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Ritual 

Chapter:
Ritual
Author(s):

Douglas J. Davies

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199571390.003.0024
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date: 18 December 2017

Ritual has found a particular place in the theoretical developments of anthropology as a concept describing shared patterns of behaviour expressing values, evoking emotions, and fostering identity within group contexts. Although traditionally associated with liturgical ceremonies of religious movements, ritual covers many aspects of life including healthcare, crises of wellbeing, death, and bereavement. This chapter emphasizes how ritual uses symbols to unite emotions with ideas in generating values that underlie a person’s group-based identity. Accordingly, ‘ritual’ will frequently be synonymous with ‘ritual-symbolism’.

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