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Synopsis: It is a classical anthropological paradox that symbols of rebirth and fertility are frequently found in funerary rituals throughout the world. The original essays collected here re-examine this phenomenon through insights from China, India, New Guinea, Latin America, and Africa. The contributors, each a specialist in one of these areas, have worked in close collaboration to produce a genuinely innovative theoretical approach to the study of the symbolism surrounding death, an outline of which is provided in an important introduction by the editors. The major concern of the volume is the way in which funerary rituals dramatically transform the image of life as a dialectic flux involving exchange and transaction, marriage and procreation, into an image of a still, transcendental order in which oppositions such as those between self and other, wife-giver and wife-taker, Brahmin and untouchable, birth and therefore death have been abolished. This transformation often involves a general devaluation of biology, and, particularly, of sexuality, which is contrasted with a more spiritual and controlled source of life. The role of women, who are frequently associated with biological processes, mourning and death pollution, is often predominant in funerary rituals, and in examining this book makes a further contribution to the understanding of the symbolism of gender. The death rituals and the symbolism of rebirth are also analysed in the context of the political processes of the different societies considered, and it is argued that social order and political organisation may be legitimated through an exploitation of the emotions and biology.
About the Author: Maurice Bloch, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics, is one of the world's leading anthropologists. He has held a number of academic positions at universities around the world and is currently an associate member of the Institut Jean Nicod of the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris engaged in an interdisciplinary research project on comparative epistemics funded by the European Science Foundation. He has published widely on his research interests and his work has been translated into twelve languages. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1990.
Title: Death and the Regeneration of Life
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication Date: 1982
Book Condition: Used: Good
Book Description Cambridge University Press, 1982. Hardcover. Condition: Collectible: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very good. First edition. First edition. Very good in very good unclipped dust jacket. Former owner signature in light ink on front endpaper. Binding is tight, sturdy, and square. Ships from Dinkytown in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Seller Inventory # 236739
Book Description Cambridge University Press, 1982. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110521248752
Book Description Cambridge University Press, 1982. Hardcover. Condition: Good. 1. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be ex-library. Shipping & Handling by region. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0521248752
Book Description Cambridge University Press, 1982. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0521248752