I’m working on a anthropology discussion question and need a sample draft to help me understand better.
Analyze a funeral ritual in terms of the basic components of religious rituals (worldview, myth, symbol, ritual specialists, altered states) and in terms of the underlying religious beliefs that shape these rituals (e.g., beliefs about souls and the afterlife).
In this discussion, you’ll be asked to:
- Review the course materials on funeral rituals below.
- Think about how you can apply what you’ve learned about the basics of religious rituals and religious beliefs about topics such as souls and the afterlife to analyze and better understand what happens during a funeral ritual.
- Write an analysis of a funeral ritual that you have attended. (If you have never been to a funeral ritual, or prefer not to discuss it, you may research and post about a funeral ritual (answering the same questions as above and citing your sources (Links to an external site.)).
- Reply to at least two of your peers.
Based on a funeral ritual you have personally attended, you need to post:
- How were the components we have discussed in class (e.g., worldview, myth, symbol, ritual specialists, altered states) reflected in the ritual? You can focus on any two of the components but make sure to label whatever you describe.
- How did the ritual reflect beliefs about the soul and the afterlife?
- How does it compare to rituals in other cultures that you have learned about this week? Include specific examples.
If you have never been to a funeral ritual (or prefer not to discuss it), you may research and post about a funeral ritual (answering the same questions as above and citing your sources (Links to an external site.)).
once done will send 2 peoples posts to reply to
Funerals are a way to ritually separate the living from the dead. They transition the person who has died from the world of the living to whatever is seen as coming next. In this sense a funeral ritual is a rite of passage, marking a change in social status.
There is another component to funeral rituals that is more concerned with the mourners. In one sense, many funerals reinforce the belief system in the face of death. A great example is the Mourner’s Kaddish (Links to an external site.) in Judaism (discussed in the textbook) or the 23rd Psalm: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”.
The other way that funerals are about the mourners is that is a social event and one that is meant to reinforce social bonds. Think about the common use of food as a part of (or immediately following) funeral rituals. Why is this the case? Food is very symbolic – we eat with friends and family but not generally with strangers. These last two aspects of the funeral show us another way funerals can be classified – as a social rite of intensification.