Comparative Ritual Theory


Ritual theory is an essential part of the study of religion. This graduate course focuses on contemporary theories of ritual, with an emphasis on the global contexts of diverse conceptualizations of ritual life. We begin with classical accounts of ritual (Mauss, Durkheim) and some of the most influential theories today (Turner; Douglass; Rappaport). We discuss sociological analysis of ritual that takes into account of everyday social interactions (Goffman; Bellah; Randall), and the post-colonial and post-scientism perspectives that add political and epistemological dimensions (Chakrabarty; Latour). We pay special attention to ritual theories that compare ritual life in different societies.
Typically Offered