Ritual and its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity / Edition 1

Ritual and its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity / Edition 1

by Adam B Seligman, Robert P. Weller, Michael J. Puett, Bennett Simon
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195336011

ISBN-13: 9780195336016

Pub. Date: 03/24/2008

Publisher: Oxford University Press

This pioneering, interdisciplinary work shows how rituals allow us to live in a perennially imperfect world. Drawing on a variety of cultural settings, the authors utilize psychoanalytic and anthropological perspectives to describe how ritual—like play—creates "as if" worlds, rooted in the imaginative capacity of the human mind to create a

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Overview

This pioneering, interdisciplinary work shows how rituals allow us to live in a perennially imperfect world. Drawing on a variety of cultural settings, the authors utilize psychoanalytic and anthropological perspectives to describe how ritual—like play—creates "as if" worlds, rooted in the imaginative capacity of the human mind to create a subjunctive universe. The ability to cross between imagined worlds is central to the human capacity for empathy. Ritual, they claim, defines the boundaries of these imagined worlds, including those of empathy and other realms of human creativity, such as music, architecture and literature.

The authors juxtapose this ritual orientation to a "sincere" search for unity and wholeness. The sincere world sees fragmentation and incoherence as signs of inauthenticity that must be overcome. Our modern world has accepted the sincere viewpoint at the expense of ritual, dismissing ritual as mere convention. In response, the authors show how the conventions of ritual allow us to live together in a broken world. Ritual is work, endless work. But it is among the most important things that we humans do.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195336016
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
03/24/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
248
Sales rank:
475,978
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents


About the Authors xv Introduction 3
1 Ritual and the Subjunctive 17
2 Ambiguity, Ambivalence, and Boundaries 43
3 Ritual, Play, and Boundaries 69
4 Ritual and Sincerity 103
5 Movements of Ritual and Sincerity 131 Afterword 179 Notes 183 References 199 Index 213

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