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Ritual and Its ConsequencesAn Essay on the Limits of Sincerity$
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Adam B. Seligman, Robert P. Weller, Michael Puett, and Bennett Simon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195336009

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336009.001.0001

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(p.3) Introduction
Ritual and Its Consequences

Adam B. Seligman (Contributor Webpage)

Robert P. Weller (Contributor Webpage)

Michael J. Puett (Contributor Webpage)

Bennett Simon (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter situates the analysis within existing anthropological studies of ritual, and argues that ritual is not solely an aspect of religious life. Rather, it presents ritual as a crucial mode for framing human activity. It contrasts this with another mode of living and acting in the world, which the authors of this book call sincerity. It suggests that contemporary thought, which rests on the idea of autonomous individuals interacting on the basis of their sincerity, has left little ideological room for ritual and its creation of bounded groups. Yet ritual has not disappeared and in fact appears to be increasing. This sets the stage for the book's general reconsideration of how ritual works.

Keywords:   ritual, anthropological studies, sincerity, autonomous individuals, framing

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