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Ritual and Its Consequences – An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Ritual and Its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity

Adam B. Seligman, Robert P. Weller, Michael Puett, and Bennett Simon


This book shows how rituals allow us to live in a perennially imperfect world. The book, building on anthropological theories, draws examples of ritual attitudes from a variety of cultural settings, including original comparisons of Chinese and Jewish discussions of ritual and its importance. The book utilizes psychoanalytic and anthropological perspectives on how ritual, like play, creates “as if” worlds, drawing upon the imaginative capacity of the human mind to create a subjunctive universe. This ability to cross between imagined worlds is central to the human capacity for empathy. The limi ... More

Keywords: sincerity, fundamentalist movements, boundaries, empathy, imaginative capacity, play, modern world, interdisciplinary, as if, subjunctive universe

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780195336009
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336009.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Adam B. Seligman, author
Professor of Religion and Research Associate, CURA, BU, USA
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Robert P. Weller, author
Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, Reseach Associate, Institute for Culture, Religion, and World Affairs, BU, USA
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Michael Puett, author
Professor of Chinese History, Harvard University, USA
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