Ritual Matters: Dynamic Dimensions in Practice

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2010-04-14
  • Publisher: Routledge India

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There is a general perception that rituals are invariable, static and unchangeable, that they follow strict rules and norms, and are highly repetitive. In contrast to this prevalent view, this volume suggests that in fact change and transfer, invention and reinvention are the norm of rituals. Furthermore, rather than being clearly separated from everyday life, rituals are usually part of everyday life and must be explored within their social, political and historical context of production and enactment. Not only are rituals tools for shaping social realities but they are, at the same time, shaped by their social context. In this volume, experts from different fields explore the interaction of rituals and ritualised practices with their context, utilizing approaches that suit cross-cultural and trans-historical comparison. In this discussion new perspectives on what all 'really' matters in ritual emerge - exploring why rituals are important today, and arguing that they might be even more relevant than ever before. The essays in this volume, edited by a scholar of Indology and a scholar of anthropology, do not solely relate to the Indian subcontinent but address, in diachronic and synchronic manner, a variety of regions such as Egypt, Turkey, Greece and Germany, approaching the topic of ritual dynamics from a host of different perspectives. Book jacket.

Author Biography

Christiane Brosius is professor of Visual and Media Anthropology at the Heidelberg University, Germany. Ute H is professor of Sanskrit at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Change and Stability of Rituals: An Introductionp. 1
Rituals on the Move
Staging Ritual Heritage: How Rituals Become Theatre in Uttarakhand, Indiap. 29
Initiation, 'Re-birth' and the Emergent Congregation: An Analysis of the Svadhyaya Movement in Western Indiap. 49
Transferring and Re-transferring Religious Practice: ISKCON between 'East' and 'West'p. 76
'Marginalised Islam': The Transfer of Rural Rituals into Urban and Pluralist Contexts and the Emergence of Transnational 'Communities of Practice'p. 88
Sunni Concepts of Ritual Purity in a Contemporary Diaspora Contextp. 124
Old Rituals for New Threats: Possession and Healing in the Cult of Sitalap. 144
Transfer of Ritual in a Local Tradition: Some Observationsp. 172
Psychological Aspects of Ritual
The Uses of Ritualp. 201
Dynamic of Emotions and Dynamic of Rituals: Do Emotions Change Ritual Norms?p. 210
Rituals of Possessionp. 236
Regarding Ritual Motivation Matters: Agency Concealed or Revealedp. 253
Ritual Economy Beyond the Ritual Frame
The Power of Ritual in Marriage: A Daughter's Wedding in North-west Indiap. 271
Ritual Economy and South Indian Ritual Practicep. 293
Media and Sensual Dimensions of Ritual Action
Ritual Differs: Beyond Fixity and Flexibility in South Indian Hindu Ritualp. 311
'Wedding Design' Online: Transfer and Transformation of Ritual Elements in the Context of Wedding Ritualsp. 330
Gender, Generation and the Public Sphere: Islamic Values and Literary Responsep. 356
On the Representation of Presence: The Narrative of Devnarayan as a Multimedia Performancep. 369
About the Editorsp. 386
Notes on the Contributorsp. 388
Indexp. 396
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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