By Hiroshi Obayashi
Significant spiritual traditions of the area comprise views of perennial value regarding demise and afterlife. Such innovations and ideology aren't in basic terms mirrored at once in mortuary and funerary practices, but additionally tell styles of ideals and rituals that form human existence. even though evidenced in sacred texts, they can not be absolutely understood in isolation by way of textual examine on my own. fairly, they need to be explored when it comes to a accomplished realizing of the given non secular process as rooted in an total tradition. right here 13 students, each one a expert in a selected non secular culture, define the ideals, myths, and practices in terms of dying and afterlife. the quantity advent presents a framework for knowing the evolutionary relationships between global religions and the harmony in addition to the variety in their quest for overcoming loss of life. half I includes chapters on African religions representing the nonliterate spiritual adventure and on historic religions of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. stories of those religions function heritage for comprehending suggestions on the subject of loss of life and afterlife within the significant international religions, that are handled partly II, on Western religions, and half III, on jap religions. the actual approach to method of every one culture depends on the character of the cloth. With dying and afterlife because the universal concentration, this staff of students has delivered to endure its varied services in anthropology, classics, archaeology, bible study, background, and theology. the result's a textual content vital for comparative faith classes and, past that, a booklet extending our figuring out of human strategies and aspirations. It bargains an international viewpoint from which someone can examine his or her personal own matters bearing on dying and afterlife.
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Additional info for Death and Afterlife: Perspectives of World Religions (Contributions to the Study of Religion, Vol. 33)
It is common practice to disclose a diagnosis of dementia to the patient’s family rather than to the patient (Saitō 2000) and for families to make an end-of-life decision (Long 2005); these practices illustrate the assumed vulnerability and dependence of older adults on their family members and the importance of the family to ensure the well-being of its vulnerable members. indd 42 1/14/10 5:04:15 PM The Actors 43 with a married son. Although people are exploring alternatives by seeking unconventional caregivers or combining family-based caregiving and outside help, in spite of its predicaments the generational contract in a stemfamily framework continues to be relevant in determining who will care for the elderly.
Yet, compared with their natal stem families, new branch families were less secure both in life and after death. Although “extra” sons were “freer,” they had greater responsibilities for taking care of themselves. They were not in a position to inherit their parents’ house or to use the family’s grave. They had to find their own housing and a memorial place after death. Luckily, due to the unprecedented economic growth that occurred when these “extra” sons were starting their families, they tended to find reasonable wage employment.
In contrast to the gloomy image of a heavy burden, examples of docile, easygoing, manageable elders are celebrated in the media. The centenarian twins Kin-san and Gin-san, “tiny, giggly, and charming” sisters (Nakano 2005, 136), for instance, became national stars embodying idealized images of advanced old age. Yet, older persons are also agents negotiating the contract in their own ways in society, whether they are seen as a “nameless” burden or as “docile” recipients of care. Just as caregivers are seeking a “fairer” allotment of rewards matching their efforts, seniors are deploying their wealth to negotiate their security in old age.
Death and Afterlife: Perspectives of World Religions (Contributions to the Study of Religion, Vol. 33) by Hiroshi Obayashi