jacket, Ritual

Ritual A Very Short Introduction - Very Short Introductions

Paperback (22 Jan 2015) | English

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Synopsis

Ritual is part of what it means to be human. Like sports, music, and drama, ritual defines and enriches culture, putting those who practice it in touch with sources of value and meaning larger than themselves. Ritual is unavoidable, yet it holds a place in modern life that is decidedly ambiguous. What is ritual? What does it do? Is it useful? What are the various kinds of ritual? Is ritual tradition bound and conservative or innovative and transformational? Alongside description of a number of specific rites, this Very Short Introduction explores ritual from both theoretical and historical perspectives. Barry Stephenson focuses on the places where ritual touches everyday life: in politics and power; moments of transformation in the life cycle; as performance and embodiment. He also discusses the boundaries of ritual, and how and why certain behaviors have been studied as ritual while others have not. Stephenson shows how ritual is an important vehicle for group and identity formation; how it generates and transmits beliefs and values; how it can be used to exploit and oppress; and how it has served as a touchstone for thinking about cultural origins and historical change. Encompassing the breadth and depth of modern ritual studies, Barry Stephenson's Very Short Introduction also develops a narrative of ritual's place in social and cultural life. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

About the Publisher

Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Our products cover an extremely broad academic and educational spectrum, and we aim to make our content available to our users in whichever format suits them best.We publish for all audiences–from pre-school to secondary level schoolchildren; students to academics; general readers to researchers; individuals to institutions. Our range includes dictionaries, English language teaching materials, children's books, journals, scholarly monographs, printed music, higher education textbooks, and schoolbooks.

Book information

ISBN: 9780199943524
Publisher: OUP USA
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 201.3
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 126
Weight: 128g
Height: 113mm
Width: 176mm
Spine width: 5mm