Ritual and its Consequences by Adam B. Seligman
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Ritual and its Consequences
By Adam B. Seligman

Ritual and its Consequences

An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity

By (author) See other recent books by Adam B. Seligman See other recent books by Robert P. Weller See other recent books by J. Michael
Format: Hardback

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Ritual and its Consequences by Adam B. Seligman

Book Description

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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780195336009
ISBN-10: 0195336003
Format: Hardback
(241mm x 160mm x 22mm)
Pages: 248
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 21-Feb-2008
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...


Books By Author Adam B. Seligman

Living with Difference by Adam B. Seligman Living with Difference, Paperback (January 2016)

Whether looking at divided cities or working with populations on the margins of society, a growing number of engaged academics have reached out to communities around the world to address the practical problems of living with difference. This book explores the challenges of accommodating difference, however difficult such accommodation may be.

Ritual and its Consequences by Adam B. Seligman Ritual and its Consequences, Paperback (March 2008)

This book argues for the continuing tension across historical contexts between movements emphasizing ritual and movements emphasizing sincerity. Our contemporary age has, at great risk, downplayed the importance of ritual. Drawing on examples from Chinese, Greek, Jewish, and contemporary culture, the book presents an innovative interdisciplinary account of how ritual works.

» View all books by Adam B. Seligman

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Author Biography - Adam B. Seligman

Adam B. Seligman is Professor of Religion and Research Associate at the Institute for Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University. Robert P. Weller is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Research Associate at the Institute for Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University. Michael J. Puett is Professor of Chinese History at Harvard University. Bennett Simon is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Training and Supervising Analyst at Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.

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