Ritual has emerged as a major focus of academic interest. As a concept, the idea of ritual integrates the study of behavior both within and beyond the domain of religion. Ritual can be both secular and religious in character. There is renewed interest in questions such as: Why do rituals exist at all? What has been, and continues to be, their place in society? How do they change over time? Such questions exist against a backdrop of assumptions about development, modernization, and disenchantment of the world.
Written with the specific needs of students of religious studies in mind, Ritual: Key Concepts in Religion surveys the field of ritual studies, looking at it both historically within anthropology and in terms of its contemporary relevance to world events.
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