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Ghosts: Appearances of the Dead and Cultural Transformation

Ronald C. Finucane

Throughout history, people have reported seeing ghosts. But if we compare a Victorian apparition with a medieval European or Classical Greek ghost, we will find that they are a very different phenomena. In Ghosts: Appearances Of The Dead & Cultural Transformation, R. C. Finucane makes just such a comparison. Surveying reports of ghosts from ancient Greece, the early Christian era, the Reformation, the Victorian age, and the twentieth century, Finucance asks some probing questions: How have the physical aspects claimed for ghosts varied from age to age? What differences are there in the functions and intentions ascribed to ghosts? How have the changes in more general beliefs (particularly in religion and science) influenced the perception of ghosts? For the first time, a professional historian, drawing on primary sources from all periods and cultures, addresses this topic in its full breadth.

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