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 | a232 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v26i2.232 | © 2005 Paul A Kruger | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 October 2005 | Published: 03 October 2005

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Abstract

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. 

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