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.
I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.MWC student
Got a Question about this Course?
Contact The Departmental Administrator.
Why come to Mary Ward Centre?
Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.
Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’