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Jan 15

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McMaster University
Religious Studies
Sherry Smith

th RELIG ST 2N03- January 15 - Nelson mandela from Koso culture in South Africa - Deceased must be wrapped in special garments, mandela was lion’s skin - Slitting of throat of ox, then cooked for mourners to eat - At anniversary of burial will slaughter another ox, to mark the ending of mourning - One yr after ancestor spirit comes to protect the family Western Culture - 5 -16 centuries- universe bound together by natural and divine law o Teaching of church influence manner in which people die o Church offers hope for afterlife - Death- collective destiny of all humanity- everyone dies- “asleep” o End of life not physical death o Dead were simply asleep but would resurrect with return of Christ. o People did not tend to fear what would happen to them after death - Collective destiny changed to emphasis on destiny of individual o Replaced with acknowledgement “I will die my own death” o Still the tame death, people accepted it, ordinary experience - 20 century, major turning point o WW1  Importance of technology in every aspect in life  Health care- medicalization of death and dying  Death went from being a collective thing to a more private thing o Events that were part of peoples normal lives now placed under control of professionals o Death bed scene moved from home to hospital o Communal signs of mourning disappeared o Prevailing attitude could be described as the invisible death or death denied th (aries 5 model) Changing attitudes - Dying and the deathbed scene o In early middle ages  Indiv lying down facing Jerusalem  Expressing sadness toward impending end  Would think about the stuff that meant something to you  Family and friends gather around deathbed  Dying person would seek pardon of family and friends for things they have wrongly done  These wrongdoings would be commended to god.  Then dying person would turn attention away from earthly things to more divine and heavenly things  At this point priest involved • Prayers requesting forgiveness • Priest would give absolution- forgiveness for ones sines  Nothing else needed to be said or done  Person waited to die, sit in silence  Death public, dying person in charge, accompanied by parents, spouse, children, siblings and special friends o Changes in death bed scene in emphasis on individual in 12 century and afterlife  Images of angels being around and demons  Battling for soul of person who was dying  Focus changed from dying person to the survivors  People began hoping for immortality and reunion with loved ones who died  Became more important than churches images of heaven of hell - Burial customs o Changes in burial customs reveal changes in attitude o Roman era  Graveyards on edge of settlement  Spots in middle of town reserved for elite or special people  Burial within town special privilege  With rise of Christianity customs began to change • Christians adopted the idea that Christian martyrs were really powerful even in death • Relics • Saints of church could help individuals escape sin and hell • Believed that being buried near a saint had merits just being close to it • Christian pilgrims began journeying to alter the martyrs, relics • Eventually churches built on martyrs graves • Then people began buried buried in churches or around them.  Charnel house:an arcade or gallery where the bones of the dead were entrusted to the church, after a period of time bodies from graveyard would be exhumed and bones placed in charnel house. More room to bury other people. • Most often located near churches  Ossuary: a chest, building, well or site made to serve as the final rest
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