Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The limits of ritual, or how I launch into a rant

These studies give evidence for the ambiguity and instability of beliefs and symbols as well as the inability of ritual to control by virtue of any consensus based on shared beliefs. They also suggest that ritualized activities specifically do not promote belief or conviction. On the contrary, ritualized practices afford a great diversity of interpretation in exchange for little more than consent to the form of the activities.— Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice, page 186 (emphasis original)

<idle musing>
When was this book written? Hmmm...1992! Over 20 years ago. And I'm still reading books written this year that claim that ritualized activities form a community around shared beliefs! What's with that? I even edited a book earlier this year that had that claim as a centerpiece of the argument!

Get a grip folks! It doesn't work that way! </rant>
</idle musing>

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