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Ritual, Performance and the Senses


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Table of Contents

Introduction Jon P. Mitchell and Michael Bull, University of Sussex, UK Ritual Action Shapes Our Brains: an Essay in Neuroanthropology Robert Turner, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany Place-making in the 'Holy of Holies': the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem Trevor Marchand, School of Oriental and African Studies, UK The Importance of Repetition: Ritual as Extension of Mind Greg Downey, Macquarie University, Australia Divine Intervention: Ontology, Cognition and Performance in Maltese Visionary Phenomena Jon P. Mitchell, University of Sussex, UK Making 'Sense' in Embodied/Enactive Modes of Actor Training and Performance Philip Zarrili, University of Exeter, UK Ramlila and Space Richard Schechner, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, USA Exploring the Andean Sensory Model: Knowledge, Memory and the Experience of Pilgrimage Zoila Mendoza, University of California, Davis, USA Sensation and Transmission David Howes, Concordia University, Canada Afterword Sarah Pink, Loughborough University, UK Bibliography Index

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The first book to explore the dialogue cognitive anthropology, sensory anthropology and performance studies.

About the Author

Michael Bull is Professor of Sound Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. Jon P. Mitchell is Reader in Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex, UK.


The authors take us on an exhilarating and illuminating journey, combining insights from neuroscience, embodiment theory, performance studies, place and space concepts, and the idea of the extended sensorium, gathering everything into a holistic account of bodily engagement with ritual and experience. The result is a stunning set of contributions to the anthropological theory of ritual. -- Andrew J. Strathern and Pamela J. Stewart (Strathern), Cromie Burn Research Unit, University of Pittsburgh, USA
The study of religious ritual continues its wide turn toward the body in Bull and Mitchell's edited volume, which reminds us that knowledge is know-how, rooted firmly within the body, and only secondarily in the brain. The authors are not offering some reheated neo-empiricism, but rather point toward another kind of knowledge altogether, another way of performing, another way of being religious. -- S. Brent Plate, Hamilton College, USA

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