The archetypal actions of ritual: a theory of ritual illustrated by the Jain rite of worship

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Humphrey and Laidlaw present a new and radical general theory of ritual by drawing on an ethnographically rich account of the ritual worship of the Jains of western India. Ritual, they argue, is not a logically separate type of activity, but rather a quality that can be attributed to a wide range of everyday activities. In exploring the issue of what is distinctive about actions which are ritualized, this book makes an ambitious and controversial contribution to social and religious anthropology.

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Jainism and the Puja Ritual
What Kind of Theory Do We Need?

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About the author (1994)

Caroline Humphrey is Reader in Asian Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. David Sneath is a Lecturer of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge and Director of Studies in Anthropology at Trinity College in Cambridge. They are the coeditors of Culture and Environment in Inner Asia.

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