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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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 Reflections on Ritual in Noh and Kyōgen

 Reflections on Ritual in Noh and Kyōgen

(p.209) 14 Reflections on Ritual in Noh and Kyōgen
Teaching Ritual

Richard A. Gardner

Oxford University Press

This chapter proposes that noh and kyôgen plays, traditional Japanese performing arts that originated in the 15th century, provide useful materials for teaching about ritual. At the simplest of levels, the plays might be used to illustrate the central importance of ritual in religion. The plays might also be used to teach and reflect on at least some of the broader issues concerning ritual and religion alluded to earlier in the book. In addition, the plays provide some grounds for tempering the seriousness involved in much academic theorizing about religion and, especially, the religions of others. These observations are used to outline the structure of a proposed course and the nature of the materials to be used.

Keywords:   ritual, teaching, noh, kyôgen, plays, religion

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