Rituals in an Unstable World: Contingency, Hybridity, Embodiment

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Peter Lang, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 340 pages
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Refuting prophecies of an unstoppable increase in secularization, the fascination of religious rituals proofs to be unbroken in the late modern world. This book contests classical paradigms that reduce the rationale of rituals to normativity (Durkheim), intelligibility (Geertz) and dialectics (Turner). Instead, it shows that rituals assert their significance in the post-colonial and globalizing world by successfully negotiating structure and contingency, identity and hybridity, script and embodiment. Its case studies are dealing with a broad variety of ritual genres and expressions, including initiation ceremonies and spirit possession, new harvest ceremonies, cults of ancestors, deities and saints, ceremonial receptions, inaugurations and memorials, ritual theatre, carnival and ritual painting in contemporary Brazil, Germany, France, India, Japan, Taiwan, USA, Vietnam, and Yemen.

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About the author (2008)

The Editors: Alexander Henn is Associate Professor at the Department for Religious Studies and the School of Global Studies at Arizona State University in Phoenix (USA).
Klaus-Peter Koepping is Emeritus Professor of the University Heidelberg and currently visiting professor at Goldsmith College, Center for Cultural Studies, at the University of London.

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