Death, Dying, and the Afterlife: Lessons from World Cultures by Mark BerksonDeath, Dying, and the Afterlife: Lessons from World Cultures is an uplifting, meaningful, and multidisciplinary exploration of life’s only certainty. While we’re predisposed to look on death with fear and sadness, it’s only by confronting and exploring death head-on that we can actually embrace the important role it plays in our lives. Death, it turns out, is a powerful teacher, one that can help us think responsibly and deeply about the meaning and value of life, connect with the beliefs and traditions of cultures and faiths different from our own, and gain the wisdom and guidance to live a richer, more fulfilling life while we have it.
As religion scholar and award-winning Professor Mark Berkson of Hamline University says, “Reflecting on death and dying is an essential part of the examined life.” Take a wide-ranging look at this undeniably confounding and fascinating subject. Bringing together theology, philosophy, biology, anthropology, literature, psychology, sociology, and other fields, these 24 lectures are a brilliant compendium of how human beings have struggled to come to terms with mortality. You’ll encounter everything from ancient burial practices, traditional views of the afterlife, and the five stages of grief to the question of killing during wartime, the phenomenon of near-death experiences, and even 21st-century theories about transcending death itself. Prepare for a remarkable learning experience that brings you face-to-face with the most important topic mortals like us can consider.
Funeral Traditions in the United States
This article is about death in the different cultures around the world as well as ethical issues relating to death, such as martyrdom, suicide and euthanasia. Death refers to the permanent termination of life-sustaining processes in an organism, i. Death and its spiritual ramifications are debated in every manner all over the world. Most civilizations dispose of their dead with rituals developed through spiritual traditions. In most cultures, after the last offices have been performed and before the onset of significant decay, relations or friends arrange for ritual disposition of the body, either by destruction, or by preservation, or in a secondary use. In the US, this frequently means either cremation or interment in a tomb.
Death is marked in so many ways around the world that an understanding of different rituals can be helpful, particularly in a cross cultural environment. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Death and dying: How different cultures view the end. In Korea, where cremation is becoming commonplace nowadays, there is a trend to have the ashes of a loved one refined and turned into colorful beads. White is the color of mourning in China , not black, as in the west, and as such, is regarded as unlucky; this is why giving white flowers to a Chinese person is inappropriate. Funeral rituals vary according to the age and status of the deceased but the official mourning period for a Buddhist may go on for days. These rituals are elaborate and may even include hiring professional wailers, in the belief that the young in China no longer know how to show emotion appropriately.
Different religions and cultures greatly affect our perception and views about life and death. Consequently, bereavement and funeral practices and tend to vary from one religion to another. Thus, although death is a universal experience, it is interpreted in numerous ways in all the cultures and religions. Consequently, there are different methods for disposing of the body of the deceased. The believers face death without fear and gain eternal life in Heaven in the presence of God.
Skip to Content. But the ways in which they experience and express these feelings may differ across cultures. Culture is the mix of beliefs, values, behaviors, traditions, and rituals that members of a cultural group share. Each culture has its own rituals that influence the expression of grief. Carrying out these practices offers a sense of stability and security.
Skip navigation! Some 2. Some faiths cremate their dead, while others bury them. Here's how they say goodbye. Ramaswamy P. We believe the human body is a composition of the five elements [earth, water, fire, air, void].