The sociality of death: life potentialities and the Vietnamese dead

Marouda, Marina (2019) The sociality of death: life potentialities and the Vietnamese dead. In: Panagiotopoulos, Anastasios and Espírito Santo, Diana (eds.) Articulate necrographies: comparative perspectives on the voices and silences of the dead. Berghahn. ISBN 9781789203042

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Drawing on ethnographic material from Việt Nam, the chapter explores the dynamics of transformation in which the dead are engaged and foregrounds ritual engagements between the living and the dead as providing the required tropes for these transformations to be effected. The chapter deals with Buddhist ideas and practices and an ethnographic case in which death is conceived not as the end of life but rather as an opening up to numerous, uncertain metamorphic possibilities, whereby the soul of the deceased is held as capable of becoming substantiated as a cared-for dead kin that could eventually grow into an ancestral spirit, a restless ghostly entity, and/or be re-incarnated. These metamorphic potentialities are directly affected by the relations (or lack of) the dead enjoy with the living. It is precisely these relations that the ritual process seeks to actuate and enliven. Such relations are made manifest and instantiated in the very form the soul eventually assumes which in turn serves as the index of cross-boundary sociality and affect.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Death rituals; ancestors; ghosts; kinship; sociality; Buddhism; Việt Nam
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology
H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Marina Marouda
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2018 10:42
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2019 14:11

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