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Ancestral bodies to universal bodies—The “re-enchantment” of the mummies of the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, Sicily

Cogent Arts & Humanities, Jan 2018, Vol.5(1) [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Ancestral bodies to universal bodies—The “re-enchantment” of the mummies of the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, Sicily
  • Author: Polzer, Natalie
  • Found In: Cogent Arts & Humanities, Jan 2018, Vol.5(1) [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  • Subjects: Sicily ; Tombs ; Disenchantment ; Re-Enchantment ; Sicily ; Mummies ; Burial Rituals ; Weber ; Nationalism and Identity
  • Language: English
  • Description: Based upon fieldwork conducted in the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, Sicily, this paper explores the way in which the disposition, display and commemoration of the dead create meaning for communities of the living. Using two theoretical frames, “the work of the dead,” of Thomas Laqueur, and the Weberian cultural–historical notions of “disenchantment” and “re-enchantment,” the analysis centers on the recent reburial of one of the star mummies of the Catacombs, that of 2-year-old Rosalia Lombardi. Rosalia Lombardi’s reburial, as well as recent forensic medical research undertaken in the Catacombs by teams of scientific experts, shows how the ideological influence and relevance of human dead to communities of the living are, in this instance, transformed from local, to transnational ideological and cultural arenas.
  • Identifier: E-ISSN: 23311983 ; DOI: 10.1080/23311983.2018.1482994

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