Russell McCutcheon

By appointment

REL 342.001 Theories of Ritual

As a way of introducing how scholars theorize rituals, this seminar tackles the problem of how the actions that we name as rituals are related to those internal dispositions that we commonly know as beliefs. For, based on a specific understanding of the individual, it is commonly assumed that behaviors are merely secondary, motivated by, and thus expressions of, a person’s prior mental state. This class asks whether it might actually be the opposite. W

T | 3:30-5:50

MA 210

Download Syllabus

Readings

Harvey, Graham (ed.)
Ritual and Religious Belief: A Reader
Routledge, 2005
9781904768173

Stoddard, Brad and Craig Martin (eds.)
Stereotyping Religion: Critiquing Cliches
Bloomsbury, 2017
9781474292191

Books are available at the SUPe Store and online through vendors such as amazon.com.

Resources

Additional Readings

Donald Lopez. “Belief” (1998)

Ronald Grimes, “Ritual” (2000)

Frits Staal, “The Meaningless of Ritual” (1979)

Interested in exploring ritual a little more?

Know what the significance of the above photo is…? Want some recent examples…?