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Homo Ritualis

Michaels, Axel

Published by Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN 10: 019026263X / ISBN 13: 9780190262631
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Homo Ritualis

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition: New


Homo Ritualis describes and analyzes various forms of Hindu rituals and examines conceptual components such as framing, formality modality and theories of meaning. The first book to present a Hindu theory of rituals, it asks how indigenous terms and notions of ritual contribute to ritual theory. Series: Oxford Ritual Studies Series. Num Pages: 400 pages, 3 illustrations. BIC Classification: HRGC. Category: (UP) Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly; (UU) Undergraduate. Dimension: 235 x 156. . . 2015. 1st Edition. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780190262631

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Synopsis: Is the richness and diversity of rituals and celebrations in South Asia unique? Are Indians or Hindus more involved in rituals than people of other faiths and other places? If so, what makes them special? Can we speak of a homo ritualis when it comes to India or Hinduism?

Drawing on extensive textual studies and fieldwork in Nepal and India, Axel Michaels demonstrates how the characteristic structure of Hindu rituals employs the Brahmanic-Sanskritic sacrifice as a model, and how this structure is one of the distinguishing features of Hinduism more generally. Many religions tend over time to develop less ritualized or more open forms of belief, but Brahmanical Hinduism has internalized ritual behavior to the extent that it has become its most important and distinctive feature, permeating social and personal life alike. The religion can thus be seen as a particular case in the history of religions in which ritual form dominates belief and develops a sweeping autonomy of ritual behavior.

Homo Ritualis analyzes ritual through these cultural-specific and religious contexts, taking into account how indigenous terms and theories affect and contribute to current ritual theory. It describes and investigates various forms of Hindu rituals and festivals, such as life-cycle rituals, the Vedic sacrifice, vows processions, and the worship of deities (puja). It also examines various conceptual components of (Hindu) rituals such as framing, formality, modality, and theories of meaning.

About the Author:
Axel Michaels is a scholar of Indology and religious studies. Since 1996, he has been Professor of Classical Indology at the South Asia Institute at the University of Heidelberg.

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