Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Oxford University Press


Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice, reissued here more than 17 year after its initial publication, changed the fra1nework for understanding the nature and function of ritual. Catherine M. Bell's profound insight was that ritual, long understood as thoughtless action stripped of context, is more interestingly understood as strategy: a culturally strategic way of acting in the world. Ritual is a form of social activity. This argument is meticulously established and beautifully presented in the chapters that follow. Unfolding like a commanding lecture, Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice remains Catherine's greatest contribution to the study of religion.

Chapter of

Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice


Catherine M. Bell


Foreword: Notes on a Friendship by Diane Jonte-Pace, 2009, reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press.,%20Ritual%20Practice&lang=en&cc=us

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Religion Commons



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