This course has concessions available

NEW: Ritual: Its Relevance and Resonances

Societies have typically marked their significant historical moments, inaugurations and specific occasions using the language of ritual. Individuals have also been traditionally inducted into their familial, clan and tribal groupings via rites of passage. This weekend course looks at particular ritual practices - mythic, magical, celebratory, healing and cathartic - using a range of cross-cultural examples. We will also consider sociological, anthropological and psychological viewpoints on ritual. All such theories point to the value of ritual action, both for society and for the person. It will be argued that modern society suffers from a progressive loss of such symbolic experience and we will consider the case for its urgent reclamation.

Who is this course for

No prior experience or particular knowledge required. But students should have an interest in other cultures and how they operate along social and psychological lines.

What does this course cover

Specific types of ritual practice including the mythic, magical, celebratory and institutional.
Theories on how ritual can be interpreted in terms of meaning using social science disciplines and psychoanalysis. Analysis of actual substantive rites e.g. of initiation, curing, death customs and so on.
By the end of the course you should be able to :
- distinguish between different kinds of ritual within their socio-cultural context
- identify the functions of a ritual for its participants
- recognise the value of ritual processes for both society and the person
- explain ritual as a dramatic and artistic resource, a technology and as a symbolic language.

What will it be like

The course will involve group discussion, question and answer forum, lecture presentation and a range of illustrative visual material. Relevant class handouts will also be distributed. Assessment will be via quality of responses and feedback together with overall enthusiasm displayed.

What else do you need to buy or do

Preferably, bring along a notebook, loose-leaf file or folder. Reading around the subject in advance is always recommended, together with the viewing of appropriate media documentaries where and when available.

What this course could lead to

See other courses in the section; The Wisdom of the Fool and The Magical Power of Story- The welsh Mabinogion are relevant and complementary. Plus more general courses on anthropology and psychology could be of value.

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This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

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