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Interrituality as a Means to Perform the Art of Building New Rituals

Hornborg, Anne-Christine LU (2017) In Journal of Ritual Studies 31(2). p.17-27
Abstract (Swedish)
If we do not consider religious rituals as given to us from the gods, but designed by humans at certain times and in certain contexts we might also track the art of designing and performing the human practice of rituals. Even if we agree that all rituals are taught and learned, they are not meant to be perceived as products of human imagination. The concept “ritual invention” could thus be seen as an oxymoron. My purpose with this article is to analyse how it is possible to simultaneously invent rituals and refer to them as “tradition”. In order to discuss ritual invention I will make use of Rappaport’s definition of rituals as “the performance of more or less invariant sequences of formal acts and utterances, not entirely encoded by the... (More)
If we do not consider religious rituals as given to us from the gods, but designed by humans at certain times and in certain contexts we might also track the art of designing and performing the human practice of rituals. Even if we agree that all rituals are taught and learned, they are not meant to be perceived as products of human imagination. The concept “ritual invention” could thus be seen as an oxymoron. My purpose with this article is to analyse how it is possible to simultaneously invent rituals and refer to them as “tradition”. In order to discuss ritual invention I will make use of Rappaport’s definition of rituals as “the performance of more or less invariant sequences of formal acts and utterances, not entirely encoded by the performers.” By introducing the concept of inter-rituality I will show how a skilful ritual leader manages to avoid confusion by recycling ritual acts that structure the performance into a “true event,” in this case the performance of a Kekunit, a god-parent ritual in a Mi’kmaq reserve in Nova Scotia, Canada. The ritual master’s skill in ritual creativity and design is important, and by using a well-known ritual “bank” to collect acts or performances from, he/she turns the performance into a less risky business. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Interrituality, ritual studies, performance
in
Journal of Ritual Studies
volume
31
issue
2
pages
17 - 27
ISSN
0890-1112
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
6e666d45-68ba-4dd2-94ae-50fb8c549576
date added to LUP
2018-05-08 20:58:50
date last changed
2018-05-17 08:23:45
@article{6e666d45-68ba-4dd2-94ae-50fb8c549576,
  abstract     = {If we do not consider religious rituals as given to us from the gods, but designed by humans at certain times and in certain contexts we might also track the art of designing and performing the human practice of rituals. Even if we agree that all rituals are taught and learned, they are not meant to be perceived as products of human imagination. The concept “ritual invention” could thus be seen as an oxymoron. My purpose with this article is to analyse how it is possible to simultaneously invent rituals and refer to them as “tradition”. In order to discuss ritual invention I will make use of Rappaport’s definition of rituals as “the performance of more or less invariant sequences of formal acts and utterances, not entirely encoded by the performers.” By introducing the concept of inter-rituality I will show how a skilful ritual leader manages to avoid confusion by recycling ritual acts that structure the performance into a “true event,” in this case the performance of a Kekunit, a god-parent ritual in a Mi’kmaq reserve in Nova Scotia, Canada. The ritual master’s skill in ritual creativity and design is important, and by using a well-known ritual “bank” to collect acts or performances from, he/she turns the performance into a less risky business.},
  author       = {Hornborg, Anne-Christine},
  issn         = {0890-1112},
  keyword      = {Interrituality,ritual studies,performance},
  language     = {swe},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {17--27},
  series       = {Journal of Ritual Studies},
  title        = {Interrituality as a Means to Perform the Art of Building New Rituals},
  volume       = {31},
  year         = {2017},
}