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History of Death in the Hebrew Bible (Matthew J Suriano) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 2018) 9780190844738
History of Death in the Hebrew Bible (Matthew J Suriano) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 2018) 9780190844738
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Title: History of Death in the Hebrew Bible

Author: Suriano, Matthew J

Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 2018

Hardcover; ISBN: 9780190844738

Volumes: 1; Pages: 312

List Price in Hardcover: $99.00 Our price: $78.99

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Postmortem existence in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament was rooted in mortuary practices and conceptualized through the embodiment of the dead. But this idea of the afterlife was not hopeless or fatalistic, consigned to the dreariness of the tomb. The dead were cherished and remembered, their bones were cared for, and their names lived on as ancestors. This book examines the concept of the afterlife in the Hebrew Bible by studying the treatment of the dead, as revealed both in biblical literature and in the material remains of the southern Levant. The mortuary culture of Judah during the Iron Age is the starting point for this study. The practice of collective burial inside a Judahite rock-cut bench tomb is compared to biblical traditions of family tombs and joining one's ancestors in death. This archaeological analysis, which also incorporates funerary inscriptions, will shed important insight into concepts found in biblical literature such as the construction of the soul in death, the nature of corpse impurity, and the idea of Sheol. In Judah and the Hebrew Bible, death was a transition that was managed through the ritual actions of the living. The connections that were forged through such actions, such as ancestor veneration, were socially meaningful for the living and insured a measure of immortality for the dead.

Table of Contents



Note on Sources



Prolegomenon: The Afterlife Embodied

Part I: The Archaeology of Death in Iron Age Judah

Chapter One: Death as Transition in Judahite Mortuary Practices

Chapter Two: The History of the Judahite Bench Tomb

Chapter Three: Writing and the Tomb

Part II: Death and the Afterlife in the Hebrew Bible

Chapter Four: Care for the Dead

Chapter Five: The Narrative of Bones

Chapter Six: The Tomb and the Identity of the Dead

Chapter Seven: Death, Dying, and the Liminality of Sheol

Epilogue: The Invisible Tomb

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