Words and Deeds is a collection of articles on rituals in South Asia with a special focus on their texts and context. The volume presupposes that a comprehensive definition of "ritual" does not exist. Instead, the papers in it avoid essentialist definitions, allowing for a possible polythetic definition of the concept to emerge. Papers in this volume include those on Initiation, Pre-Natal Rites, Religious Processions, Royal Consecration, Rituals which mark the commencement of ritual, Rituals of devotion and Vedic sacrifice as well as contributions which address the broader theoretical issues of engaging in the study of ritual texts and ritual practice, both from the etic and the emic perspective. These studies show that any study of the relationship between the text and the context of rituals must also allow for the possibility that different categories of performers can and do subjectively constitute the relationship between their ritual knowledge and ritual practice, between text and context in differing and nuanced ways.
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