Axel Michaels Why Do People Perform Rituals?
All human societies have rituals, both in everyday life and for special, festive occasions or religious ceremonies. As AXEL MICHAELS points out in this video, rituals are not necessary for our lives. So, why are there so many and why do people follow rituals at all? Michaels has pursued these questions in the context of India. Applying an ethno-indological approach – observing how rituals are performed in India today and studying ancient handbooks that prescribe these rituals – Michaels came to a three-part definition of rituals. These three components are formality, modality, and transcendence. This last component points to an explanation of why people observe rituals at all. By submitting themselves to the prescription of a ritual without questioning it, they become homo ritualis and thereby relieve themselves from the continuous search for meaning.
LT Video Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10417
Homo Ritualis: Hindu Ritual and Its Significance for Ritual Theory
- Axel Michaels
- Published in 2015