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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter illustrates mythic and ritual productions of time. Ritual produces regularities that are coordinated by clocks and calendars. Two basic ways of producing religious time, ancestral and mythic, represent different constructions of temporal continuity. Ancestral time, relying on memory, establishes continuity between human generations. Mythic time, transmitted in narratives of origin and destiny, establishes continuity through underlying moral, legal, or forensic relations between actions and consequences. While establishing temporal continuity, mythic time can also signal temporal ruptures in a past crisis, a present conflict, or a future apocalypse. Ritual practices and mythic narratives generate religious time, but religious timing is also crucial in other spheres of human activity, such as politics, economics, and aesthetics. Religious time, therefore, is not only or merely religious. With its regularities and regulations, its ancestral and mythic constructions of continuity, religious time is also embedded in the aesthetics, economics, and politics of time.

Keywords: ancestors, memory, myth, religion, ritual, temporality, time, time reckoning

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