Ritual Perspectives and Dimensions

ISBN-10: 0199735107
ISBN-13: 9780199735105
Edition: Revised 
Authors: Catherine Bell
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Description: From handshakes and toasts to chant and genuflection, ritual pervades our social interactions and religious practices. Still, few of us could identify all of our daily and festal ritual behaviors, much less explain them to an outsider. Similarly,  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.99
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/28/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.386

From handshakes and toasts to chant and genuflection, ritual pervades our social interactions and religious practices. Still, few of us could identify all of our daily and festal ritual behaviors, much less explain them to an outsider. Similarly, because of the variety of activities thatqualify as ritual and their many contradictory yet, in many ways, equally legitimate interpretations, ritual seems to elude any systematic historical and comparative scrutiny. In this book, Catherine Bell offers a practical introduction to ritual practice and its study; she surveys the mostinfluential theories of religion and ritual, the major categories of ritual activity, and the key debates that have shaped our understanding of ritualism. Bell refuses to nail down ritual with any one definition or understanding. Instead, her purpose is to reveal how definitions emerge and evolveand to help us become more familiar with the interplay of tradition, exigency, and self-expression that goes into constructing this complex social medium.

Catherine Bell has been involved in food for 20 years. In 1989, she established the Epicurean Workshop, a specialist cookware store & cooking school in Auckland, New Zealand. For much of the last ten years she has regularly taught classes both locally & internationally, & has written about food & cookery for a number of newspapers & magazines. She is a member of IACP & holds the qualification of Certified Culinary Professional.

Cheories: The History of Interpretation
Myth or Ritual: Questions of Origin and Essence
Early Theories and Theorists
The Myth and Ritual Schools
The Phenomenology of Religions
Psychoanalytic Approaches to Ritual
Profile: Interpreting the Akitu Festival
Conclusion
Ritual and Society: Questions of Social Function and Structure
Early Theories of Social Solidarity
Functionalism
Neofunctional Systems Analyses
Structuralism
Magic, Religion, and Science
Profile: Interpreting the Mukanda Initiation
Conclusion
Ritual Symbols, Syntax, and Praxis: Questions of Cultural Meaning and Interpretation
Symbolic Systems and Symbolic Action
Linguistics
Performance
Practice
Profile: Interpreting British and Swazi Enthronement Rites
Conclusion
Rites: The Spectrum of Ritual Activities
Basic Genres of Ritual Action
Rites of Passage
Calendrical Rites
Rites of Exchange and Communion
Rites of Affliction
Feasting, Fasting, and Festivals
Political Rites
Conclusion
Characteristics of Ritual-like Activities
Formalism
Traditionalism
Invariance
Rule-Governance
Sacral Symbolism
Performance
Conclusion
Contexts: The Fabric of Ritual Life
Ritual Density
Systems
Typologies
Orthopraxy and Orthodoxy
Traditional and Secular
Oral and Literate
Church, Sect, and Cult
Conclusion
Ritual Change
Tradition and Transformation
Ritual Invention
Media and Message
Conclusion
Ritual Reification
Repudiating, Returning, Romancing
The Emergence of "Ritual,"
Conclusion
Notes
References
Index

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