Philosophy 108 (Death and Dying) - Transcending Death

Topics: Death, Afterlife, Life Pages: 3 (1218 words) Published: September 29, 2013
Transcending Death
Introduction
The anthropology of death is a fascinating field of study which depicts the conceptualization of death, the modes of death, and from various funerary rites/rituals that a Western society might even find repulsive or enchanting. Why is it that the most appealing form of media among kids is about superheroes overcoming adversity or death, and then the hero comes in to save the day? The answer is quite simple, because humans find death interesting. Is it due to the fact that no one lives forever? Humans know this fact of life but they still wish for this goal of cheating death. A common occurrence is through funeral and mortuary rites where there is the belief in a future life and in the survival of the spirit (Malinowski 20). Hal Duncan’s “The Tomb and the Womb: Death and Rebirth in World Myth and Mythic Fiction,” noted that "Where tales of death and re-becoming offer a holistic view of a world of ephemeral forms in flux, tales of death and resurrection offer a promise that a hero can survive, that a person of destiny can harrow death, come out the other side" (Duncan 1).The supporting point in this discussion is with respect to the belief of symbolic immortality which is a powerful vehicle discussed in Antonius C.G.M. Robben’s book “Death, Mourning, and Burial.” Thesis Statement: There is a human aspiration to live forever and a way to cope with this belief is through symbolic immortality that is presented in Hal Duncan’s work of death and resurrection. These fictional stories, folklores, and myths were a hero survived death or is resurrected, place a claim to one’s own humanity in accepting the concept of death and behind these tales of the dead/rebirth is the sorrow of the living. The living is the one that is struck the most with the death of a loved one, sorrow and grief accompanies this loss and the belief of transcending death and symbolic immortality, somehow helps the living to accept this loss and allows them to move...
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