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Ritual : perspectives and dimensions

Author: Catherine M Bell; Reza Aslan
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, ©2009.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
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 that qualify as ritual and their many contradictory yet, in many ways, equally legitimate interpretations, ritual seems to elude any  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Bell, Catherine M., 1953-
Ritual.
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, ©2009
(OCoLC)430842432
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Catherine M Bell; Reza Aslan
ISBN: 9780199739479 0199739471 9786612366079 6612366079
OCLC Number: 513909095
Notes: "Foreword by Reza Aslan"--Cover.
Description: 1 online resource (xv, 351 pages)
Contents: Myth or ritual: questions of origin and essence --
Ritual and society: questions of social function and structure --
Ritual symbols, syntax, and praxis: questions of cultural meaning and interpretation --
Basic genres of ritual action --
Characteristics of ritual-like activities.
Responsibility: Catherine Bell.

Abstract:

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 that qualify 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 most influential 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 evolve and to help us become more familiar with the interplay of tradition, exigency, and self- expression that goes into constructing this complex social medium.

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"A rich and detailed interdisciplinary analysis of the nature and functions of ritual. Scholars in all fields will profit from this sound and probing study." * Religious Studies Review * "A very Read more...

 
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