Describes the rituals and beliefs of major world religions, explains their psychological and historical context, shows how customs change on contact with the West, and considers the implications for the future. This book explores the richness of mourning traditions around the world with the aim of increasing the understanding which we all bring to the issue of death.
In Death, Burial and Rebirth in the Religions of Antiquity, Jon Davies charts the significance of death to the emerging religious cults in the pre-Christian and early Christian world. He analyses the varied burial rituals and examines the different notions of the afterlife. Among the areas covered are: Osiris and Isis: the life theology of Ancient Egypt, burying the Jewish dead, Roman religion and Roman funerals, early Christian burial, and the nature of martyrdom.
Across Africa, funerals and events remembering the dead have become larger and even more numerous over the years. Whereas in the West death is normally a private and family affair, in Africa funerals are often the central life cycle event, unparalleled in cost and importance, for which families harness vast amounts of resources to host lavish events for multitudes of people with ramifications well beyond the event.