Death, Burial and Rebirth in the Religions of Antiquity
By Jon Davies
Routledge – 1999 – 272 pages
In Death, Burial and Rebirth in the Religions of Antiquity, Jon Davies charts the significance of death to the emerging religious cults in the pre-Christian and early Christian world. He analyses the varied burial rituals and examines the different notions of the afterlife. Among the areas covered are:
* Osiris and Isis: the life theology of Ancient Egypt
* burying the Jewish dead
* Roman religion and Roman funerals
* Early Christian burial
* the nature of martyrdom.
Jon Davies also draws on the sociological theory of Max Weber to present a comprehensive introduction to and overview of death, burial and the afterlife in the first Christian centuries which offers insights into the relationship between social change and attitudes to death and dying.
'a fascinating analysis of the significance of death in early Christianity … an impressive wealth of archaelogical and literary data [and] the resulting work is clear and readable.' - The Expository Times Vol.III No.6 March 2000
'… the total effect is of an original scholarly study' - William Frend, Church Times
'Davis has produced a stimulating monogaphy on a vast subject' - Johan Leemans, Heythrop Journal
'The book is easy to read, and provides a good introduction to the study of comparative funerary religion for archaeologists and others outside the discipline or religious studies.' - Assemblage, University of Sheffield
'… the application of a Weberian approach is, in itself, a welcome and valuable contribution.' - Bernadette McNary-Zak, Rhodes College, Reviews in Religion and Theology