Religious and Social Ritual

Interdisciplinary Explorations

Edited by Michael B. Aune & Valerie DeMarinis

Subjects: Sociology Of Religion
Paperback : 9780791428269, 323 pages, February 1996
Hardcover : 9780791428252, 323 pages, February 1996

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Table of contents




Introductory Essay

John Hilary Martin

1  Bringing the Power of the Past into the Present
Murrinh-patha Ritual

John Hilary Martin

2  Power in the Palace
The Investiture of a Javanese Sultan

Clare B. fischer

3  Realizing Inherent Enlightenment
Ritual and Self-Transformation in Shingon Buddhism

Ricahrd K. Payne

4  Ritual Power, Ritual Authority
Configurations and Reconfigurations in the Era of Manifestations

Martha Ellen Stortz


 Introductory Essay

Michael B. Aune

5  The Subject of Ritual
Ideology and Experience in Action

Michael B. Aune

6  "Let Every Tongue, by Art Refined, Mingl Its Softest Notes With Mine"
An Exploration of Hymn-Singing Events and Dimensions of Knowing

Rebecca J. Slough 


Introductory Essay

Valerie DeMarinis

7  Ritual and Psychotherapy
Similarities and Differences

Volney P. Gay

8  A Psychotherapeutic Exploration of Religious Ritual as Mediator of Memory and Meaning
A Clinical Case Presentation of the Therapeutic Efficacy of Incorporating Religious Ritual into Therapy

Valerie DeMarinis

9  The Significance of Ritual in the Case of Joanne
Insights from Depth Psychology

Joseph D. Driskill

10  Western Hospitalization for Surgery a "Rite of Passage"

William R. Noonan



Examines particular rituals (social and religious) as a special kind of cultural performance or interaction in a wide variety of traditions and locations.


In Religious and Social Ritual, ten scholars examine particular rituals as a special kind of cultural performance or interaction in a wide variety of traditions and locations. In so doing, they surface timely theoretical and methodological issues and engage fundamental questions such as how and why these performances and interactions do what they do. Each investigation is conducted with careful attention to cultural, cross-cultural, social, and contextual factors that make it possible to enter into the ritual participant's world and worldview. Moreover, these essays take seriously the interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary emphasis of ritual studies and incorporate the historical, methodological, and autobiographical situations of their authors in responsible and graceful ways. For scholars, teachers, and students of ritual in a variety of settings, Religious and Social Ritual provides both significant scholarship and an invitation to further conversation about one of the most important topics in the contemporary study of religion and culture.

Michael B. Aune is Professor of Worship at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and Core Doctoral Faculty Member, Arts, Worship, and Proclamation at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He is the author of "To Move the Heart": Philip Melanchthon's Rhetorical View of Rite and Its Implications for Contemporary Ritual Theory. Valerie DeMarinis is Associate Professor at Uppsala University in Sweden. She is the author of Critical Caring and co-editor of Clinical Psychology of Religion: European and American Interdisciplinary Explorations.


"This is a very timely work in a field of enquiry that has tremendous implications for human praxis. It articulates what many skilled practitioners of liturgical and ritual arts have known for centuries, but it does so within new 'episteme' (Foucault) or new styles of knowing and legitimating. It addresses cultural and religious activities that were wrongly denigrated by those rather conceited 'fathers' (and children) of the European Enlightenment. It will be an excellent text for graduate seminars, for theological courses, for intelligent laypeople in many religious traditions, and for a broad spectrum of courses in any contemporary university engaged in cultural studies. " — Robert M. Garvin, State University of New York at Albany