The origins of necromancy or How we learned to speak to the dead

Author: Kapcár, Andrej
Source document: Sacra. vol. 13, iss. 2, pp. 30-58
Extent
30-58
  • ISSN
    1214-5351 (print)
    2336-4483 (online)
Type: Article
Language
English
License: Not specified license
Abstract(s)
As far as human history goes, death and dying has always been an important, though in many occasions tragic, event that influences the everyday life of the community. With the development of more complex and elaborate ideas about the afterlife and the underworld, humans have started to think through methods for contacting the dead. The reasons may vary, ranging from the emotional to the purely pragmatic, but the effort remains the same. A multitude of rituals have been developed over time aimed at reaching the deceased and summoning them to the land of the living. And thus the function of the necromancer was born – and the person who is able, or knows of ways, to speak to the lifeless. But are we able to determine where this practice originated? When the moment that man was thought to himself that he might be able to overstep the thin line between life and death?
Document
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