The Problem of Ritual Efficacy (Oxford Ritual Studies)

Published by Oxford University Press 2010-01-15, 2010
ISBN 10: 0195394410 / ISBN 13: 9780195394412
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0195394410 LIKE NEW/UNREAD!!! Text is Clean and Unmarked! Has a small black line on the bottom/exterior edge of pages. Tracking is not available for orders shipped outside of the United States. **Heavier books will require additional postage for International** PA Sales Tax is included in purchase price. Bookseller Inventory #

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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.

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

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Title: The Problem of Ritual Efficacy (Oxford ...
Publisher: Oxford University Press 2010-01-15
Publication Date: 2010
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: 1.

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780195394412

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.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. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780195394412

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780195394412

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Book Description Oxford University Press, USA. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 208 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.1in. x 0.5in.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. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780195394412

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