Funeral rituals and cremation in contemporary times
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(The Assumption Catholic Cemetery and Crematory in Mississauga, Canada, with chimney visible, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Americancrematorium.jpg) Funeral rituals undergoing profound changes today. It is essential to emphasize that they are part of a very different context characterized by increased life expectancy, the decline … Read More

The modern concept of reincarnation
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(The drawing illustrating how the soul travels to any one of the four states of existence after the death depending on its karmas, according to Jainism.) Esotericism It was towards the end of the nineteenth century that reincarnation is rediscovered … Read More

The “revenants” in the Western imaginary
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(The three living and the three dead, the fifteenth century: undead putrescent but aggressive.) The most common concept of the zombie in the works of contemporary fiction, namely the partially decomposed corpse that feeds on human flesh, does not drift … Read More

Scientific research on zombies and voodoo
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(Zombies group in the modern view, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Braaaaaiiins…..jpg) A zombie (zonbi in Haitian Creole; nzumbe or nzambe in Kimbundu/Kikongo) commonly refers to a person who lost all forms of consciousness and humanity, adopting violent behavior towards human beings and whose evil … Read More

How to protect against the vampires
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(Crucifix in Capella degli Scrovegni – Musei Civici (Padova)) According to Claude Lecouteux, protection against vampires involves three different times: when they just born, when they died or some time after they have passed away and have thus become host … Read More

How to recognize a vampire
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The vampire is a legendary creature. Following various folklore and the most common superstition, this undead feed on the blood of the living in order to draw its lifeblood. The legend of the vampire has its origins in ancient and … Read More

Ghosts and science
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For Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), “one can never be sure that the Academy of Sciences will choose such a subject, for the contest; not that each member be convinced of the futility and lies of all these narratives, but because the … Read More

Typology of ghosts
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Despite the proposals of the British researcher Hilary Evens, there is no universally accepted classification of ghostly apparitions. However, one can distinguish the major categories. In the Valley classification system, poltergeists are “anomalies of physical effects” of type AN-II, while … Read More

Graveyards (Cemeteries)
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(Buddhist Cemetery (Tokyo, Japan), https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JapaneseGraveyardTokyo.jpg) A cemetery is a group of monumental tombs sometimes attached to a place of worship. Funerary space that appears in the Middle Ages, it differs from prehistoric burial field that is not home to monuments, … Read More

Memento mori
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(Vanitas Philippe, by Champaigne) Memento mori is a Latin phrase meaning “remember you will die.” It means a kind of artistic creations of all kinds, but all share the same goal, to remind men that they are mortal and the … Read More

The iconography of weighing of souls (particular judgment)
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(The weighing of souls in the polyptych altarpiece of the Last Judgment of Rogier van der Weyden at the Hospices de Beaune, 1443-1452) The Weighing of souls (the Particular judgment) means the psychostasy in Christianity, and may appear in two … Read More

The Paradise according to Islam and other religions
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(An artists representation of “Muhammed’s Paradise”. A Persian miniature from The History of Mohammed, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.) Extraordinary and immeasurable place reserved, according to the Qur’an and the Islamic tradition, to the pre-Islamic believers and pious Muslims in … Read More

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