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Christian Symbol and RitualAn Introduction$
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Bernard Cooke and Gary Macy

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195154115

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195154118.001.0001

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Characteristics and Functions of Rituals

Characteristics and Functions of Rituals

(p.19) 1 Characteristics and Functions of Rituals
Christian Symbol and Ritual

Bernard Cooke

Gary Macy (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The study of symbols and rituals raise several problems given their ambiguous nature and central importance to human communities. This chapter discusses the problems of objectivity in describing rituals, the relationship of power to rituals, their ambiguous nature, and their uniqueness. It introduces the areas of human life in which rituals play a central role: maturation, friendship and marriage, meals, healing, and death and dying.

Keywords:   ambiguity, power, maturation, friendship, marriage, meals, death, healing

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