Ritual Matters. Dynamic Dimensions in Practice av Christiane Brosius & Ute Hüsken (ed.)
There is a general perception that rituals are invariable, static and unchangeable, that they follow strict rules and norms, and are highly repetitive. In contrast to this prevalent view, this volume suggests that in fact change and transfer, invention and reinvention are the norm of rituals.
Furthermore, rather than being clearly separated from everyday life, rituals are usually part of everyday life and must be explored within their social, political and historical context of production and enactment.
Not only are rituals tools for shaping social realities but they are, at the same time, shaped by their social context. In this volume, experts from different fields explore the interaction of rituals and ritualized practices with their context, utilising approaches that suit cross-cultural and trans-historical comparison. In this discussion new perspectives on what all ‘really’ matters in ritual emerge — exploring why rituals are important today, and arguing that they might be even more relevant than ever before. The essays in this volume, edited by a scholar of Indology and a scholar of anthropology, do not solely relate to the Indian subcontinent but address, in diachronic and synchronic manner, a variety of regions such as Egypt, Turkey, Greece and Germany, approaching the topic of ritual dynamics from a host of different perspectives.