Ritualizing the Disposal of the Deceased

Ritualizing the Disposal of the Deceased

By appealing to the evolved cognitive architecture of human minds, this book argues that ritualized disposal behavior is the by-product of mental systems designed to handle living people.

Author: William W. McCorkle

Publisher: Peter Lang

ISBN: 1433110105

Category: Psychology

Page: 182

View: 591

Ritualizing the Disposal of the Deceased traces mortuary behavior from the early fossil record to modern religious contexts in diverse cultural settings. By using archival and ethnographic evidence from Buddhist traditions, the author highlights the disparity between doctrines that contradict actual practices performed by Buddhists themselves. By appealing to the evolved cognitive architecture of human minds, this book argues that ritualized disposal behavior is the by-product of mental systems designed to handle living people. Due to complex social intelligence, humans are compelled to handle dead people in ritualized behaviors and to represent them in counterintuitive ways. The author also examines the professional religious guilds that have taken advantage of these ritualized compulsions over the last several thousand years, by giving and controlling the meanings behind these actions. Furthermore, experimental evidence is given to support this hypothesis, providing the first mature cognitive and evolutionary theory for mortuary behavior by humans.
Categories: Psychology

Ritualizing the Disposal of the Deceased

Ritualizing the Disposal of the Deceased

By appealing to the evolved cognitive architecture of human minds, this book argues that ritualized disposal behavior is the by-product of mental systems designed to handle living people.

Author: William W. McCorkle

Publisher: Peter Lang Pub Incorporated

ISBN: 1433107929

Category: Psychology

Page: 182

View: 267

Ritualizing the Disposal of the Deceased traces mortuary behavior from the early fossil record to modern religious contexts in diverse cultural settings. By using archival and ethnographic evidence from Buddhist traditions, the author highlights the disparity between doctrines that contradict actual practices performed by Buddhists themselves. By appealing to the evolved cognitive architecture of human minds, this book argues that ritualized disposal behavior is the by-product of mental systems designed to handle living people. Due to complex social intelligence, humans are compelled to handle dead people in ritualized behaviors and to represent them in counterintuitive ways. The author also examines the professional religious guilds that have taken advantage of these ritualized compulsions over the last several thousand years, by giving and controlling the meanings behind these actions. Furthermore, experimental evidence is given to support this hypothesis, providing the first mature cognitive and evolutionary theory for mortuary behavior by humans.
Categories: Psychology

Death Anxiety and Religious Belief

Death Anxiety and Religious Belief

Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. McCorkle, W. W. (2010). Ritualizing the disposal of the deceased: From corpse to concept. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Author: Jonathan Jong

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781472571649

Category: Religion

Page: 192

View: 370

There are no atheists in foxholes; or so we hear. The thought that the fear of death motivates religious belief has been around since the earliest speculations about the origins of religion. There are hints of this idea in the ancient world, but the theory achieves prominence in the works of Enlightenment critics and Victorian theorists of religion, and has been further developed by contemporary cognitive scientists. Why do people believe in gods? Because they fear death. Yet despite the abiding appeal of this simple hypothesis, there has not been a systematic attempt to evaluate its central claims and the assumptions underlying them. Do human beings fear death? If so, who fears death more, religious or nonreligious people? Do reminders of our mortality really motivate religious belief? Do religious beliefs actually provide comfort against the inevitability of death? In Death Anxiety and Religious Belief, Jonathan Jong and Jamin Halberstadt begin to answer these questions, drawing on the extensive literature on the psychology of death anxiety and religious belief, from childhood to the point of death, as well as their own experimental research on conscious and unconscious fear and faith. In the course of their investigations, they consider the history of ideas about religion's origins, challenges of psychological measurement, and the very nature of emotion and belief.
Categories: Religion

Origins of Religion Cognition and Culture

Origins of Religion  Cognition and Culture

Death to Dust: What Happens to Dead Bodies? Tucson, AZ: Galen Press. ... Ritualizing the Disposal of the Deceased: From Corpse to Concept.

Author: Armin W. Geertz

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317544562

Category: Religion

Page: 488

View: 823

Attempts to understand the origins of humanity have raised fundamental questions about the complex relationship between cognition and culture. Central to the debates on origins is the role of religion, religious ritual and religious experience. What came first: individual religious (ecstatic) experiences, collective observances of transition situations, fear of death, ritual competence, magical coercion; mirror neurons or temporal lobe religiosity? Cognitive scientists are now providing us with important insights on phylogenetic and ontogenetic processes. Together with insights from the humanities and social sciences on the origins, development and maintenance of complex semiotic, social and cultural systems, a general picture of what is particularly human about humans could emerge. Reflections on the preconditions for symbolic and linguistic competence and practice are now within our grasp. Origins of Religion, Cognition and Culture puts culture centre stage in the cognitive science of religion.
Categories: Religion

Death and Dying

Death and Dying

We noted, however, that some communities feared the dead and that ritualizing disposal was important in order to guarantee that the dead would not return to ...

Author: Glennys Howarth

Publisher: Polity

ISBN: 9780745625331

Category: Medical

Page: 301

View: 359

This stimulating new book provides a sophisticated introduction to the key issues in the sociology of death and dying. In recent years, the social sciences have seen an upsurge of interest in death and dying. The fascination with death is reflected in popular media such as newspapers, television documentaries, films and soaps, and, moreover, in the multiplying range of professional roles associated with dying and death. Yet despite its ubiquitous significance, the majority of texts in the field have been written primarily for health professionals. This book breaks with that tradition. It provides a cutting edge, comprehensive discussion of the key topics in death and dying and in so doing demonstrates that the study of mortality is germane to all areas of sociology. The book is organised thematically, utilising empirical material from cross-national and cross-cultural perspectives. It carefully addresses questions about social attitudes to mortality, the social nature of death and dying, explanations for change and diversity in approaches, and traditional, modern and postmodern experiences of death. Death and Dying will appeal to students across the social sciences, as well as professionals whose work brings them into contact with dying or bereaved people.
Categories: Medical

The Oxford Handbook of the Study of Religion

The Oxford Handbook of the Study of Religion

Ritualizing the Disposal of the Deceased: From Corpse to Concept. New York: Peter Lang. McKay, Ryan, Jenna Herold, and Harvey Whitehouse. 2013.

Author: Michael Stausberg

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780191045882

Category: Religion

Page: 672

View: 488

The Oxford Handbook of the Study of Religion provides a comprehensive overview of the academic study of religion. Written by an international team of leading scholars, its fifty-one chapters are divided thematically into seven sections. The first section addresses five major conceptual aspects of research on religion. Part two surveys eleven main frameworks of analysis, interpretation, and explanation of religion. Reflecting recent turns in the humanities and social sciences, part three considers eight forms of the expression of religion. Part four provides a discussion of the ways societies and religions, or religious organizations, are shaped by different forms of allocation of resources. Other chapters in this section consider law, the media, nature, medicine, politics, science, sports, and tourism. Part five reviews important developments, distinctions, and arguments for each of the selected topics. The study of religion addresses religion as a historical phenomenon and part six looks at seven historical processes. Religion is studied in various ways by many disciplines, and this Handbook shows that the study of religion is an academic discipline in its own right. The disciplinary profile of this volume is reflected in part seven, which considers the history of the discipline and its relevance. Each chapter in the Handbook references at least two different religions to provide fresh and innovative perspectives on key issues in the field. This authoritative collection will advance the state of the discipline and is an invaluable reference for students and scholars.
Categories: Religion

Moving on in Neolithic Studies

Moving on in Neolithic Studies

Hertz, R. (1960) Death and the right hand. London, Routledge. ... McCorkle, W. (2010) Ritualizing the disposal of the deceased: From corpse to concept.

Author: Jim Leary

Publisher: Oxbow Books

ISBN: 9781785701771

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 395

Mobility is a fundamental facet of being human and should be central to archaeology. Yet mobility itself and the role it plays in the production of social life, is rarely considered as a subject in its own right. This is particularly so with discussions of the Neolithic people where mobility is often framed as being somewhere between a sedentary existence and nomadic movements. This latest collection of papers from the Neolithic Studies Group seminars examines the importance and complexities of movement and mobility, whether on land or water, in the Neolithic period. It uses movement in its widest sense, ranging from everyday mobilities – the routines and rhythms of daily life – to proscribed mobility, such as movement in and around monuments, and occasional and large-scale movements and migrations around the continent and across seas. Papers are roughly grouped and focus on ‘mobility and the landscape’, ‘monuments and mobility’, ‘travelling by water’, and ‘materials and mobility’. Through these themes the volume considers the movement of people, ideas, animals, objects, and information, and uses a wide range of archaeological evidence from isotope analysis; artefact studies; lithic scatters and assemblage diversity.
Categories: History

Deeply into the Bone

Deeply into the Bone

But is it really " natural " to approach death without ambivalence — the attitude that drives much human ritualizing ? Or to dispose of the dead without ...

Author: Ronald L. Grimes

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520929632

Category: Social Science

Page: 393

View: 165

Over the past two decades, North Americans have become increasingly interested in understanding and reclaiming the rites that mark significant life passages. In the absence of meaningful rites of passage, we speed through the dangerous intersections of life and often come to regret missing an opportunity to contemplate a child's birth, mark the arrival of maturity, or meditate on the loss of a loved one. Providing a highly personal, thoroughly informed, and cross-cultural perspective on rites of passage for general readers, this book illustrates the power of rites to help us navigate life's troublesome transitions. The work of a major scholar who has spent years writing and teaching about ritual, Deeply into the Bone instigates a conversation in which readers can fruitfully reflect on their own experiences of passage. Covering the significant life events of birth, initiation, marriage, and death, chapters include first-person stories told by individuals who have undergone rites of passage, accounts of practices from around the world, brief histories of selected ritual traditions, and critical reflections probing popular assumptions about ritual. The book also explores innovative rites for other important events such as beginning school, same-sex commitment ceremonies, abortion, serious illness, divorce, and retirement. Taking us confidently into the abyss separating the spiritual from the social scientific, the personal from the scholarly, and the narrative from the analytical, Grimes synthesizes an impressive amount of information to help us find more insightful ways of comprehending life's great transitions. As we face our increasingly complex society, Deeply into the Bone will help us reclaim the power of rites and understand their effect on our lives.
Categories: Social Science

The Routledge Handbook of the Body

The Routledge Handbook of the Body

McCorkle, W. W. (2010) Ritualizing the Disposal of Dead Bodies: From Corpse to Concept. New York: Peter Lang Publishing. Mellor, P. (1993) Death in high ...

Author: Bryan S Turner

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781136903328

Category: Social Science

Page: 448

View: 852

In the last three decades, the human body has gained increasing prominence in contemporary political debates, and it has become a central topic of modern social sciences and humanities. This collection of thirty original essays by leading figures in the field explores these issues across a number of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives, with a wide range of case studies.
Categories: Social Science

The Death of Sacred Texts

The Death of Sacred Texts

Ritual Disposal and Renovation of Texts in World Religions Kristina Myrvold. their semantic dimension. readings, recitations, drama, and art ritualize their ...

Author: Kristina Myrvold

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317036401

Category: Religion

Page: 182

View: 766

The Death of Sacred Texts draws attention to a much neglected topic in the study of sacred texts: the religious and ritual attitudes towards texts which have become old and damaged and can no longer be used for reading practices or in religious worship. This book approaches religious texts and scriptures by focusing on their physical properties and the dynamic interactions of devices and habits that lie beneath and within a given text. In the last decades a growing body of research studies has directed attention to the multiple uses and ways people encounter written texts and how they make them alive, even as social actors, in different times and cultures. Considering religious people seem to have all the motives for giving their sacred texts a respectful symbolic treatment, scholars have paid surprisingly little attention to the ritual procedures of disposing and renovating old texts. This book fills this gap, providing empirical data and theoretical analyses of historical and contemporary religious attitudes towards, and practices of text disposals within, seven world religions: Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Exploring the cultural and historical variations of rituals for religious scriptures and texts (such as burials, cremations and immersion into rivers) and the underlying beliefs within the religious traditions, this book investigates how these religious practices and stances respond to modernization and globalization processes when new technologies have made it possible to mass-produce and publish religious texts on the Internet.
Categories: Religion

World Faiths An Introduction Teach Yourself

World Faiths   An Introduction  Teach Yourself

This original practice has evolved in the Indian context into a ritualized disposal of the dead in so-called Towers of Silence. These are specially created ...

Author: Paul Oliver

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 9781444130720

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 684

This book is a concise guide to the major religions around the world. Become familiar with the history of each faith, its core beliefs, and how it is practised today. Whether you're studying theology or just want to know more about the faiths that shape our world, this clearly structured guide offers everything you need to get started. NOT GOT MUCH TIME? One, five and ten-minute introductions to key principles to get you started. AUTHOR INSIGHTS Lots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author's many years of experience. TEST YOURSELF Tests in the book and online to keep track of your progress. EXTEND YOUR KNOWLEDGE Extra online articles at www.teachyourself.com to give you a richer understanding of psychology. FIVE THINGS TO REMEMBER Quick refreshers to help you remember the key facts. TRY THIS Innovative exercises illustrate what you've learnt and how to use it.
Categories: Religion

Death Memory and Material Culture

Death  Memory and Material Culture

For Bill to perform these actions was to enact the ritualized disposal his wife had mapped out during the period before her death.

Author: Elizabeth Hallam

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000181012

Category: Social Science

Page: 264

View: 612

- How do the living maintain ongoing relationships with the dead in Western societies? - How have the residual belongings of the dead been used to evoke memories? - Why has the body and its material environment remained so important in memory-making? Objects, images, practices, and places remind us of the deaths of others and of our own mortality. At the time of death, embodied persons disappear from view, their relationships with others come under threat and their influence may cease. Emotionally, socially, politically, much is at stake at the time of death. In this context, memories and memory-making can be highly charged, and often provide the dead with a social presence amongst the living. Memories of the dead are a bulwark against the terror of forgetting, as well as an inescapable outcome of a life's ending. Objects in attics, gardens, museums, streets and cemeteries can tell us much about the processes of remembering. This unusual and absorbing book develops perspectives in anthropology and cultural history to reveal the importance of material objects in experiences of grief, mourning and memorializing. Far from being ‘invisible', the authors show how past generations, dead friends and lovers remain manifest - through well-worn garments, letters, photographs, flowers, residual drops of perfume, funerary sculpture. Tracing the rituals, gestures and materials that have been used to shape and preserve memories of personal loss, Hallam and Hockey show how material culture provides the deceased with a powerful presence within the here and now.
Categories: Social Science

Spectacles of Death in Ancient Rome

Spectacles of Death in Ancient Rome

1–39, of the theories of E. Durkheim, A. van Gennep, and orhers who see disposal of the dead as a ritualized process of deep cultural significance.

Author: Donald G. Kyle

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781134862726

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 836

The elaborate and inventive slaughter of humans and animals in the arena fed an insatiable desire for violent spectacle among the Roman people. Donald G. Kyle combines the words of ancient authors with current scholarly research and cross-cultural perspectives, as he explores * the origins and historical development of the games * who the victims were and why they were chosen * how the Romans disposed of the thousands of resulting corpses * the complex religious and ritual aspects of institutionalised violence * the particularly savage treatment given to defiant Christians. This lively and original work provides compelling, sometimes controversial, perspectives on the bloody entertainments of ancient Rome, which continue to fascinate us to this day.
Categories: History

The Oxford Handbook of Roman Britain

The Oxford Handbook of Roman Britain

No single explanation for the treatment of the deceased applies to all human societies. Ritualized disposal of the dead has been recognized archaeologically ...

Author: Martin Millett

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780191002533

Category: Social Science

Page: 704

View: 189

This book provides a twenty-first century perspective on Roman Britain, combining current approaches with the wealth of archaeological material from the province. This volume introduces the history of research into the province and the cultural changes at the beginning and end of the Roman period. The majority of the chapters are thematic, dealing with issues relating to the people of the province, their identities and ways of life. Further chapters consider the characteristics of the province they lived in, such as the economy, and settlement patterns. This Handbook reflects the new approaches being developed in Roman archaeology, and demonstrates why the study of Roman Britain has become one of the most dynamic areas of archaeology. The book will be useful for academics and students interested in Roman Britain.
Categories: Social Science

Portrait of a Community

Portrait of a Community

... of ritualized disposal of the dead , either through burial , internment , burning , or exposure . Burial — either in the fabulously rich and complex ...

Author: Hugh R. Clark

Publisher: Chinese University Press

ISBN: 9629962276

Category: Social Science

Page: 473

View: 508

Portrait of a Community examines emerging kinship structures as embedded in the social and cultural history of a river valley in a central coastal Fujian province from the ninth through thirteenth centuries. The book demonstrates how cultural innovation often begins at a local level.
Categories: Social Science

In a Strange Room

In a Strange Room

Mere corpses become ancestors, the established dead, through ritualized disposal, and stories about corpse disposal are linguistic performances of this ...

Author: David Sherman

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780199333882

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 273

View: 107

Taking its title from Faulkner's epochal modernist novel, David Sherman's study traces the myriad ways death and its effect on the living defined modernist fiction and verse in England, Ireland, and the U.S. A focus on the disturbing but recurring image of the corpse allows Sherman to consider a range of texts marked by their sense of mortal fragility. Wilfred Owen's war poetry and Virginia Woolf's early novel Jacob's Room illustrate an incipient anxiety over new governmental techniques for efficiently managing the burial of the dead during World War I. Joyce's Ulysses and As I Lay Dying offer opportunities to consider narratives organized by the problem of an unburied corpse. Eliot's The Waste Land and Djuna Barnes's novel Nightwood, which Eliot edited, demonstrate how modernist writers often respond to death and the loss of corporality with erotic encounters at the moment mortality is most threatened. Two poems by William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens, in the monograph's concluding section, provide emblems for competing attitudes toward the disposal of the dead in the first half of the twentieth century. Enriched by insights from psychology, anthropology, and philosophy, In a Strange Room presents a richly textured transatlantic study of a defining aspect of modernist literature and culture.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Mind Morality and Magic

Mind  Morality and Magic

The ritualized disposal of dead bodies appears to be a panhuman type of behavior (McCorkle 2010: 7). The ritual response to death may well be one reason why ...

Author: Istvan Czachesz

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317544401

Category: Philosophy

Page: 320

View: 572

The cognitive science of religion that has emerged over the last twenty years is a multidisciplinary field that often challenges established theories in anthropology and comparative religion. This new approach raises many questions for biblical studies as well. What are the cross-cultural cognitive mechanisms which explain the transmission of biblical texts? How did the local and particular cultural traditions of ancient Israel and early Christianity develop? What does the embodied and socially embedded nature of the human mind imply for the exegesis of biblical texts? "Mind, Morality and Magic" draws on a range of approaches to the study of the human mind - including memory studies, computer modeling, cognitive theories of ritual, social cognition, evolutionary psychology, biology of emotions, and research on religious experience. The volume explores how cognitive approaches to religion can shed light on classical concerns in biblical scholarship - such as the transmission of traditions, ritual and magic, and ethics - as well as uncover new questions and offer new methodologies.
Categories: Philosophy

Corpse Encounters

Corpse Encounters

This book takes a critical glance at the ritualized practices of death—corpse preparation, disposal, and aesthetic representation—and examines the workings of aesthetics that shape corpses, as well as the ways in which corpses spill ...

Author: Jacqueline Elam

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9781498543941

Category: Social Science

Page: 206

View: 822

This book takes a critical glance at the ritualized practices of death—corpse preparation, disposal, and aesthetic representation—and examines the workings of aesthetics that shape corpses, as well as the ways in which corpses spill over, resisting aestheticization.
Categories: Social Science

Transnational Death

Transnational Death

As the ultimate rite of passage, the funeral rites are highly ritualized and ... to perform and navigate the funeral ceremony and disposal of the dead body.

Author: Samira Saramo

Publisher: BoD - Books on Demand

ISBN: 9789518581348

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 190

Transnational Death brings together eleven cutting-edge articles from the emerging field of transnational death studies. The collection highlights European, Asian, North American, and Middle Eastern perspectives, and reflects on people's changing experiences with death in the context of migration over time. The collection begins with a thematic assessment of transnational death studies, and then examines case studies, divided into Family, Community, and Commemoration sections. Together, the chapters provide new insights on issues including identity and belonging, community reciprocity, transnational communication, and spaces of mourning and commemoration. The collection is edited by Dr. Samira Saramo (University of Turku), Dr. Eerika Koskinen-Koivisto (University of Jyväskylä), and Professor of Ethnology Hanna Snellman (University of Helsinki).
Categories: Social Science