Ritual: How Seemingly Senseless Acts Make Life Worth Living

Ritual: How Seemingly Senseless Acts Make Life Worth Living

by Dimitris Xygalatas
Ritual: How Seemingly Senseless Acts Make Life Worth Living

Ritual: How Seemingly Senseless Acts Make Life Worth Living

by Dimitris Xygalatas

Hardcover

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Overview

A pioneering anthropologist takes readers on a 'fascinating, well-researched' (Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE) journey through the rich tapestry of human ritual—showing how and why our most irrational behaviors are a key driver of our success."

Ritual is one of the oldest, and certainly most enigmatic, threads in the history of human culture. It presents a profound paradox: people ascribe the utmost importance to their rituals, but few can explain why they are so important. Apparently pointless ceremonies pervade every documented society, from handshakes to hexes, hazings to parades. Before we ever learned to farm, we were gathering in giant stone temples to perform elaborate rites and ceremonies. And yet, though rituals exist in every culture and can persist nearly unchanged for centuries, their logic has remained a mystery—until now.
 
In Ritual, pathfinding scientist Dimitris Xygalatas leads us on an enlightening tour through this shadowy realm of human behavior. Armed with cutting-edge technology and drawing on discoveries from a wide range of disciplines, he presents a powerful new perspective on our place in the world. In birthday parties and coronations, in silent prayer, in fire-walks and terrifying rites of passage, in all the bewildering variety of human life, Ritual reveals the deep and subtle mechanisms that bind us together.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316462402
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 09/13/2022
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 96,343
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Dimitris Xygalatas is a pioneering anthropologist and cognitive scientist who runs the Experimental Anthropology Lab at the University of Connecticut. He has published over 100 articles across various disciplines, and has been interviewed about his groundbreaking work by the New York Times,The Guardian, PBS, the History Channel, National Geographic, and numerous other outlets.

Table of Contents

1 The Ritual Paradox 1

2 The Ritual Species 18

3 Order 50

4 Glue 86

5 Effervescence 118

6 Superglue 154

7 Sacrifice 182

8 Well-being 214

9 Harnessing the Power of Ritual 240

Notes 269

Bibliography 277

Acknowledgments 298

Index 301

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