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3.8.1: On the Way of Sacred Right

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    Recommended articles in the Encyclopedia of Religion edited by Mircea Eliade (New York: Macmillan, 1987) include: Ritual; Ritual Studies, Ceremony, The Sacred and the Profane; Sacred Space; Sacred Time; Symbolic Time; Anamnesis, Archetype; Worship and Cultic Life; Sacraments; Liturgy, Li; Puja; Rites of Passage; Domestic Observances; Drama; Dance; Masks; Music; Priesthood; Ordination; Initiation; Consecration; Sacrifice; Purification; Pilgrimage; Stupa Worship; Relics; Circumambulation; Procession; Symbolism; Images; Icons, Iconography, Sacrifice; Architecture, Temple; Biblical Temple; Synagogue; Mosque; Basilica, Cathedral, Church; Shrines; and articles on specific religious traditions exemplifying the way of sacred rite.

    One of the most helpful studies of sacred rite as one way of being religious among others (although his approach is not entirely congruent with the approach taken here) is Frederick ]. Streng, Understanding Religious Life, 3rd ed. Ch. 3, "Creation of Community Through Sacred Symbols" (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1985). His bibliographical suggestions are very helpful. See also Frederick]. Streng, Charles L. Lloyd, Jr., and Jay T. Allen, eds., Ways of Being Religious: Readings for a New Approach to Religion Part2: "Creation of Community through Myth and Ritual" (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973). Although Streng treats them as a different category altogether, some nontraditional religious phenomena akin to sacred rite are covered in Ch. 9 of Understanding Religious Life, "The Power of Artistic Creativity," and Part 7, selections 1 and 7, of Ways of Being Religious.

    Other particularly helpful studies include: Ronald L. Grimes, Beginnings in Ritual Studies, rev. ed. (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1995) (Grimes's book is helpful in giving readers the developing state of ritual studies and in developing a comprehensive understanding of ritual, within which the way of sacred rite is a specific type); Catherine Bell, Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992) (helpful in the manner of Grimes's study, especially in its survey of theories of ritual, but more concerned with developing a theory of "ritualization" in general and not as helpful on getting clear sacred rite as one distinctive way of being religious among others); Caroline Humphrey and James Laidlaw, The Archetypal Actions of Ritual: A Theory ofRitual Illustrated by the fain Rite of Worship (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994) (similar to Bell, though significantly differing with regard to their theory of "ritualization"); Mircea Eliade, The Myth ofthe Eternal Return, or Cosmos and History, trans. Willard R. Trask (Bollingen Series 46; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1954) (overgeneralizing all of religion, in this and the following entry, but particularly insightful regarding the way of sacred rite); Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane, trans. Willard R. Trask (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1959); ]. S. LaFontaine, ed., The Intmpretation ofRitual (London: Tavistock, 1972) (a collection of essay studies of the nature of ritual and different types of ritual); Gerald A. Pottebaum, The Rites of People: Exploring the Ritual Character of the Human Experience, rev. ed. (Washington, DC: Pastoral Press, 1992) (written within a Roman Catholic orientation but illuminates the nature and role of sacred ritual in human experience generally); and Victor Turner, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure (Chicago, IL: Aldine, 1968) (discusses different types of ritual, ritual symbolism, and a theory of the ritual process from the perspective of cultural anthropology).

    For good examples of the way of sacred rite in Buddhism and in Christianity, see Chapter 14, below.

    This page titled 3.8.1: On the Way of Sacred Right is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Dale Cannon (Independent) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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