Symbolism, Concepts And Components Of The Death System

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Kastenbaum’s (2012) concept of the death system is comprised of components and functions. The basic characteristics state “we face death alone in one sense, but in another and equally valid sense, we face death as part of a society whose expectations, rules, motives, and symbols influence our individual encounters”. The components of the death system are “people, places, times, objects, and symbols” (Kastenbaum, 2012, p. 77). Each component is identifiable with death in our minds. An undertaker is a person automatically associated with death; a mortuary, a place; the anniversary of a loved one’s passing, a time; a hearse, an object, and the grim reaper, a symbol of death itself. Kastenbaum’s (2012) death system functions are “warnings and predictions, preventing death, caring for the dying, disposing of the dead, social consolidation after death, making sense of death, and killing” (Kastenbaum, 2012, p. 81-87). These functions conceptualize the social, cultural and …show more content…
According to Kastenbaum (2012), most cultural interpretations, whether literal or metaphorical are similar in a dualistic philosophy “body and soul are temporary companions with different purposes and fates.” (Kastenbaum, 2012, p. 426) The belief in the soul’s destination after death is the catalyst of disputes among different religions. The similarity in each of these religions is the belief in a soul. Early Christianity dictates a belief in life after death. Dependent on how one led their life would be the judgment of whether the destination of the soul would be that of heaven, hell or purgatory. Those who believed in Jesus as their savior could find everlasting life in heaven. Repentance of mortal sins and forgiveness of venial sins provided salvation from eternal damnation to hell and purgatory allowing ascension into

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