Challenging the idea that rituals are static and emotions irrational, the volume explores the manifold qualities of emotions in ritual practices. Focusing explicitly on the relationship between emotions and rituals, it poses two central questions. First, how and to what extent do emotions shape rituals? Second, in what way are emotions ritualized in and beyond rituals? Strong emotions are generally considered to be more spontaneous and uncontrolled, whereas ritual behaviour is regarded as planned, formalized and stereotyped, and hence less emotional. However, as the volume demonstrates, rituals often reveal strong emotions among participants, are motivated by feelings, or are intended to generate them.
The essays discuss the motivation for rituals; the healing function of emotions; the creation of new emotions through new media; the aspect of mimesis in the generation of feelings; individual, collective, and non-human emotions; the importance of trance and possession; staged emotions and emotions on stage; emotions in the context of martyrdom; emotions in Indian and Western dance traditions; emotions of love, sorrow, fear, aggression, and devotion. Furthermore, aesthetic and sensory dimensions, as well as emic concepts, of emotions in rituals are underscored as relevant in understanding social practice.
Table of Contents
Preface 1. Emotions in Rituals and Performances: An Introduction Axel Michaels and Christoph Wulf 2. Performative Tears: Emotions in Rituals and Ritualized Emotions Axel Michaels 3. The Emotional Meaning of Ritual Birgit Röttger-Rössler 4. Collective Emotions in Rituals: Elicitation, Transmission, and a ‘Matthew-effect’ Christian von Scheve 5. Memory, Mimesis and the Circulation of Emotions in Rituals Christoph Wulf 6. Interplay of Emotions and Rituals in Religious Ceremonies of Puimarga Anand Mishra 7. Rituals, Knowledge, and Method: The Curious Case of Epistemological Sanskritization Sundar Sarukkai 8. One Nine-Yard Sari, Two Elephants, and Ten Sips of Water: Rituals and Emotions at a South Indian Hindu Temple Ute Hüsken 9. Trance in Fire Walking Rituals of Goddess Tiraupati Amman Temples in Tamilnadu M. D. Muthukumaraswamy 10. Emotional Detachment and Expression in Garhwali Possession Rituals William Sax 11. Ritual Virtuosity, Emotions and Feelings in Shamanic Rituals in Nepal Anne de Sales 12. Emotion and Healing Rituals in Sri Lanka: Bruce Kapferer Reconsidered Eva Ambos 13. Aggression and Obscenity: The Annual Annihilation of Evil Spirits on the Occasion of the New Moon in August in Bhaktapur, Nepal Niels Gutschow 14. Social Construction of ‘Fear’ in Isaki Amman Cult S. Simon John 15. Gods Going Wild? Enacting Loss of Control in Tulu Possession Rituals: A Photographic Case Study Heidrun Brückner 16. The Islamic Passion Story: Emotions Banned in Sunnism – Recovered in the Shi’ite Martyr Cult Angelika Neuwirth 17. The Performance of Contemporary Vedic Sacrifices in Private and Public Spheres of India Silke Bechler 18. Contesting Emotions. Ritualizing Romantic Love in Neoliberal Urban India Christiane Brosius 19. A Note on Learning to Express and Feel Appropriate Emotions in the Adult Way: Ob
Axel Michaels is Professor of Classical Indology, South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg.
Christoph Wulf is Professor of Anthropology and Philosophy of Education, Interdisciplinary Centre for Historical Anthropology, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) ‘Cultures of Performance’, Cluster ‘Languages of Emotion’, Freie Universität Berlin.