Death 250 Notes 252 References and Further Reading 253 Index 255
“Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through professionals/practitioners; general readers.” (Choice, 1 October 2014)
Angela Sumegi is Assistant Professor of Religion at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. She is the author of Dream Worlds of Shamanism and Tibetan Buddhism (2008). Outside academia, she teaches Buddhist meditation and is the founder and director of a Canadian charity that supports Tibetan refugee children in India.
Death and dying are emotive subjects, and ones which are central to the traditions and lived realities of many of the world’s religions today. This illuminating book examines how different religions understand death, dying, and the afterlife, drawing on examples from Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shamanism. Encountering death almost always prompts a host of questions: What happened, and why? What do we do now? Beginning with an exploration of these shared reactions, the book traces the answers developed by the world’s major religions, exploring their views on the nature of death itself, the reasons for it, identities of those who die, religious rituals, and their differing perspectives on how the living should respond to death. The way in which different religions interpret the characteristics of the ‘person’ who lives and the ‘person’ who dies forms the central theme and primary organizing principle for the book. This emphasis on varying concepts of the ‘self’ or soul enables students to gain a broader, comparative understanding of the subject. “From primal to Daoist traditions, this book brings breadth and depth to major religious traditions on death and destiny. In-depth historical material and selected interviews with religious devotees bring theories to life. An easy yet informative style will speak to students very directly.” Douglas Davies, Durham University “What makes this book especially valuable for readers are the conversations that end each chapter. These conversations that the author has with adherents of the various religious traditions that she describes give us a more complete picture of how each tradition understands death and life. This book is a welcome addition to the literature on death and dying.” Amir Hussain, Loyola Marymount University and Editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion
“From Primal to Doaist traditions, this book brings breadth and depth to major religious traditions on death and destiny. In-depth historical material and selected interviews with religious devotees brings theories to life. An easy yet informative style will speak to students very directly.”—Douglas Davies, Durham University “What makes this book especially valuable for readers are the conversations that end each chapter. These conversations that the author has with adherents of the various religious traditions that she describes gives us a more complete picture of how each tradition understands death and life. This book is a welcome addition to the literature on death and dying.”—Amir Hussain, Loyola Marymount University and Editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion

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