RELIGST 2M03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Rigveda, Coronary Artery Disease, Fire Worship

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Death and Dying: Comparative Views
Religious Studies 2M03
Dr. Sherry Smith
July 14th, 2016
Dying in India
India
7th largest country by area
2nd largest population
Birthplace of four world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism,
and Sikhism
Many problems; corruption, poverty, inadequate healthcare,
vigilante justice
Samiul Alam Rajon (slide 4)
A young boy who was accused of stealing, and was beaten to death
with metal rods.
10 people were charged in the incident
Autopsy says that they boy sustained over 60 injuries, and
ultimately died of a brain hemorrhage
Mohammad Akhlaq (slide 5)
A Muslim man lynched from his home because he was accused of
slaughtering a cow and eating it
He was beaten to death with bricks, and his son was also
seriously injured
The family claimed that the meat in the fridge was lamb
More Facts on India
Life expectancy of 67.48
Ranks globally 163rd
Coronary heart disease  lung disease  stroke
Many children die of diarrheal disease
Many people die from suicide, and road traffic accidents
Many causes of death are only reported under hospital
supervision, so when deaths occur outside of the hospital, or in
rural areas, the cause is often unreported or false
MDS (Million Death Study): interviewing those close to the
deceased about what happened before their death
Million deaths chosen from a representative sample across India
60,000 homes visited per year over 14 years
The millionth death was recorded in 2014
“Verbal autopsies or post-mortems” sent to physicians who
assigned probably cause of death to each case
Identifies emerging epidemics; i.e. malaria is 3% higher than
the World Health Organization estimated
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Hinduism
Simply an umbrella term
Varnas – the 4 ranks in which Hindu society is divided
Varna means “colour”
Untouchables are also known as Dalet
Hindu is not how most “Hindus” would describe themselves
In Hinduism, there is no single text, single authority, single
deity, single teacher
There are many deities
Hindus hold monotheistic/polytheistic depending worldview
Monotheistic = one god; each separate deity in Hinduism comes
from one god
Polytheistic = many gods; each deity is entirely separate
Youtube Video From Slide 7: Cremation
The Domes in society often have the job of working with corpses;
something that many Hindus find taboo
Those who work or burn the corpses are considered unclean, and
as a result, untouchable
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