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Ancient Sanctuaries  

Rubina Raja

Print publication date:
Nov 2018
Online publication date:
Dec 2018
This chapter is concerned with ancient sanctuaries and their spaces as places where rituals were performed. It discusses various aspects of sanctuaries and their materiality, and the ways ... More

Artistry and Aesthetics in Modern and Postmodern Worship  

Don Saliers

Print publication date:
Feb 2014
Online publication date:
Feb 2014
Worship and its practices occupy a central place in every religious tradition, from Christianity and Judaism to Buddhism and Hinduism. Understanding aesthetics in religion requires paying ... More

Assault Sorcery  

Robin M. Wright

This article is an in-depth study of the cosmology and practices of assault sorcerers. While it concentrates mostly on indigenous Amazonian societies, comparisons are drawn from other ... More

Associations, Guilds, Clubs  

John S. Kloppenborg

Print publication date:
Nov 2018
Online publication date:
Dec 2018
Life in the cities and towns of the Hellenistic and Roman periods was organized around two poles: the polis or town, and the family, each with its distinctive structure, organization, ... More

Christian Initiation  

Paul F. Bradshaw

Print publication date:
Nov 2018
Online publication date:
Dec 2018
The limited evidence for Christian initiation practices in Syria and North Africa in the third century suggests ritual patterns that differed from each other in some ways but followed the ... More

Christian Initiation  

Maxwell E. Johnson

Print publication date:
Sep 2008
Online publication date:
Sep 2009
To study the rites of Christian initiation in the early church is to encounter not one but several liturgical traditions in development. This article seeks to provide an introductory ... More

Communal Meals  

Richard S. Ascough

Print publication date:
Nov 2018
Online publication date:
Dec 2018
This chapter begins by briefly discussing the prevalence of communal meals in the Roman world and then turns attention to the form and setting of communal dining. Such meals were framed as ... More

The Contribution of the Qumran Scrolls to the Study of Ancient Jewish Liturgy  

Daniel K. Falk

Print publication date:
Oct 2010
Online publication date:
Jan 2011
Prayer as a service to God by the people is one of the most far reaching of religious practices, forming a central part of the religious practice of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; yet ... More

The Cult of Saints  

David L. Eastman

Print publication date:
Nov 2018
Online publication date:
Dec 2018
Veneration of holy people was a significant feature of early Christian piety. Through a collection of ritualized practices, Christians both received traditions handed down to them and ... More

The Cult of Saints and Pilgrimage  

Yousef Meri

Print publication date:
Oct 2015
Online publication date:
Nov 2015
This chapter explores the intertwined themes of pilgrimage and the cult of saints in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, highlighting similarities and differences as well as issues of ... More

Dance as a Way of Being Religious  

Anne-Marie (Anjali) Gaston and Tony Gaston

Print publication date:
Feb 2014
Online publication date:
Feb 2014
Dance has accompanied religious ceremonies and sacred rites since prehistoric times. Most religions have included dance as part of worship at some period or in some places. However, ... More

Divination  

Martti Nissinen

Print publication date:
Nov 2018
Online publication date:
Dec 2018
The chapter investigates the ritual aspect of ancient Eastern Mediterranean divination. Divination is defined as acquisition and transmission of allegedly superhuman knowledge by different ... More

Dramatic Ways of Being Religious  

Larry D. Bouchard

Print publication date:
Feb 2014
Online publication date:
Feb 2014
The history of drama and performance often overlaps with histories of religious practice, belief, experience, and thought. This chapter surveys such histories and gives consideration to ... More

Early Christian Prayer  

L. Edward Phillips

Print publication date:
Nov 2018
Online publication date:
Dec 2018
While it is difficult to determine with certainty the habits of daily prayer among the majority of early Christians, we can with care determine some structures of time, gesture, and ... More

Eucharistic Practices  

Lizette Larson-Miller

Print publication date:
Nov 2018
Online publication date:
Dec 2018
The rapidly changing circumstances of Christianity between the third and fifth centuries are mirrored in the ritual changes of the church’s celebration of the Eucharist. The juxtaposition ... More

Fasting as an Ascetic Ritual  

Richard Finn OP

Print publication date:
Nov 2018
Online publication date:
Dec 2018
Many early Christians engaged in ascetic practices outside the liturgies usually studied as the major forms of Christian ritual. While not all asceticism took ritual form, insufficient ... More

Feminist Theologies and the European Context  

Lisa Isherwood

Print publication date:
Nov 2011
Online publication date:
Jan 2012
This chapter discusses three out of the many theologies in Europe addressing the question of globalization: indigenous theologies, and transcendence through developments in ecotheology and ... More

Hinduism and Music  

Guy L. Beck

Print publication date:
Feb 2014
Online publication date:
Feb 2014
This chapter discusses the theoretical and practical dimensions of music in Hinduism, including the philosophy of sacred sound (Nāda-Brahman), the aesthetics of rasa (“taste”), the rise of ... More

Household and Family  

Fanny Dolansky

Print publication date:
Nov 2018
Online publication date:
Dec 2018
This chapter provides cultural background for early Christian ritual through an overview of Roman sacra familiae (domestic rites). It offers representative examples from three main areas ... More

Hymns and Psalmody  

Angela Kim Harkins and Brian P. Dunkle, SJ

Print publication date:
Nov 2018
Online publication date:
Dec 2018
This chapter examines early Christian hymnody from the point of view of ritual and embodied religious experience. The chapter explores the possible ways that we can recover the ritual ... More

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