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This ethnographic article discusses funerary practice, Orthodox Christian ideas of body and spirit, and the ways in which people make memorials for each other on the Zege Peninsulain northwest Ethiopia. I pay special attention to gravestones because, here as in many other places, physical memorials to the dead become locations where latent uncertainties and conflicts about the relationship between spirit and matter, body and soul, and this world and the next, tend to crystallise. I show that material memorials highlight ambiguities in Orthodox attitudes to human embodiment and challenge priestly monopolies over relations between the living and the dead. Because of material chains of mediation and memorialisation, the disaggregating practices of Orthodox funerary ritual can never fully untangle the deceased from their worldly social entanglements.
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief|
|Early online date||10 Feb 2016|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Feb 2016|
- orthodox christianity