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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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 Still Liminal after All These Years:

 Still Liminal after All These Years:

Teaching Ordeals and Peregrinations

(p.29) 2 Still Liminal after All These Years:
Teaching Ritual

Ann Grodzins Gold

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes some of the chapter's author's peregrinations in the liminality of teaching, notably, “the rocks and stones” laid out in large courses for undergraduates all looking for transcendence. The chapter addresses the question: how can “the continuity between external actions and internal states of being” be taught, when the “gulf” the class sees between lofty texts and meditative ideals is analogous to the gulf between the illiterate rites of the thousands of Indian villages and the textual ideals depicted by the tradition? The chapter puts forward a solution and evidence of gains in cultural understanding brought about by this.

Keywords:   Hindu ritual, teaching, cultural understanding, firewalking, pilgrimage

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