Cover image for Encyclopedia of religious rites, rituals, and festivals
Title:
Encyclopedia of religious rites, rituals, and festivals
Author:
Salamone, Frank A.
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
xiii, 487 pages ; 29 cm.
General Note:
"A Berkshire Reference work."
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780415941808
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Many rituals and festivals take place in public, meaning that such expressions of faith are societal as well as individual forms of human behaviour. The similarity in the general patterns of rituals and festivals across cultures and religions is striking. For example, most cultures and religions mark major life-course transitions such as birth, marriage, and death with public ritual expressions, and numerous festivals are tied to food-producing activities such as planting and harvesting. Where religions and societies vary is in the meanings associated with ritual behaviour and the specific forms those behaviours take.

The Encyclopedia of Religious Rites, Rituals and Festivalsexplores this complex topic through articles covering the following general categories of information:

general concepts and ideas such as communitas, inversion, purity and pollution, and pilgrimages major forms of ritual and festival such as rites of passage, devotional rites, sacrifice, calendrical rites, carnival, and fasting religious rites and festivals of major religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Catholicism and Judaism rites and festivals in cultural regions such as China, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Pacific islands life-cycle rites, including those associated with birth, coming of age, marriage and death specific rites and festivals, such as Divali, Easter, Ramadan, snake handling and Yom Kippur.

The Encyclopedia of Religious Rites, Rituals, and Festivalscontains 130 entries contributed and signed by scholars from international universities and institutes, with expertise in such fields as Asian and Pacific studies, archaeology, communication studies, cultural anthropology, cultural studies, international studies, philosophy, psychological anthropology, religious studies, social anthropology, sociology and theology.

An unprecedented resource, this new encyclopedia provides in-depth coverage of a vast array of worldwide practices with entries that draw on the latest research available, offering fresh insights while maintaining a connection with established scholarship. The cross-cultural coverage will help foster interfaith understanding as well as present and explain unfamiliar behaviours and rituals.


Author Notes

Frank A. Salamone is a Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at Iona College, New Rochelle, New York. He has conducted fieldwork in a number of settings, including Nigeria, the United States, Venezuela, and East Africa. Salamone has authored over 100 articles and authored, edited, or co-edited more than 15 books.


Reviews 5

Booklist Review

Whether it's the Ghost Festival in China or a Good Friday procession among Christians, "ritual is often the most visible manifestation of religion and the one that first comes to the attention of outside observers." Rituals, however, are not only to be found among the world's religious traditions. Societies have secular rituals, although many of them have their roots in religion and belief. Employing an anthropological approach and drawing upon scholars from a variety of disciplines, this encyclopedia consists of 130 alphabetically arranged entries on rituals, both religious and secular. Each is signed by its author and concludes with a nice supplemental bibliography. There are illustrations throughout. Entries treat concepts applicable to rituals of many religious traditions, such as Asceticism, Divination, Ecstatic worship, 0 or Prayer,0 citing specific examples of how they are employed. Some entries are surveys for types of rituals (e.g., Agricultural rituals, Food and rituals, Naming rituals0 ), but, again, tradition-specific information is included. The major rituals of the world's largest religious traditions are described in entries for Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shinto, 0 and Taoism.0 Christianity is treated in multiple entries, such as Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Pentecostalism0 , 0 and Protestantism. 0 Finally, there are entries for specific rituals (e.g., Day of the Dead, Passover, 0 and Ramadan0 ). Noteworthy is the inclusion of rituals and religious traditions less well known than the aforementioned. For example, there are two survey articles on Africa (i.e., Africa, Central0 and Africa, West0 ) along with entries on the Azande, Yoruba, 0 and Zulu.0 A description of the Naven ceremony0 of the Iatmul tribe of New Guinea, along with entries for Australian Aboriginal, Melanesia, 0 and Micronesia,0 and treatment of Vodun0 in Haiti and a survey of Afro-Caribbean0 rituals, all demonstrate the volume's inclusiveness. The encyclopedia contains an interesting combination of religious and anthropological information. But an in-depth anthropological survey article on a topic such as marriage rituals would be difficult enough to keep to a manageable length without the addition of tradition-specific information. Readers should be aware that the work will serve, at best, as a cursory introduction to topics. Nevertheless, academic and large public libraries may want to consider acquiring it. --Christopher McConnell Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Haircutting, identity, satanic, marriage, death--these are just a few of the rituals crossing religious boundaries explained in this wonderful new addition to Routledge's "Religion and Society" series. Its topic is vast, and no one work, certainly not one volume, could comprehensively cover it all. But the selections here are broad and provide an excellent introduction to viewing our world through rites and rituals. The entries are accessible and wide-ranging--e.g., online rites, Jainism, humor and rituals, pilgrimage, and divination, to name a few--and are written by scholars in disciplines such as anthropology and cultural geography, as well as religious studies. Cross references and a reading list give entries additional utility, so readers can find new contexts. Even a simple review of the index is educational. Bottom Line Students of history, anthropology, and literature will find this accessible work an excellent resource for broadening their research. Students of religion will find it a superb starting place for their studies. Everyone else will find here much to remind us of the beauty of our differences and the striking harmonies of all our lives. For all public and academic libraries. [For more on the other titles in the series, go to www.routledge-ny.com/religionandsociety.--Ed.]--Manya Chylinski, Bosto.--Manya Chylinski, Boston (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Haircutting, identity, satanic, marriage, death these are just a few of the rituals crossing religious boundaries explained in this wonderful new addition to Routledge's "Religion and Society" series. Its topic is vast, and no one work, certainly not one volume, could comprehensively cover it all. But the selections here are broad and provide an excellent introduction to viewing our world through rites and rituals. The entries are accessible and wide-ranging e.g., online rites, Jainism, humor and rituals, pilgrimage, and divination, to name a few and are written by scholars in disciplines such as anthropology and cultural geography, as well as religious studies. Cross references and a reading list give entries additional utility, so readers can find new contexts. Even a simple review of the index is educational. Bottom Line Students of history, anthropology, and literature will find this accessible work an excellent resource for broadening their research. Students of religion will find it a superb starting place for their studies. Everyone else will find here much to remind us of the beauty of our differences and the striking harmonies of all our lives. For all public and academic libraries. [For more on the other titles in the series, go to www.routledge-ny. com/religionandsociety. Ed.] Manya Chylinski, Boston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 10 Up-As stated in the introduction, this is not intended to be a comprehensive description of all religions or all social rituals. Articles describing types of practices common to many cultures treat such topics as death rituals, hunting rituals, puberty rites, and sport and ritual. Specific occasions that involve ceremonies include Divali, Easter, Ramadan, and Yom Kippur. Some practices like cannibalism, haircutting rituals, and snake handling are described in separate articles. While Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, and Islam receive the most attention, religious traditions such as Buddhism, Shinto, Jainism, and Wicca also find places here. Iban, Aztec, and other less generally known cultures are revealed through some of their ceremonies. Native North American belief systems and some of their cultural activities also receive attention. Origins and histories often form part of the articles. Each major entry concludes with a significant list of titles for further reading. Sidebars focus primarily on accounts of personal observation of specific ceremonies or quotes from important religious texts. Occasional black-and-white photographs depict significant sites or people practicing their beliefs. Most captions offer clear descriptions of the scenes and include the year of their occurrence. An alphabetical list of entries precedes the text while the index allows access to specific topics within the longer entries. This work is not a detailed, alphabetical list of specific rites, ceremonies, or beliefs but, rather, a more sociologically relevant discussion of such practices.-Ann G. Brouse, Steele Memorial Library, Elmira, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

This latest volume in Routledge's "Encyclopedias of Religion and Society" series, like the preceding volumes, offers strong multidisciplinary and global approaches. Salamone (anthropology, Iona College) gathers 130 signed, scholarly entries treating various aspects of religious ritual. Topics covered include the expected (Easter, Mardi Gras, Buddhism, hunting rituals, marriage rituals) but also some that are startling (Star Trek conventions, Graceland, and Jane Austen's home as places of pilgrimage). The entries can be understood by readers unfamiliar with the topics covered, but the work is suitable for all levels of scholars. The bibliographies that end each article are fairly extensive and contain recent publications. Sixty sidebars feature primary source materials such as the biblical account of Jesus' birth in Luke, a table of Buddhist festivals, and puberty rites in West Africa from a 1946 monograph of the American Ethnological Society. The index is excellent. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Undergraduates and higher. J. E. Sheets Baylor University


Table of Contents

Entries include: Academic RitualsAfro-Brazilian
Asceticism Blood Rituals Body and Rituals
Buddhism Clothing and Rituals Communitas Crisis
Rituals Day of the Dead Divali Divination
Easter Eucharistic Rituals Exorcism Food and Rituals Gender
Rituals Greco-Roman Haircutting Rituals Healing and Rituals
Hinduism Hunting Rituals Iban Identity Rituals Islam Jainism
Judaism Kwanzaa Lang uage, Literacy, and Ritual Marriage Rituals
Martial Arts Micronesia Millennialism Monastic Communities Music
Naming Rituals Native Americans: Plains Nature Worship New Year's Celebrations
Oaths and Ordeals Online Rites Orthodoxy Passage, Rites of Passover Personal
Rituals Pilgrimage Prayer Ramadan Ritual Control Sacred Places
Scatological Rituals Shamanism Shinto Sikhism Snake Handling
South America: Highland Sport and Ritual Star Trek Conventions
Symbol and Ritual Taboo Television and Ritual Vision
Quest Vodun Wicca Witchcraft Yom Kippur Yoruba Zulu and many more