A matter of death and life

It is something of a truism to say the “life-styles determine death-styles.” Not only do anthropologists and other scholars see the value of this point, no less an authority than Metallica
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It is something of a truism to say that “life-styles determine death-styles.” Not only do anthropologists and other scholars see the value of this point, but no less of an authority than Metallica incorporated it into “Frantic” on their 2006 album, St. Anger. Whatever Metallica meant, it is generally understood that if we want to understand a community’s treatment of, and attitude toward, the dead, we should look first to the values and priorities that shape their daily life. We should understand the construction of the dead’s identity by looking at how the living construct their identities. Why did the Egyptians imagine death as a journey to join Amon-Re in his boat? The answer is simple enough: because Egyptian life revolved around the Nile and pharaohs held their processions on boats rather than on land. In Christian and other religious communities, though, we need to turn this truism on its head. It is just as likely that death-styles determine life-styles. Indeed, it is very. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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