RLM5140 - Confronting death through Ceremony and Symbol: a cross-cultural analysis
12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL
Postgraduate Faculty of Arts
Leader: Tamara Prosic
Clayton Second semester 2008 (Day)
The unit explores the ways in which different cultures confront the experience of death through metaphor, ritual, and symbolic association, and the ways in which they memorialize the dead. It considers the nature of beliefs about life, death and the hereafter; funerary rituals and strategies for body disposal; the physical and symbolic boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead; the perceived impact of the dead on the affairs of the living; the dying process as a public or private event; taboos about dying and death in everyday discourse and the language used regarding death; death in myths. Examples will be drawn from major religious traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism), ancient Mediterranean cultures, and modern secular societies, including contemporary Australia.
Upon successful completion of this unit students will:
Tutorial presentation (2000 words) : 20%