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Rituals

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A brief discussion on rituals and performance.

A brief discussion on rituals and performance.

Published in: Education

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  • 1. Theories of the evolution of culture are interwoven withthe study of religion.Three schools of theory emerged in the 19th century: 1. Myth and ritual 2. Sociological 3. Psychological
  • 2. Three characteristics of ritual activities: 1. Communal 2. Traditional 3. Rooted in beliefs
  • 3. Bell (2008) lists these genres of ritual action: 1. Rites of passage 2. Calendrical rites 3. Rules of exchange and communication 4. Rites of affliction 5. Feasting, fasting, and festivals 6. Political rites
  • 4. Bell (2008) explains five characteristics of ritual-likeactivities: 1. Formalization 2. Traditionalism 3. Invariance 4. Rule-governance 5. Sacral symbolism
  • 5. Formalization: the degree of formality in dress or speechthat marks an activity ritual-like.
  • 6. Traditionalism: (or, we have always done this) appeals tocultural precedents.
  • 7. Invariance: emphasizes precise repetition and physicalcontrol.
  • 8. Rule-governance: maintains that ritual-like activities aregoverned by rules that guide and direct the activities.
  • 9. Sacral symbolism: appeals to supernatural beings.
  • 10. All of the previous characteristics are manifested in andthrough performance.
  • 11. Rituals, and ritual-like actions, abound in our daily livesas a way to give meaning and significance.
  • 12. Rituals are also marked by joy, fun, and anticipation.
  • 13. Now, think about your own rituals and those ofyour communities…