Thanatos vol. 8 1/2019: ”Undead”


This theme issue of Thanatos focuses the deceased who have returned to the world of the living: the undead. The issue brings together a wide variety of representations of the undead, from historical accounts to popular culture. In the introduction to this issue, the editors-of-chief, Kirsi Kanerva and Kaarina Koski (p. 3), outline the history of the concept of ‘undead’ and discuss the central features of the category. The introduction also gives a brief overview of the characteristics of the phenomenon and its meanings in past and present cultures. In the first article of this issue, Andrea Maraschi (p. 29) analyzes the Corrector – the nineteenth book of Burchard of Worms’s Decretum – and folk beliefs which involve otherworldly entities, in order to critically discuss their characteristics and understand their implications among the people of Rhenish Hesse around the year 1000 A.D. The second article by Daniel Harms (p. 29) examines the early modern “Keeper of the Bones” ritual, in which the ghost of a dead person is summoned in order to obtain desired information. Harms connects these rituals with contemporary funerary rituals and practices, as well as beliefs in the nature of the soul and the role of the dead in early modern culture. In the third article, Outi Hakola (p. 91) discusses three different allegories of illness in contemporary living dead films to show that living dead films symbolically express fears that relate to fragile bodies and progressive illnesses. In a review article, Charmaine Tanti (p. 120) examines the evolution of the vampire in popular narrative, discussing its function and the way the figure has changed with the changing political and social climates. Finally, Ilona Pajari reviews Barbara Ehrenreich’s Natural Causes. An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer (Twelve, New York and Boston, 2018) in Finnish.



Kirsi Kanerva & Kaarina Koski
Beings of Many Kinds – Introduction for the Theme Issue “Undead”, p. 3


VA_kuvioAndrea Maraschi
There is More than Meets the Eye. Undead, Ghosts and Spirits in the Decretum of Burchard of Worms, p. 29

VA_kuvioDaniel Harms
“Thou Art Keeper of Man and Woman’s Bones” – Rituals of Necromancy in Early Modern England, p. 62

VA_kuvioOuti Hakola
Zombies, Vampires and Frankenstein’s Monster – Embodied Experiences of Illness in Living Dead Film, p. 91

Review article

Charmaine Tanti
The Evolution of the Vampire in Popular Narrative from the Nineteenth Century to the Present, p. 120

Kirja-arvio / Book Review

Ilona Pajari
Tarpeeksi vanha kuolemaan? s. 149

VA_tunnus_tekstein_isoCreative Commons -lisenssi

ISSN 2242-6280

Thanatos vol. 8 1/2019

Päätomittajat / Editors-in-chief: Kirsi Kanerva & Kaarina Koski (with Miriam Mayburd)

Toimituskunta / The Editorial Board: Anna Liisa Aho, Maija Butters, Anna Huhtala, Kirsi Kanerva, Kaarina Koski, Saila Leskinen, Ilona Pajari, Anna Ilona Rajala

Kannen kuva / Cover photography: (c) Wilma Rauhanummi

Taitto / Layout: Anna Ilona Rajala


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