This question, so often asked by us in times of crisis and despair, or love and joy, expresses and indeed defines our sense of humanity. The question How should we live? is one that many ask in a crisis, jolted out of normal patterns of life. But that question is not always a simple request[…]
An awareness of our mortality, of our precious finitude, can move us to seek the meaning that we so desperately crave. ‘Despite all our medical advances,’ my friend Jason used to quip, ‘the mortality rate has remained constant – one per person.’ Jason and I studied medicine together back in the 1980s. Along with everyone[…]
A new theology that came to dominate British religion after the Reformation altering the relationship between the living and the dead. Introduction During the age of spectacular punishment, the bodies of those who threatened the State or social order were subject to highly visible symbolic justice. The executions and dead bodies of traitors in particular[…]
The Danse Macabre consists of the dead or a personification of death with dancing along to the graves. Introduction The Danse Macabre, also called the Dance of Death, is an artistic genre of allegory of the Late Middle Ages on the universality of death: no matter one’s station in life, the Danse Macabre unites all.[…]
Ancient writers who crafted these accounts sought to create a fellowship of grief between their communities. I remember the afternoon my brother died in vivid detail: the chill of the afternoon, the bustle of doctors throughout the house, the sound of the ambulance – and the silence that followed. That silence stretched interminably, it seemed[…]
“It is our Torajan culture. It is what we do.” By Tommy Trenchard and Aurélie Marrier d’Unienville As a host, 90-year-old Alfrida Lantong is somewhat passive. Lying resolutely on her back and gazing up through a pair of thick, dusty spectacles, she roundly ignores her son’s murmured greeting as he enters the room, and she[…]
Some of the more famous and memorable cities of the dead. Originally published by ESRI, republished with embed permission for educational, non-commercial purposes.
Death rituals help us to cope with loss and perhaps even feelings of guilt associated with disposing of a corpse. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Few liturgical phrases from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer are so familiar to so many, even those who have never darkened the doors of a church. This part of the[…]