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The Rite Journey

Rediscovering Rites of Passage for Boys

Andrew Lines and Graham Gallasch

The Rite Journey is a program to allow Australian Year-9 male students age 14-15 years to share a year-long partnership with a teacher-guide as the boy explores what it means to become a respectful and responsible man. Given the current view that rites of passage need to be rediscovered for young people in Western culture, a feature of the program is specially created ceremonies held throughout the year. These celebration points follow the seven steps of a hero’s journey. Curricular content is based on four topics: relationships with self, others, the divine and the world. This paper recounts the program’s background and form and includes feedback of boys who have participated in the program.

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Karine Michel

Among religious Jews, hair is described as an application of religious law. This article proposes to study the place of hair in Jewish life, based on texts and social expressions. Hair appears to be linked to every important and ritual moment of life, symbolising the movement from one social status to another as a rite of passage. However, based on age and sex, and also on an analysis of different religious tendencies, hair reveals itself as more relevant in terms of social than religious use.

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Michael Roberts

The hegemony of the 'secular' is challenged through an exposition of the hero rites for the fallen among the Tamil Tigers. Overemphasis on the secular strands in LTTE ideology betrays a textual formalism and disregards the cosmological background of the cultural producers-cum-audience. Such a perspective neglects the embodied practices of Tamil followers. Tamil Saivite worship is permeated by sacrificial symbolism. In Sri Lanka, belief in śakti, divine energy, is displayed in diverse ways that can attract Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists. The rites of Hero Week reveal practices that echo Saivite forms. The LTTE's investment in this event involves massive co-ordination. The climactic moment is a simultaneous act of widespread commemorative grieving. The rite is also an undertaking that mobilizes, remembers, respects, legitimizes, transcends, inspires, and renews.

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Imitations of Buddhist Statecraft

The Patronage of Lao Buddhism and the Reconstruction of Relic Shrines and Temples in Colonial French Indochina

Patrice Ladwig

French efforts to ‘re-materialize’ Lao Buddhism, act as its protector, and revitalize its rites can be understood as a governmental strategy to stabilize rule. This established an “order of ceremonial government” ( Roque 2009: 40 ), which in Foucault

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Kamila Baraniecka-Olszewska

The article aims to show how ethnographic data concerning religious rites, both Catholic and pagan, circulate in culture and thus become a kind of historical source for re-enacting other, invented religious rites. In the example of the Rękawka fair in Cracow, it is demonstrated how religious content present in nineteenth-century ethnographic descriptions, originally ascribed to pre-Christian paganism but incorporated into a Catholic fair, was separated from it and used in recreating and performing a neopagan rite. Investigating an Early Middle Ages re-enactment movement, the author focuses on the process of transforming ethnographic data into historical ones. Analysing the problem of authenticity of such sources, she points out the particularities of achieving authenticity in a re-enactment movement: to some, the contemporary Rękawka fair remains only a kind of historical re-enactment, while according to others it is a true neopagan rite.

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A Sectarian Rite Gone Mainstream and Cutting-Edge

The Blossoming of Forms of Prayer for Jewish Worship Volume I

Eric L. Friedland

At the outset of the Victorian Era the liturgy of the newly formed British Reform Judaism made its first appearance in Forms of Prayer. It was essentially a rather traditional, yet venturesome prayer book by the largely self-taught charismatic spiritual leader, David W. Marks, for a congregation made up of Anglicised Sephardic and Ashkenazic families, the West London Synagogue. Unique in prayer book reform, the new rite was marked by a deemphasis on the Rabbinic tradition and a move towards an enlightened biblicism. Thus it acquired a bit of a sectarian look. Over time this qualified scriptural reductionism gave way, in the 1920s and 30s, during the days of Rabbis Morris Joseph and Harold Reinhart, to an increased appreciation of Rabbinic law and teaching and, with the influx of Liberal rabbis from Continental Europe after the Second World War, to a recovery of a connectedness with all of world Jewry. A new generation of native-born rabbis (Lionel Blue and Jonathan Magonet) produced volumes of Forms of Prayer from 1977 onward for an entire movement that carried on the Marks legacy and the learned contributions of the postwar German rabbis, while simultaneously going in wholly fresh directions. Bringing the longest continuing Reform siddur into the twenty-first century have been the energetic joint efforts of clergy, scholars and laity under the multifaceted editorial guidance of Jonathan Magonet.

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T.S. Kalandarov and A.A. Shoinbekov

This article describes some aspects of funeral rites among indigenous people of the Badakhshan autonomous region in Tajikistan, for most of whom the religious denomination is Ismailism. The ceremonies focus on ritual purification and seeing off the soul of the deceased person into another world. A set of obligatory rituals and rites are described, including lamp lighting, mourning rules, and memorial foods and celebrations. After analysing a wide range of data, the authors conclude that Western Pamir Ismailites believe that a dead body is inhabited by a corpse demon that brings harm to people. Although the described customs and rituals are generally Muslim and reflect features of the traditional Pamir world view, they are most probably part of the region's pre-Islamic heritage.

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From rite of passage to a mentored educational activity

Fieldwork for master’s students of anthropology

Helle Bundgaard and Cecilie Rubow

consideration of what fieldwork could also be. Fieldwork as a rite of passage The mythos of fieldwork means that anthropologists and students of anthropology all seem to know what it implies. The classical reference to fieldwork as a rite of passage (see Hoek

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Animal Rites

A Reading of Venus and Adonis

Loraine Fletcher

From its first publication, Venus and Adonis has elicited unusually disparate readings. Philip Kolin's 1997 collection of the critical history establishes this work as seemingly inexhaustible. Many readers have noted the unusual number of animals inhabiting the poem. Hereward T. Price comments on the "finely articulated and often interlacing images from nature, especially from wild animals", appropriate to a pagan naturalist myth. Don Cameron Allen's article eon the unifying metaphor of the hunt has been influential. He traces the literary history of the hunt from classical times to the opening of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, finding that Adonis rejects the soft hunt of love, the hunt for the hare, Venus's secret self, and by seeking the boar embraces his death. Despite this, he sees the poem as a moral lesson against yielding to passion, part of a tradition of Christian humanism.

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Les rites d'âshurâ dans un village de l'Iran contemporain

Révélateur privilégié d'un monde rural en mutation

Anne-Sophie Vivier-Muresan

This article aims to analyse the evolution of âshurâ Shi’ite rituals in an Iranian village, in light of the socio-economic transformations of the last thirty years. Studying these rites as a fait social total, we show that they reflect many aspects of local life. Thus, the increasing dependence of the village on the urban regional centre, the reorganisation of the ties between neighbouring but antagonistic localities, the decreasing status of the great landowners and the increasing social homogenisation, the development of rural exodus and recent national history (the Iran-Iraq war, the establishment of the Islamic Republic and the development of religious reformism) – all have had an influence on the organisation of âshurâ ceremonies. The many functions of this ritual appear then more clearly, manifesting the manner of regional integration, reaffirming internal hierarchies and communal identity, and showing the ever-increasing dependence on the urban world.