Ritual and Its Consequences An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity

ISBN-10: 0195336011

ISBN-13: 9780195336016

Edition: 2008

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Description: This pioneering, interdisciplinary work shows how rituals allow us to live in a perennially imperfect world. Drawing on a variety of cultural settings, the authors utilize psychoanalytic and anthropological perspectives to describe how ritual--like play--creates "as if" worlds, rooted in the imaginative capacity of the human mind to create a subjunctive universe. The ability to cross between imagined worlds is central to the human capacity for empathy. Ritual, they claim, defines the boundaries of these imagined worlds, including those of empathy and other realms of human creativity, such as music, architecture and literature. The authors juxtapose this ritual orientation to a "sincere" search for unity and wholeness. The sincere world sees fragmentation and incoherence as signs of inauthenticity that must be overcome. Our modern world has accepted the sincere viewpoint at the expense of ritual,dismissing ritual as mere convention. In response, the authors show how the conventions of ritual allow us to live together in a broken world. Ritual is work, endless work. But it is among the most important things that we humans do.

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Book details

List price: $20.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 3/24/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

About the Authors
Introduction
Ritual and the Subjunctive
Ambiguity, Ambivalence, and Boundaries
Ritual, Play, and Boundaries
Ritual and Sincerity
Movements of Ritual and Sincerity
Afterword
Notes
References
Index
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