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The Craft of Ritual Studies$

Ronald L. Grimes

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780195301427

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195301427.001.0001

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Appendix 16: Family Characteristics of Ritual

Appendix 16: Family Characteristics of Ritual

The Craft of Ritual Studies
Oxford University Press

This is the original version from Ronald L. Grimes, Ritual Criticism: Case Studies in Its Practice, Essays on Its Theory (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1990).

  • enacted, performed, embodied, gestural

  • (not merely thought)

  • formalized, elevated, stylized, differentiated

  • (not ordinary, unadorned, or undifferentiated)

  • prescribed, rule-governed [as to who, how, when, where, etc.]

  • (not random or without order)

  • repetitive, redundant, rhythmic

  • (not singular or once-for-all)

  • patterned, invariant, standardized, stereotyped, ordered, rehearsed

  • (not improvised, idiosyncratic, or spontaneous)

  • collective, institutionalized, consensual

  • (not personal or private)

  • traditional, archaic, primordial, customary

  • (not invented or recent)

  • valued, deeply felt, sentiment-laden, meaningful, serious

  • (not trivial or shallow)

  • condensed, multilayered

  • (not obvious; requiring interpretation)

  • symbolic, referential

  • (not merely technological or primarily means-end oriented)

  • idealized, pure, “perfected”

  • (not conflictual or subject to criticism and failure)

  • dramatic, ludic

  • (not primarily discursive or explanatory, not without special “framing” or “bracketing”)

  • paradigmatic

  • (not ineffectual in modeling either other rites or nonritualized action)

  • mystical, transcendent, religious, cosmic

  • (not secular or merely ordinary)

  • adaptive, functional

  • (not obsessional, neurotic, dysfunctional)

  • conscious, deliberate

  • (not unconscious or preconscious)