Chapter

6. Ritual as performance

Barry Stephenson

in Ritual

Published in print January 2015 | ISBN: 9780199943524
Published online February 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780199394432 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780199943524.003.0007

Series: Very Short Introductions

6. Ritual as performance

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  • Sociology and Anthropology of Religion
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Cross-culturally, ritual typically includes elements commonly associated with performance events: music or rhythmic accompaniment; dance or other stylized bodily movements; and masking, costuming, and makeup. ‘Ritual as performance’ considers performance theory and performance studies and some of the work of significant theorists in these fields: J. L. Austin and Richard Schechner. By looking at the kōan tradition of Zen Buddhism, Schechner's approach to ritual can be better understood. Schechner places performance on a continuum that runs from efficacy to entertainment. The notions of embodiment and inscription in ritual studies are also considered along with the noetic implications of ritual action, such as pilgrimage.

Keywords: action; bell; Buddhism; dance; pilgrimage; tradition

Chapter.  4906 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology and Anthropology of Religion ; Customs and Traditions ; Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology ; Social and Cultural Anthropology

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