Johannes Fabian’s How Others Die and Thomas Liqueur’s The Deep Time of the Dead

Speaking for others is a concept that Johannes Fabian discusses in his research at the Amsterdam School of Social Research in the Netherlands. He goes over a number of anthropology-related ideas (Fabian 91). He scrutinizes the narrative of his early and current past while doing so. In this comparison, he makes the case for and against whether the “other” are seen as contributing to society. the part that the deceased play in modern society. Liqueur’s anthropology of the body implicitly expresses the works of the dead bodies in specific locations and moments in time (Liqueur 813). He examines some of the statements made by anthropologists regarding the deeds of the dead. The two scholars come into common relation in analyzing the status of the body, the soul, and the life led after that.

The cultural connection is found in both cases. In Thomas Liqueur’s observation, the dead are well masked, mourned with jewels and are hair flourished before laid to rest. Liqueur gives us so many reasons, outlined with the disciplines of philosophy, anthropology, and history (Fabian 94). He defends this by saying that the presence of the dead has always enthralled the living, no matter one’s faith or lack of it. In so doing, the body makes the communities transform in their ways of life having in mind that at one point they will ultimately become mere objects. Fabian expresses a similar occurrence in his explanation about how others die. In a much as people die, but they soul remain to live in the society, hence should be taken care of well.

Fabian refers to the ancestors as the living dead. They are part of the community in the sense that their memory and participation remains within the living. On the other hand, Liqueur shows how the churchyard became the central resting place of the dead. It is an indication that the ancestors are the soul and participate in the religious practices (Liqueur 803). He also pinpoints why the names of the dead were important to be written in the graves. It is for reference. In the recent past, it became disturbing to the living when the dead were buried without the names written on the necropolis.

There is a broad range of concepts thought and brought forth concerning the dead. For example, Liqueur conclusively shows that remains of the dead matter long after they decompose. For time immemorial, no aspect of culture has explicated any contrary practice to mortal remains. Even in our purportedly embittered scientific era, the dead bodies still matters. They should receive proper care after their death, for they form part of the community. Appeasing the dead contributes to a very significant facet in the community.

The rise of Christianity brought about some structural violence. Early Christians had objections to cremation. In contrary to their opinion, pagan adversaries allied their strange Christian belief in the renaissance with a need to bury the dead. The pagans argued that the prospect life after that had something to do with good burying and remembrance in the society (Fabian 109). Alongside that, the new religion was too small to create an impact on the belief, which had been instilled in people`s mind. People continued with this notion, and it made no difference to the first phase of the 18th century.

A millennium after that, there was adoption on the way Christians take of the dead. Fire and ash thus took their place on the frontline of the culture. Cremation in its neoclassical nuance was on the side of advancement in the sense of a return to a long-gone and better time. Today, Christianity has dominated the way we care for the dead. They are viewed as people having no control over the living, and their lives are not experienced in the lives of the dead.

Works Cited

Fabian, Johanne. Time and the Work of Anthropology: Critical Essays 1971-1981. Routledge, 2014.

Liqueur, Thomas W. “The deep time of the dead.” social research 78.3 (2011): 799-820.

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