Understanding Death An Introduction to Ideas of Self and the Afterlife in World Religions

ISBN-10: 1405153717
ISBN-13: 9781405153713
Edition: 2014
Authors: Angela Sumegi
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Description: One’s first experience of death almost always results in questions. What happened? Why? What do we do now? This book begins with an exploration of the questions that death evokes and that various religious traditions purport to answer: What is  More...

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Book details

List price: $39.95
Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/10/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 280
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

One’s first experience of death almost always results in questions. What happened? Why? What do we do now? This book begins with an exploration of the questions that death evokes and that various religious traditions purport to answer: What is death? Why is death? Who dies? Where from here? How do we get there? Following the introductory discussion, subsequent chapters take the reader through the main responses of several religious traditions.The book is organized so that each religion is treated as a discrete unit and will draw the attention of students to the differences and correspondences that appear across time and cultures. I aim to highlight the differences in conceptions of self and world that inform the way humans interpret notions of individuality and continuation as well as the correspondences and connections that indicate our shared human struggle to discover the meaning of, or assign meaning to, the phenomenon of death—a struggle that is renewed with each personal encounter.In this text, special emphasis will be given to the ways in which each tradition conceives the “self” or “soul.” The religious understanding of the “person” who lives and the “person” who dies will form the central theme and primary organizing principle for the book, whether the discussion relates to shamanic concepts of many souls, the Biblical view of the person as a holistic body/breath entity, the Hindu view of the undying, immortal soul, or the Buddhist idea of “no-soul.”

Preface
Acknowledgments
Understanding Death
Return from the Dead
Debates and Definitions
Death and the Self
Ritual and Transformation
Notes
References and Further Reading
Primal Perspectives on Death
Soul Theories of Primal Peoples
The Destiny of Souls
Afterlife among the Warao
Rituals of Departure
A Conversation on Understanding Death
References and Further Reading
Death in the Ancient World
Egypt
Egyptian Soul Theory
Transforming the Body
Egyptian Afterlife
The Story of Osiris
Mesopotamia
Gilgamesh and the Search for Immortality
The Spirits of the Dead in Mesopotamian Culture
Persia
Zoroaster and the Evil of Death
Salvation for All
Notes
References and Further Reading
Jewish Perspectives on Death
The Beginning of Death
The Soul and Sheol
Resurrection and the World to Come
The Journey of the Soul
Rituals of Departure
A Conversation on Understanding Death
Notes
References and Further Reading
Christian Perspectives on Death
The Death of Jesus
Developments in Christian Thought on the Soul
Resurrection and Eternal Life
Heaven and Hell
Rituals of Departure
A Conversation on Understanding Death
Notes
References and Further Reading
Muslim Perspectives on Death
The Names of God
Ruh and Nafs
The Trial of the Grave
The Garden (Janna) and the Fire (Jahannam)
Modern Islamic Views on Heaven and Hell
Rituals of Departure
A Conversation on Understanding Death
Notes
References and Further Reading
Hindu Perspectives on Death
Feeding the Ancestors
The First Sacrifice
Death, the Immortal
The Inner Controller
In the House of Death
The Three Paths to Liberation
Rituals of Departure
A Conversation on Understanding Death
Notes
References and Further Reading
Buddhist Perspectives on Death
The Life and Death of the Buddha
The Noble Truths
Karma, Self, and the Wheel of Becoming
Nirvana: The Deathless
Rituals of Departure
A Conversation on Understanding Death
Notes
References and Further Reading
Daoist Perspectives on Death
The Ancestors
Soul Theories
The Nameless Way
Transformations of the Self
The Search for Immortality
Rituals of Departure
A Conversation on Understanding Death
Notes
References and Further Reading
Index

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