Essay on Death and the Regeneration of Life

2016 Words Jun 20th, 2005 9 Pages
Death and the Regeneration of Life

Death and the Regeneration of Life written by Maurice Bloch and Jonathan Parry focuses on the significance of symbols of fertility and rebirth in funeral rituals. Their book includes many theories that anthropologist have studied with the idea of life and death. The idea of death and the regeneration of life changes with each culture and tradition. Everyone has his or her own opinion of how it shall work. With the help of many contributors to the book, one is able to read the different types of ways some cultures value their own rituals.
The notions of fertility and sexuality often have a considerable prominence in funeral practices. These practices have excited the attention of anthropologists
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Due to this, agriculture is their primary value and is their main focus on mortuary rituals.
In contrast with the hunter-gatherer societies studied by Woodburn, there is the Gimi ideology. The Gimi's believed it was more important to reproduce the clan members. However, it was on the land that women were required to meditate for fertility.
To be born one must be fertile, however if one is born then one must die. Death is very similar to the concept of day and night. When day comes naturally night follows. This is the same with life and death. When one is born, time passes and one must die. With the concept of time many want to try to determine the time and place of death and the dissociation of social death from the termination of bodily function, clearly represent an attempt to control the unpredictable nature of biological death and hence the victory of order over biology (15). Death can be looked at in two different ways: good death and bad death. Good death suggests some degree of mastery over the arbitrariness of the biological occurrence by replicating a prototype to which all deaths conform, and which can therefore be seen as an instance of a general pattern necessary for the reproduction of life. On the other hand, the deaths that which most clearly demonstrate the absence of control are suggested to be bad deaths and do not result in regeneration (15).
The Merina society, nothing is worse then the…

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