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10. Religion, Touch and Death; Ritual and the Human Corpse

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1. Title Title of document 10. Religion, Touch and Death; Ritual and the Human Corpse - Religion and Touch
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Christina Welch; University of Winchester; United Kingdom
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religious Studies
4. Subject Keyword(s) Touch; Death; Life; Religion; Ritual
5. Subject Subject classification Body and Religion
6. Description Abstract Eve Sedgwick in Touching Feeling (2003) states that touch provides understanding, and this chapter premises the notion that in regard to death, touch helps the living understand that someone has become a lifeless corpse. Death is perhaps the biggest challenge the living have to face and whilst touching the dead can be highly problematic in some cultures, it is not so in others, and how different religions deal with the dead is the subject of this chapter. The dead are religiously ambiguous; physically gone yet often spiritually still sentient, and as such a huge variety of rituals have developed to help the living cope with this ambiguity. To explore the ambiguity of the dead, and socio-religious norms of death, this chapter explores some theories around death before moving to examine a range of religious traditions and spiritual lifeways from a variety of time periods, to provide an overview of death and touch. The chapter is arranged into three sections. The first section explores touch and the wet corpse (the still enfleshed dead) in the context of a socially-good death (i.e.: end of natural life); the second section explores touch and the wet corpse in the context of a socially-bad death (i.e.: death from disease, suicide, murder); and thirdly section explores contact with the dry skeletal remains of the human body.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 01-Sep-2021
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.42178
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Religion and Touch
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd