Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1992 M01 30 - 288 pages
1 Review
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
Ritual studies today figures as a central element of religious discourse for many scholars around the world. Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice, Catherine Bell's sweeping and seminal work on the subject, helped legitimize the field. In this volume, Bell re-examines the issues, methods, and ramifications of our interest in ritual by concentrating on anthropology, sociology, and the history of religions. Now with a new foreword by Diane Jonte-Pace, Bell's work is a must-read for understanding the evolution of the field of ritual studies and its current state.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages

Contents

Introduction
3
Notes
10
THE PRACTICE OF RITUAL THEORY
13
Constructing Ritual
19
Constructing Meaning
30
Constructing Discourse
47
Notes
55
THE SENSE OF RITUAL
67
Ritual Traditions and Systems
118
Notes
143
RITUAL AND POWER
169
Ritual Control
171
Ritual Belief and Ideology
182
The Power of Ritualization
197
Notes
224
Bibliography
239

Action and Practice
69
The Ritual Body
94
Index
259
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 147 - The mode of production in material life determines the general character of the social, political and spiritual processes of life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but, on the contrary, their social existence determines their consciousness.
Page 11 - Johannes Fabian, Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes Its Object (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983); James Clifford, The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988).
Page 30 - Whenever Madrasi Brahmans (and non-Brahmans, too, for that matter) wished to exhibit to me some feature of Hinduism, they always referred to, or invited me to see, a particular rite or ceremony in the life cycle, in a temple festival, or in the general sphere of religious and cultural performances. Reflecting on this in the course of my interviews and observations, I found that the more abstract generalizations about Hinduism (my own as well as those I heard) could generally be checked, directly...
Page 172 - Norms and values, on the one hand, become saturated with emotion, while the gross and basic emotions become ennobled through contact with social values.
Page 201 - Every power relationship implies, at least in potentia, a strategy of struggle, in which the two forces are not superimposed, do not lose their specific nature, or do not finally become confused. Each constitutes for the other a kind of permanent limit, a point of possible reversal.
Page 27 - In a ritual, the world as lived and the world as imagined, fused under the agency of a single set of symbolic forms, turn out to be the same world, producing thus that idiosyncratic transformation in one's sense of reality to which Santayana refers in my epigraph.
Page 74 - As such, ritualization is a matter of various culturally specific strategies for setting some activities off from others, for creating and privileging a qualitative distinction between the 'sacred' and the 'profane,' and for ascribing such distinctions to realities thought to transcend the powers of human actors.

About the author (1992)

Late Professor Emerita of Religious Studies, Santa Clara University

Bibliographic information