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Ritual And Religion In The Making Of Humanity

Author: Roy A. Rappaport
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521296908
Size: 23.94 MB
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Roy Rappaport argues that religion is central to the continuing evolution of life, although it has been been displaced from its original position of intellectual authority by the rise of modern science. His book, which could be construed as in some degree religious as well as about religion, insists that religion can and must be reconciled with science. Combining adaptive and cognitive approaches to the study of humankind, he mounts a comprehensive analysis of religion's evolutionary significance, seeing it as co-extensive with the invention of language and hence of culture as we know it. At the same time he assembles the fullest study yet of religion's main component, ritual, which constructs the conceptions which we take to be religious and has been central in the making of humanity's adaptation. The text amounts to a manual for effective ritual, illustrated by examples drawn from anthropology, history, philosophy, comparative religion, and elsewhere.

Ritual Theory Ritual Practice

Author: Catherine Bell
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199760381
Size: 47.10 MB
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Ritual studies today figures as a central element of religious discourse for many scholars around the world. Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice, Catherine Bell's sweeping and seminal work on the subject, helped legitimize the field. In this volume, Bell re-examines the issues, methods, and ramifications of our interest in ritual by concentrating on anthropology, sociology, and the history of religions. Now with a new foreword by Diane Jonte-Pace, Bell's work is a must-read for understanding the evolution of the field of ritual studies and its current state.

Ecology Meaning And Religion

Author: Roy A. Rappaport
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780938190271
Size: 44.85 MB
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"Two enterprises have proceeded in anthropology since ts earliest days. One, objective in its aspirations and inspired by biological disciplines, seeks explanation and is concerned to discover laws and causes. The other, subjective in its orientation and influenced by philosophy, linguistics, and the humatities, attempts interpretation and seeks to elucidate meanings. I take any raditcal separation of the two to be misguided, for the relationship between tem, with all of its difficulty, ambiguity, and tension, is a reflection of, or metaphor for, the condition of a species that lives in terms of meanings in a physical world devoid of intrinsic meaning but subject to causal law. The concept of adaptatioon when applied to human society must take account of meaning as well as cause, and of the complex dynamic of their relationship." -from the book.

Religion In Human Evolution

Author: Robert N. Bellah
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674063090
Size: 38.32 MB
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This ambitious book probes our biological past to discover the kinds of lives that human beings have imagined were worth living. Bellah’s theory goes deep into cultural and genetic evolution to identify a range of capacities (communal dancing, storytelling, theorizing) whose emergence made religious development possible in the first millennium BCE.

Ritual In Its Own Right

Author: Don Handelman
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781845450519
Size: 37.17 MB
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"First published in 2004 by Berghahn Books; Social analysis, volume 48, issue 2, summer 2004"--T.p. verso.

Religion Of The Gods

Author: Kimberley Christine Patton
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199723287
Size: 75.60 MB
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In many of the world's religions, both polytheistic and monotheistic, a seemingly enigmatic and paradoxical image is found--that of the god who worships. Various interpretations of this seeming paradox have been advanced. Some suggest that it represents sacrifice to a higher deity. Proponents of anthropomorphic projection say that the gods are just "big people" and that images of human religious action are simply projected onto the deities. However, such explanations do not do justice to the complexity and diversity of this phenomenon. In Religion of the Gods, Kimberley C. Patton uses a comparative approach to take up anew a longstanding challenge in ancient Greek religious iconography: why are the Olympian gods depicted on classical pottery making libations? The sacrificing gods in ancient Greece are compared to gods who perform rituals in six other religious traditions: the Vedic gods, the heterodox god Zurvan of early Zoroastrianism, the Old Norse god Odin, the Christian God and Christ, the God of Judaism, and Islam's Allah. Patton examines the comparative evidence from a cultural and historical perspective, uncovering deep structural resonances while also revealing crucial differences. Instead of looking for invisible recipients or lost myths, Patton proposes the new category of "divine reflexivity." Divinely performed ritual is a self-reflexive, self-expressive action that signals the origin of ritual in the divine and not the human realm. Above all, divine ritual is generative, both instigating and inspiring human religious activity. The religion practiced by the gods is both like and unlike human religious action. Seen from within the religious tradition, gods are not "big people," but other than human. Human ritual is directed outward to a divine being, but the gods practice ritual on their own behalf. "Cultic time," the symbiotic performance of ritual both in heaven and on earth, collapses the distinction between cult and theology each time ritual is performed. Offering the first comprehensive study and a new theory of this fascinating phenomenon, Religion of the Gods is a significant contribution to the fields of classics and comparative religion. Patton shows that the god who performs religious action is not an anomaly, but holds a meaningful place in the category of ritual and points to a phenomenologically universal structure within religion itself.

Religion In The Kitchen

Author: Elizabeth Pérez
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479836095
Size: 45.74 MB
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Before honey can be offered to the Afro-Cuban deity Ochún, it must be tasted, to prove to her that it is good. In African-inspired religions throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States, such gestures instill the attitudes that turn participants into practitioners. Acquiring deep knowledge of the diets of the gods and ancestors constructs adherents’ identities; to learn to fix the gods’ favorite dishes is to be “seasoned” into their service. In this innovative work, Elizabeth Pérez reveals how seemingly trivial "micropractices" such as the preparation of sacred foods, are complex rituals in their own right. Drawing on years of ethnographic research in Chicago among practitioners of Lucumí, the transnational tradition popularly known as Santería, Pérez focuses on the behind-the-scenes work of the primarily women and gay men responsible for feeding the gods. She reveals how cooking and talking around the kitchen table have played vital socializing roles in Black Atlantic religions. Entering the world of divine desires and the varied flavors that speak to them, this volume takes a fresh approach to the anthropology of religion. Its richly textured portrait of a predominantly African-American Lucumí community reconceptualizes race, gender, sexuality, and affect in the formation of religious identity, proposing that every religion coalesces and sustains itself through its own secret recipe of micropractices.

Ritual Performance And The Senses

Author: Jon P. Mitchell
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 0857854968
Size: 34.67 MB
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Ritual has long been a central concept in anthropological theories of religious transmission. Ritual, Performance and the Senses offers a new understanding of how ritual enables religious representations ? ideas, beliefs, values ? to be shared among participants. Focusing on the body and the experiential nature of ritual, the book brings together insights from three distinct areas of study: cognitive/neuroanthropology, performance studies and the anthropology of the senses. Eight chapters by scholars from each of these sub-disciplines investigate different aspects of embodied religious practice, ranging from philosophical discussions of belief to explorations of the biological processes taking place in the brain itself. Case studies range from miracles and visionary activity in Catholic Malta to meditative practices in theatrical performance and include three pilgrimage sites: the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the festival of Ramlila in Ramnagar, India and the mountain shrine of the Lord of the Shiny Snow in Andean Peru. Understanding ritual allows us to understand processes at the very centre of human social life and humanity itself, making this an invaluable text for students and scholars in anthropology, cognitive science, performance studies and religious studies.

Mighty Stories Dangerous Rituals

Author: Herbert Anderson
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 078795926X
Size: 72.20 MB
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Bringing together two of our greatest sources of meaning and transformation This book marries two partners that are made for each other. The result, as in all good unions, is mutual enrichment and deeper life. --Jack Shea, author of Stories of God Now available in paperback, this moving and enlightening book presents us with a compelling vision of what can happen when we take the opportunity to connect stories and rituals--a vision of individuals and communities transformed through a deeper sense of connection to our loved ones, our communities, and God. Herbert Anderson and Edward Foley reveal how when stories and rituals work together, they have the potential to be both mighty and dangerous--mighty in their ability to lift us up and help us make these connections beyond ourselves and dangerous in challenging us to learn to live with complexity and contradiction. They show how much more meaningful a baptism, wedding, or funeral can be when liturgy is made to include and recognize the personal stories of those involved. Suddenly, these familiar life-cycle rituals are infused with new life as their participants become connected in a narrative web linking past and present, human and divine. Newly created rituals can also help us connect our stories to the divine story, giving meaning to what we experience and bringing us closer to God. Ministers, worship leaders, and pastoral caregivers can use this approach to storytelling and ritual to find ways to bring together worship and pastoral care, diminishing fragmentation and fostering coherence in their religious communities.

Soul Hunters

Author: Rane Willerslev
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520252179
Size: 77.54 MB
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Basing his study on firsthand experience with Yukaghir hunters, Rane Willerslev focuses on the practical implications of living in a 'hall of mirrors' world, one inhabited by humans, animals and spirits, all of whom are understood to be endless mimetic doubles of one another.