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Many teachers share an interest in bringing a better appreciation of ritual into their religious studies classes, but are uncertain how to do it. Religious studies faculty know how to teach texts, but they often have difficulty teaching something for which the meaning lies in the doing. How do you teach such “doing”? How much need be done? How does the teacher talk about the religiosity that exists in personalized relationships, not textual descriptions or prescriptions? These practical issues also give rise to theoretical questions. Giving more attention to ritual effectively suggests a reinterpretation of religion itself — an understanding less focused on what people have thought and written, and more focused on how they engage their universe. Many useful analyses of ritual derive from anthropological and sociological premises, which may be foreign to religious studies faculties and even seen by some as theologically problematic. This book addresses the issues specific to teaching this subject. The chapter contributors explain what has worked for them in the classroom, what has not, and what they have learned from the experience of being more real about religion.
Oxford University Press
religious studies, religious studies texts, meaning, doing, religiosity, personalized relationships, reinterpretation of religion, anthropology, sociology
Anthropology | Religion | Sociology
Bell, Catherine, "Teaching Ritual" (2007). Faculty Book Gallery. 520.