The Archetypal Actions of Ritual
A Theory of Ritual Illustrated by the Jain Rite of Worship
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Archetypal Actions of Ritual by Caroline Humphrey
Book DescriptionReligious rituals can provoke a deeply ambigious reaction in those who practise them. What happens in religious traditions when the nature of the ritual is questioned, but the practice of performing rituals is not itself abandoned? This book draws on the authors' observations of such reactions among Jains in western India, and asks why they can tell us about ritual as a universal mode of human action. Most anthropologists have assumed that ritual is a special kind of happening, which requires a special kind of interpretation. The authors argue that 'ritual' is a quality which can in principle apply to any kind of action. The question they try to answer is: what is distinctive about actions which are ritualized? They reject the common view that ritual carries intrinsic meaning, and explore the apparent paradox that ritualization, which makes action in an important sense non-intentional, is itself the result of an intentional act - the adoption by the actor of what the authors call the 'ritual commitment'.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780198279471
(216mm x 138mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Clarendon Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 22-Sep-1994
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Caroline Humphrey
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Describes the life of a Mongolian Buddhist monastery - the Mergen Monastery in Inner Mongolia - from inside its walls. From the Qing occupation of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries through the Cultural Revolution, the authors tell a story of religious formation, suppression, and survival over a history that spans three centuries.
Urban Life in Post-Soviet Asia, Paperback (March 2012)
Capturing a unique historical moment, this text examines the changes in urban life since the collapse of the Soviet Union from an ethnographic perspective, thus addressing significant gaps in the literature on cities, Central Asia and post-socialism.
Becoming a Social Worker, Paperback (October 2010)
This student-friendly book offers a 'behind the scenes' look at becoming a social worker.
Assembly of Listeners, Paperback (October 2008)» View all books by Caroline Humphrey
The Jains have exerted an influence on Indian Society and religion out of proportion with their relatively small numbers.
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