Ritual and the Rhythms of Ambiguity

Adam B. Seligman and Robert P. Weller

in Rethinking Pluralism

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199915262
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980215 | DOI:
Ritual and the Rhythms of Ambiguity

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This chapter analyzes ritual’s ability simultaneously to create and to cross boundaries. It emphasizes in particular the way ritual defines social time through its rhythmic repetitions. Rituals define and bind things, people, times, and spaces. In doing so, they also forge links to what lies beyond their immediate fields. This chapter argues that rituals offer a way to live in a plural and hence also deeply ambiguous universe.

Keywords: rhythm; ritual; repetition; time

Chapter.  11298 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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