SCS is pleased to announce that SCS Professor Dr. Mutie’s article, Attitudes toward Death in Greco-Roman and Early Christian Cultures, was published in Pakistan Journal of Historical Studies Vol. 2, No. 2, Emotions, Death and Dying (Winter 2017), pp. 89-115.
This article explores how death was understood in late Antiquity in Greco-Roman and Christian cultures. It argues that, in consistency with many other cultures such as Judaism and other ancient Middle Eastern cultures, Greco-Roman cultures, by their prac- tices towards the dead, exhibited fear and hopelessness. However, early Christians, because of their belief in the resurrection based on the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, exhibited hope in their attitudes toward death. After surveying the last rituals which were performed when death became imminent, the article proceeds to compare and contrast both the Greco-Roman and early Christian practices pertaining to the disposal of the bodies of the dead and any post-disposal practices. In the changing religious landscape, while atti- tudes towards the dead in Greco-Roman cultures evidenced the social distinctions based on their political and economic status, no such dis- tinctions were made in Christian cultures.
KEYWORDS: Death; Greco-Roman; Christians; rites; rituals; funerary; cult of the dead; resurrection