Elements of Ritual and Violence

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Margo Kitts
Elements in Religion and Violence
  • Cambridge, England: 
    Cambridge University Press
    , July
     106 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Ritualized violence is by definition not haphazard or random, but seemingly intentional and often ceremonial. It has a long history in religious practice, as attested in texts and artifacts from the earliest civilizations. It is equally evident in the behaviors of some contemporary religious activists and within initiatory practices ongoing in many regions of the world. Given its longevity and cultural expanse, ritualized violence presumably exerts a pull deeply into the sociology, psychology, anthropology, theology, perhaps even ontology of its practitioners, but this is not transparent. This short volume will sketch the subject of ritualized violence, that is, it will summarize some established theories about ritual and about violence, and will ponder a handful of striking instantiations of their link.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Margo Kitts is Professor of Religious Studies and East-West Classical Studies at Hawai'i Pacific University.



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