Barbara Kowalzig

in Singing for the Gods

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780199219964
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191712968 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs


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This chapter establishes the conceptual framework that underlies the set of unorthodox observations made in the main body of the book, which deals with actual instantiations of aetiologcial myth in choral ritual. It explains why the study of myth and ritual has turned into something like deadlock, where little progress is made in the conceptual debate. It also clarifies that historical and geographical rooting in actual performance can make a difference to the question. It notes that one underlying idea in the argument is that aetiological myth and ritual come to interact in a performative context due to an inherent similarity in their workings, specifically with respect to their relationship to ‘time’ and ‘place’. It discusses both myth and ritual in this perspective, and engages with the specific qualities of ‘performance’ as a third category of social activity.

Keywords: aetiologcial myth; choral ritual; time; place; performance; social activity

Chapter.  23490 words. 

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

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