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date: 08 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter is grounded in its own theoretical proposition that ideas become values if and when pervaded by emotions; that such values become beliefs if they confer a sense of identity upon a person or group, and that such beliefs become religious beliefs if they frame identity with a sense of destiny. It then analyses a variety of familiar and less familiar anthropological and sociological approaches to the role of emotions in ritual practices, including Mol’s theoretical discussion of how forms of identity may be sacralized, a perspective applicable to early Christian ideas of Jesus and of the status-enhancing faith-community. The notion of identity is also explored through the concept of dividual rather than individual personhood. One hypothetical application highlights the idea of betrayal as a frame for Paul’s identity status as an apostle, and of grace interpreted technically as a ‘substance-code’ of participation in the early Christian spirit-grounded sect. While also covering basic concepts of reciprocity, habitus, and rites of passage, the chapter is alert to existential aspects of ceremonial behaviour and remains appropriately cautious of any overly reified notion of ‘ritual’.

Keywords: death, destiny, dividual personhood, emotion, habitus, identity, Paul the Apostle, reciprocity, rites of intensification, rites of passage

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