Inventing Afterlives

Author: Regina M. Janes
Editor: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231546297
File Size: 50,43 MB
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Why is belief in an afterlife so persistent across times and cultures? And how can it coexist with disbelief in an afterlife? Most modern thinkers hold that afterlife belief serves such important psychological and social purposes as consoling survivors, enforcing morality, dispensing justice, or giving life meaning. Yet the earliest, and some more recent, afterlives strikingly fail to satisfy those needs. In Inventing Afterlives, Regina M. Janes proposes a new theory of the origins of the hereafter rooted in the question that a dead body raises: where has the life gone? Humans then and now, in communities and as individuals, ponder what they would want or experience were they in that body. From this endlessly recurring situation, afterlife narratives develop in all their complexity, variety, and ingenuity. Exploring afterlives from Egypt to Sumer, among Jews, Greeks, and Romans, to Christianity’s advent and Islam’s rise, Janes reveals how little concern ancient afterlives had with morality. In south and east Asia, karmic rebirth makes morality self-enforcing and raises a new problem: how to stop re-dying. The British enlightenment, Janes argues, invented the now widespread wish-fulfilling afterlife and illustrates how afterlives change. She also considers the surprising afterlife of afterlives among modern artists and writers who no longer believe in worlds beyond this one. Drawing on a variety of religious traditions; contemporary literature and film; primatology; cognitive science; and evolutionary psychology, Janes shows that in asking what happens after we die, we define the worlds we inhabit and the values by which we live.
Inventing Afterlives
Language: en
Pages: 371
Authors: Regina M. Janes
Categories: Literary Criticism
Type: BOOK - Published: 2018-07-31 - Publisher: Columbia University Press

Why is belief in an afterlife so persistent across times and cultures? And how can it coexist with disbelief in an afterlife? Most modern thinkers hold that afterlife belief serves such important psychological and social purposes as consoling survivors, enforcing morality, dispensing justice, or giving life meaning. Yet the earliest,
The Invention of Angela Carter
Language: en
Pages: 525
Authors: Edmund Gordon
Categories: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Type: BOOK - Published: 2017 - Publisher: Oxford University Press

"With unprecedented access to its subject's personal records and informed by fresh, unvarnished anecdotes from family, friends, and colleagues, Edmund Gordon's biography provides the first full account of Angela Carter's amazing life and enduring work"--
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Pages: 320
Authors: Dustin D. Stewart
Categories: Literary Criticism
Type: BOOK - Published: 2020-10-29 - Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Explores the creative work of writers and theologians who used their poetic writings as a means to explore and envisage scenarios of embodiment and existence that extended to life after bodily death.
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Language: en
Pages: 305
Authors: Nicholas J. Crowe
Categories: Literary Collections
Type: BOOK - Published: 2019-01-15 - Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

The essays gathered here capture fresh perspectives on the literary environments of the eighteenth century. The core concern of this volume is culture – the ways in which it shapes literature and is in turn influenced by it: the “ways” of fiction. Especially commissioned from experts in the field, essays
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Language: en
Pages: 640
Authors: Gene H. Bell-Villada, Ignacio López-Calvo
Categories: Literary Collections
Type: BOOK - Published: 2021-10-26 - Publisher: Oxford University Press

From the epic saga of the Buendía family in One Hundred Years of Solitude to the enduring passion of Love in the Time of Cholera to the exploration of tyranny in The Autumn of the Patriarch, Gabriel García Márquez has built a literary world that continues to captivate millions of