Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 63

Search results for: ritual

63 From Service to Ritual: Preliminary Development on Conceptual Framework for Designing Ritual

Authors: Yi-Jing Lee

Abstract:

Prior to the development of ritual design tool and framework, this paper establishes a systematic review on the studies related to ritual and ritual design across anthropology, consumer culture, marketing, and design. It is found that following symbolic anthropologists, the ethnographic approach was adapted by consumer culture researchers to study modern rituals and marketers to enhance consumption. In the domain of design, although there are already designers aware of the importance of ritualistic dimension of human interaction, there are little frameworks for conceptualizing and developing rituals. The conceptualized framework and developing tools is proposed and suggestions of applying it is made in the end of the paper.

Keywords: ritual, ritual design, service design, symbolic interaction

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62 Issues of Time's Urgency and Ritual in Children's Picture Books: A Closer Look at the Contributions of Grandparents

Authors: Karen Armstrong

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Although invisible and fleeting, time is an essential variable in perception. Ritual is proposed as an antithesis to the passage of time, a way of linking our narratives with the past, present and future. This qualitative exploration examines a variety of award winning twentieth-century children’s picture books, specifically regarding the issues of time’s urgency and ritual with respect to children and grandparents. The paper will begin with a consideration of issues of time from the area of psychology, with regard to age, specifically contrasting later age and childhood. Next the value of ritual as represented by the presence of grandparents in children’s books. Specific instances of the contributions of grandparents or older adults with regard to this balancing function between time’s urgency and ritual will be discussed. Recommendations for future research include a consideration of grandparents’ or older characters’ depictions in books for older children.

Keywords: children's picture books, grandparents, ritual, time

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61 The Feminine Speech and the Ritual of Death in Albania

Authors: Aida Lamaj

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Death is an inevitable phenomenon in our life, in the same way, are also the ritual of death accompanied by the dirge and the keening performed by men. Keening is a phenomenon common among all peoples, the instances in which the ritual of death and keening coincide, as a special phenomenon of its, are numerous given the fact that keening is an outcome of an extremely special emotional state. However, even during the ritual of death, every people try to display through words its qualities, a multitude of characteristics preserved and transmitted with fanaticism from one generation to the other. The ritual of death constitutes an important element of our tradition and at the same time a material always interesting to be studied in minute details. In this study, we have tried to limit ourselves to the feminine speech, since keening, in general in Albania has been carried out by women. Differences and similarities among keening on the national scale, from the diachronic and synchronic point of view, can be seen clearly if we compare the Albanian creations in different regions. The similarities and differences within the Albanian culture serve as a typical paradigm to study how the ancient elements of outlook that the Albanians have had on death, history, and the social organization in these regions have been preserved and transmitted and above all, in what way these feelings have been clothed from the linguistic point of view, the typologies of keening and of all of the ritual of death, which clearly shows archaic forms as well as new developments. These data have been gathered not only by conducting various surveys but also by observing closely the linguistic behavior of women in Albania during the ritual of death. The study has encompassed the popular lyric poetry as well as new entries, whereas from the geographic point of view we focus mainly in the Southern regions, although examples from other regions where Albanian speaking people live are also present. The main results of the study show that women use much more than men dialect form, peripheral language elements and descriptive elements during their speech in the ritual of death.

Keywords: feminine speech in Albania, linguistic characteristics of the dirge, ritual of death, the typologies of keening

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60 Repercussions of Ritual Dances to Personal Adjustment: A Perspicacious Study Among School Children

Authors: Abdul Rahiman Kannam Kulam

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Reflecting the concepts of the development of the whole child, it is claimed that, purposeful engagement in physical activities or exercise involved ritual dances has the potential to engender in young people, the purpose of the present study was to analyze school children and their personal adjustment based on Ritual dance participation. For the purpose, two thousand and three hundred school children of Kerala were analyzed. AISS manual of A.K.P Sinha and R.P Singh was used to collect the data for adjustments. The adjustment qualities classifies as excellent, good, average, unsatisfactory and very unsatisfactory. The total performance denotes the state of adjustment based on the classifications. Findings of the study were subjected to percentages and ‘t’ ratio. The study enlightened that, the emotional, social and overall adjustments are better than non-athletes. But the study elucidated that, there is no difference in educational adjustment of school athletes and non athletes among school children.

Keywords: ritual dances, emotional adjustment, Poorakkali, Kolkkali, Margamkali

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59 An as-If Ritual and Its Discontents: Everyday Life of North Korean Migrant Women in South Korea

Authors: Sojung Kim

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This paper explores how the Partition of Korea is absorbed into everyday life through North Korean migrant women’s rituals for traditional holidays in Korea. In national holidays called myungjul, Koreans traditionally visit their paternal ancestor’s hometowns to hold jesa, the rites for the ancestors, at the graves and home. Due to the physical gaps in the kinship networks, marked by the kin left behind in North Korea, North Korean migrants gather among themselves in the neighborhood in South Korea as if they make the myungjul ritual of the family gatherings. This impossibility of the proper practice of the rites insinuates the violence of the Partition refracted into the family relations between those in the South and those in the North. Yet, the myungjul gathering creates a kind of collective hometown, beside one’s genealogical hometown, where they can express lamentation and guilt over not being able to visit their parents and ancestors in their hometowns, which they are traditionally required to do. In this as-if ritual, myungjul is re-created for and by the women and for others in the community. Yet, the texture of this ritual is marked by discontent and dissatisfaction. Attending to fostering discontents that seep into the collective events, this paper aims to seek ways to study the violence that permeated in everyday life in partitioned Korea.

Keywords: as-if ritual, everyday life, kinship, migration

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58 Pahlevāni and Zoorkhāneh Rituals as Creative Cultural Product in Tourism; Case Study: Isfahan, Iran

Authors: Neda Torabi Farsani, Mohammad Mortazavi, Maryam Masaeli

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Nowadays intangible heritage as a creative product plays an important role in promoting tourism. The intangible heritage is transmitted from past generation to the present and future generation and constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, nature and history. In recent decade, intangible heritage especially Pahlevāni and Zoorkhāneh rituals as creative cultural product attract many tourists to a destination and they well-known as tourist attractions in Iran. The study was conducted in Isfahan city. This research has two major purposes: 1) to introduce Pahlevāni and Zoorkhāneh ritual as tourist attraction and, 2) to investigate the attitude of domestic tourists towards Pahlevāni and Zoorkhāneh ritual in Isfahan city. On the basis of the results of this study, it can be concluded that the domestic tourists are interested in gaining experience and increasing their knowledge in Pahlevāni and Zoorkhāneh ritual.

Keywords: Isfahan, Pahlevāni and Zoorkhāneh ritual, tourist attitude, Iran

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57 Rituals in Rock Art: Case Study of Bronze Age Rock Art of Gobustan

Authors: Rahman Abdullayev

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Rituals took place during the rock art production or in the rock art sites can be found reflection in contemporary culture. But the form of rituals was conducted in association with rock art production still uncertain. The main purpose of this research is to define the form of ritual activities that took place in the rock art sites, by the example of Bronze Age rock art of Gobustan. For ritual activity location of the rocks which were selected for making petroglyphs has important significance. Thus, not all the rocks which were suitable for rock art were used for this purpose. If in Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic periods Gobustan inhabitants executed petroglyphs on the wall of rock shelters, but in Bronze Age they made it on rocks which are in front of the large, open spaces. A recent study of the location of Bronze Age rock art of Gobustan and involving ethnographic information to the interpretation of drawings allows defining the form of rituals which took place in Gobustan at Bronze Age.

Keywords: Bronze Age, Gobustan, ritual, rock art

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56 Contemporary Art of Healing: New Generation of Shamanism Ritual

Authors: Yeaeun Jang

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Shamanism, in general, has been steadily reinterpreted as research and art from cult, superstition, mysticism, and historical perspectives. Shamanism has existed throughout the five-thousand-year-old history of Korea, and it still actively is ongoing. It is interesting to observe how this tradition has had a profound impact on its current high-technology society. Many still ask Shamans for pieces of advice rituals for their problems to be solved. Historically, Korean shamanism has a strong connection and many similarities with Mongolian and Eastern Siberian Shamanism. 'God' is 'Nature'. 'Shaman' is a 'Mediator of communication chosen by God' and is a divine being who has entered the mysterious realm by challenging human limitations through harsh training. A shaman in ancient society used to be a leader of a group and entertainer who played various roles; king, counsellor, doctor, singer, dancer, painter, and performer. This artistic research focuses on the Shaman role as an artist with multiple mediums and reconstructing their ancient ritual into multimedia performing art that attempts to deal with traumatic memories in one’s life. This fusion style of contemporary ritual is mainly inspired by ‘Gut(굿)’, Korean Shamanism ritual. This comprehensive art needs several important elements; a shaman, a client, musicians, helpers, and the audience. It is a feast to gather people in a big circle. Nowadays, art has been divided into separate fields and developed, but before, there existed art of Synesthesia, whose boundaries were unclear that were not determined through which medium to express that abstract ideas. Multiple disciplines coexist and harmonise with each other. Studying shamanism ritual as an ancient form of performing art can create a warm, spiritual feast for everyone and remind us about ‘togetherness’.

Keywords: healing, multimedia art, performance art, shamanism, spirituality

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55 The Mayan Calendar: An Ideology Laden and Worldview Changing Discourse

Authors: John Rosswell Cummings III

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This research examines the discourse ancient Maya ritual practice manifest and maintained through language in a contemporary society as led by a daykeeper— a Maya spiritual leader— with the objective of discovering if the Maya Calendar has an influence on worldview. Through an ethnography of communication and discursive analysis framework, this research examines the discourse of and around the Maya calendar through original research. Data collected includes the ceremonial performance of the Tzolkin ritual, a ritual that takes place every 13 days to ceremonially welcome one of the 20 Universal Forces. During the ceremony, participants supplicate, sacrifice, and venerate. This ritual, based off the Tzolkin cycle in the Mayan Calendar, contains strong, culture-binding ideologies. This research performs a close analysis of the 20 energies of the Tzolkin and their glyphs so as to gain a better understanding of current ideologies in Maya communities. Through a linguistic relativity frame of reference, including both the strong and weak versions, the 20 Universal Forces are shown to influence ways of life. This research argues that it is not just the native language, but the discourses native to the community as held through the calendar, influence thought and have the potential to offer an alternate worldview, thus shaping the cultural narrative which in return influences identity of the community. Research of this kind, on calendric systems and linguistic relativity, has the power to make great discoveries about the societies of the world and their worldviews.

Keywords: anthropological linguistics, discourse analysis, cultural studies, sociolinguistics

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54 The Soundscape of Contemporary Buddhist Music in Taiwan: Tzu Chi Vesak Ceremony

Authors: Sylvia Huang

Abstract:

Contemporary Buddhist music has been emerged at the new forms of large-scale public Buddhist ritual ceremonies that may involve up to 10,000 participants at a time. Since 2007, the Buddha’s Birthday ceremony (Sanskrit, Vesak) by the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation has being held at major cities in Taiwan and many affiliated Tzu Chi offices around the world. Analysis of this modern and technologically-dependent ceremony sheds new light on the significance of music in contemporary Buddhist ritual, and also on recently enhanced and increasingly intimate connections between music and Buddhism. Through extensive ethnographic research of ten years (2007-2017), the research explores how the form of contemporary Buddhist music relates to the role of music in participants’ experience of the ritual and the way in which they construct meaning. The theoretical approach draws on both ethnomusicology and Buddhist teachings, Dharma. As soundscape is defined as the entire sonic energy produced by a landscape, the concept of soundscape is utilised to examine the contemporary ritual music in the Tzu Chi Vesak ceremony. The analysis opens new territory in exploring how analysis of Buddhist music can benefit from incorporating Buddhist philosophy within the methodological approach. Main findings are: 1) music becomes a method for Buddhist understanding through a focus in particular on how the ceremonial program is followed by music, and 2) participants engage with each other and entrain with music in the Vesak ceremony. As Buddhist sounding, such as scripture reading, liturgical chanting, and ceremonial music singing, is a sonic epistemological knowing of the conditions in which Buddhism is practiced, experienced, and transmigrated, the research concludes by showing that studies of Buddhist music have the potential to reveal distinctively Buddhist concepts, meaning, and values. Certain principles of Buddhist philosophy are adopted within ethnomusicological analysis to further enhance understandings of the crucial function of music within such a ritual context. Finally, the contemporary Buddhist music performance in the ceremony is possessed as a means of direct access to the spiritual experience in Buddhism.

Keywords: buddhist music, Taiwan, soundscape, Vesak ceremony

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53 Viewers’ Reactions to Excessive Ritual Themes in Nigerian Home Videos: A Portharcourt City Survey

Authors: Godwin Bassey Okon

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The need to streamline viewers’ disposition towards the predominant portrayal of rituals, in most Nigerian home videos, as a way of life in the southern part of Nigeria necessitated this study. The focus however was on ascertaining if such portrayals dovetail within the framework of construction of social reality or misconstruction of social reality. In other words, do the people of the southern part of Nigeria engage in rituals as a means of acquiring wealth or do they merely have proclivity for diabolism, as frequently portrayed in home videos subsumed in their socio-cultural settings? The method of study was survey with the questionnaire as the predominant instrument. The questionnaire was used to elicit responses from Portharcourt city residents on their views and reactions in the light of ritual themes in Nigerian home videos. The choice of Portharcourt was informed by the fact that it is a foremost cosmopolitan city in the south. A Sample size of 400 was drawn from a population of 1,382,392 using Taro Yamane’s formula. Actual respondents were reached using a multi-stage cluster sampling technique. The reliability of the instrument as ascertained through Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation stood at 0.89. Findings however revealed that ritual themes, as used in Nigerian home videos, did not significantly reflect the cultural heritage of the people of southern Nigeria. Findings further showed that their excessive use in Nigerian home videos served only to create frills and thrills in plots. A synthesis of the foregoing, however, revealed that viewers are not favourably disposed towards the excessive use of ritual themes since they inadvertently portray the cultural heritage of the people of the south in the negative. To this end, it was recommended that producers of Nigerian home videos should focus more on themes that serve to construct social reality while projecting favorably the rich cultural heritage of the people. In terms of contribution to knowledge, the findings of this study tend to reinforce the notion of film as a conveyor belt in cognitive constructs.

Keywords: disposition, home videos, ritual, social reality, themes

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52 From Ritual to Entertainment: Echoes of Realism and Creativity in Costumes of Masquerades in New Nigerian Festivals

Authors: Bernard Eze Orji

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The masquerade, which is the most popular indigenous art form in Africa, is obviously identified by its elaborate, weird, and opulent costumes. The costume is the major essential accouterments in the art of the masquerade. From time past, masquerades have performed and enjoyed the freedom associated with its inscrutability and mystification solely because of its costumes. Noninitiates and women watched masquerades from a distance due to the reverence attached to its costumes and performances. In fact, whether in performance or as an item of art, the masquerade costume was seen as an embodiment of a tradition of liveliness, showiness, secrecy, and sacredness. This liveliness and showiness transformed masked characters who are believed to be possessed by spirits of ancestors and animals that inhabited the costumes. However, with the translocation of masquerade in new festivals such as carnival and state-sponsored cultural days, its costumes have been reduced to a mere item of entertainment and aesthetic values. The sacredness and reverence which hitherto elevated masquerade art to the point of wonderment have given way to an aesthetic appreciation of ingenious and individual creativity deployed in these festivals. This is as a result of the realistic and artistic creations that pervade masquerade costumes and masks in these festivals. It is a common sight to see such masquerades of animal and human genera like a lion, elephant, hippopotamus, and antelope; Agbogho Mmuo, Adamma, and Nchiekwa, respectively. This creative flair has emerged to expunge the ritual narratives associated with masquerades in the past. The study utilized performance analysis and aesthetic theory to establish that the creative ingenuity deployed by fine artists and mask designers who combine traditional artifacts to achieve modern masterpieces for the masquerades of the new festivals have reduced the ritual trappings and hype ascribed to masquerades in indigenous societies.

Keywords: costume and mask designs, entertainment, masquerade, ritual

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51 Spiritual Warriors: Christian Testimony and Psychotherapy in Ritual Abuse Memoir

Authors: Jocelyn Cohen

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This paper identifies a powerful synchronicity of two traditions of life-story writing in the autobiographies of ritual abuse (RA) survivors, the Christian conversion narrative and the memoir of healing from childhood sexual trauma. Using methodologies from literary studies, history, and psychology, a close reading of three RA memoirs sheds light on a taboo and deeply suspect form of violence. Treatment of RA survivors and the unique role of psychotherapists, in particular, deserve far greater attention from multi-disciplinary scholars. Each story reflects salient characteristics of the Christian conversion narrative, a genre which originated in the US in the early 19th century with the serendipitous confluence of the simultaneous emergence of print culture and the basic structures of evangelicalism during the Second Great Awakening. The impulse of writing is thus to give testimony against the sin they witnessed and endured as young children during ritual violence perpetrated within the church. Importantly, RA is seen as an inherent if obscure aspect of Christian discourse itself, not in opposition to it, and not as an aberration. In RA's memoir, healing comes in part from the Christian narrative praxis of personal redemption, framed as prevailing in a war between good and evil. In other words, storytelling itself affects the healing, much as it does by means of each writer’s 'talking cure,' in the relationship with a psychotherapist who guides her through a repair of the life-story through the excavation of traumatic memories and their integration into the writer’s psyche. Integrating literary techniques into the psychotherapeutic relationship, therapists leverage the deep linguistic structures that clients possess as a resource to aid in their healing.

Keywords: memoir, psychotherapy, religion, trauma

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50 The Socio-Cultural Aspect of Food in Ceremonial Turkey

Authors: Suheyla Saritas

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No matter who we are or where we live, our lives revolve around food, which is much more than a merely sustenance. As a part of the human culture, food carries complex significance and symbolic meanings. Turkish people attribute great value to food and its usage specifically tied to rites of passages of human life. Traditions, especially the ones practiced during rites of passages, such as birth, circumcisions, weddings and funerals, have always been accompanied by food in Turkish culture. Since food celebrates and symbolizes human progress in life in the culture, it also surrounds by aspects of belief, custom, magic, ritual and religion and has always been used in ceremonial context during such rites. Even though that context may be different depending on the religious, economic and social nuances of the various Turkish regions, like wheat, meat and bread, certain kinds of food play key roles during Turkish rites, generally upholding traditions. This paper highlights the sociocultural aspect of food in the rites of passages in the Turkish culture. The importance of this work also is how the ceremonial food represents the identity of Turkish people.

Keywords: food, culture, rites of passages, ritual and identity

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49 Visual Representation of Ancient Chinese Rites with Digitalization Technology: A Case of Confucius Worship Ceremony

Authors: Jihong Liang, Huiling Feng, Linqing Ma, Tianjiao Qi

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Confucius is the first sage in Chinese culture. Confucianism, the theories represented by Confucius, has long been at the core of Chinese traditional society, as the dominating political ideology of centralized feudal monarchy for more than two thousand years. Confucius Worship Ceremony held in the Confucian Temple in Qufu (Confucius’s birthplace), which is dedicated to commemorate Confucius and other 170 elites in Confucianism with a whole set of formal rites, pertains to “Auspicious Rites”, which worship heaven and earth, humans and ghosts. It was first a medium-scaled ritual activity but then upgraded to the supreme one at national level in the Qing Dynasty. As a national event, it was celebrated by Emperor as well as common intellectuals in traditional China. The Ceremony can be solemn and respectful, with prescribed and complicated procedures, well-prepared utensil and matched offerings operated in rhythm with music and dances. Each participant has his place, and everyone follows the specified rules. This magnificent ritual Ceremony, while embedded with rich culture connotation, actually symbolizes the social acknowledgment for orthodox culture represented by Confucianism. Rites reflected in this Ceremony, is one of the most important features of Chinese culture, serving as the key bond in the identification and continuation of Chinese culture. These rites and ritual ceremonies, as culture memories themselves, are not only treasures of China, but of the whole world. However, while the ancient Chinese Rite has been one of the thorniest and most complicated topics for academics, the more regrettable is that due to their interruption in practice and historical changes, these rites and ritual ceremonies have already become a vague language in today’s academic discourse and strange terms of the past for common people. Luckily, we, today, by virtue of modern digital technology, may be able to reproduce these ritual ceremonies, as most of them can still be found in ancient manuscripts, through which Chinese ancestors tell the beauty and gravity of their dignified rites and more importantly, their spiritual pursuits with vivid language and lively pictures. This research, based on review and interpretation of the ancient literature, intends to construct the ancient ritual ceremonies, with the Confucius Worship Ceremony as a case and by use of digital technology. Using 3D technology, the spatial scenes in the Confucian Temple can be reconstructed by virtual reality; the memorial tablet exhibited in the temple by GIS and different rites in the ceremonies by animation technology. With reference to the lyrics, melodies and lively pictures recorded in ancient scripts, it is also possible to reproduce the live dancing site. Also, image rendering technology can help to show the life experience and accomplishments of Confucius. Finally, lining up all the elements in a multimedia narrative form, a complete digitalized Confucius Worship Ceremony can be reproduced, which will provide an excellent virtual experience that goes beyond time and space by bringing its audience back to that specific historical time. This digital project, once completed, will play an important role in the inheritance and dissemination of cultural heritage.

Keywords: Confucius worship ceremony, multimedia narrative form, GIS, visual representation

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48 The Book of Lies: The Christian Bible's Colonialism over and Appropriation of Occultism

Authors: Samantha Huff

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This research seeks to examine the relationship between occultism and the traditional religion of Christianity. The focus of this particular project is to deconstruct occultism and occult religion: how it develops, where it is applied, how and when it is applied. The next step is to make connections between the structure of occultism and the structure of Christianity. Do Christianity and the Occult appear, textually, the same way? What does that mean culturally? This project seeks to examine the historical similarities of occultism and Christianity practices and tradition, and how, as a whole, Christianity appropriates and colonializes occultism through examination into the Christian Bible and popular occult texts: The Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley and The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Through examining occultism and Christianity and applying it to popular cultural theories (Ritual Space by Nick Couldry, Muted Group Theory by Shirley Ardener, and Mythologies by Roland Barethes), it is entirely possible to see how Christianity appropriates occultism and uses their stronghold on society as a means to colonialize occult traditions and practices.

Keywords: appropriation, Christianity, colonialism, cultural theory, muted group theory, mythologies, occultism, ritual space

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47 From Ritual City to Modern City: The City Space Transformation of Xi’an in the Early 20th Century

Authors: Zhang Bian, Zhao Jijun

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The urban layout of Xi’an city (the capital Chang’an in the Tang dynasty) was shaped by feudal etiquette, but this dominant factor was replaced by modern city planning during the period of the Republic of China. This makes Xi’an a representative case to explore the transformation process of Chinese cities in the early 20th century. By analyzing the contrast and connection between the historical texts of city planning and the realistic construction activities recorded by the maps and images, this paper reviews the transformation process of the urban space of Xi’an in the early 20th century and divides it into four phases according to important events that significantly impacted planning and construction activities. Based on this, the entire transformation of Xi’an’s city planning and practices can be characterized by three aspects: 1) the dominant force of the city plan and construction changed with the establishment of modern city administrations; 2) the layout of the city was continuously broadened to meet the demand of modern economy and city life; and, 3) the ritual space was transformed into practical space for commercial and recreational activities.

Keywords: city space, the early 20th century, transformation, Xi’an city

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46 Communicating with Spirits: Bridging the Nether World of Spirits and the Real World in Healing Performances

Authors: S. Ishak, M. G. Nasuruddin

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Traditional Malay performances are carried out for both entertainment and curing purposes. In curing rituals, the men and women serving as shamans, communicates with the spirits and beings from the nether world to facilitate the curing process. The dependency on engaging with these other-worldly beings however, have raised religious issues of being syirik, namely practicing in rituals which are religiously forbidden. This study aims to observe how ritual leaders attempt to negotiate the fine balance between what has been religiously forbidden and the psychological and sociological needs of the patient. Two curing rituals, the main peteri and the malibobou were chosen to exemplify the communication between the physical and spiritual realities. In both rituals, the healers engaged in procedures of curing as they attempted to diagnose sicknesses and proffer cures with the help of the spirits. The main peteri was conducted by a male shaman, the tuk teri whereas the malibobou was conducted by a female ritual specialist, the bobohizan. Main peteri and the malibobou both ended with ritually thanking and sending off the spirits back to their nether, invisible domains. These curing rituals heal not only the sick individual, but by extension, the village community. Therefore, there is a need to reconcile these rituals with religious tenets, beliefs and sociological-political-cultural dimensions.

Keywords: traditional healing, trance, spirits, main peteri, bobohizan

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45 Memory and Matrilineage: Is the Siri Mass Possession Tradition of Tulunadu a Death Ritual?

Authors: Yogitha Shetty

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Tulunadu, a Tulu-speaking ethno-linguistic minority region in the west coast of India is abundant with oral narratives and associated rituals very unique to this region. One such major worship tradition prevalent here is the mass possession cult of women called Siri Jatre. Deriving its referential script from the Siri epic or pāḍdana, Siri rituals are performed annually in many places of Tulunadu. During these rituals thousands of afflicted women gather at the temple premises and get possessed by the pantheon of seven Siri spirits. While mapping the existing corpus of literature on Siri Jatre – analyzing it as a mode of spirit possession, its psycho-therapeutic significance, its emancipatory potential, etc – this paper offers a paradigm shift by perceiving the entire Siri ritual as a death rite offered to Siri’s grandfather Berma Alva. It draws its arguments from the fieldworks conducted recently in some Siri shrines, interviews conducted among adept Siri women and by analyzing the death rites performed among Bunt caste of the region, and locating it within the historically matrilineal fabric. Thereby, it problematizes the existing analytical frames and raises the question of – if annual Siri ceremonies are a means to bemoan the end of a matrilineal family of Siri? It would delve on the gender configuration as manifested in the Siri cult, having its base in the Tuluva society’s matrilineage, and thereby add to the prevalent ethnographic investigative approaches.

Keywords: death rite, matrilineage, possession, women

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44 Muhammad`s Vision of Interaction with Supernatural Beings According to the Hadith in Comparison to Parallels of Other Cultures

Authors: Vladimir A. Rozov

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Comparative studies of religion and ritual could contribute better understanding of human culture universalities. Belief in supernatural beings seems to be a common feature of the religion. A significant part of the Islamic concepts that concern supernatural beings is based on a tradition based on the Hadiths. They reflect, among other things, his ideas about a proper way to interact with supernatural beings. These ideas to a large extent follow from the pre-Islamic religious experience of the Arabs and had been reflected in a number of ritual actions. Some of those beliefs concern a particular function of clothing. For example, it is known that Muhammad was wrapped in clothes during the revelation of the Quran. The same thing was performed by pre-Islamic soothsayers (kāhin) and by rival opponents of Muhammad during their trances. Muhammad also turned the clothes inside out during religious rituals (prayer for rain). Besides these specific ways of clothing which prove the external similarity of Muhammad with the soothsayers and other people who claimed the connection with supernatural forces, the pre-Islamic soothsayers had another characteristic feature which is physical flaws. In this regard, it is worth to note Muhammad's so-called "Seal the Prophecy" (h̠ ātam an- nubūwwa) -protrusion or outgrowth on his back. Another interesting feature of Muhammad's behavior was his attitude to eating onion and garlic. In particular, the Prophet didn`t eat them and forbade people who had tasted these vegetables to enter mosques, until the smell ceases to be felt. The reason for this ban on eating onion and garlic is caused by a belief that the smell of these products prevents communication with otherworldly forces. The materials of the Hadith also suggest that Muhammad shared faith in the apotropical properties of water. Both of these ideas have parallels in other cultures of the world. Muhammad's actions supposed to provide an interaction with the supernatural beings are not accidental. They have parallels in the culture of pre-Islamic Arabia as well as in many past and present world cultures. The latter fact can be explained by the similarity of the universal human beliefs in supernatural beings and how they should be interacted with. Later a number of similar ideas shared by the Prophet Muhammad was legitimized by the Islamic tradition and formed the basis of popular Islamic rituals. Thus, these parallels emphasize the commonality of human notions of supernatural beings and also demonstrate the significance of the pre-Islamic cultural context in analyzing the genesis of Islamic religious beliefs.

Keywords: hadith, Prophet Muhammad, ritual, supernatural beings

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43 The Connection between Heroism and Violence in War Narratives from the Aspect of Rituals

Authors: Rita Fofai

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The aim of the study is to help peacebuilding by analyzing the symbolical level of fights in the war. Despite the sufferings, war heroism still represents such a noble value in war narratives (especially in literature and films, whether it is high- or popular culture) which can make warfare attractive for every age-group. The questions of the study will revolve around the events when heroism is not a necessary and unselfish act for a greater good, but when the primary aim is to express strength in order to build self-mythology. Since war is a scene where the mythological level can meet reality, and even modern narratives use the elements of rituals and sacral references in even secular contexts, understanding the connection between rites and modern battles will ground this study, and the analysis will follow the logic of the violent rites. From this aspect, war is not merely the fight for different countries and ideas, but the fight of mankind with superhuman and natural or supernatural phenomena, as well. In this context, enemy symbolizes the threat of the world which is unpredictable for mankind, and the fight becomes a ritual combat; therefore the winner’s symbolic reward is to redefine himself or herself not only in the human environment but in the context of the whole world. The analysis of the study reveals that this kind of violence does not represents real heroism and rarely results in recruitment, on the contrary, conserves fear and the feeling of weakness, which is the root cause of this kind of act. The result of this study is a way to reshape the attitude toward so-called heroic war violence which is often a part of war narratives even nowadays. Since stepping out of the war tradition is mainly a cultural question, redefining the connection between society and narratives which has an effect on mentality and emotions, giving a clear guide to making difference between heroism and useless violence is very important in peacebuilding.

Keywords: war, ritual, heroism, violence, narratives, culture

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42 Mapping the Sonic Spectrum of Traditional Music and Instruments Used in Malaysian Kavadi Rituals

Authors: Ainolnaim Azizol, Valerie Ross

Abstract:

Music is as old as mankind and rituals using music such as Kavadi have been associated with social, cultural, and spiritual practices in many traditional and modern societies. Recent literature has provided scientific evidence that music affects psychological and physical changes through stimulation of brainwave. Despite such advances, the scientific study of the sonic qualities peculiar to traditional instruments and how it impacts on ritualistic activities is still lacking. This study addresses one such phenomenon. Devotees in Kavadi rituals are known to be in a state of trance state and do not experience pain nor suffer injury despite the hundreds of needles pierced through their skins. Although scientists have sought to understand how this is possible, lesser is known about the music that is used to prepare devotees to enter into the trance state. This study fills this gap of knowledge by providing scientific evidence through the identification and mapping of the sonic spectrum or sound fingerprint of the instruments and the repertoire used in these ritualistic forms in their ethnographic environment and in audio-controlled situations. The objectives are to identify and categorize the different types of traditional music used in Kavadi rituals; to record, transcribe and digitally score the musical repertoire used in the oral tradition of Kavadi rituals; to map the sonic spectrum of ritual music using spectromography and advanced music analytical software a mixed methodology will be used. This comprises ethnographic field studies using interviews, participant observation, audio-video recordings and audio-methodology using spectromography and advanced audio-technology for sonic mapping and the transcription of audio recordings into digital scores.

Keywords: sonic, traditional, ritual, Kavadi, music

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41 Anton Bruckner’s Requiem in Dm: The Reinterpretation of a Liturgical Genre in the Viennese Romantic Context

Authors: Sara Ramos Contioso

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The premiere of Anton Bruckner's Requiem in Dm, in September 1849, represents a turning point in the composer's creative evolution. This Mass of the Dead, which was dedicated to the memory of his esteemed friend and mentor Franz Sailer, establishes the beginning of a new creative aesthetic in the composer´s production and links its liturgical development, which is contextualized in the monastery of St. Florian, to the use of a range of musicals possibilities that are projected by Bruckner on an orchestral texture with choir and organ. Set on a strict tridentine ritual model, this requiem exemplifies the religious aesthetics of a composer that is committed to the Catholic faith and that also links to its structure the reinterpretation of a religious model that, despite being romantic, shows a strong influence derived from the baroque or the Viennese Classicism language. Consequently, the study responds to the need to show the survival of the Requiem Mass within the romantic context of Vienna. Therefore, it draws on a detailed analysis of the score and the creative context of the composer with the intention of linking the work to the tradition of the genre and also specifying the stylistic particularities of its musical model within a variability of possibilities such as the contrasting precedents of Mozart, Haydn, Cherubini or Berlioz´s requiems. Tradition or modernity, liturgy or concert hall are aesthetic references that will condition the development of the Requiem Mass in the middle of the nineteenth century. In this context, this paper tries to recover Bruckner's Requiem in Dm as a musical model of the romantic ritual of deceased and as a stylistic reference of a creative composition that will condition the development of later liturgical works such as Liszt or DeLange (1868) ones.

Keywords: liturgy, religious symbolism, requiem, romanticism

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40 Beliefs and Rituals among the Urak Lawoi Sea Gypsies in the Bulon Archipelago, Satun Province

Authors: Srisuporn Piyaratanawong, Suchai Assawapantanakul

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This study aims to reflect changes in beliefs and rituals among the Urak Lawoi sea gypsies on the Bulon archipelago of Satun Province that are related to changes of society according to each dimension of time. The historical study was conducted using an oral history approach. The study found that the traditional way of life as itinerants who moved seasonally resulted in their dependence on nature and beliefs in supernatural power, and mysterious powers and superstitions in the belief of ghosts, ancestors, guardian spirits, large banyan trees, life and living, treatment of diseases, king of nagas, and other beliefs. They displayed their respect to supernatural powers through rituals by worshiping, making offerings to spirits and performing Rongeng dance for spirits in return for fulfilling their vows. After World War II (1945), the Urak Lawoi sea gypsies on Bulon archipelago changed their itinerant way of life to permanent settlements. However, their beliefs in supernatural powers and ritual performances remained in existence. Until 1987, when tourism began to spread to the archipelago, some of them gradually turned to make a living with tourism. Moreover, during the last 20 years (from around 1994), Islam has spread among the people. With this social context, the traditional beliefs in supernatural powers have changed to beliefs according to the religion and the way of life that has changed. Thus, when the traditional beliefs and rituals can no longer fulfil the new way of life, they slowly disappear, such as the floating the boat ceremony that has been replaced with new beliefs and rituals according to Islam. Nevertheless, some beliefs and rituals still exist, such as beliefs about treatment of diseases and Rongeng dance for spirits in return for vow fulfilling. In conclusion, the traditional beliefs and rituals of the Urak Lawoi sea gypsies on the Bulon archipelago cannot fulfil the new way of life, and have, thus, brought about changes in beliefs and rituals that are congruent with the current society.

Keywords: belief, ritual, Urak Lawoi, sea gypsy, Bulon Archipelago

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39 Pilgrimage: Between Culture and Religion Case study of Pilgrimage in Shia tradition in Indonesia, Traditional Philosophy approach of Seyyed Hosein Nasr and Religious Experience of William James

Authors: Ma'ruf

Abstract:

Pilgrimage has a universal value, founded in every religion. No exception to Islam, has a ritual value, and became part of the religion, as well as the procession of a social culture in nature. The tradition of pilgrimage, especially in Indonesia, rooted in the society, because the Islam that entered into the archipelago through Sufism (tasawuf). In the Sufi tradition, the interconnecty of the human spirit (ruh) to the spirit (ruh) of God, must go through a guardian (wasilah) appointed by God himself ,the prophet Muhammad and wali. In the process of pilgrimage rituals usually by reading the prayer to praise God, the prophet and wali, then convey intent (hajat). In the pilgrimage procession, usually not only done in the house, but aslo completed the process by direct pilgrimage visiting the tombs of saints. The tradition of pilgrimage, especially in Indonesia continues to be maintained, and still attached to the traditions in Nahdiyin (NU followers). The relationship with God manifested in wasilah prayer to God, the prophet Muhammad, the best companions of the Prophet and Nine wali (Songo), who had been influential in spreading Islam in Java. The tradition of pilgrimage in Indonesia is also linked to the Shia community in Indonesia, along with a growing number of followers of the Shia in Indonesia, especially after the Islamic revolution of Iran after the 1979. Pilgrimage in the Shia community, Likewise NU members also pray with supplication of tawasul to the Prophet and Shia Imams. If NU members to make improvements pilgrimage to visit the tomb wali Songo in Java, residents Shia pilgrimage rituals abroad, usually one package with umrah trip, with a pilgrimage to the tomb of the prophet, proceed to the tomb of the Imam Shia, in Iran and Iraq. Trends of pilgrimage as a ritual in the Indonesian Shia tradition, together with the growing number of Shia residents increased, followed by increasing the awareness (syi’isme) - bond with the Imam, Shia. In every certain months (arbaeen, asyuro) Shia pilgrims routinely perform pilgrimage, along with increasing number spiritual travel.

Keywords: traditional approach, religious experience, culture, religion, pilgrimage, Syria

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38 The Development of Iranian Theatrical Performance through the Integration of Narrative Elements from Western Drama

Authors: Azadeh Abbasikangevari

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Background and Objectives: Theatre and performance are two separate themes. What is presented in Iran as a performance is the species and ritual and traditional forms of the play. The Iranian performance has its roots in myth and ritual. Drama is essentially a Western phenomenon that has gradually entered Iran and influenced Iranian performance. A theatre is based on antagonism (axis) and protagonism (anti-axis), while performance has a monotonous and steady motion. The elements of Iranian performance include field, performance on the stage, and magnification in performance, all of which are based on narration. This type of narration has been present in Iranian modern drama. The objective of this study was to analyze the drama structure according to narration elements by a comparison between the Western theater and the Iranian performance and determining the structural differences in the type of narrative. Materials and Methods: In this study, the elements of the drama were analyzed using the library method among the available library resources. The review of the literature included research articles and textbooks which focused on Iranian plays, as well as books and articles which encompassed narrative and drama element. Data were analyzed in the comparative-descriptive method. Results: Examining and studying different kinds of Iranian performances, showed that the narrative has always been a characteristic feature of Iranian plays. Iranians have narrated the stories and myths and have had a particular skill of oral literature. Over time, they slowly introduced narrative culture into their art, where this element is the most important structural element in Iran's dramatic art. Considering the fact that narration in Iranian traditional play, such as Ta'ziyeh and Naghali, was oral and consequently, it was slowly forgotten and excluded from written theatrical texts. Since the drama has entered in its western form in Iran, the plays written by the authors were influenced by narrative elements existing in western plays. Conclusions: The narrative’s element has undoubtedly had an impact on modern Iranian drama and Iranian contemporary drama. Therefore, the element of narration is an integral part of the Iranian traditional play structure.

Keywords: drama methodology, Iranian performance, Iranian modern drama, narration

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37 The Act of Care: Reimagined Rituals towards Unattachment

Authors: Ioana G. Turcan

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reimagined rituals towards unattachment wants to look at an ambiguous loss through the perspective of caregivers, those that accompany us at the beginning and possibly the end of life, those that observe, accumulate, and are impacted by our behavior and needs, but also those that are the witnesses of the human vulnerability. Someone taking care of a patient with dementia experiences ambiguous loss, being in a present of a person partially present, partially absent. The one offering care needs care, not isolation and the aim of the project is to consolidate existing communities or engage other possible ones using performance, storytelling, and other artistic methods. The long-term aim is that with community work, we will manage to co-create rituals in order to help us live with this kind of loss. Looking at them through the lens of different cultures and individuals exercises both the ability to extract the universal essence of a ritual, but also the need and freedom to express the specificity of each situation. To be seen and acknowledged by others, but more importantly, to see oneself from outside with dignity, is very powerful. Oftentimes we forget to express, look and appreciate our own stories, and instead, we choose to outcast them.

Keywords: grief, socio-politics of loss, ambiguous loss, rituals

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36 Hybrid Living: Emerging Out of the Crises and Divisions

Authors: Yiorgos Hadjichristou

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The paper will focus on the hybrid living typologies which are brought about due to the Global Crisis. Mixing of the generations and the groups of people, mingling the functions of living with working and socializing, merging the act of living in synergy with the urban realm and its constituent elements will be the springboard of proposing an essential sustainable housing approach and the respective urban development. The thematic will be based on methodologies developed both on the academic, educational environment including participation of students’ research and on the practical aspect of architecture including case studies executed by the author in the island of Cyprus. Both paths of the research will deal with the explorative understanding of the hybrid ways of living, testing the limits of its autonomy. The evolution of the living typologies into substantial hybrid entities, will deal with the understanding of new ways of living which include among others: re-introduction of natural phenomena, accommodation of the activity of work and services in the living realm, interchange of public and private, injections of communal events into the individual living territories. The issues and the binary questions raised by what is natural and artificial, what is private and what public, what is ephemeral and what permanent and all the in-between conditions are eloquently traced in the everyday life in the island. Additionally, given the situation of Cyprus with the eminent scar of the dividing ‘Green line’ and the waiting of the ‘ghost city’ of Famagusta to be resurrected, the conventional way of understanding the limits and the definitions of the properties is irreversibly shaken. The situation is further aggravated by the unprecedented phenomenon of the crisis on the island. All these observations set the premises of reexamining the urban development and the respective sustainable housing in a synergy where their characteristics start exchanging positions, merge into each other, contemporarily emerge and vanish, changing from permanent to ephemeral. This fluidity of conditions will attempt to render a future of the built- and unbuilt realm where the main focusing point will be redirected to the human and the social. Weather and social ritual scenographies together with ‘spontaneous urban landscapes’ of ‘momentary relationships’ will suggest a recipe for emerging urban environments and sustainable living. Thus, the paper will aim at opening a discourse on the future of the sustainable living merged in a sustainable urban development in relation to the imminent solution of the division of island, where the issue of property became the main obstacle to be overcome. At the same time, it will attempt to link this approach to the global need for a sustainable evolution of the urban and living realms.

Keywords: social ritual scenographies, spontaneous urban landscapes, substantial hybrid entities, re-introduction of natural phenomena

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35 Philosophical Interpretations of Spells in the Imperial Chinese Buddhism

Authors: Saiping An

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The spells in Chinese Buddhism are often regarded by current scholarship as syllables with mystical power, as a ritual and practice of oral chanting, or as texts engraved on cultural relics. This study hopes to point out that the spell as a kind of behavior and material also provokes the believers to interpret its soteriology with various Buddhist doctrines and philosophies. It will analyze Mahāvairocana Tantra which is the main classic of the tradition regarded by the academic circles as 'Esoteric Buddhism', two annotations of these scriptures composed in the Tang and Liao Dynasty respectively, as well as some works of monks and lay Buddhists in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties. It aims to illustrate that spells in Chinese Buddhism are not simply magical voices and the words engraved on the cultural relics; they have also enriched the doctrines and thoughts of Chinese Buddhism. Their nature and soteriological methods are far more abundant than current academic circles have revealed.

Keywords: spell, Chinese Buddhism, philosophy, Buddhist doctrines

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34 Dao Embodied – Embodying Dao: The Body as Locus of Personal Cultivation in Ancient Daoist and Confucian Philosophy

Authors: Geir Sigurðsson

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This paper compares ancient Daoist and Confucian approaches to the human body as a locus for learning, edification or personal cultivation. While pointing out some major differences between ancient Chinese and mainstream Western visions of the body, it seeks at the same time inspiration in some seminal Western phenomenological and post-structuralist writings, in particular from Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Pierre Bourdieu. By clarifying the somewhat dissimilar scopes of foci found in Daoist and Confucian philosophies with regard to the role of and attitude to the body, the conclusion is nevertheless that their approaches are comparable, and that both traditions take the physical body to play a vital role in the cultivation of excellence. Lastly, it will be argued that cosmological underpinnings prevent the Confucian li from being rigid and invariable and that it rather emerges as a flexible learning device to train through active embodiment a refined sensibility for one’s cultural environment.

Keywords: body, Confucianism, Daoism, li (ritual), phenomenology

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