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Teaching Ritual$
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Catherine Bell

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195176452

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195176452.001.0001

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 Teaching Rites Ritually

 Teaching Rites Ritually

(p.147) 10 Teaching Rites Ritually
Teaching Ritual

Mary E. McGann

Oxford University Press

The chapter's author approaches the subject of teaching rites ritually from the perspective of the engaged minister, the ritual leader, who is teaching the basics of ritual and liturgy to future ceremonial leaders. The chapter's author comes to her task with an unexpected, but very modern, set of credentials above her degrees in theology and liturgical studies: more than a decade of participation in an African American Catholic community for an ethnographic study of the role of music in ritual life. She describes three ways of teaching rites ritually, each of which enables a particular kind of “ritual knowing” that is relevant for students at specific stages of their studies. The first, which fosters foundational ritual knowledge, is effective ecumenically, inviting students who are insiders to their own tradition to widen their perspectives on their own experience and to appreciate liturgical rites that are not their own. The second, which cultivates performative ritual knowledge, has taken shape in the need to teach students of her own denomination how to conduct their own rites. The third iteration focuses on scholarly ritual knowledge, which prepares doctoral students to become scholars and teachers in the field of liturgical studies.

Keywords:   ritual, teaching, foundational ritual knowledge, performative ritual knowledge, scholarly ritual knowledge

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