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Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations: Universalism, Constructivism and Near-Death Experience (Gregory Shushan) Hardcover Book, (Continuum, 2009) 9780826440730
Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations: Universalism, Constructivism and Near-Death Experience (Gregory Shushan) Hardcover Book, (Continuum, 2009) 9780826440730
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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: $90.99

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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

Acknowledgements

Abbreviations of Primary Sources

Introduction

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

References

Index

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