Search this journal:     Advanced search
Original Research

Symbolic Inversion in Death: Some Examples from the Old Testament and the Ancient Near Eastern world

Paul A Kruger

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 26, No 2 (2005), 398-411. doi: 10.4102/ve.v26i2.232

Submitted: 03 October 2005
Published:  03 October 2005


Symbolic inversion is a widespread cultural phenomenon, the earliest examples of which can be traced back to the cultures of the ancient Near East. Symbolic inversion (mundus inversus) relates to those forms of expressive behaviour which invert commonly accepted social codes. One such area in the ancient Near Eastern and Old Testament world where this phenomenon manifested itself prominently is in the conception of life after death: life after death is often conceived as the direct inverse of what is customary in ordinary life. 

Full Text:  |  PDF (258KB)

Author affiliations

Paul A Kruger, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa



Total abstract views: 1964
Total article views: 2602  


1. The world ‘topsy-turvy’ and the ancient Near Eastern cultures: a few examples
Paul A. Kruger
Anthropology Southern Africa  vol: 29  issue: 3-4  first page: 115  year: 2006  
doi: 10.1080/23323256.2006.11499937

Comments on this article

Before posting your comment, please read our policy.
Post a Comment (Login required)

ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

Connect on: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube

Subscribe to our newsletter

All articles published in this journal are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license, unless otherwise stated.

Website design & content: ©2018 AOSIS (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved. No unauthorised duplication allowed.

AOSIS Publishing | Empowering Africa through access to knowledge
Postnet Suite #110, Private Bag X19, Durbanville, South Africa, 7551
Tel: 086 1000 381 
Tel: +27 21 975 2602 
Fax: 086 5004 974

publishing(AT) replace (AT) with @

Please read the privacy statement.