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Ritual Gone Wrong – What We Learn from Ritual Disruption - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Ritual Gone Wrong: What We Learn from Ritual Disruption

Kathryn T. McClymond


Rituals go wrong all the time—someone does the wrong thing, says the wrong phrase, or shows up late. Crucial ritual items go missing or get broken, or acts of God conspire to undermine the venue. Most of the time, these mistakes are smoothed over with substitutions or procedural adjustments, and the ritual goes forward. However, ritual theorizing has tended to focus on perfect rituals, rituals as prescribed in sacred texts. Ritual Gone Wrong: What We Learn from Ritual Disruption embraces the fact that rituals rarely go as scripted. In addition, Ritual Gone Wrong argues that ritual traditions t ... More

Keywords: ritual, mistake, disruption, ritual theory, comparison, case studies

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199790913
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790913.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kathryn T. McClymond, author
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Religious Studies, Georgia State University