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Celebrations of Death: The Anthropology of Mortuary Ritual 2nd Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521423755
ISBN-10: 0521423759
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...a model of clarity. It can be read by specialist and non-specialist alike..." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

"...a readable and fascinating survey that on occasions borders on the brilliant." Choice

Book Description

This revised edition of a cross-cultural study of death rituals has become a standard text in anthropology, sociology, and religion. A new introduction reviews anthropological developments since its publication in 1979.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (October 25, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521423759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521423755
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My problem with this is the same as my problem with 9 out of 10 books written by anthropologists. Firstly, they spend as much time discussing other anthropologists discussions of the subject at hand as they do the subject at hand. I may or may not have read whatever other works they're discussing, making so much time devoted to other authors a bit of a let down for me. If I have read them then I don't need the extensive recap (and it's always extensive). A small one, fine, but this particular book devotes far too much time to it. If I haven't read them, referring to themes and theories without quoting the exact text is useless because I don't know what they're talking about.
And secondly, anthropologists can't write to save their lives. Heavy, obtuse, jargon laden yawners, the lot of them. Not a one of them knows how to be succinct or how to tell a story. A culture, contrary to the way they're written about, is a story. The story of a people. Which you can tell with passion and color without sacrificing objectivity or accuracy.
If the point of observing and recording a culture is to share that culture, preserve it, promote understanding and empathy for it, why would you write about it in language that would render the average reader comatose? And I'm not the average reader! I was an anthropology major! So excessive language is not something I stumble on.
Sadly, the anthropological community at large frowns on their members becoming any kind of popular with the plebeian masses out there. Which is a shame. Because it's those masses that make or break the world with their support, demands, needs and wants. Wouldn't it be nice if they weren't by and large ignorant of other cultures and disrespectful of other ways of life? It won't happen so long as the ones with the tools to share the world with them are busy being incomprehensible.
Take a creative writing class, Anthropologists. Please. Just a tiny one. For me.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is by far the most enjoyable and fascinating comparative case-studies I've read concerning treatment of the dead in Southeast Asia. I suggest this book to anyone wishing to crossculturally examine views of the deceased and the rituals associated with death. Superb, absolutely brilliant.

Raven Digitalis
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
if you like mortuary practices and are into anthropology or archaeology this is the book for you, it will inspire future research.
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