Beyond Absolute Time and Space

Frédérique Apffel-Marglin

in Subversive Spiritualities

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199793853
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919246 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ritual Studies Series

Beyond Absolute Time and Space

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Chapter 9 elaborates a theory of ritual. The chapter argues that the ontology of time and space as universals, time as linear and space as a container, as given backdrops to human actions, render the work of ritual invisible. The first part focuses on the category of Time and includes a brief genealogy of ways of measuring it. It also invites us to reconsider the category of “history.” The second part focuses on the category of universal space. It argues that the notion of space as pre-given has important entailments for one's understanding of the human person, leading to an anthropocentric understanding of the person. The final part argues that ritual performances cannot be understood in a representationalist mode, but rather as actions meant to create continuity and a livable common world.

Keywords: universal time; universal space; container; time measurement; history; human person; continuity; livable world

Chapter.  8006 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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