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HAT Forum - "Ritual in the Modern Age"

  • The 519, Rm 304 (check lobby screen just in case) 519 Church Street Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C9 Canada (map)

Rituals are recognized in all modern and historical cultural forms. Rituals can take on many different forms including worship rites, baptisms, coming of age ceremonies, recognized greetings etc. Rituals have been codified into law, are enforced through social pressure, and can vary wildly in interpretation in time and place.

 Oxford English Dictionary carries the following definition:

1)     A religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.

1.1)   A prescribed order for performing a ritual ceremony, especially one characteristic of a particular religion or Church.

1.2)   A series of actions or type of behaviour regularly and invariably followed by someone.

The SAGE Glossary of the Social and Behavioral Sciences carries the following definition:

1)          An action or body of practices regularly performed. Rituals tend to be prescribed by tradition, religion, or culture. A ritual can be a method for performing an act or the act itself. Ritual is generally understood as a repetitive or recurrent practice and is often associated with ceremony

The Power of Rituals in Life, Death, and Business by Carmen Nobel


Why Rituals Work

There are real benefits to rituals, religious or otherwise By Francesca GinoMichael I. Norton


Rethinking ritual by Peter L. McLaren


Framing Questions

1)      Do we agree on the above understanding(s) of ritual?

2)      Does society place importance on ritual?

a.       Has this changed over time?

3)      Are rituals inherently spiritual?

4)      What are the pros and cons of ritual?

5)      What can be done to enhance secular ritual?

6)      Does secular ritual need to be enhanced?

We will discuss. Free & Open to the Public.