Ritual and Its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity
Adam B. Seligman, Robert P. Weller, Professor and Chair Department of Anthropology Robert P Weller, Bennett Simon, Michael J,, Michael J. Puett, Simon,
Oxford University Press, USA, Feb 21, 2008 - Religion - 229 pages
This pioneering, interdisciplinary work shows how rituals allow us to live in a perennially imperfect world. Drawing on a variety of cultural settings, the authors utilize psychoanalytic and anthropological perspectives to describe how ritual--like play--creates "as if" worlds, rooted in the imaginative capacity of the human mind to create a subjunctive universe. The ability to cross between imagined worlds is central to the human capacity for empathy. Ritual, they claim, defines the boundaries of these imagined worlds, including those of empathy and other realms of human creativity, such as music, architecture and literature. The authors juxtapose this ritual orientation to a "sincere" search for unity and wholeness. The sincere world sees fragmentation and incoherence as signs of inauthenticity that must be overcome. Our modern world has accepted the sincere viewpoint at the expense of ritual, dismissing ritual as mere convention. In response, the authors show how the conventions of ritual allow us to live together in a broken world. Ritual is work, endless work. But it is among the most important things that we humans do.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
agoˆn Ahmad al-Alawi allows ambiguity ambivalence Antonio architecture argue Arnold Modell aspects Bassiano become behavior boundaries century chapter child Chinese Christian claim Confucian contemporary contexts convention create creation creative crucial cultural defined developed differentiation discussion distinctions empathy Eucharist example existence experience formal forms frame Freud gnosticism Greek harmony human Ibid icon idea ilinx illusion imagination important individual inherent interaction Islam Jewish Judaism Laozi Maimonides meaning Merchant of Venice mercy modern movements nature one’s orientation ornament performance pleasure principle political Portia possible practice prayer Protestant Protestant Reformation public ritual pure reaggregation reality realm reform rejection relationships religion religious repetition representational art rhythm rites ritual action ritual and play ritual and sincerity ritualistic role sense sexual Shahadah shared Shylock sincere mode society splitting structure subjunctive world symbolic Theory tradition U.S. presidential election understanding utopia Xunzi Yeshiva