Matching Items (5)

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Between the Beauty Pageant and Utilitarian Disposal: Ideas and Practices Governing the Modern Funeral Home

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This thesis is structured proleptically, in the initial section I introduce the modern funeral service practices, what I call the compromise. The compromise consists of the system of burial rituals

This thesis is structured proleptically, in the initial section I introduce the modern funeral service practices, what I call the compromise. The compromise consists of the system of burial rituals defined by what I call the beauty pageant and the utilitarian disposal. The beauty pageant is the burial practice which involves embalming and cosmetically decorating the deceased. The utilitarian disposal consists of cremating the deceased into ashes and leaving the option available for added accessories. Both aspects of the modern funeral are subject to exploitation of the deceased as they are products of commodifying the deceased. Following this, I detail the medieval burial practices which define the burial practices of the Old Regime, managed by the authority of the Church. I recount the details which led up to the commercialization of funeral practices, which took the authority over burial from the hands of the Church and put it into the hands of the state. The commercialization of burial came with the bureaucratization and medicalization of death, since the death certificate was in the hands of medical staff and the state, and the burial rites were in the hands of the tradesman, the undertaker. The shift of power allowed for those unable to be buried under the Old regime, a place in the communal burial grounds, the cemetery. But with this commercialization came the exclusion of the poor, which were cared for under the charity of the Church prior to. This led to the development of the secular, pragmatic burial style, cremation. Cremation added another aspect to the modern funeral services, a utilitarian method in dealing with the deceased, which has the availability to be embellished or left as pragmatic. The utilitarian method of burial is subject to the same exploitative practices as the beauty pageant, since the endless options of dealing with the ashes of the deceased are commodified. The aim of the modern funeral industry is to provide a ritual and practice which allows for a commemorative event for the bereaved families of the deceased. Since the modern funeral practices have the capability of exploiting those bereaved families, it presents the question of what ways could the families commemorate without the commodification of the deceased. In my conclusion, I propose the idea of commemoration through a focus of legacy and memorialization through an obituary or memorial that represents who the person was in life and captures the essence of the personality of the deceased. This is along the lines of the commemoration that has been a part of human history since the Greek warriors, whose body was not the focus of death, but instead captures the essence of their values.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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The End of Life Ritual

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"Memento mori- remember you must die." Death is not a simple topic for anyone to address, especially when they are already grieving the loss of a loved one or the

"Memento mori- remember you must die." Death is not a simple topic for anyone to address, especially when they are already grieving the loss of a loved one or the realization that they too will die one day. Death and the practice of death rituals are things that all humans have in common, but at the same time they are something that we will all go through alone and all perceive differently. It can be extremely isolating and painful to grieve or to confront the reality of our own life ending, but it is something that many of us must face. Rituals are what give us the ability to reflect and work through difficult emotions and the ritual created through this project is no different.

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Date Created
  • 2020-12

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Holy Teammates - How Sport and Religion Utilize Each Other

Description

In this thesis I will explore the connections that exist between sport and religion by considering how both involve pursuit of perfection, shared lexicon, significant events and rituals, and heroes

In this thesis I will explore the connections that exist between sport and religion by considering how both involve pursuit of perfection, shared lexicon, significant events and rituals, and heroes and legends. Then I will devote time to exploring two other major themes: (a) how religion utilizes sport and (b) how sport incorporates religion.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-12

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The development of Iraqi Shiʼa mourning rituals in modern Iraq: the ʻAshurā rituals and visitation of Al-Arbʻain

Description

This study is based on a submission of anthropological, historical, and literary approaches. The ethnographic study of the Shi'a holy shrines between November 2011 and January 2012 is based on

This study is based on a submission of anthropological, historical, and literary approaches. The ethnographic study of the Shi'a holy shrines between November 2011 and January 2012 is based on my visit to Iraq. The study lasted almost ten weeks, to include the two events under discussion: `Ashurā and Al-Arb`ain, in Karbala of that year. This thesis argues that the mourning rituals of `Ashurā and the Forty Day Visitation Zyarat Al-Arb`ain contribute to the social or individual life of Iraqi Shi'a. They also make significant contributions through creating a symbolic language to communicate for the community, as well as communicating with their essential symbolic structure. Second, the Forty Day Visitation Zyarat Al-Arb`ain is one of the most significant collective mourning rituals, one that expresses unity and solidarity of the Iraqi Shi'a community, and helps them to represent their collective power, and maintain their collective existence. This study uses two of Victor Turner's tripartite models. For `Ashurā the rite of passage rituals is used, which consists of the separation, margin, and re-aggregation phase. Through this process of entering and leaving time and social structure, it helps in changing the social status of the participants. The other model used for Al-Arb`ain is pilgrimage as a social process, which includes three levels of communitas: existential, normative, and ideological communitas. The Shi'a in Iraq are holding a position similar to Turner's notion of communitas since they are living within a society that is Muslim and yet even though they are a larger population of the society, they still become marginalized by the Sunni population socially, economically, and politically. Social relations and links play a significant role for Shi'a in `Ashurā and Al-Arb`ain as a reflection between their social status as an undefined communitas and the general structure of Iraqi society.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Dimensions of religious practice: the Ammatoans of Sulawesi, Indonesia

Description

This thesis is an ethnographic account of the religious practices of the Ammatoa, a Konjo-speaking community of approximately 4600 people living in the southeast uplands of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It

This thesis is an ethnographic account of the religious practices of the Ammatoa, a Konjo-speaking community of approximately 4600 people living in the southeast uplands of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It examines aspects of Ammatoan rituals, cosmology, culture, economy, and politics that, from their point of view, are also considered religious. For the purpose of this dissertation, I understand religion to be ways of relationship between human beings and their fellow humans: the living and the dead, other beings, such as animals, plants, forests, mountains, rivers, and invisible entities such as gods and spirits. This conception of religion provides a better framework for understanding Ammatoan religion because for them religion includes many aspects of everyday life. The Ammatoans divide their land into an inner and an outer territory. The former is the constrained domains for their indigenous religion and the latter is more open to interaction with the outside world. The politics of territorial division has enabled Ammatoans to preserve their indigenous religion and navigate pressures from outside powers (i.e., Islam and modernity). The politics is, in part, a religious manifestation of Ammatoan oral tradition, the Pasang ri Kajang, which is the authoritative reference for all elements of everyday life. By following the tenets of the Pasang, Ammatoans seek to lead a life of kamase-masea, a life of simplicity. I explore how Ammatoans apply, challenge, and manipulate their understandings of the Pasang. Ammatoans demonstrate their religiosity and commitment to the Pasang through participation in rituals. This dissertation explores the diversity of Ammatoan rituals, and examines the connections between these rituals and the values of the Pasang through an extended analysis of one particular large-scale ritual, akkatterek (haircut). This ritual serves to incorporate a child into the wider Ammatoan cosmos. I also explore the encounters between Ammatoan indigenous religion, Islam, and modernity. I argue that the local manifestation of the concepts of Islam and modernity have both influenced and been influenced by Ammatoan indigenous religion. I conclude that despite their conversion to Islam and the intrusion of modernity, Ammatoan indigenous religion persists, albeit as an element of a hybrid cultural complex.

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Date Created
  • 2012