By Gregory Shushan
Gregory Shushan demanding situations post-modern scholarly attitudes touching on cross-cultural comparisons within the examine of religions. In an unique and leading edge piece of comparative examine, he analyses afterlife conceptions in 5 old civilisations (Old and heart nation Egypt, Sumerian and previous Babylonian Mesopotamia, Vedic India, pre-Buddhist China, and pre-Columbian Mesoamerica).
These are thought of in gentle of historic and modern reviews of near-death stories, and shamanic afterlife ‘journeys'. Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations is an important examine, for it provides a entire new comparative framework for the cross-cultural examine of delusion and faith, whereas even as delivering a desirable exploration of the interface among trust and adventure.
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Additional resources for Conceptions of the afterlife in early civilizations: Universalism, constructivism and near-death experience
13 It is admittedly not ideal to rely upon them, though there is no reason to assume that peer-reviewed translations by respected scholars who devote their academic lives to one particular philology are worthlessly inaccurate. Nevertheless, where possible, I have also compared different translations of the same text (noting conflicting meanings where relevant); and have drawn upon contextual interpretations in secondary sources to further assist my understanding. I must invoke here the allegedly ‘irredeemable’ Eliade (1959: 91), who argued that it is the comparativist’s job .
Segal adds that ‘The difference between the selectiveness of a generalist and that of a particularist is only one of degree. The broader the scale of a comparison, the more selective the elements compared will be. . ’ J. Z. Smith (2000: 239) has allowed for the possibility of responsible comparison if undertaken with an accounting of each given example’s 18 Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations ‘social, historical, and cultural environments that invest it with its local significance’, as well as of how one’s own scholarly context may affect his or her approach and interpretations.
Such an explanation here must be able to address the commonality of such experiences worldwide, experienced by individuals of multiple faiths (and none), throughout recorded history, in multiple cultural contexts. To summarize and conclude, it is extremely problematic to hypothesize wide-ranging and significant temporal and geographic cross-cultural connections which could have resulted in the transmission of ideas necessary to explain the results of the present study. While no civilization develops in a cultural vacuum and even the earliest texts do not come from strictly culturally-isolated civilizations, they are relatively culturally-independent within the boundaries of their general cultural spheres.
Conceptions of the afterlife in early civilizations: Universalism, constructivism and near-death experience by Gregory Shushan