The Demise of a Ritual

F. S. Naiden

in Smoke Signals for the Gods

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199916405
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980277 | DOI:
The Demise of a Ritual

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This concluding chapter argues that recent scholarship has substituted an etic for an emic view of sacrifice, not only where such a substitution is unavoidable but where it is avoidable, and where it leads to misunderstanding of ancient practices. The word “ritual” is the etic concept that causes this mistake, and so this chapter proposes that the word “ritual” no longer be used to describe Greek practices, and the “offering,” as in “burnt offering,” be used instead. This criticism, or something like it, applies to Romance languages as well as English, but not to the German term “Opfer.”

Keywords: emic; etic; ritual

Chapter.  6576 words. 

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

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