Monday, September 24, 2012

Intersection or union?

"In our view ritual and sacrifice are concepts that intersect rather than interbed. Ritual implies repetition, the routinized sequence of actions, patterns that may or may not intersect with concepts of the sacred. The daily setting out of pens and pencils on your desk may be a “ritual”; whether that sequence is determined by ideas about the ineffable is a separate question. The point is that the actions are done again and again, so they may leave certain types of archaeological traces. Structuralists would suggest that these routines/rituals are expressions of core cultural values/issues (usually of a dualistic nature: male/female, us/them, and so on); thus, comparing the organization of these rituals may expose these deeper cultural skeletons. Here we enter the realm of sacrifice and its dual aspects of giving up and giving to, events that may be ritualized by repetitive sequence or events that may happen only once but, in either case, events that are infused with a deeper meaning in relationship to the sacred."—Hesse, Wapnish & Greer in Sacred Killing, page 230

<idle musing>
Our life is full of rituals—big ones, small ones, important ones, trivial ones. They are what give our lives order. As a Christian, our goal should be to live out our lives as a sacrifice—and, as they say here, that isn't necessarily the same thing!
</idle musing>

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