Cover image for Death, mourning, and burial : a cross-cultural reader
Death, mourning, and burial : a cross-cultural reader
Robben, Antonius C. G. M.
Publication Information:
Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., [2004]

Physical Description:
x, 322 pages ; 26 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GN486 .D43 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In Death, Mourning, and Burial , an indispensable introduction to the anthropology of death, readers will find a rich selection of some of the finest ethnographic work on this fascinating topic. Comprised of six sections that mirror the social trajectory of death: conceptualizations of death; death and dying; uncommon death; grief and mourning; mortuary rituals; and remembrance and regeneration Includes canonical readings as well as recent studies on topics such as organ donation and cannibalism Designed for anyone concerned with issues of death and dying, as well as: violence, terrorism, war, state terror, organ theft, and mortuary rituals Serves as a text for anthropology classes, as well as providing a genuinely cross-cultural perspective to all those studying death and dying

Author Notes

Antonius C. G. M. Robben is Professor of Anthropology at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and past President of the Netherlands Society of Anthropology. His recent books are Cultures under Siege: Collective Violence and Trauma (edited with Marcelo Su#65533;rez-Orozco, 2000) and Political Violence and Trauma in Argentina (2005).

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This work is a valuable contribution to the literature of death and dying because the articles emanate from anthropological scholarship that provides insightful reflection on cultural events and processes. The editor admirably meets his intent of providing readers "with a good sense of the foundational texts in the anthropology of death, to delineate enduring research interests, and demonstrate the intellectual depth and breadth of the field in recent decades." The anthology is divided into six parts--conceptualizations of death, death and dying, uncommon death, grief and mourning, mortuary rituals, and remembrance and regeneration. They encompass an eclectic mix of relevant topics, including debate on universals in death, transitions in western European death models, death as a predestined event, death by the issue of loss and how individuals and communities deal with it, and the singular importance of Robert Hertz's influential text on the collective representation of death. Editor Robben's assessment of the future for death studies rightfully recognizes that much remains to be done, but the research potential is equally promising through studies of euthanasia, cloning, cryonics, and other contemporary death-related topics. The book includes several excellent bibliographies and copious notes for some articles. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. G. Jeane Samford University

Table of Contents

Death and Anthropology: An IntroductionAntonius C. G. M. Robben
Part I Conceptualizations of Death
1 Magic, Science and ReligionBronislaw Malinowski
2 The Terror of DeathErnest Becker
3 Symbolic ImmortalityRobert Jay Lifton and Eric Olson
4 The Hour of Our DeathPhilippe Ari+s
5 How Others Die: Reflections on the Anthropology of DeathJohannes Fabian
Part II Death and Dying
6 Death Omens in a Breton MemorateEllen Badone
7 The Meaning of Death in Northern Cheyenne CultureAnne S. Straus
8 Kinds of Death and the HouseMaria Cftedra
9 Displacing Suffering: The Reconstruction of Death in North America and JapanMargaret Lock
Part III Uncommon Death
10 Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the AzandeE. E. Evans-Pritchard
11 Burial AliveGodfrey Lienhardt
12 State Terror in the Netherworld: Disappearance and Reburial in ArgentinaAntonius C. G. M. Robben
Part IV Grief and Mourning
13 The Andaman IslandersA. R. Radcliffe-Brown
14 Metaphors of Mediation in Greek Funeral LamentsLoring M. Danforth
15 Grief and a Headhunter's RageRenato Rosaldo
16 Death Without WeepingNancy Scheper-Hughes
Part V Mortuary Rituals
17 A Contribution to the Study of the Collective Representation of DeathRobert Hertz
18 The Rites of PassageArnold van Gennep
19 The Phase of Negated DeathHikaru Suzuki
20 'Thus are our bodies, thus was our custom': Mortuary Cannibalism in an Amazonian SocietyBeth A. Conklin
Part VI Remembrance and Regeneration
21 Sacrificial Death and the Necrophagous AsceticJonathan Parry
22 The 19th-Century Tlingit Potlatch: A New PerspectiveSergei Kan
23 Dead Bodies Animate the Study of PoliticsKatherine Verdery