About Death, Materiality and the Origin of Time

The author of the book describes suicide as a taboo in Kampala, Uganda, which is a norm to never be spoken about. A young man in one of the chapters would be described as being suicidal, however being from Kampala, Uganda, he is faced with this issue and no one to turn to. The book would further describe his experience the day the male tried to kill himself, which was three times in one day. In doing this process, this individual would be conflicted with personal, religious, and cultural conflicts.

Additionally, the book would also describe how two types of mediation contributes to suicide. With the first mediation being from life choices, such as personal perception, inner speech. The second mediation being public view, as to one pertains. These statements are useful in the sense that a type of death has so many factors when following through with suicide. This kind of death is self-inflicted, but affects everyone as an outcome.

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This is also interesting to know why some people take their own lives, attributed to self-issues that usually go unresolved, as this may be caused by other leading factors other than yourself, such as environmental or the media. This specific case was also interesting to gain insight about different cultural views on suicide, as America is for the most part pretty relevant in our teens today. However, though suicide is not discussed in some countries, it is interesting to understand that the victim usually have the same reasons as well as characteristics.

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  • Kagen, S. (2012) Death. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/ebookviewer/ebook/bmxlYmtfXzQ0NTgzOV9fQU41?sid=008bda2c-90c7-47ec-bf65-0a544849545e@pdc-v-sessmgr02&vid=0&format=EB&rid=1

Discuss the philosophies surrounding where individuals go after death, as well as the most common question, do we have souls. As the author would describe your soul as being a seperate part of your body. Which will lead to believe what will happen to your soul once you die, is it immortal or does it perish with the body. Additionally, the author will go on to explain how do we even know if human beings have souls. In saying that if a soul fails to exist then all religious believes would be falsified. This is simply due to the fact that some religions believe that the body is perishable, but the soul is immortal, such as Christianity. Thus no soul will mean no immortality as the Bible proclaims, pertaining to the Christianity. This destroys the beliefs in most cultures, as their religions rely on having a soul. This argument will devalue religions offering of immortality, in which will leave even more people in the dark in regards life after death.

Non-Scholarly Sources (3):

  • United Methodist Communications. (2014, February 04). What happens after a person dies? Retrieved November 5, 2018, from http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/what-happens-after-a-person-dies

This website was able to explain how one is able to enter the gates of heaven. In order to do this, you must believe that one is able to obtain salvation through faith. The writer also establishes that once a person is deceased, they are deceased till judgement day. Furthermore, in regards to death, it does not matter to what happens to you as long as you end up with God at the end of the day. As God is eternal joy, and without him is no life and no joy that will come upon. Which will be valuable to understand other cultures views upon death. As individuals who believe in their religions will have immortality of somewhat, thus securing peoples faith after death. This would also make dying for these religious followers even more distraught. Which will ultimately cause individuals scared to die, not wanting to leave this earth, as they know what will happen next. However, people that believe in this ultimately have faith, and security to know that since they do believe in their religion, they will know what happens after death. Which leaves cultures intact, as well as being able to believe in something that provides comfortability to death.

  • https://countrynavigator.com/blog/cultural-intelligence/death/

Sue Bryant’s article examines the differences of death and rituals between a few cultures such as Africa, Japan, Mexico, and Korea. The author notes how important it is to focus on the notion of grief as the main factor contributing to the differences between cultures. The reason being that death is typically a universal experience overall. Bryant explains how death is celebrated in the Mexican culture through the festive event of Día de los Muertos. Likewise, those that have passed are cremated in Korea in order to create colorful beads that are displayed in their family homes. On the other hand, a major difference between the Western culture and China is the color that one wears for mourning. The U.S. population tends to wear black for funeral and grieving events while China prefers the color white, as black is considered unlucky. These differences between cultures are important for individuals to consider in order to respect one another’s rituals.

The experience that most individuals of the Western culture is used to is wearing all black, attending a funeral where cries and sadness is perceived, and then visiting the homes of loved ones with food as an offering. However, the author of this article gives insight into other cultures that have fascinating funeral rituals. One of the major ones is facilitated through the Eastern Indonesia culture. They believe in raising enough money in order to throw a lavish funeral along with a sacrificial water buffalo. Until then, the deceased are given a special place in their homes were they are taken care of by feeding, caring, and socializing. Another interesting ritual is from the Mongolian culture. These individuals believe that the soul moves on while the body remains an empty vessel. As a result, this culture attempts to return the body in to the earth’s soil by cutting the body into pieces and placing them on a mountaintop. This allows the body to be utilized by nature, including hungry vultures. Furthermore, the author of the article continues to elaborate many of the differences between the cultures by providing the reader with explicit examples.

Scholarly Articles (3):

  • Mystakidou, K., Tsilika, E., & Parpa, E. (2004). Death and Grief in the Greek Culture. Omega: Journal of Death & Dying, 50(1), 23–34. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.2190/YYAU-R4MN-AKKM-T496

The various authors of the article, “DEATH AND GRIEF IN THE GREEK CULTURE,” provided insight regarding how death is perceived in Greek culture and society. The authors explain that in mythology, death was believed to be a journey. That journey would lead the individuals to an Afterlife, which was ruled by Hades. However, the article explains how a philosopher who believed that an individual’s body and soul no longer exists when death is experienced challenged that belief. The reason being that humans should have the viewpoint that death is not terrifying nor a detrimental experience. As they advanced to Classical times, society developed burial rituals and commemorative practices. The authors explain how individuals facilitated funeral and memorial services in order to cope with the difficulty and grieving process. In addition, the Christian Orthodox attempted to influence the way death was viewed in Greek culture. They preached the importance of soul immortality and the resurrection of the dead. The article provided the audience with insight into how this culture dealt with death and their philosophies behind their rituals and their religious affiliation.

  • Aijmer, G. (2005). A Family Reunion The Anthropology of Life, Death and New Year in Soochow. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 15(2), 199-218.

This scholarly article focuses on the culture of Soochow, a city population located in China. The author makes it known that the concept of death and its rituals is not well known in China overall. As a result, individuals in this country believed that ancestral cults were the main pillar of family life and rituals of the dead. The influence of the regional difference between the North and the South also contributed to the differences in their ceremonies concerning death. More specifically, the author delved into the Chinese rituals regarding components of time such as cyclical, calendrical and linear. New Year is explained to be a vital part to areas such as Soochow. During the New Year, offerings are made to their ancestors or deceased along to their gods and cosmic forces. Offerings, included but not limited to, are foods such as special cakes and blessings such as lucky money. Moreover, the author explains how this culture integrates the celebration of kinship and succession into their rituals concerning their dead.

  • Gire, J. (2014). How Death Imitates Life: Cultural Influences on Conceptions of Death and Dying. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 6(2). https://doi.org/10.9707/2307-0919.1120

This article is written around the notion of diversity of death within cultures and the different approaches concerning their rituals. The author describes the meaning of death and the conceptions that society has implemented. In some cultures, death is defined as an absence of a heartbeat and in others, it is the lack of brain activity. The author also explains the responses many cultural identities have when death takes place. These can vary from fear, levels of death anxiety, and sensitivity of reactions. This article continues to explain the different reactions that may come about due to grief and bereavement. This ranges from wearing a certain color during the mourning process or dancing and celebrating the deceased. Additionally, the author discusses three main functions as to why cultures may implement the need for burial and funeral rituals. As a result, the differences in societies can be attributed to the many historical components such as religion and cultural conceptions.

Government Source or government agency (1):

  • (2012). The End of Life, the Ends of Life: An Anthropological View. The Journal of IMA, 43(3), 203-7.

Dr. Varisco, a social anthropologist, explains in the article how vital it is to understand how all religions explain death in one form another. Focusing generally on the scriptures of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, this author explains how death is a inevitable occurrence throughout all societies. The way that cultures handle it is the main question. The author also focuses on how important it is to view cultural concepts of death through a anthropological lense. The article explores ideas ranging from the evolution of human thinking and our consciousness of death to concepts from a set of doctrines. For example, the article notes how death and the unknown process that comes after it is more complicated than what some cultures believe. In addition, the article allows one to gain insight into how complicated it is to understand thoroughly the way rituals are created concerning death, as there is no preconceived ruling to govern the processes.

Source of your own (1):

A soul is not really found in science books, as a soul is not tangible to humans. Making scientists jobs difficult to find if souls do exist, as science is factual and anything not proven cannot be factual. As a soul would refer to a beginning before life and afterlife concerning death, which is not scientifically proven. Hence the doubtfulness of having a soul, which would imply this statement. However, the soul can be a cognitive way of saying “I” . Scientists are becoming flabbergasted, as science is evolving to understand their has to be a beginning and end to things, in regards to something cannot be made out of nothing. Which ultimately can lead one to believe, that their must be a higher power in some way. If a soul is existing, than their must be an afterlife, thus their must be a god who created all.

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About Death, Materiality and the Origin of Time. (2021, Oct 07). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/about-death-materiality-and-the-origin-of-time-essay

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