Rough Passages, Reinvented Rites W ithin a few months of one another, four different women asked me if I knew of any rites they could use to celebrate menopause; an actor from Los Angeles requested some examples of birth and naming ceremonies; three students asked if I could recommend a reliable, cross-cultural book on weddings; and four film companies asked for advice on documenting rites of passage.
Not long after finding myself in this thicket of inquiries, a neighbor asked if we could talk about how her family might prepare to initiate their toddler when he reached adolescence. Having read about teenage neo-Nazis in the newspapers, she wanted to spice up his life with celebrative occasions that would make racist rallies and ceremonial hazing less attractive.
But who, I mused, will train us uninitiated adults in the art of initiating?
I had to ponder: Would I want public school teachers initiating my school-age children? Did I have confidence that schools could do a better job than churches, synagogues, or temples have done?
Then an inquiry came from the president of a group that assists the terminally ill in ending their own lives. He said he was beset with requests for help in constructing appropriate rites for such an occasion. Some people, he remarked, considered the taking of their own lives a sacred act, but they could find no resources in traditional Christian or Jewish books of worship.
Would I assist in constructing such a rite? On another occasion a group called to ask if I knew of rites that might be adaptable for North American Buddhist children.
Finally, one of my own brothers surprised me with an e-mail message. Had I written my own funeral—he knew I sometimes assigned such tasks to poor, unsuspecting students—and if so, could he read it?
Writing his will had set Darrell to contemplating things he could no longer avoid. What fuels this surge of interest in ritual and this anxiety over passages? Perhaps synagogues, temples, and churches have been slow to revise existing rites and create compelling new ones.
Perhaps people sense the need for bodily and collective ways of making meaning. Perhaps we desire personal control of crucial moments such as birth and death, coming of age, and marrying. Perhaps religious authorities and commercial entrepreneurs such as funeral directors and wedding consultants do not know what is best for us.
Whatever the reason, the past two decades have witnessed a resurgence of interest in the construction of rites of passage. The aim of inventing or constructing rites is bold, some might say arrogant.
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But without constant reinvention, we court disorientation. Without rites that engage our imaginations, communities, and bodies, we lose touch with the rhythms of the human life course, just as we become temporally disoriented without seasonal and commemorative rites that recreate our connections to the natural world and the course of human history.
The question I try to answer in this book is often put to me like this: Rites belong in their home cultures. We glean what we can from books, films, and stories, all of which select, summarize, and distort. The question, then, is not whether but how inquirers can enrich their own ritual sensibility by attending to rites from places and times other than their own.
Since most of us have little choice but to imagine the rites of others, and since some of us have no rites to call our own, the words imagining and inventing appear repeatedly in this book.
When it comes to ritual, inventing is perhaps the more primary notion, since we cannot invent without imagining, but we can imagine without turning what we imagine into an invention.
When we invent, we give teeth to what we imagine. Ritual, like art, is a child of imagination, but the ritual imagination requires an invention, a constantly renewed structure, on the basis of which a bodily and communal enactment is possible.
Furthermore, the imaginative is not the opposite of the real. Rather, imagining is a way of transforming and renewing the real.
We sometimes think of imagining as the act of originating, as coming up with firsts, not poor duplicates. But neither imagining nor inventing is a creation out of nothing. Even if our desire is to create new rites of passage, we do so with the materials at hand, with the stuff of our cultures and traditions.
Even if we radically dismember this stuff, we are still dependent upon it. Rites, unlike wheels, survive precisely by being reinvented and reimagined; there is no other option. Reimagining ritual can be threatening to religious institutions, since, conventionally understood, imagination is about the made up, whereas religion is supposed to be about the given.
Although I treat ritual traditions with respect, I challenge them—sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly—by setting an imagined ritual alongside an actual rite. By reimagining, I dance into the abyss that comfortably separates the spiritual from the social scientific, the personal from the scholarly, and the narrative from the analytical.Home ; Bio ; Vitae ; Publications ; Projects ; Contact.
The judge does not have to perform the nexus analysis before fulfilling this duty. The nexus question initially is a charging decision exercised by the Commission and later becomes an element of. Full text of "Town Topics (Princeton), Sept. 15, " See other formats. Author Contributions: Dr Ogden had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Concept and design: Ogden, Hales. Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors. Drafting of the manuscript: Ogden. Cantú for permission to quote from her unpublished article on quinceañera. this book could not have been written.
it enabled me to undertake the most pervasive and self-searching metin2sell.comLEDGMENTS umerous people took risks by telling candid stories about their passages. So the question. and. cost-benefit analysis that is .
In one analysis, Bradley and her colleagues crunched 74 different studies that had examined the issue, and found a fairly consistent set of health benefits from social spending.