Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ritual and Its ConsequencesAn Essay on the Limits of Sincerity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2020

 Ritual and the Subjunctive

 Ritual and the Subjunctive

(p.17) 1 Ritual and the Subjunctive
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 chapter begins with a serious consideration of the understandings of ritual in traditions that take it as central, especially Judaism and Confucianism. It argues that such traditions understand the world as fundamentally fractured and discontinuous, with ritual allowing us to live in it by creating temporary order through the construction of a performative, subjunctive world. This is a world “as if”, with ritual understood in its indexical qualities. The chapter continues with a general consideration of major contemporary understandings of ritual and their limitations. It questions the common contemporary reduction of ritual either to its functions or to its meanings. Instead, the chapter concentrates on the work of ritual to create alternative worlds.

Keywords:   Judaism, Confucianism, tradition, indexical qualities, ritual, alternative worlds, performative

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .