Week one death and afterlife
Week one death and afterlife 01:840:112
Popular in Death and the Afterlife
verified elite notetaker
Popular in Religious Studies
This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rachel on Friday February 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 01:840:112 at Rutgers University taught by Myladil in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 32 views. For similar materials see Death and the Afterlife in Religious Studies at Rutgers University.
Reviews for Week one death and afterlife
Amazing. Wouldn't have passed this test without these notes. Hoping this notetaker will be around for the final!
-Janelle Friesen DDS
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 02/12/16
Death and afterlife in African religions. Lec 2 Hadza, Yombe and Mende Many many diff religious beliefs throughout africa. Don’t find any official txts or scriptures. o The sources Archeologists and people go to africa and spend time with these people to learn first hand their religious beliefs and practices The scholars and archeologists talk to those who are willing to talk about their religions. -informants. All available religious writings and they collected It all. Some African religions practically no belief in the after life. Some religions there are some idea of the after life- o people who die move on to another level of existence. They continue to live in this Another form. The other form is not other worldly, they world as ancestor spirits *in go to another level in this world. this world* o They are active and influential to those who are still in this world. No belief in afterlife. Earliest societies known as hunters and gathers. (life style) The Hadza Found in northern Tanzania. Do not cultivate the land, no live stock. Nomadic. The men hunt and collect honey The women collect fruits and berries and edible roots. Men are free to remain with women or Women are free to stay with a man or to marry. to marry him. Both free to divorce whenever They are an informal society, no official leaders. No money, no wealthy ppl. Social life o No celebrations, no birthdays, no weddings, no anniversaries. There are no fights. If there is a fight they leave to go to another group or partner. They stay in groups but have freedom to leave and join as they wish Death and afterlife Death happens. No burial rituals, none associated with death. No idea of afterlife. When asked about what happens after death, they did not have an answer They had no one like a priest, or anything like that. When asked about god they pointed their figures to the sun. o Sun is the master of everything. Don’t bother with the agents of death. Who why how. Death as no social or supernatural consequences. The physical, social, and spiritual of the person ends with the death of the person. They are concerned with this life, not the afterlife. When someone dies They leave body on ground to be eaten by animals Or dig a hole and dump body into the hole o They do not mark the grave. No funeral ritual. After burial they resume to normal activities. Person is forgotten really. The possessions of that person are immediately shared. Don’t believe that the dead can harm them. Afterlife Dead body decays and rots in the grave. That is the end of the person. The African groups who do believe in the afterlife. The afterlife happens in this world.- the end the physical existence and start another life in this world as ancestor spirits. Ancestors are part of the social structure They are a force and an influence. Physical and non physical. There is mutual communication. Ancestor spirits can be present, people can visit shrines or secret places or group gatherings or can be present in certain objects. Yombe-strong belief in ancestor cult Found in northern zambia Converted to Christians by some Scottish dude in 19th century. Still continue to practice their ancient beliefs of the cult of the ancestors. o Believe the ancestors are a powerful moral and spiritual force in their daily lives. o They intervene in affairs of the living. Three powers The supreme god- Leza (supreme spirit) o created world in the beginning then withdrew from the world and not intervening in the affairs of the world. Left human beings to be in charge of the world. The ancestors spirits and witches o fully in the world and are intervening in the affairs of the world. Objects of fear bc they are there and influential. 3 dimensions/ stages in a human beings life Biological Social Spiritual/Ancestors They move through these stages by rituals and they are very important. Enable a biologically born infant to be born in the social world. 2 important rituals Birth rituals-establishes the child as member of society, family and world. o Enable infant to become a social person and to become a member of society. Only these rituals entitle an infant to the rights and privileges of society. o Lots of cleansing. Mother and child are cleansed and purified by water and smoke. o The father takes child to door of house and turns the childs face towards all the people of the village including the ancestors. Infant is exposed to society. o Water is sprinkled on the child. o Child is passed through smoke o Father takes child and carried through the village Father is telling community "here is the new member of society." o Child is now part of society. If child dies before this, is not member of society or family. o Not entitled to appropriate funeral. Shallow grave, tossed away. Burial rituals (transform the dead person into and ancestor spirit.) o V solemn. Involves the family, friends, relatives Death is announced by a particular beat delivered on public drum. o (death beat) o Burial has to take place only during daylight hours. Night is supposed to be the time when witches are v active and they can disrupt the burial rituals. Who inherits the possessions of the deceased. Similarities. Who is the successor o consultation must be done with the spirit before the second part. Ancestors o Then comes the MOST important ritual When ppl die they become ancestor Same party 3 or 4 relatives go to the tomb, the carry a switch spirits made from a branch of a thick tree Senior most person hits the door of the tomb with that switch The spirit will enter the switch and then that is solemnly carried to the house of the dead person It is place near an object of value Weapon, coin, precious They believe then that the spirit enters that object from the switch The dead person has come back to the family as an ancestor spirit. It is the coming back and the return to the house of the dead person as an ancestor spirit. o Now transformed into an ancestor spirit o After the return to the family the person is now in a place of authority that should be respected and obeyed. In a way the dead person has become immortal and began a new life as an ancestor spirit. No more forgotten and still part of society. Mende-Sierra Leone People die twice Ritual death o Child dies by biological existence and is reborn as a social death o Gains full recognition as member of society o Prescribed rituals Child is removed from family for brief period of time Child has to pass through a sacred grove Sacred grove of spirits. When child passes through its swallowed by spirits (that’s the ritual death) Then born again through the spirits and becomes the social person Biological and natural dimension is gone Then returned to family but child is changed and is now full member of society. Biological death (2nd death.) o Almost same as yombe. o Dead person becomes ancestor spirit. Believe ancestor people might live in world of the spirits which is somewhat like the world of the living beings. Dead person might join other friends and family who have died Carry on their jobs in the spirit world that are similar to jobs in this world. o Life in spirit world is not boring. Its colorful. Ancestor spirits can appear in the world in a visible way o Like in dreams Yombe and oende Or as human beings Society and social person is v important. Dead person comes back to society. Becoming member is v important. Believe in supreme spirit(one who created everything) o Yombe-leza Believe in ancestor spirit too
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'