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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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 Ritual, Play, and Boundaries

 Ritual, Play, and Boundaries

(p.69) 3 Ritual, Play, and Boundaries
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 takes up the “as if” worlds of play. The first half discusses how the literature on play helps reveal important variations in the world of ritual by clarifying how ritual relates to notions of self and a social role. Special attention is paid to the work of Roger Caillois and Johan Huizinga on play. The analysis helps focus the idea of “ritual” more clearly by asking how it differs from play. The second half of the chapter continues the discussion of boundaries by turning to issues of framing in play and ritual, both of which invariably have boundaries around them but also have mechanisms for crossing those boundaries. It is argued that this ability to both establish and cross boundaries is crucial to the human capacity for empathy.

Keywords:   boundaries, empathy, Johan Huizinga, Roger Caillois, self, social role

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