Religion and Ritual

J. A. Baird

in The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199589531
Published online April 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

Religion and Ritual

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  • Social and Cultural History



This article examines the relationship between religious practices and the built environment, and how ritual and ceremony shaped movement through early cities. It explores how ritual and ceremony inscribed meaning onto the urban landscape, and how this dialogue fashioned religious activity in cities over time. It focuses on the cities of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, but also looks at comparative evidence from other early cities, including those of Mesoamerica and China. The following themes are considered: the spatiality of religion in early cities; the temporality of religion in early cities; the religious organization of cities; and religious communities in urban environments.

Keywords: religious practices; cities; ceremony; urban landscape; ancient cities; ancient Mediterranean; Near East; Mesoamerica; China; religious organization

Article.  7908 words. 

Subjects: History ; Social and Cultural History

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