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Title: Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations: Universalism, Constructivism and Near-Death Experience
Author: Shushan, Gregory
Additional Authors or Contributors: Gavin Flood
Publisher: Continuum International Pub Inc; Publication Date: 2009
Hardcover; ISBN: 9780826440730
Volumes: 1; Pages: 256
List Price in Hardcover: $130.00 Our price: $130.00
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Gregory Shushan challenges post-modern scholarly attitudes concerning cross-cultural comparisons in the study of religions. In an original and innovative piece of comparative research, he analyses afterlife conceptions in five ancient civilisations (Old and Middle Kingdom Egypt, Sumerian and Old Babylonian Mesopotamia, Vedic India, pre-Buddhist China, and pre-Columbian Mesoamerica).
These are considered in light of historical and contemporary reports of near-death experiences, and shamanic afterlife "journeys". Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations is a significant study, for it presents a comprehensive new comparative framework for the cross-cultural study of myth and religion, while at the same time providing a fascinating exploration of the interface between belief and experience.
Table Of Contents
Foreword by Gavin Flood
Abbreviations of Primary Sources
Part I: Theory and Methodology in Concept and Application
1. Comparison, Universalism, and the Rehabilitation of the Comparative "Similar"
2. Early Civilizations, Contact, Diffusion, and Cultural Continuity
3. Near-Death Experience
Part II: Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations
4. Old and Middle Kingdom Egypt
5. Sumerian and Old Babylonian Mesopotamia
6. Vedic India
7. Pre-Buddhist China
8. Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica
Part III: Universalism and Culture-Specificity: An Interdisciplinary Approach
9. Analysis of Similarities and Differences
10. The Interface of Conception and Experience
11. Alternative and Supplementary Theories
12. Conclusions: Theoretical Eclecticism and A New Comparative Framework