Egyptiernas föreställningar om döden: en diskursiv analys av Dödsbokens formler
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
The Egyptian religion viewed the whole world as divine and inhabited by both gods and men. Concepts such as death was therefore explained through myths. The ancient society feared death but desired an eternal life. The Egyptians saw death as a physical dismemberment of the body as had happened in the myth of Osiris when death was first introduced to the world. Osiris functioned as a prototype for all men as he had overcome death by finding a new existence in the netherworld. He was not viewed as a resurrected deity but as a god who had found a way to live forever after death. Funerary texts were developed to help the Egyptians navigate the netherworld, overcome trials and dangers, and to become Osiris. These were an extensive corpus of texts which was placed in the grave with the deceased. By analyzing the New Kingdom’s Book of the Dead the Egyptians’ fear of death can be clearly interpreted in the spells which the book contains. In the Book of the Dead there are 189 spells which functions to secure an eternal life after death by protecting the dead from a number of horrible fates. The book depicts a number of dangerous animals and beings in the netherworld which the spells would offer protection from. There are also incantations for things taken for granted on earth such as breathing, walking upright, not eating faeces or drinking urine. The need to formulate these spells shows an underlying fear of death, and deliverance came by using the Book of the Dead. To preserve the body of the deceased in the grave was of the outermost importance since eternal life could only be achieved if the remains worked as a link between the living world and the land of the dead. That is why the Egyptians developed such a complex funerary ritual and mummified the remains, preserving it forever. Fear of death is derived from the descriptions of it as an isolation, total destruction, dismemberment, and decomposition. The purpose of the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead was to counteract this fate as it assured the deceased of an eternal life.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 35 p.
Egyptology, ancient Egypt, Book of the Dead, Osiris, fear of death, dismemberment, discourse analysis.
History of Religions
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-217028OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-217028DiVA: diva2:691660
Subject / course
History of Religions
Teacher Education Programme
Billing, Nils, Universitetslektor
Sjöborg, Anders, Docent