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Belief And The Dead In Pharaonic Egypt

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Chapter Summary

There are two extreme poles in the enterprise of writing the anthropology of a religion. One is essentially archaeological; a descriptive and ideologically objective account of the factual evidence, which is to say the objects buildings, art, ritual practice and textual record. The other pole is a theological or philosophical approach that attempts, or even claims to comprehend, describe, and explain a belief system. Methodologically it is reasonable to use a comparative method to define what a real, universal thing a ghost is. At the core of Egyptian religion is the concept that divine powers take various forms ḫprw manifestations. Characteristically this is expressed as a form of inhabitation. The ritual in the temple invokes the deity to inhabit his image. For real interaction with the living, the dead appears in the form of an akh.

Keywords: belief system; Egyptian religion; ghost



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