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Last call: how different cultures deal with death

6:00pm-7:00pm on Thursday 28 March

Times shown are in GMT (UTC +0) up to the 26th March. For events on or after 27th March times are in BST (UTC +1).

St John's College Old Divinity School, All Saints Passage, CB2 1TP

Around the world, people show incredible creativity and variety in what they do with their dead. This talk takes you on a tour: Where is it normal to dig up and rebury a body? Keep the body at home for months, feeding and caring for it? Offer it to birds of prey? Even in the UK, our options are not limited to cremation or burial: we can be buried at sea, turned into a tattoo or fireworks, or give ourselves back to the earth in a woodland burial.

Despite this fascinating variation, what these different rituals have in common is that there is a ‘right’ way to do the work of mourning in that society, and show the dead care and respect. Thinking carefully about how different cultures handle death helps us understand their values, beliefs about the afterlife, intellectual traditions – and helps us see our own traditions in a new way. Is death a universal of the human condition?

Sally Raudon is a social anthropologist who researches what people do with their dead. She works on Hart Island, a mass burial ground in New York City, USA.

Booking/Registration is: REQUIRED

Additional Information

Age: Adults, Young Adults 12 – 18
Format: Talk
Timing: In person
Cost: Free
Event Capacity: unknown
Theme: Society
Accessibility: Full access
Image copyright: Lucas Jackson, Reuters Pictures

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