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Objects as Subjects : Agency and Performativity in Rituals

Hornborg, Anne-Christine LU (2016) In The Study of Religion in a Global Context p.27-45
Abstract (Swedish)
In ritual theory, ritual objects have mostly been discussed in terms of symbols and interpretations. But objects that are employed in rituals are not merely passive carriers of attached cultural meanings. In this article I discuss how objects not only become animated but also animate the ritual field. As ritual agents they have important performative functions in the field of transformations. The smoke of burning sage in a ritual setting is not ordinary but sacred smoke, and it does not only symbolize a purification process for the participants, but actually cleans them from bad spirits. It is thus more useful to discuss the phenomenology of animism as relational epistemology rather than an epistemological fallacy.
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Ritual objects, animism, agency, performativity, relaional epistemology
in
The Study of Religion in a Global Context
editor
Ingman, Peik ; Hovi, Tuija ; Utriainen, Terhi ; Broo, Måns ; ; ; and
pages
18 pages
publisher
Equinox
ISBN
9781781794753
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f99998fe-a0a1-426d-b61c-20eac4754f2f
date added to LUP
2017-01-15 11:48:03
date last changed
2017-01-19 13:27:43
@inbook{f99998fe-a0a1-426d-b61c-20eac4754f2f,
  abstract     = {In ritual theory, ritual objects have mostly been discussed in terms of symbols and interpretations. But objects that are employed in rituals are not merely passive carriers of attached cultural meanings. In this article I discuss how objects not only become animated but also animate the ritual field. As ritual agents they have important performative functions in the field of transformations. The smoke of burning sage in a ritual setting is not ordinary but sacred smoke, and it does not only symbolize a purification process for the participants, but actually cleans them from bad spirits. It is thus more useful to discuss the phenomenology of animism as relational epistemology rather than an epistemological fallacy.     },
  author       = {Hornborg, Anne-Christine},
  editor       = {Ingman, Peik  and Hovi, Tuija  and Utriainen, Terhi  and Broo, Måns },
  isbn         = {9781781794753},
  keyword      = {Ritual objects, animism, agency, performativity, relaional epistemology},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {27--45},
  publisher    = {Equinox},
  series       = {The Study of Religion in a Global Context},
  title        = {Objects as Subjects : Agency and Performativity in Rituals},
  year         = {2016},
}