Ancient Egyptian demons return to New York!
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Dr. Rita Lucarelli, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Restless Dead and Ghosts in Ancient Egypt
Beliefs in ghosts and spirits of the dead are widespread in world religions. In ancient Egypt, however, there is a certain inconsistency in the mention of manifestations of the dead in magical and religious texts. This paper will present and discuss the varied terminological evidence which may indicate ghosts, revenants, and evil dead in the spells of daily magic as well as in mortuary compositions such as the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. In particular, two categories of spirits of the dead, such as the so-called akhw and mwtw-spirits, will be analyzed in comparison to the general concept of “ghost” in world religions, taking into account the ancient Egyptian ancestors cult and the belief in the “glorified” (akh) or “justified” (maa kherw) dead in mortuary religion.