In the Old Testament, people were often warned that if they did not repent, they would die and their bodies—instead of being properly buried—would be devoured by wild animals. Such a fate was seen by many ancient peoples not only as a tragedy, as it would be today, but a disgrace and an indication of divine judgment. That judgment would carry over into the afterlife, where a person’s role and identity was thought to be determined and facilitated by where and how their body...