Thinking Through Rituals: Philosophical Perspectives
Routledge, Aug 2, 2004 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 288 pages
Many philosophical approaches today seek to overcome the division between mind and body. If such projects succeed, then thinking is not restricted to the disembodied mind, but is in some sense done through the body. From a post-Cartesian perspective, then, ritual activities that discipline the body are not just thoughtless motions, but crucial parts of the way people think.
Thinking Through Rituals explores religious ritual acts and their connection to meaning and truth, belief, memory, inquiry, worldview and ethics. Drawing on philosophers such as Foucault, Merleau-Ponty and Wittgenstein, and sources from cognitive science, pragmatism and feminist theory, it provides philosophical resources for understanding religious ritual practices like the Christian Eucharistic ceremony, Hatha Yoga, sacred meditation or liturgical speech.
Its essays consider a wide variety of rituals in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism - including political protest rituals and gay commitment ceremonies, traditional Vedic and Yogic rites, Christian and Buddhist meditation and the Jewish Shabbat. They challenge the traditional disjunction between thought and action, showing how philosophy can help to illuminate the relationship between doing and meaning which ritual practices imply.
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2 Practice belief and feminist philosophy of religion
3 Rites of passing
4 Scapegoat rituals in Wittgensteinian perspective
5 Ritual inquiry
6 Ritual metaphysics
7 Philosophical naturalism and the cognitive approach to ritual
8 Theories and facts on ritual simultaneities
9 Moral cultivation through ritual participation
10 The ritual roots of moral reason
11 Ritual gives rise to thought
12 Ritual and Christian philosophy
13 Religious rituals spiritually disciplined practices and health
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action agents Agnicayana argues Asad behavior bodily body techniques Buddhaghosa Catherine Bell ceremony Christ Christian cognitive cognitive science conception Confucian context counter-intuitive cultural desires developed dharma discipline dispositions embodied emotion ethical Eucharist example experience feminist feminist philosophy Foucault Frazer God’s Golden Bough habits hermeneutics human individual inquiry interpretation involves Jantzen Jewish Knoblock language liturgy Mauss McCauley means Medh tithi Mendelssohn Merleau-Ponty metaphysics mind moral cultivation nature norms objects ofReligion ofthe one’s Peirce Peirce’s performance perspective Phenomenology philosophy of religion practical reason reality recitations relationship religious ritual representations rites ritual activities ritual knowledge ritual order ritual participation ritual practice role Rosenzweig Routledge Samaveda scapegoat sense Shabbat smti social society specific spiritual Srauta Sutra Staal structure study of rituals suggests symbolic theory things thinking tithi tradition transformation understanding Vedas Vedic Vedic ritual virtue Wittgenstein Xunzi York