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A ritual is a sequence of activities involving
gesture A gesture is a form of non-verbal communication or non-vocal communication in which visible bodily actions communicate particular messages, either in place of, or in conjunction with, speech. Gestures include movement of the hands, face, or ot ...
s, words, actions, or objects, performed according to a set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the
tradition A tradition is a belief or behavior (folk custom) passed down within a group or society A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territo ...

tradition
s of a
community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as place, norms, religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, text ...

community
, including a religious community. Rituals are characterized, but not defined, by formalism, traditionalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism, and performance. Rituals are a feature of all known human societies. They include not only the
worship Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being who is considered divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as a god In monotheistic thought ...

worship
rites and
sacrament A sacrament is a Christianity, Christian Rite (Christianity), rite that is recognized as being particularly important and significant. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites. Many Christians consider the sacraments ...
s of organized religions and
cult In modern English, ''cult'' is usually a pejorative term for a social group that is defined by its unusual Religion, religious, spirituality, spiritual, or Philosophy, philosophical beliefs and rituals, or its Followership, common interest in ...

cult
s, but also
rites of passage A rite of passage is a ceremony or ritual of the passage which occurs when an individual leaves one group to enter another. It involves a significant change of social status, status in society. In cultural anthropology the term is the Anglicisat ...

rites of passage
, atonement and purification rites, oaths of allegiance, dedication ceremonies,
coronation A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a coronation crown, crown upon a monarch's head. The term also generally refers not only to the physical crowning but to the whole ceremony wherein the act of crowning occurs, along with the ...

coronation
s and presidential
inauguration In government and politics, inauguration is the process of Oath of office, swearing a person into Public administration, office and thus making that person the incumbent. Such an inauguration commonly occurs through a formal ceremony or special e ...

inauguration
s, marriages, funerals and more. Even common actions like
hand-shaking
hand-shaking
and saying "
hello
hello
" may be termed as ''rituals''. The field of ritual studies has seen a number of conflicting definitions of the term. One given by Kyriakidis is that a ritual is an outsider's or " etic" category for a set activity (or set of actions) that, to the outsider, seems irrational, non-contiguous, or illogical. The term can be used also by the insider or " emic" performer as an acknowledgement that this activity can be seen as such by the uninitiated onlooker. In
psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic discipline of immens ...

psychology
, the term ''ritual'' is sometimes used in a technical sense for a repetitive behavior systematically used by a person to neutralize or prevent anxiety; it can be a symptom of
obsessive–compulsive disorder Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is a Mental disorder, mental and Abnormal behavior, behavioral Disease#Disorder, disorder in which an individual has intrusive thoughts and/or feels the need to perform certain routines repeatedly to the ...
but obsessive-compulsive ritualistic behaviors are generally isolated activities.


Etymology

The English word ''ritual'' derives from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known as Latium) around present-day Rome, but through ...

Latin
''ritualis,'' "that which pertains to rite ''(
ritus
ritus
'')". In Roman juridical and
religious Religion is usually defined as a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, sacred site, sanctified places, prophecy, prophecie ...
usage, ''ritus'' was the proven way ''( mos)'' of doing something, or "correct performance, custom". The original concept of ''ritus'' may be related to the
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had Trans-cul ...

Sanskrit
''
ṛtá
ṛtá
'' ("visible order)" in Vedic religion, "the lawful and regular order of the normal, and therefore proper, natural and true structure of cosmic, worldly, human and ritual events". The word "ritual" is first recorded in English in 1570, and came into use in the 1600s to mean "the prescribed order of performing religious services" or more particularly a book of these prescriptions.


Characteristics

There are hardly any limits to the kind of actions that may be incorporated into a ritual. The rites of past and present societies have typically involved special gestures and words, recitation of fixed texts, performance of special
music Music is generally defined as the The arts, art of arranging sound to create some combination of Musical form, form, harmony, melody, rhythm or otherwise Musical expression, expressive content. Exact definition of music, definitions of mu ...

music
,
songs A song is a musical composition intended to be performed by the human voice. This is often done at melody, distinct and fixed pitches (melodies) using patterns of sound and silence. Songs contain various song form, forms, such as those includ ...

songs
or
dance Dance is a performing art art form, form consisting of sequences of movement, either improvised or purposefully selected. This movement has aesthetic and often symbolism (arts), symbolic value. Dance can be categorized and described by its chor ...

dance
s, processions, manipulation of certain objects, use of special dresses, consumption of special
food Food is any substance consumed by an organism for nutritional support. Food is usually of plant, animal, or fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substanc ...

food
,
drink A drink or beverage is a liquid intended for human consumption. In addition to their basic function of satisfying thirst, drinks play important roles in human culture. Common types of drinks include plain drinking water, milk, juice, smoothies a ...

drink
, or
drugs A drug is any chemical substance that causes a change in an organism's physiology or psychology when consumed. Drugs are typically distinguished from food and substances that provide nutritional support. Consumption of drugs can be via inha ...
, and much more. Catherine Bell argues that rituals can be characterized by formalism, traditionalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism and performance.


Formalism

Ritual uses a limited and rigidly organized set of expressions which
anthropologist An anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and present Society, societies. Social anthropology, cultural anthropology and philosophical anthropology study the no ...

anthropologist
s call a "restricted code" (in opposition to a more open "elaborated code"). Maurice Bloch argues that ritual obliges participants to use this formal oratorical style, which is limited in intonation, syntax, vocabulary, loudness, and fixity of order. In adopting this style, ritual leaders' speech becomes more style than content. Because this formal speech limits what can be said, it induces "acceptance, compliance, or at least forbearance with regard to any overt challenge". Bloch argues that this form of ritual communication makes rebellion impossible and revolution the only feasible alternative. Ritual tends to support traditional forms of social hierarchy and authority, and maintains the assumptions on which the authority is based from challenge.


Traditionalism

Rituals appeal to tradition and are generally continued to repeat historical precedent, religious rite,
mores Mores (, sometimes ; , plural form of singular , meaning "manner, custom, usage, or habit") are social norms that are widely observed within a particular society or culture. Mores determine what is considered morally acceptable or unacceptable ...

mores
, or
ceremony A ceremony (, ) is a unified ritualistic event with a purpose, usually consisting of a number of artistic components, performed on a special occasion. The word may be of Etruscan language, Etruscan origin, via the Latin ''Glossary of ancient Rom ...

ceremony
accurately. Traditionalism varies from formalism in that the ritual may not be formal yet still makes an appeal to the historical trend. An example is the American Thanksgiving dinner, which may not be formal, yet is ostensibly based on an event from the early Puritan settlement of America. Historians
Eric Hobsbawm Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm (; 9 June 1917 – 1 October 2012) was a British historian of the rise of industrial capitalism, socialism Socialism is a left-wing Economic ideology, economic philosophy and Political movement, movement enco ...

Eric Hobsbawm
and Terrence Ranger have argued that many of these are '' invented traditions'', such as the rituals of the British monarchy, which invoke "thousand year-old tradition" but whose actual form originate in the late nineteenth century, to some extent reviving earlier forms, in this case medieval, that had been discontinued in the meantime. Thus, the appeal to history is important rather than accurate historical transmission.


Invariance

Catherine Bell states that ritual is also invariant, implying careful choreography. This is less an appeal to traditionalism than a striving for timeless repetition. The key to invariance is bodily discipline, as in monastic prayer and meditation meant to mold dispositions and moods. This bodily discipline is frequently performed in unison, by groups.


Rule-governance

Rituals tend to be governed by rules, a feature somewhat like formalism. Rules impose norms on the chaos of behavior, either defining the outer limits of what is acceptable or choreographing each move. Individuals are held to communally approved customs that evoke a legitimate communal authority that can constrain the possible outcomes. Historically, war in most societies has been bound by highly ritualized constraints that limit the legitimate means by which war was waged.


Sacral symbolism

Activities appealing to supernatural beings are easily considered rituals, although the appeal may be quite indirect, expressing only a generalized belief in the existence of the sacred demanding a human response. National flags, for example, may be considered more than signs representing a country. The flag stands for larger symbols such as freedom, democracy, free enterprise or national superiority. Anthropologist Sherry Ortner writes that the flag Particular objects become sacral symbols through a process of
consecration Consecration is the ritual, solemn dedication to a special purpose or service. The word ''consecration'' literally means "association with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by differe ...

consecration
which effectively creates the
sacred Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity; is considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspires awe or Reverence (emotion), reverence among believers. The property is often asc ...
by setting it apart from the profane. Boy Scouts and the armed forces in any country teach the official ways of folding, saluting and raising the flag, thus emphasizing that the flag should never be treated as just a piece of cloth.


Performance

The performance of ritual creates a theatrical-like frame around the activities, symbols and events that shape participant's experience and cognitive ordering of the world, simplifying the chaos of life and imposing a more or less coherent system of categories of meaning onto it. As Barbara Myerhoff put it, "not only is seeing believing, doing is believing."


Genres

For simplicity's sake, the range of diverse rituals can be divided into categories with common characteristics, generally falling into one three major categories: *
rites of passage A rite of passage is a ceremony or ritual of the passage which occurs when an individual leaves one group to enter another. It involves a significant change of social status, status in society. In cultural anthropology the term is the Anglicisat ...

rites of passage
, generally changing an individual's social status; * communal rites, whether of
worship Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being who is considered divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as a god In monotheistic thought ...

worship
, where a community comes together to worship, such as
Jew
Jew
ish
synagogue A synagogue, ', 'house of assembly', or ', "house of prayer"; Yiddish: ''shul'', Ladino: or ' (from synagogue); or ', "community". sometimes referred to as shul, and interchangeably used with the word temple, is a Jewish house of wo ...

synagogue
or
Mass Mass is an Intrinsic and extrinsic properties, intrinsic property of a body. It was traditionally believed to be related to the physical quantity, quantity of matter in a Physical object, physical body, until the discovery of the atom and par ...
, or of another character, such as
fertility rite Fertility rites or fertility cult are religious rituals that are intended to stimulate reproduction in humans or in the natural world. Such rites may involve the sacrifice of "a primal animal, which must be sacrificed in the cause of fertility or e ...
s and certain non-religious
festival A festival is an event ordinarily celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect or aspects of that community and its religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and p ...

festival
s; * rites of personal devotion, where an individual worships, including prayer and
pilgrimage A pilgrimage is a journey, often into an unknown or foreign place, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about their self, others, nature, or a higher good, through the experience. It can lead to a personal transformation, aft ...
s, pledges of allegiance, or
promises to wed someone
promises to wed someone
. However, rituals can fall in more than one category or genre, and may be grouped in a variety of other ways. For example, the anthropologist
Victor Turner Victor Witter Turner (28 May 1920 – 18 December 1983) was a British cultural anthropologist best known for his work on symbols, rituals, and rite of passage, rites of passage. His work, along with that of Clifford Geertz and others, is often ...
writes:


Rites of passage

A rite of passage is a ritual event that marks a person's transition from one
status Status (Latin plural: ''statūs''), is a state, condition, or situation, and may refer to: * Status (law) ** City status ** Legal status, in law ** Political status, in international law ** Small entity status, in patent law ** Status conference ...
to another, including
adoption Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another, usually a child, from that person's biological or legal parent or parents. Legal adoptions permanently transfer all rights and responsibilities, along with filiation, from ...

adoption
,
baptism Baptism (from grc-x-koine, βάπτισμα, váptisma) is a form of ritual purification—a characteristic of many religions throughout time and geography. In Christianity, it is a Christian sacrament of initiation and adoption, almost i ...

baptism
,
coming of age Coming of age is a young person's transition from being a child to being an adult. The specific age at which this transition takes place varies between societies, as does the nature of the change. It can be a simple legal convention or can ...
,
graduation Graduation is the awarding of a diploma to a student by an educational institution. It may also refer to the ceremony that is associated with it. The date of the graduation ceremony is often called graduation day. The graduation ceremony is al ...

graduation
,
inauguration In government and politics, inauguration is the process of Oath of office, swearing a person into Public administration, office and thus making that person the incumbent. Such an inauguration commonly occurs through a formal ceremony or special e ...

inauguration
,
engagement An engagement or betrothal is the period of time between the declaration of acceptance of a marriage proposal and the marriage itself (which is typically but not always commenced with a wedding). During this period, a couple is said to be ''fi ...

engagement
, and
marriage Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between t ...

marriage
. Rites of passage may also include
initiation Initiation is a rite of passage marking entrance or acceptance into a group or society. It could also be a formal admission to adulthood in a community or one of its formal components. In an extended sense, it can also signify a transformation ...

initiation
into groups not tied to a formal stage of life such as a
fraternity A fraternity (from Latin language, Latin ''wiktionary:frater, frater'': "brother (Christian), brother"; whence, "wiktionary:brotherhood, brotherhood") or fraternal organization is an organization, society, club (organization), club or fraternal ...
.
Arnold van Gennep Arnold van Gennep, in full Charles-Arnold Kurr van Gennep (23 April 1873 – 7 May 1957) was a Dutch people, Dutch–German people, German-French people, French Ethnography, ethnographer and Folkloristics, folklorist. Biography He was born in L ...
stated that rites of passage are marked by three stages: ; 1. Separation: Wherein the initiates are separated from their old identities through physical and symbolic means. ; 2. Transition: Wherein the initiated are "betwixt and between".
Victor Turner Victor Witter Turner (28 May 1920 – 18 December 1983) was a British cultural anthropologist best known for his work on symbols, rituals, and rite of passage, rites of passage. His work, along with that of Clifford Geertz and others, is often ...
argued that this stage is marked by
liminality In anthropology, liminality () is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of a rite of passage, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they w ...
, a condition of ambiguity or disorientation in which initiates have been stripped of their old identities, but have not yet acquired their new one. Turner states that "the attributes of
liminality In anthropology, liminality () is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of a rite of passage, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they w ...
or of liminal ''
persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, is the public image of one's personality, the social role that one adopts, or simply a fictional character. The word derives from Latin, where it originally referred to a thea ...

persona
e'' ("threshold people") are necessarily ambiguous". In this stage of liminality or "anti-structure" ( see below), the initiates' role ambiguity creates a sense of
communitas ''Communitas'' is a Latin noun commonly referring either to an unstructured community in which person, people are equal, or to the very spirit of community. It also has special significance as a loanword in cultural anthropology and the social sci ...
or emotional bond of community between them. This stage may be marked by ritual ordeals or ritual training. ; 3. Incorporation: Wherein the initiates are symbolically confirmed in their new identity and community.


Rites of affliction

Anthropologist Victor Turner defines rites of affliction actions that seek to mitigate spirits or supernatural forces that inflict humans with bad luck, illness, gynecological troubles, physical injuries, and other such misfortunes. These rites may include forms of spirit
divination Divination (from Latin ''divinare'', 'to foresee, to foretell, to predict, to prophesy') is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic, standardized process or ritual. Used in various forms throughout history ...

divination
(consulting
oracles An oracle is a person or wikt:agency, agency considered to provide wise and insightful counsel or prophecy, prophetic predictions, most notably including precognition of the future, inspired by Deity, deities. As such, it is a form of divination ...
) to establish causes—and rituals that heal, purify, exorcise, and protect. The misfortune experienced may include individual health, but also broader climate-related issues such as drought or plagues of insects. Healing rites performed by shamans frequently identify social disorder as the cause, and make the restoration of social relationships the cure. Turner uses the example of the Isoma ritual among the Ndembu of northwestern
Zambia Zambia (), officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central Africa, Central, Southern Africa, Southern and East Africa, although it is typically referred to as being in Southern Africa at its most cent ...

Zambia
to illustrate. The Isoma rite of affliction is used to cure a childless woman of infertility. Infertility is the result of a "structural tension between
matrilineal Matrilineality is the tracing of kinship through the female line. It may also correlate with a social system in which each person is identified with their matriline – their mother's Lineage (anthropology), lineage – and which can in ...
descent and virilocal marriage" (i.e., the tension a woman feels between her mother's family, to whom she owes allegiance, and her husband's family among whom she must live). "It is because the woman has come too closely in touch with the 'man's side' in her marriage that her dead matrikin have impaired her fertility." To correct the balance of matrilinial descent and marriage, the Isoma ritual dramatically placates the deceased spirits by requiring the woman to reside with her mother's kin. Shamanic and other ritual may effect a psychotherapeutic cure, leading anthropologists such as Jane Atkinson to theorize how. Atkinson argues that the effectiveness of a shamanic ritual for an individual may depend upon a wider audiences acknowledging the shaman's power, which may lead to the shaman placing greater emphasis on engaging the audience than in the healing of the patient.


Death, mourning, and funerary rites

Many cultures have rites associated with death and mourning, such as the
last rites The last rites, also known as the Commendation of the Dying, are the last prayers and ministrations given to an individual of Christian faith, when possible, dying, shortly before death. They may be administered to those Death row, awaiting ex ...

last rites
and wake in Christianity, ''
shemira ''Shemira'' ( he, שמירה, lit. "watching" or "guarding") refers to the Jewish religious ritual of watching over the body of a deceased person from the time of death until burial. A male guardian is called a ''shomer'' (), and a female guardian ...
'' in Judaism, the ''
antyesti Antyesti (IAST: Antyeṣṭi, sa, अन्त्येष्टि) literally means "last sacrifice", and refers to the funeral rites for the dead in Hinduism, which usually involves cremation of the body. This rite of passage is the last sams ...
'' in Hinduism, and the '' antam sanskar'' in Sikhism.


Calendrical and commemorative rites

Calendrical and commemorative rites are ritual events marking particular times of year, or a fixed period since an important event. Calendrical rituals give social meaning to the passage of time, creating repetitive weekly, monthly or yearly cycles. Some rites are oriented towards a culturally defined moment of change in the climatic cycle, such as
solar term A solar term is any of twenty-four periods in traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar A lunisolar calendar is a calendar in many cultures, combining lunar calendars and solar calendars. The date of Lunisolar calendars therefore indicates both ...
s or the changing of seasons, or they may mark the inauguration of an activity such as planting, harvesting, or moving from winter to summer pasture during the agricultural cycle. They may be fixed by the solar or
lunar calendar A lunar calendar is a calendar based on the monthly cycles of the Moon's lunar phase, phases (Lunar month#Synodic month, synodic months, lunations), in contrast to solar calendars, whose annual cycles are based only directly on the solar year. Th ...
; those fixed by the solar calendar fall on the same day (of the Gregorian, Solar calendar) each year (such as
New Year's Day New Year's Day is a festival observed in most of the world on 1 January, the first day of the year in the modern Gregorian calendar. 1 January is also New Year's Day on the Julian calendar, but this is not the same day as the Gregorian one. Whi ...

New Year's Day
on the first of January) while those calculated by the lunar calendar fall on different dates (of the Gregorian, Solar calendar) each year (such as
Chinese lunar New Year
Chinese lunar New Year
). Calendrical rites impose a cultural order on nature. Mircea Eliade states that the calendrical rituals of many religious traditions recall and commemorate the basic beliefs of a community, and their yearly celebration establishes a link between past and present, as if the original events are happening over again: "Thus the gods did; thus men do."


Rites of sacrifice, exchange, and communion

This genre of ritual encompasses forms of
sacrifice Sacrifice is the offering of material possessions or the lives of animals or humans to a deity as an act of propitiation or worship. Evidence of ritual animal sacrifice has been seen at least since ancient Hebrews and Greeks, and possibly exis ...

sacrifice
and offering meant to praise, please or placate divine powers. According to early anthropologist Edward Tylor, such sacrifices are gifts given in hope of a return. Catherine Bell, however, points out that sacrifice covers a range of practices from those that are manipulative and "magical" to those of pure devotion. Hindu puja, for example, appear to have no other purpose than to please the deity. According to
Marcel Mauss Marcel Mauss (; 10 May 1872 – 10 February 1950) was a French sociologist and anthropologist known as the "father of French ethnology". The nephew of Émile Durkheim, Mauss, in his academic work, crossed the boundaries between sociology and an ...

Marcel Mauss
, sacrifice is distinguished from other forms of offering by being consecrated, and hence sanctified. As a consequence, the offering is usually destroyed in the ritual to transfer it to the deities.


Rites of feasting, fasting, and festivals

Rites of feasting and fasting are those through which a community publicly expresses an adherence to basic, shared religious values, rather than to the overt presence of deities as is found in rites of affliction where feasting or fasting may also take place. It encompasses a range of performances such as communal fasting during
Ramadan , type = islam , longtype = Islam, Religious , image = Ramadan montage.jpg , caption=From top, left to right: A crescent moon over Sarıçam, Turkey, marking the beginning of the Islamic month of Ramadan. Ramadan Quran reading in Bandar Torkaman, I ...

Ramadan
by Muslims; the slaughter of pigs in New Guinea;
Carnival Carnival is a Catholic Christian festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent. The main events typically occur during February or early March, during the period historically known as Shrovetide (or Pre-Lent). Carnival t ...

Carnival
festivities; or penitential processions in Catholicism. Victor Turner described this "cultural performance" of basic values a "social drama". Such dramas allow the social stresses that are inherent in a particular culture to be expressed and worked out symbolically in a ritual catharsis; as the social tensions continue to persist outside the ritual, pressure mounts for the ritual's cyclical performance. In Carnival, for example, the practice of masking allows people to be what they are not, and acts as a general social leveller, erasing otherwise tense social hierarchies in a festival that emphasizes play outside the bounds of normal social limits. Yet outside carnival, social tensions of race, class and gender persist, hence requiring the repeated periodic release found in the festival.


Water rites

A water rite is a rite or
ceremonial A ceremony (, ) is a unified ritualistic event with a purpose, usually consisting of a number of artistic components, performed on a special occasion. The word may be of Etruscan language, Etruscan origin, via the Latin ''Glossary of ancient Rom ...

ceremonial
custom that uses
water Water (chemical formula ) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living ...

water
as its central feature. Typically, a person is immersed or bathed as a symbol of religious indoctrination or
ritual purification Ritual purification is the ritual prescribed by a religion by which a person is considered to be free of ''uncleanliness'', especially prior to the worship of a deity, and ritual purity is a state of ritual cleanliness. Ritual purification may ...
. Examples include the
Mikveh Mikveh or mikvah (,  ''mikva'ot'', ''mikvoth'', ''mikvot'', or (Yiddish) ''mikves'', lit., "a collection") is a bath used for the purpose of ritual washing in Judaism#Full-body immersion, ritual immersion in Judaism to achieve Tumah and tah ...

Mikveh
in
Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots ...
, a custom of purification; misogi in
Shinto Shinto () is a religion from Japan. Classified as an East Asian religions, East Asian religion by Religious studies, scholars of religion, its practitioners often regard it as Japan's indigenous religion and as a nature religion. Scholars somet ...

Shinto
, a custom of spiritual and bodily purification involving bathing in a sacred waterfall, river, or lake;
baptism Baptism (from grc-x-koine, βάπτισμα, váptisma) is a form of ritual purification—a characteristic of many religions throughout time and geography. In Christianity, it is a Christian sacrament of initiation and adoption, almost i ...

baptism
in
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...

Christianity
, a custom and
sacrament A sacrament is a Christianity, Christian Rite (Christianity), rite that is recognized as being particularly important and significant. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites. Many Christians consider the sacraments ...
that represents both purification and initiation into the religious community (the
Christian Church In ecclesiology, the Christian Church is what different Christian denominations conceive of as being the true body of Christians or the original institution established by Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yē ...

Christian Church
); and Amrit Sanskar in
Sikhism Sikhism (), also known as Sikhi ( pa, ਸਿੱਖੀ ', , from pa, ਸਿੱਖ, lit=disciple', 'seeker', or 'learner, translit=Sikh, label=none),''Sikhism'' (commonly known as ''Sikhī'') originated from the word ''Sikh'', which comes fro ...
, a rite of passage (
sanskar Samskara (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Indic scripts as employed by Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, ...
) that similarly represents purification and initiation into the religious community (the
khalsa Khalsa ( pa, ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ, , ) refers to both a community that considers Sikhism as its faith,Kha ...

khalsa
). Rites that use water, but not as their central feature, for example, that include drinking water, are not considered water rites.


Fertility rites


Sexual rituals


Political rituals

According to anthropologist
Clifford Geertz Clifford James Geertz (; August 23, 1926 – October 30, 2006) was an American anthropologist An anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and present Societ ...
, political rituals actually construct power; that is, in his analysis of the Balinese state, he argued that rituals are not an ornament of political power, but that the power of political actors depends upon their ability to create rituals and the cosmic framework within which the social hierarchy headed by the king is perceived as natural and sacred. As a "dramaturgy of power" comprehensive ritual systems may create a cosmological order that sets a ruler apart as a divine being, as in "the divine right" of European kings, or the divine Japanese Emperor. Political rituals also emerge in the form of uncodified or codified conventions practiced by political officials that cement respect for the arrangements of an institution or role against the individual temporarily assuming it, as can be seen in the many rituals still observed within the procedure of
parliament In modern politics, and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws, and overseeing ...

parliament
ary bodies. Ritual can be used as a form of resistance, as for example, in the various Cargo Cults that developed against colonial powers in the South Pacific. In such religio-political movements, Islanders would use ritual imitations of western practices (such as the building of landing strips) as a means of summoning cargo (manufactured goods) from the ancestors. Leaders of these groups characterized the present state (often imposed by colonial capitalist regimes) as a dismantling of the old social order, which they sought to restore.


Anthropological theories


Functionalism

Nineteenth century "History of anthropology, armchair anthropologists" were concerned with the basic question of how religion originated in human history. In the twentieth century their conjectural histories were replaced with new concerns around the question of what these beliefs and practices did for societies, regardless of their origin. In this view, religion was a universal, and while its content might vary enormously, it served certain basic functions such as the provision of prescribed solutions to basic human psychological and social problems, as well as expressing the central values of a society. Bronislaw Malinowski used the concept of function to address questions of individual psychological needs; A.R. Radcliffe-Brown, in contrast, looked for the function (purpose) of the institution or custom in preserving or maintaining society as a whole. They thus disagreed about the relationship of anxiety to ritual. Malinowski argued that ritual was a non-technical means of addressing anxiety about activities where dangerous elements were beyond technical control: "magic is to be expected and generally to be found whenever man comes to an unbridgeable gap, a hiatus in his knowledge or in his powers of practical control, and yet has to continue in his pursuit.". Radcliffe-Brown in contrast, saw ritual as an expression of common interest symbolically representing a community, and that anxiety was felt only if the ritual was not performed. George C. Homans sought to resolve these opposing theories by differentiating between "primary anxieties" felt by people who lack the techniques to secure results, and "secondary (or displaced) anxiety" felt by those who have not performed the rites meant to allay primary anxiety correctly. Homans argued that purification rituals may then be conducted to dispel secondary anxiety. A.R. Radcliffe-Brown argued that ritual should be distinguished from technical action, viewing it as a structured event: "ritual acts differ from technical acts in having in all instances some expressive or symbolic element in them." Edmund Leach, in contrast, saw ritual and technical action less as separate structural types of activity and more as a spectrum: "Actions fall into place on a continuous scale. At one extreme we have actions which are entirely profane, entirely functional, technique pure and simple; at the other we have actions which are entirely sacred, strictly aesthetic, technically non-functional. Between these two extremes we have the great majority of social actions which partake partly of the one sphere and partly of the other. From this point of view technique and ritual, profane and sacred, do not denote ''types'' of action but ''aspects'' of almost any kind of action."


As social control

The Structural functionalism, functionalist model viewed ritual as a homeostatic mechanism to regulate and stabilize social institutions by adjusting social interactions, maintaining a social group, group ethos, and restoring harmony after disputes. Although the functionalist model was soon superseded, later "neofunctional" theorists adopted its approach by examining the ways that ritual regulated larger ecological systems. Roy Rappaport, for example, examined the way Moka exchange, gift exchanges of pigs between tribal groups in Papua New Guinea maintained environmental balance between humans, available food (with pigs sharing the same foodstuffs as humans) and resource base. Rappaport concluded that ritual, "...helps to maintain an undegraded environment, limits fighting to frequencies which do not endanger the existence of regional population, adjusts man-land ratios, facilitates trade, distributes local surpluses of pig throughout the regional population in the form of pork, and assures people of high quality protein when they are most in need of it". Similarly, J. Stephen Lansing traced how the Pawukon, intricate calendar of Balinese Hinduism, Hindu Balinese rituals served to regulate the vast irrigation systems of Bali, ensuring the optimum distribution of water over the system while limiting disputes.


Rebellion

While most Functionalists sought to link ritual to the maintenance of social order, South African Functionalism (sociology), functionalist anthropologist Max Gluckman coined the phrase "rituals of rebellion" to describe a type of ritual in which the accepted social order was symbolically turned on its head. Gluckman argued that the ritual was an expression of underlying social tensions (an idea taken up by Victor W. Turner, Victor Turner), and that it functioned as an institutional pressure valve, relieving those tensions through these cyclical performances. The rites ultimately functioned to reinforce social order, insofar as they allowed those tensions to be expressed without leading to actual rebellion. Carnival of Venice, Carnival is viewed in the same light. He observed, for example, how the first-fruits festival (''incwala'') of the South African Bantu peoples, Bantu kingdom of Swaziland symbolically inverted the normal social order, so that the king was publicly insulted, women asserted their domination over men, and the established authority of elders over the young was turned upside down.


Structuralism

Claude Lévi-Strauss, the French anthropologist, regarded all social and cultural organization as symbolic systems of communication shaped by the inherent structure of the human brain. He therefore argued that the symbol systems are not reflections of social structure as the Functionalists believed, but are imposed on social relations to organize them. Lévi-Strauss thus viewed myth and ritual as complementary symbol systems, one verbal, one non-verbal. Lévi-Strauss was not concerned to develop a theory of ritual (although he did produce a four-volume analysis of myth) but was influential to later scholars of ritual such as Mary Douglas and Edmund Leach.


Structure and anti-structure

Victor Turner Victor Witter Turner (28 May 1920 – 18 December 1983) was a British cultural anthropologist best known for his work on symbols, rituals, and rite of passage, rites of passage. His work, along with that of Clifford Geertz and others, is often ...
combined
Arnold van Gennep Arnold van Gennep, in full Charles-Arnold Kurr van Gennep (23 April 1873 – 7 May 1957) was a Dutch people, Dutch–German people, German-French people, French Ethnography, ethnographer and Folkloristics, folklorist. Biography He was born in L ...
's model of the structure of initiation rites, and Gluckman's functionalist emphasis on the ritualization of social conflict to maintain social equilibrium, with a more structural model of symbols in ritual. Running counter to this emphasis on structured symbolic oppositions within a ritual was his exploration of the liminal phase of rites of passage, a phase in which "anti-structure" appears. In this phase, opposed states such as birth and death may be encompassed by a single act, object or phrase. The dynamic nature of symbols experienced in ritual provides a compelling personal experience; ritual is a "mechanism that periodically converts the obligatory into the desirable". Mary Douglas, a British Functionalist, extended Turner's theory of ritual structure and anti-structure with her own contrasting set of terms "grid" and "group" in the book ''Natural Symbols''. Drawing on Levi-Strauss' Structuralist approach, she saw ritual as symbolic communication that constrained social behaviour. Grid is a scale referring to the degree to which a symbolic system is a shared frame of reference. Group refers to the degree people are tied into a tightly knit community. When graphed on two intersecting axes, four quadrants are possible: strong group/strong grid, strong group/weak grid, weak group/weak grid, weak group/strong grid. Douglas argued that societies with strong group or strong grid were marked by more ritual activity than those weak in either group or grid. (see also, #Ritual as a methodological measure of religiosity, section below)


Anti-structure and communitas

In his analysis of Rite of passage, rites of passage, Victor Turner argued that the liminal phase - that period 'betwixt and between' - was marked by "two models of human interrelatedness, juxtaposed and alternating": structure and anti-structure (or ''communitas''). While the ritual clearly articulated the cultural ideals of a society through ritual symbolism, the unrestrained festivities of the liminal period served to break down social barriers and to join the group into an undifferentiated unity with "no status, property, insignia, secular clothing, rank, kinship position, nothing to demarcate themselves from their fellows". These periods of symbolic inversion have been studied in a diverse range of rituals such as
pilgrimage A pilgrimage is a journey, often into an unknown or foreign place, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about their self, others, nature, or a higher good, through the experience. It can lead to a personal transformation, aft ...
s and Yom Kippur.


Social dramas

Beginning with Max Gluckman's concept of "rituals of rebellion", Victor Turner argued that many types of ritual also served as "social dramas" through which structural social tensions could be expressed, and temporarily resolved. Drawing on Van Gennep's model of initiation rites, Turner viewed these social dramas as a dynamic process through which the community renewed itself through the ritual creation of communitas during the "liminal phase". Turner analyzed the ritual events in 4 stages: breach in relations, crisis, redressive actions, and acts of reintegration. Like Gluckman, he argued these rituals maintain social order while facilitating disordered inversions, thereby moving people to a new status, just as in an initiation rite.


Symbolic approaches to ritual

Clifford Geertz Clifford James Geertz (; August 23, 1926 – October 30, 2006) was an American anthropologist An anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and present Societ ...
also expanded on the symbolic approach to ritual that began with Victor Turner. Geertz argued that religious symbol systems provided both a "model of" reality (showing how to interpret the world as is) as well as a "model for" reality (clarifying its ideal state). The role of ritual, according to Geertz, is to bring these two aspects – the "model of" and the "model for" – together: "it is in ritual – that is consecrated behaviour – that this conviction that religious conceptions are veridical and that religious directives are sound is somehow generated." Symbolic anthropologists like Geertz analyzed rituals as language-like codes to be interpreted independently as cultural systems. Geertz rejected Functionalist arguments that ritual describes social order, arguing instead that ritual actively shapes that social order and imposes meaning on disordered experience. He also differed from Gluckman and Turner's emphasis on ritual action as a means of resolving social passion, arguing instead that it simply displayed them.


As a form of communication

Whereas Victor Turner saw in ritual the potential to release people from the binding structures of their lives into a liberating anti-structure or communitas, Maurice Bloch argued that ritual produced conformity. Maurice Bloch argued that ritual communication is unusual in that it uses a special, restricted vocabulary, a small number of permissible illustrations, and a restrictive grammar. As a result, ritual utterances become very predictable, and the speaker is made anonymous in that they have little choice in what to say. The restrictive syntax reduces the ability of the speaker to make propositional arguments, and they are left, instead, with utterances that cannot be contradicted such as "I do thee wed" in a wedding. These kinds of utterances, known as performatives, prevent speakers from making political arguments through logical argument, and are typical of what Weber called traditional authority instead. Bloch's model of ritual language denies the possibility of creativity. Thomas Csordas, in contrast, analyzes how ritual language can be used to innovate. Csordas looks at groups of rituals that share performative elements ("genres" of ritual with a shared "poetics"). These rituals may fall along the spectrum of formality, with some less, others more formal and restrictive. Csordas argues that innovations may be introduced in less formalized rituals. As these innovations become more accepted and standardized, they are slowly adopted in more formal rituals. In this way, even the most formal of rituals are potential avenues for creative expression.


As a disciplinary program

In his historical analysis of articles on ritual and rite in the ''Encyclopædia Britannica'', Talal Asad notes that from 1771 to 1852, the brief articles on ritual define it as a "book directing the order and manner to be observed in performing divine service" (i.e., as a script). There are no articles on the subject thereafter until 1910, when a new, lengthy article appeared that redefines ritual as "...a type of routine behaviour that symbolizes or expresses something". As a symbolic activity, it is no longer confined to religion, but is distinguished from technical action. The shift in definitions from script to behavior, which is likened to a text, is matched by a semantic distinction between ritual as an ''outward sign'' (i.e., public symbol) and ''inward meaning''. The emphasis has changed to establishing the meaning of public symbols and abandoning concerns with inner emotional states since, as E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Evans-Pritchard wrote "such emotional states, if present at all, must vary not only from individual to individual, but also in the same individual on different occasions and even at different points in the same rite." Asad, in contrast, emphasizes behavior and inner emotional states; rituals are to be performed, and mastering these performances is a skill requiring disciplined action. Drawing on the example of Medieval monastic life in Europe, he points out that ritual in this case refers to its original meaning of the "...book directing the order and manner to be observed in performing divine service". This book "prescribed practices, whether they had to do with the proper ways of eating, sleeping, working, and praying or with proper moral dispositions and spiritual aptitudes, aimed at developing virtues that are put 'to the service of God.'" Monks, in other words, were disciplined in the Discipline and Punish, Foucauldian sense. The point of monastic discipline was to learn skills and appropriate emotions. Asad contrasts his approach by concluding:


As a form of social solidarity

Ethnographic observation shows ritual can create social solidarity. Douglas Foley Went to North Town, Texas, between 1973 and 1974 to study public high school culture. He used interviews, participant observation, and unstructured chatting to study racial tension and capitalist culture in his ethnography ''Learning Capitalist Culture''. Foley refers to football games and Friday Night Lights as a community ritual. This ritual united the school and created a sense of solidarity and community on a weekly basis involving pep rallies and the game itself. Foley observed judgement and segregation based on class, social status, wealth, and gender. He described Friday Night Lights as a ritual that overcomes those differences: "The other, gentler, more social side of football was, of course, the emphasis on camaraderie, loyalty, friendship between players, and pulling together".


Ritualization

Asad's work critiqued the notion that there were universal characteristics of ritual to be found in all cases. Catherine Bell has extended this idea by shifting attention from ritual as a category, to the processes of "ritualization" by which ritual is created as a cultural form in a society. Ritualization is "a way of acting that is designed and orchestrated to distinguish and privilege what is being done in comparison to other, usually more quotidian, activities".


Sociobiology and behavioral neuroscience

Anthropologists have also analyzed ritual via insights from other behavioral sciences. The idea that cultural rituals share behavioral similarities with personal rituals of individuals was discussed early on by Freud. Dulaney, Kentucky, Dulaney and Alan Fiske, Fiske compared ethnographic descriptions of both rituals and non-ritual doings, such as work to behavioral descriptions from clinical descriptions of
obsessive–compulsive disorder Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is a Mental disorder, mental and Abnormal behavior, behavioral Disease#Disorder, disorder in which an individual has intrusive thoughts and/or feels the need to perform certain routines repeatedly to the ...
(OCD). They note that OCD behavior often consists of such behavior as constantly cleaning objects, concern or disgust with bodily waste or secretions, repetitive actions to prevent harm, heavy emphasis on number or order of actions etc. They then show that ethnographic descriptions of cultural rituals contain around 5 times more of such content than ethnographic descriptions of other activities such as "work". Fiske later repeated similar analysis with more descriptions from a larger collection of different cultures, also contrasting descriptions of cultural rituals to descriptions of other behavioral disorders (in addition to OCD), in order to show that only OCD-like behavior (not other illnesses) shares properties with rituals. The authors offer tentative explanations for these findings, for example that these behavioral traits are widely needed for survival, to control risk, and cultural rituals are often performed in the context of perceived collective risk. Other anthropologists have taken these insights further, and constructed more elaborate theories based on the brain functions and physiology. Liénard and Pascal Boyer, Boyer suggest that commonalities between obsessive behavior in individuals and similar behavior in collective contexts possibly share similarities due to underlying mental processes they call hazard precaution. They suggest that individuals of societies seem to pay more attention to information relevant to avoiding hazards, which in turn can explain why collective rituals displaying actions of hazard precaution are so popular and prevail for long periods in cultural transmission.


Ritual as a methodological measure of religiosity

According to the sociologist Mervin F. Verbit, Mervin Verbit, ritual may be understood as one of the key components of religiosity. And ritual itself may be broken down into four dimensions; content, frequency, intensity and centrality. The content of a ritual may vary from ritual to ritual, as does the frequency of its practice, the intensity of the ritual (how much of an impact it has on the practitioner), and the centrality of the ritual (in that religious tradition). In this sense, ritual is similar to Charles Y. Glock, Charles Glock's "practice" dimension of religiosity.


Religious perspectives

In religion, a ritual can comprise the prescribed outward forms of performing the ''wiktionary:cultus, cultus'', or cult (religion), cult, of a particular observation within a religion or religious denomination. Although ritual is often used in context with worship performed in a church, the actual relationship between any religion's doctrine and its ritual(s) can vary considerably from organized religion to non-institutionalized spirituality, such as ayahuasca shamanism as practiced by the Urarina of the upper Amazon. Rituals often have a close connection with Reverence (emotion), reverence, thus a ritual in many cases expresses reverence for a deity or idealized state of humanity.


Christianity

In Christianity, a rite is used to refer to a sacred ceremony (such as anointing of the sick), which may or may not carry the status of a
sacrament A sacrament is a Christianity, Christian Rite (Christianity), rite that is recognized as being particularly important and significant. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites. Many Christians consider the sacraments ...
depending on the Christian denomination (in Roman Catholicism, anointing of the sick is a sacrament while in Lutheranism it is not). The word "rite" is also used to denote a Christian liturgy, liturgical tradition usually emanating from a specific center; examples include the Roman Rite, the Byzantine Rite, and the Sarum Rite. Such rites may include various sub-rites. For example, the Byzantine Rite (which is used by the Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Lutheran, and Eastern Catholic churches) has Greek, Russian, and other ethnically-based variants.


Islam

For daily prayers in Islam, daily prayers, practicing Muslims must perform a ritual recitation from the Quran in Arabic while bowing and prostrating in Islam, prostrating. Quranic chapter 2 prescribes rituals such as the direction to face for prayers (qiblah); pilgimage (Hajj), and fasting in Ramadan. Iḥrām is a state of ritual purity in preparation for pilgrimage in Islam. Hajj rituals include circumambulation around the Kaʿbah.... ''and show us our rites'' - these rites (manāsik) are presumed the rituals of ḥajj. ''Truly Ṣafā and Marwah are among the rituals of God'' Saʿy is the ritual travel, partway between walking and running, seven times between the two hills.


Freemasonry

In Freemasonry, rituals are scripted words and actions which employ Masonic symbolism to illustrate the principles espoused by Freemasons. These rituals are progressively taught to entrusted members during initiation into a particular Masonic rite composed of a series of degrees conferred by a Masonic bodies, Masonic body. The degrees of Freemasonry derive from the three grades of medieval craft guilds; those of "Entered Apprentice", "Journeyman" (or "Fellowcraft"), and "Master Mason". In North America, Freemasons who have been raised to the degree of "Master Mason” have the option of joining appendant bodies that offer additional degrees to those, such as those of the Scottish Rite or the York Rite.


See also


References


Cited literature

* * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* Aractingi, Jean-Marc and G. Le Pape. (2011) "Rituals and catechisms in Ecumenical Rite" in ''East and West at the Crossroads Masonic'', Editions l'Harmattan- Paris . * Bax, Marcel. (2010). 'Rituals'. In: Jucker, Andeas H. & Taavitsainen, Irma, eds. ''Handbook of Pragmatics, Vol. 8: Historical Pragmatics''. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 483–519. * Bloch, Maurice. (1992) ''Prey into Hunter: The Politics of Religious Experience''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Buc, Philippe. (2001) ''The Dangers of Ritual. Between Early Medieval Texts and Social Scientific Theory''. Princeton: Princeton University Press. * Buc, Philippe. (2007). 'The monster and the critics. A ritual reply'. ''Early Medieval Europe'' 15: 441–52. * Carrico, K., ed. (2011). 'Ritual.' ''Cultural Anthropology'' (Journal of the Society for Cultural Anthropology). Virtual Issue: http://www.culanth.org/?q=node/462. * D'Aquili, Eugene G., Charles D. Laughlin and John McManus. (1979) ''The Spectrum of Ritual: A Biogenetic Structural Analysis''. New York: Columbia University Press. * Douglas, Mary. (1966) ''Purity and danger, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo''. London: Routledge. * Durkheim, E. (1965 [1915]). ''The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life''. New York: The Free Press. * Amitai Etzioni, Etzioni, Amitai. (2000).
Toward a theory of public ritual.
''Sociological Theory'' 18(1): 44-59. * Erik Erikson, Erikson, Erik. (1977) ''Toys and Reasons: Stages in the Ritualization of Experience''. New York: Norton. * Fogelin, L. (2007). The Archaeology of Religious Ritual. ''Annual Review of Anthropology'' 36: 55–71. * Arnold van Gennep, Gennep, Arnold van. (1960) ''The Rites of Passage''. Chicago: Chicago University Press. * Grimes, Ronald L. (2014) ''The Craft of Ritual Studies''. New York: Oxford University Press. * Grimes, Ronald L. (1982, 2013) ''Beginnings in Ritual Studies''. Third edition. Waterloo, Canada: Ritual Studies International. * Kyriakidis, E., ed. (2007) ''The archaeology of ritual''. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology UCLA publications * Lawson, E.T. & McCauley, R.N. (1990) ''Rethinking Religion: Connecting Cognition and Culture''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Bronisław Malinowski, Malinowski, Bronisław. (1948) ''Magic, Science and Religion''. Boston: Beacon Press. * McCorkle Jr., William W. (2010) ''Ritualizing the Disposal of Dead Bodies: From Corpse to Concept''. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. * Perniola Mario. (2000). ''Ritual Thinking. Sexuality, Death, World'', foreword by Hugh J. Silverman, with author's introduction, Amherst (USA), Humanity Books. * Post, Paul (2015) 'Ritual Studies', in: ''Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion'' 1-23. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199340378.013.21 * Roy Rappaport, Rappaport, Roy A. (1999) ''Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Seijo, F. (2005). "The Politics of Fire: Spanish Forest Policy and Ritual Resistance in Galicia, Spain". ''Environmental Politics'' 14 (3): 380–402 * Silverstein, M. (2003). ''Talking Politics :The Substance of Style from Abe to "W"''. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press (distributed by University of Chicago). * Silverstein, M. (2004). ""Cultural" Concepts and the Language-Culture Nexus". ''Current Anthropology'' 45: 621–52. * Jonathan Z. Smith, Smith, Jonathan Z. (1987) ''To Take Place: Toward Theory in Ritual''. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. * Frits Staal, Staal, Frits (1990) ''Ritual and Mantras: Rules Without Meaning''. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. * Stollberg-Rilinger, Barbara (2013). ''Rituale''. Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2013 * Utz, Richard. “Negotiating Heritage: Observations on Semantic Concepts, Temporality, and the Centre for the Study of the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals.”
Philologie im Netz
' (2011): 70-87. * Yatromanolakis, Dimitrios and Panagiotis Roilos, (2003). ''Towards a Ritual Poetics'', Athens, Foundation of the Hellenic World. * Yatromanolakis, Dimitrios and Panagiotis Roilos (eds.), (2005) ''Greek Ritual Poetics'', Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press. {{sister bar, auto=yes, wikt=ritual Ritual, Cultural conventions