The Return Of The Dead: Ghosts, Ancestors, And The Transparent Veil Of The Pagan Mind
The Return of the Dead: Ghosts, Ancestors, and the Transparent Veil of the Pagan Mind
How the ghost stories of pagan times reveal the seamless union existing between the world of the living and the afterlife
• Demonstrates how Medieval Christianity transformed the more corporeal ghost encountered in pagan cultures with the disembodied form known today
• Explains how the returning dead were once viewed as either troublemakers or guarantors of the social order
The impermeable border the modern world sees existing between the world of the living and the afterlife was not visible to our ancestors. The dead could--and did--cross back and forth at will. The pagan mind had no fear of death, but some of the dead were definitely to be dreaded: those who failed to go peacefully into the afterlife but remained on this side in order to right a wrong that had befallen them personally or to ensure that the law promoted by the ancestors was being respected. But these dead individuals were a far cry from the amorphous ectoplasm that is featured in modern ghost stories. These earlier visitors from beyond the grave--known as revenants--slept, ate, and fought like men, even when,...