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By Douglas Davies

Акт самой смерти и ритуалы окружающие ее чрезвычайно различны и проливают свет на культуры, частью которых они являются. В этой краткой и живой истории Дуглас Дэйвис - международно признанный ведущим экспертом в этой области - рассматривает некоторые из самых существенных аспектов смерти и складывает их в незабываемую историю наших отношений к смерти.Темы книги: Смерть - психологические аспекты; Смерть - религиозные аспекты; Смерть - социальные аспекты; Смерть в искусстве


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Here death becomes one integral element amidst several others and shows something of the complexity of human existence and how mortality and survival become explicitly powerful in the life of nations and, as it happened, the subsequent death of millions more in the drive for conquest. This extreme example is but one end of a spectrum of bereavement at the other end of which we have some like Tolstoy who lost his parents when young, with his brother and some other children dying later, all of which, in his case, made him realize the importance of ‘belonging’ (Gustavson 1986: 13).

From humanity’s earliest days, mothers and family groups were accustomed to the death of many infants to the point, in some contexts, of not even according babies anything like a social identity until they were months, even years old. Not possessing a name, a baby would not receive a ritualized funeral if it died. This was true, to a degree, within European societies until well into the twentieth century, at least as far as newly born or stillborn babies were concerned. Changing quality of life has affected relationships.

24 Parting’s Sweet Sorrow These mummies gave anthropologist Bernardo Arriaza, who helped excavate them, both ‘a feeling of continuity with the past’ and a ‘realization that all humans, past and present, share the suffering cause by the loss of a loved one’ (Arriaza 1995: xiii). As he wondered just what ‘emotions the Chinchorros experienced when someone in their group died’ so, too, in the remainder of this chapter we approach the issue of loss and grief by exploring death’s double face which, for the larger part of human history, has looked grievingly back on those left behind just as it turns hopefully to some ultimate destiny.

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