Ritual and Its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity

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9780195336016: Ritual and Its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity

This pioneering, interdisciplinary work shows how rituals allow us to live in a perennially imperfect world. Drawing on a variety of cultural settings, the authors utilize psychoanalytic and anthropological perspectives to describe how ritual--like play--creates "as if" worlds, rooted in the imaginative capacity of the human mind to create a subjunctive universe. The ability to cross between imagined worlds is central to the human capacity for empathy. Ritual, they claim, defines the boundaries of these imagined worlds, including those of empathy and other realms of human creativity, such as music, architecture and literature.

The authors juxtapose this ritual orientation to a "sincere" search for unity and wholeness. The sincere world sees fragmentation and incoherence as signs of inauthenticity that must be overcome. Our modern world has accepted the sincere viewpoint at the expense of ritual, dismissing ritual as mere convention. In response, the authors show how the conventions of ritual allow us to live together in a broken world. Ritual is work, endless work. But it is among the most important things that we humans do.

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About the Author:


Adam B. Seligman is Professor of Religion and Research Associate at the Institute for Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University.
Robert P. Weller is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Research Associate at the Institute for Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University.
Michael J. Puett is Professor of Chinese History at Harvard University.
Bennett Simon is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Training and Supervising Analyst at Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.

Review:


"In this whirligig world we do not know what to do apart from the done thing. Ritual and courtesy are, in contemporary parlance, suspect activities surplus to requirements. Like conformity, ritual attracts the adjectives 'mere,' 'meaningless,' 'external,' 'empty' and 'inauthentic.' This book brilliantly expounds the creative potential and the necessity of ritual, and exposes the destructive possibilities of sincerity. It could be seen as part of a Jewish riposte to Christianity or a Confucian one to the Enlightenment, but Catholics and members of enclosed orders will like it too. Everybody should read it, especially American Protestants and post-Protestant secularists who suffer more than most from the ills of sincerity." --David Martin, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics


"In this whirligig world we do not know what to do apart from the done thing. Ritual and courtesy are, in contemporary parlance, suspect activities surplus to requirements. Like conformity, ritual attracts the adjectives 'mere,' 'meaningless,' 'external,' 'empty' and 'inauthentic.' This book brilliantly expounds the creative potential and the necessity of ritual, and exposes the destructive possibilities of sincerity. It could be seen as part of a Jewish riposte to Christianity or a Confucian one to the Enlightenment, but Catholics and members of enclosed orders will like it too. Everybody should read it, especially American Protestants and post-Protestant secularists who suffer more than most from the ills of sincerity." --David Martin, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics


"An enormously important and paradigm-changing book. The audacity of its scope is refreshing--a turn to grand theory in an academic culture whose trend is to say more and more and less and less."Common Knowledge


"...A new, interesting, and very fruitful approach towards understanding and using the concept of 'ritual.'"--Religion


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Adam B. Seligman, Robert P. Weller, Michael J. Puett
Editorial: Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2008)
ISBN 10: 0195336011 ISBN 13: 9780195336016
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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Ritual is usually understood as pointing to some essence beyond the ritual act itself. This ambitious interdisciplinary study offers a convincing challenge to this understanding. The authors begin by seeking to explain how the conventional idea arose in the first place. They locate its origin in a post-Protestant and post-Enlightenment vision of ritual action that emphasizes rituals as merely external signs of interior states. This approach, say the authors, is part of a far larger way of relating to the self and to the world, which they label sincerity. But ritual, they say, is the very opposite of sincerity because it consists of stylized, repetitive interactions that construct an as if world, a world of role, propriety, play, and even fantasy, rather than pointing to the world as it actually is. In fact, that is ritual s great contribution. Ritual modes of behavior make a shared social world possible by helping to navigate between diverse people and groups, rather than attempting to transcend and efface boundaries.After setting forth this argument, the authors go on to build on it by showing how sincerity and ritual are stand-ins for two very different ways of being in the world. Although both modes are always present to some degree, modernity has deeply privileged sincerity and authenticity. And, they say, we are now paying a heavy price for this extreme and often totalizing projection of personality in contemporary political life. Nº de ref. de la librería AAV9780195336016

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Adam B SeligmanRobert P WellerMichael J PuettBennett Simon
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Adam B. Seligman, Robert P. Weller, Michael J. Puett
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ISBN 10: 0195336011 ISBN 13: 9780195336016
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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Ritual is usually understood as pointing to some essence beyond the ritual act itself. This ambitious interdisciplinary study offers a convincing challenge to this understanding. The authors begin by seeking to explain how the conventional idea arose in the first place. They locate its origin in a post-Protestant and post-Enlightenment vision of ritual action that emphasizes rituals as merely external signs of interior states. This approach, say the authors, is part of a far larger way of relating to the self and to the world, which they label sincerity. But ritual, they say, is the very opposite of sincerity because it consists of stylized, repetitive interactions that construct an as if world, a world of role, propriety, play, and even fantasy, rather than pointing to the world as it actually is. In fact, that is ritual s great contribution. Ritual modes of behavior make a shared social world possible by helping to navigate between diverse people and groups, rather than attempting to transcend and efface boundaries. After setting forth this argument, the authors go on to build on it by showing how sincerity and ritual are stand-ins for two very different ways of being in the world. Although both modes are always present to some degree, modernity has deeply privileged sincerity and authenticity. And, they say, we are now paying a heavy price for this extreme and often totalizing projection of personality in contemporary political life. Nº de ref. de la librería AAV9780195336016

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Descripción Estado de conservación: New. This item is Print on Demand - Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Nº de ref. de la librería POD_9780195336016

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Adam B Seligman, Robert P Weller, Michael J Puett, Bennett Simon
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Descripción 2008. PAP. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería VU-9780195336016

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Seligman, Adam B.; Weller, Robert P.; Puett, Michael; Simon, Bennett
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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, 2008. Estado de conservación: New. 2008. 1st Edition. Paperback. This book argues for the continuing tension across historical contexts between movements emphasizing ritual and movements emphasizing sincerity. Our contemporary age has, at great risk, downplayed the importance of ritual. Drawing on examples from Chinese, Greek, Jewish, and contemporary culture, the book presents an innovative interdisciplinary account of how ritual works. Num Pages: 248 pages, 17 halftones. BIC Classification: HRLF. Category: (UP) Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly; (UU) Undergraduate. Dimension: 229 x 153 x 15. Weight in Grams: 378. . . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780195336016

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