- Beautiful Things and Bones of Desire: Emerging Issues in the Archaeology of Death and Burial
- Death, Memory, and Material Culture: Catalytic Commemoration and the Cremated Dead
- African Perspectives on Death, Burial, and Mortuary Archaeology
- The Place of Veneration in Early South Asian Buddhism
- The Archaeology of Death and Burial in the Islamic World
- Burial of the Christian Dead in the Later Middle Ages
- The Unburied Dead
- Upper Palaeolithic Mortuary Practices in Eurasia: A Critical Look at the Burial Record
- Power and Society: Mesolithic Europe
- Archaeological Study of Mortuary Practices in the Eastern United States
- The Living and the Dead in later Prehistoric Iberia
- The Powerful Dead of the Inca
- Land Ownership and Landscape Belief: Introduction and Contexts
- Megaliths in North-West Europe: The Cosmology of Sacred Landscapes
- Creating Death: An Archaeology of Dying
- Treating Bodies: Transformative and Communicative Practices
- Preserving the Body
- Cremations in Culture and Cosmology
- Identities in Transformation: Identities, Funerary Rites, and the Mortuary Process
- Death and Gender
- Ancient Identities: Age, Gender, and Ethnicity in Ancient Greek Burials
- Ethnicity and Gender in Roman Funerary Commemoration: Case Studies from the Empire's Frontiers
- Engendering Ancestors through Death Ritual in Ancient China
- Death, Emotion, and the Household among the Late Moche
- Belief and the Archaeology of Death
- Insights into Early Mortuary Practices of <i>Homo</i>
- Equipping and Stripping the Dead: A Case Study on the Procurement, Compilation, Arrangement, and Fragmentation of Grave Inventories in New Kingdom Thebes
Abstract and Keywords
Belief is not the same as religion, although the two words are often used as synonyms. Instead, beliefs may pertain to any aspect of how the world is known and understood and are the frameworks upon which we—in the past and in the present—make sense of our worlds. This chapter considers the nature of belief and its relationship to religion. It advocates the study of belief discourses and above all emphasizes that beliefs about death and the dead may be multiple and complex and will be contradictory. Contradiction and plurality is part of the way belief operates and should not be an invitation to sort out which is the single right interpretation, or to find ways of reconciling apparent incompatibilities. This theme is explored through a discussion of the treatment of the dead body in Scotland in the period between 1560 and 1850.
Sarah Tarlow is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Leicester. Her research centres on the archaeology of death, archaeology of later historical periods, especially in Britain and Ireland, and archaeological theory. She has written and edited many books including Bereavement and Commemoration (Blackwell 1999) and Ritual, belief and the dead in early modern Britain and Ireland (Cambridge 2011) as well as many papers on aspects of the archaeology of death, and is an editor of the journal Archaeological Dialogues. She is currently working on a Wellcome Trust-funded project on the meanings and powers of the criminal corpse in early modernity.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.