Public Space to Secret Place

Paul Christopher Johnson

in Secrets, Gossip, and Gods

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780195150582
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834358 | DOI:
 Public Space to Secret Place

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Shifts attention to the contemporary ritual practice of secrecy, focusing especially on initiation as a rite of passage. The chapter addresses (1) how secrecy is communicated and expressed spatially, (2) how that concept of a space of secrecy is transmitted from the group to arriving individuals and reproduced in the “closed bodies” of individuals sealed by initiation, and (3) how the reproduction of secrecy relies upon and incorporates coordinates of national legitimacy created between 1890 and 1940 to mark the spatial progression of the initiate. It is demonstrated that secrecy has less to do with the restriction of information than with bodily containment and the making of a “closed body” (corpo fechado).

Keywords: body; initiation; rite of passage; ritual; secrecy; space

Chapter.  15822 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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