A ritual might include a gesture, a phrasing, an object, or a symbol or series of symbols designed to influence or persuade on behalf of the actor. Characteristics of ritual include formalism, traditionalism, invariance, symbolism, and performance; these characteristics govern religious practices, as well as social and common practices such as hand-shaking or saying hello.
Some propose that the act of naming something as ritual is the act of an outsider, which can position ritual as irrational or illogical.
- Coming soon
Rationale for Teaching
There are histories of ritual performance in almost all recorded communities, both human and animal. Because of this, ritual can considered an important site for learners to explore their own rituals- both formal and common- as ways we connect with or exclude others.
- Everyday rituals
- Rites of passage
- What is the significance of everyday rituals, how do they get established, and what causes them to change or evolve?
- What are different ways to mark transitions and how do we honor or celebrate those rites of passage?
- What is considered “taboo” and how might the definition of taboo differ from community to community?