"Human beings," the acclaimed Egyptologist Jan Assmann writes, "are the animals that have to live with the knowledge of their death, and culture is the world they create so they can live with that knowledge." In his new book, Assmann explores images of death and of death rites in ancient Egypt to provide startling new insights into the particular character of the civilization as a whole. Drawing on the unfamiliar genre of the death liturgy, he arrives at a remarkably comprehensive view of the religion of death in ancient Egypt.
Assmann describes in detail nine different images of death: death as the body being torn apart, as social isolation, the notion of the court of the dead, the dead body, the mummy, the soul and ancestral spirit of the dead, death as separation and transition, as homecoming, and as secret. Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt also includes a fascinating discussion of rites that reflect beliefs about death through language and ritual.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 504
Weight: 28 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 30 mm
Edition: Abridged and updated by the author
"Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt serves as a compendious introduction to how ancient Egyptians approached their mortality as well as their impending immortality. Throughout, Assmann continues to build upon his vast store of important publications, yet again bringing to his work a deep background in theoretical literature, especially anthropology and philosophy. This gives his work a decidedly comparative flair, citing parallels or contrasts with cultures ancient or modern, Near Eastern or otherwise. Much of Assmann's Egyptological work has become required reading, and Death and Salvation will be no exception. Controversial, insightful, incredibly informed, and in constant contact with the primary textual material, this volume will continue to inspire discussion for years to come."* Journal of Near Eastern Studies *
"Assmann astounds the reader with his deep knowledge of religious texts from all periods of Egyptian civilization and from the Greeks and Romans too. He is equally familiar with evidence from art and architecture.... He leads the reader through the maddeningly opaque pronouncements of Egyptian intellectuals about the nature of death, its origin, its meaning, its importance. Every page shines a fresh light on a topic that fascinates us all, but leaves us puzzled. Assmann's book will take its place as classic study and shows again why he is justly regarded as one of the great Egyptologists writing today."* Bryn Mawr Classical Review *
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