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The study of ritual and how it relates to beliefs and ideas is of central importance in our understanding of the world. Rituals can become divorced from beliefs and religious believers regarded as simply "going through the motions". 'Ritual and Religious Belief: A Reader' presents the full range of scholarly thinking on ritual and ritualizing as they relate to belief. It questions the assumption that belief should take precedence over outward behaviour and engages with questions such as: how are rituals related to performance; are politics ritualized; and is there a difference between rituals and etiquette? This comprehensive volume brings together material by eminent scholars from across the centuries, ranging from Martin Luther's sacramental dialogues to the life and routine patterns of Zen Buddhist Temples and the relationship between magic, religion and science. It will be of interest to all those engaged in the study of the dynamics between ritual and belief.
About the Author
Graham Harvey is a Reader in Religious Studies at the Open University.