Models and Mirrors

Models and Mirrors

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Ritual is one of the most discussed cultural practices, yet its treatment in anthropological terms has been seriously limited, characterized by a host of narrow conceptual distinctions. One major reason for this situation has been the prevalence of positivist anthropologies that have viewed and summarized ritual occasions first and foremost in terms of their declared and assumed functions. By contrast, this book, which has become a classic, investigates them as epistemological phenomena in their own right. Comparing public events - a domain which includes ritual and related occasions - the author argues that any public event must first be comprehended through the logic of its design. It is the logic of organization of an occasion which establishes in large measure what that occasion is able to do in relation to the world within which it is created and practiced.8 For example, the armed forces commissioned a Haggada, to be read at a festive Independence Day meal, which ... The Independence Day text recounts the return of the exiles, the pioneers, and their triumph over tribulation, culminating ... Nazi experts on Jewish affairs were fully conversant with the Hebrew calendar, and Nazi actions against the Jews were scheduled for Jewish holy days and holidays.

Title:Models and Mirrors
Author:Don Handelman
Publisher:Berghahn Books - 1998


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