Thinking Through Rituals: Philosophical Perspectives

Front Cover
Kevin Schilbrack
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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
1 Ritual body technique and inter subjectivity
31
2 Practice belief and feminist philosophy of religion
52
3 Rites of passing
72
4 Scapegoat rituals in Wittgensteinian perspective
99
5 Ritual inquiry
115
6 Ritual metaphysics
131
7 Philosophical naturalism and the cognitive approach to ritual
152
8 Theories and facts on ritual simultaneities
177
9 Moral cultivation through ritual participation
194
10 The ritual roots of moral reason
213
11 Ritual gives rise to thought
230
12 Ritual and Christian philosophy
244
13 Religious rituals spiritually disciplined practices and health
258
Index
281
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

Kevin Schilbrack is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Wesleyan College, Georgia. A graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School, he is the editor of Thinking Through Myths: Philosophical Perspectives (Routledge, 2002).

Bibliographic information