Knockout Narratives Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Original Essays | January 19, 2015

    Emma Hooper: IMG From Musician to Novelist



    I was asleep on the floor of the magicians' apartment. Not one, but three magicians lived there, and their mysterious, mischievous, and sometimes... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$40.95
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
25 Remote Warehouse Sociology- General

This title in other editions

Other titles in the Oxford Ritual Studies series:

Ritual Efficacy (Oxford Ritual Studies)

by

Ritual Efficacy (Oxford Ritual Studies) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Rituals transform citizens into presidents and princesses into queens. They transform sick persons into healthy ones, and public space into prohibited sanctuary. Shamanic rituals heal, legal rituals bind, political rituals ratify, and religious rituals sanctify. But how exactly do they accomplish these things? How do rituals work? This is the question of ritual efficacy, and although it is one of the very first questions that people everywhere ask of rituals, surprisingly little has been written on the topic. In fact, this collection of 10 contributed essays is the first to explicitly address the question of ritual efficacy. The authors do not aspire to answer the question 'how do rituals work?' in a simplistic fashion, but rather to show how complex the question is. While some contributors do indeed advance a particular theory of ritual efficacy, others ask whether the question makes any sense at all, and most show how complex it is by referring to the sociocultural environment in which it is posed, since the answer depends on who is asking the question, and what criteria they use to evaluate the efficacy of ritual. In his introduction, William Sax emphasizes that the very notion of ritual efficacy is a suspicious one because, according to a widespread 'modern' and 'scientific' viewpoint, rituals are merely expressive, and therefore cannot be efficacious. Rituals are thought of as superficial, 'merely symbolic,' and certainly not effective. Nevertheless many people insist that rituals 'work,' and the various positions taken on the question tell us a great deal about the social and historical background of the people involved. One essay, for example, illuminates a dispute between 'materialist' and 'enlightenment' Catholics in Ecuador, with the former affirming the notion of ritual efficacy and the latter doubting it. In other essays, contributors address instances in which orthodox religious figures (mullahs, church authorities, and even scientific positivists) discount the efficacy of rituals. In several of the essays, 'modern' people are suspicious of rituals and tend to deny their efficacy, confirming the theme highlighted in Sax's introduction.

Synopsis:

How do rituals work? Although this is one of the first questions that people everywhere ask about rituals, little has been written explicitly on the topic. In The Problem of Ritual Efficacy, nine scholars address this issue, ranging across the fields of history, anthropology, medicine, and biblical studies.

For "modern" people, the very notion of ritual efficacy is suspicious because rituals are widely thought of as merely symbolic or expressive, so that - by definition - they cannot be efficacious. Nevertheless people in many cultures assume that rituals do indeed "work," and when we take a closer look at who makes claims for ritual efficacy (and who disputes such claims), we learn a great deal about the social and historical contexts of such debates. Moving from the pre-modern era-in which the notion of ritual efficacy was not particularly controversial-into the skeptical present, the authors address a set of debates between positivists, natural scientists, and religious skeptics on the one side, and interpretive social scientists, phenomenologists, and religious believers on the other. Some contributors advance a particular theory of ritual efficacy while others ask whether the question makes any sense at all.

This path-breaking interdisciplinary collection will be of interest to readers in anthropology, history, religious studies, humanities and the social sciences broadly defined, and makes an important contribution to the larger conversation about what ritual does and why it matters to think about such things.

About the Author

For more information on the Oxford Ritual Studies Series, visit http://ritualstudies.com

Table of Contents

1. Ritual and the Problem of Efficacy

William S. Sax

2. Ritual Healing and the Investiture of the Babylonian King

Claus Ambos

3. Jesus and his Followers as Healers: Symbolic Healing in Early Christianity

Gerd Theiseen

4. Healing Rituals in the Mediaeval West

Peter Dinzelbacher

5. Excommunication in the Middle Ages: A meta-ritual and the many faces of its efficacy

Paul Toebelmann

6. The Work of Zâr: Women and Spirit Possession in Northern Sudan

Janice Boddy

7. Ritual Humility in Modern Laboratories: Or, Why Ecuadorian IVF Practitioners Pray

Elizabeth Roberts

8. Ritual, Medicine, and the Placebo Response

Howard Brody

9. Bell, Bourdieu and Wittgenstein on Ritual Sense

Johannes Quack

1. Ritual and the Problem of Efficacy, William S. Sax

2. Ritual Healing and the Investiture of the Babylonian King, Claus Ambos

3. Jesus and his Followers as Healers: Symbolic Healing in Early Christianity, Gerd Theiseen

4. Healing Rituals in the Mediaeval West, Peter Dinzelbacher

5. Excommunication in the Middle Ages: A meta-ritual and the many faces of its efficacy, Paul Toebelmann

6. The Work of Zâr: Women and Spirit Possession in Northern Sudan, Janice Boddy

7. Ritual Humility in Modern Laboratories: Or, Why Ecuadorian IVF Practitioners Pray, Elizabeth Roberts

8. Ritual, Medicine, and the Placebo Response, Howard Brody

9. Bell, Bourdieu and Wittgenstein on Ritual Sense, Johannes Quack

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195394412
Author:
Sax, William
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Editor:
Weinhold, Jan
Editor:
Quack, Johannes
Author:
null, Johannes
Author:
null, Jan
Author:
Weinhold, Jan
Author:
Null, William
Author:
Quack, Johannes
Subject:
Ritual
Subject:
Customs & Traditions
Subject:
Christian Rituals & Practice - General
Subject:
Ritual & Practices
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
Theology | Symbol, Ritual
Subject:
Practice
Subject:
Religion & Theology | Symbol, Ritual & Practice
Subject:
Sociology - General
Series:
Oxford Ritual Studies
Publication Date:
20100131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
6.1 x 9.2 x 0.5 in 0.669 lb

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
History and Social Science » Linguistics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Religion » Christianity » Devotionals
Religion » Comparative Religion » Religious Experience

Ritual Efficacy (Oxford Ritual Studies) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$40.95 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780195394412 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , How do rituals work? Although this is one of the first questions that people everywhere ask about rituals, little has been written explicitly on the topic. In The Problem of Ritual Efficacy, nine scholars address this issue, ranging across the fields of history, anthropology, medicine, and biblical studies.

For "modern" people, the very notion of ritual efficacy is suspicious because rituals are widely thought of as merely symbolic or expressive, so that - by definition - they cannot be efficacious. Nevertheless people in many cultures assume that rituals do indeed "work," and when we take a closer look at who makes claims for ritual efficacy (and who disputes such claims), we learn a great deal about the social and historical contexts of such debates. Moving from the pre-modern era-in which the notion of ritual efficacy was not particularly controversial-into the skeptical present, the authors address a set of debates between positivists, natural scientists, and religious skeptics on the one side, and interpretive social scientists, phenomenologists, and religious believers on the other. Some contributors advance a particular theory of ritual efficacy while others ask whether the question makes any sense at all.

This path-breaking interdisciplinary collection will be of interest to readers in anthropology, history, religious studies, humanities and the social sciences broadly defined, and makes an important contribution to the larger conversation about what ritual does and why it matters to think about such things.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.