Thinking Through Rituals / Edition 1

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Overview

Many philosophical approaches today seek to overcome the division between mind and body. If such projects succeed, then thinking is not restricted to the disembodied mind, but is in some sense done through the body. From a post-Cartesian perspective, then, ritual activities that discipline the body are not just thoughtless motions, but crucial parts of the way people think.

Thinking Through Rituals explores religious ritual acts and their connection to meaning and truth, belief, memory, inquiry, worldview and ethics. Drawing on philosophers such as Foucault, Merleau-Ponty and Wittgenstein, and sources from cognitive science, pragmatism and feminist theory, it provides philosophical resources for understanding religious ritual practices like the Christian Eucharistic ceremony, Hatha Yoga, sacred meditation or liturgical speech.

Its essays consider a wide variety of rituals in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism - including political protest rituals and gay commitment ceremonies, traditional Vedic and Yogic rites, Christian and Buddhist meditation and the Jewish Shabbat. They challenge the traditional disjunction between thought and action, showing how philosophy can help to illuminate the relationship between doing and meaning which ritual practices imply.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415290586
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 5/10/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Schilbrack is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Wesleyan College, Georgia. A graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School, he is the editor of Thinking Through Myths: Philosophical Perspectives (Routledge, 2002).
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Table of Contents

Introduction : on the use of philosophy in the study of rituals 1
1 Ritual, body technique, and (inter)subjectivity 31
2 Practice, belief, and feminist philosophy of religion 52
3 Rites of passing : Foucault, power, and same-sex commitement ceremonies 71
4 Scapegoat rituals in Wittgensteinian perspective 97
5 Ritual inquiry : the pragmatic logic of religious practice 113
6 Ritual metaphysics 128
7 Philosophical naturalism and the cognitive appraoch to ritual 148
8 Theories and facts on ritual simultaneities 172
9 Moral cultivation through ritual participation : Xunzi's philosophy of ritual 188
10 The ritual roots of moral reason : lessons from Mimamsa 207
11 Ritual gives rise to thought : liturgical reasoning in modern Jewish philosophy 224
12 Ritual and Christian philosophy 238
13 Religious rituals, spiritually disciplined practices, and health 251
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