Phenomenological Reviews

Series | Book


Being with the dead

burial, ancestral Politics, and the roots of historical consciousness

Hans Ruin


Philosophy, Socrates declared, is the art of dying. This book underscores that it is also the art of learning to live and share the earth with those who have come before us. Burial, with its surrounding rituals, is the most ancient documented cultural-symbolic practice: all humans have developed techniques of caring for and communicating with the dead. The premise of Being with the Dead is that we can explore our lives with the dead as a cross-cultural existential a priori out of which the basic forms of historical consciousness emerge.

Publication details

Publisher: Stanford University Press

Place: Stanford

Year: 2019

Pages: 272

Series: Cultural Memory in the Present

ISBN (hardback): 9780804791311

ISBN (paperback): 9781503607750

ISBN (digital): 9781503607767

Full citation:

Ruin Hans (2019) Being with the dead: burial, ancestral Politics, and the roots of historical consciousness. Stanford, Stanford University Press.