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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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 The Camp Meeting and the Paradoxes of Evangelical Protestant Ritual

 The Camp Meeting and the Paradoxes of Evangelical Protestant Ritual

(p.119) 8 The Camp Meeting and the Paradoxes of Evangelical Protestant Ritual
Teaching Ritual

Ann Taves

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the problem of teaching ritual in relation to historically anti-ritualistic traditions that developed ritual forms of their own, specifically, Protestantism in America. The chapter's author begins by describing how she would revise a course that she has frequently taught to include more discussion of the issues at stake in the ritualism critique and reformulation. In developing the interplay between these modes of religiosity, she focuses on the revivalist camp meetings as described in the memoirs of a 19th-century Methodist. In lieu of any classroom performance of their own, her graduate students experience the first-person descriptions of a remarkable eyewitness by reading the rich observations and interpretations of a participant who is cognizant of the subtle reformulations taking place at every stage.

Keywords:   teaching, religion, ritual, Protestant, camp meetings, formalism, enthusiasm, Methodist

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