Ritual Gone Wrong Paperback

What We Learn from Ritual Disruption

by Kathryn T. McClymond;

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Ritual Gone Wrong

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The discipline of religious studies has, historically, tended to focus on discrete ritual mistakes that occur in the context of individual performances outlined in ethnographic or sociological studies, and scholars have largely dismissed the fact that there are extensive discussions of ritual mistakes in many indigenous traditions' religious literature. And yet ritual mistakes (ranging from the simple to the complex) happen all the time, and they continue to carry ritual "weight," even when no one seriously doubts their impact on the efficacy of a ritual. In Ritual Gone Wrong, Kathryn McClymond approaches ritual mistakes as an integral part of ritual life and argues that religious traditions can accommodate mistakes and are often prepared for them. McClymond shows that many traditions even incorporate the regular occurrence of errors into their ritual systems, developing a substantial literature on how rituals can be disrupted, how these disruptions can be addressed, and when disruptions have gone too far.
Using a series of case studies ranging from ancient India to modern day Iraq, and from medieval allegations of child sacrifice to contemporary Olympic ceremonies, McClymond explores the numerous ways in which ritual can go wrong, and demonstrates that the ritual is by nature fluid, supple, and dynamic-simultaneously adapting to socio-cultural conditions and, in some cases, shaping them.

Ritual Gone Wrong by Kathryn T. McClymond was published by Oxford University Press Inc in May 2016. The ISBN for Ritual Gone Wrong is 9780199790920.

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Details for Ritual Gone Wrong

Page last updated 27th July 2016
Author / Artist
Book FormatPaperback
PublisherOxford University Press Inc (May 2016)
Number of Pages248
Thickness20 mm
Height235 mm
Width156 mm
Product Code4376064
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