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The magic of ritual : our need for liberating rites that transform our lives and our communities

Author: Tom F Driver
Publisher: [San Francisco] : HarperSanFrancisco, ©1991.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
In this captivating book, Tom F. Driver presents a new and radical understanding of the role and meaning of ritual. According to Driver, our contemporary culture is in urgent need of renewal or rebirth - a sense of ritual and meaning that has been lost to the age of modern rationalism. Our rituals, or what is left of them, lack any vital connection with the struggles for freedom and expression that individuals and  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Driver, Tom Faw, 1925-
Magic of ritual.
[San Francisco] : HarperSanFrancisco, ©1991
(OCoLC)595168126
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Tom F Driver
ISBN: 006062096X 9780060620967 0060618973 9780060618971
OCLC Number: 23384815
Description: x, 270 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: pt. 1. Ritual pathways. Ritualizing: the animals do it and so do we. Modern warfare: the loss of ritual pathways. Priest and shaman: two pathways of religions ritual --
pt. 2. Modalities of performance. Ritual, theater, and sacrifice. Community. Transformation --
Conclusion. Christian sacraments as the performance of freedom. A communion sermon. Serve points in criticism of Victor Turner.
Responsibility: Tom F. Driver.

Abstract:

In this captivating book, Tom F. Driver presents a new and radical understanding of the role and meaning of ritual. According to Driver, our contemporary culture is in urgent need of renewal or rebirth - a sense of ritual and meaning that has been lost to the age of modern rationalism. Our rituals, or what is left of them, lack any vital connection with the struggles for freedom and expression that individuals and groups are engaged in. Recognizing the chronic boredom of contemporary society and the impotence of today's religious services and even modern theater, Driver sees a void in our culture that is being filled, or at least hidden, by poor and sometimes dangerous substitutes. All of us, in Driver's eyes, share a critical need for ritual participation. With moving and colorful descriptions of ritual ceremonies from Haiti, Papua New Guinea, Japan, Turkey, Korea, and other locales, Driver approaches ritual as performance, an action that has unique effectiveness and often expresses more than words can. He shows the necessary role ritual plays in the cohesion and transformation of cultures and societies. The making and maintaining of order, the deepening and strengthening of communal bonds, and the bringing about of both personal and social transformation are, according to Driver, ritual's three great social gifts. Ritual is also something humans share with other species, linking us with the natural habitat and our evolutionary past. Lying at the core of our capacity to adapt, survive, and grow, ritual is essential to all efforts for justice and the establishment of good relationships. To be fully alive and whole, Driver contends, we need to engage creatively in ritual performance. Whether in rites of passage - for birth, adulthood, marriage, death - in ceremonies of healing, grieving, or celebration - in political performances aimed at changing society - we should be active participants taking possession of our rituals and opening them up to a truly transformative and liberating power.

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