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Chapter Summary

Scholars since the late Nineteenth Century have long noticed the importance of understanding the ideas concerning death and afterlife in the study of human society. This is the introductory chapter of the book, which is an attempt at taking up the subject of the ghost and approaching it from a crosscultural perspective. A ghost is a kind of post-earthly existence of a dead individual, which can be perceived by those still alive in a variety of different forms. There are some common types of ghosts that can be found in various religious cultures namely, evil ghosts, benevolent ghosts, vengeful ghosts, distressed ghosts, and playful ghosts and so on. The book demonstrates the idea of ghost can be approached from various cultural contexts as an example that embodies social values and reflects social needs.

Keywords: benevolent ghosts; evil ghosts; religious cultures; social values



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