Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A return to ritual

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Is there some connection between the two headlines on this cover of US News & World Report? Treating depression and returning to ritual seem to go hand-in-hand to me. I like how the statue of the angel is gazing toward just the right place.

Actually, the article for the cover story is a very interesting read. It argues that there is a return to ritual across the board, and even in other religions. Here is a snippet:

Something curious is happening in the wide world of faith, something that defies easy explanation or quantification. More substantial than a trend but less organized than a movement, it has to do more with how people practice their religion than with what they believe, though people caught up in this change often find that their beliefs are influenced, if not subtly altered, by the changes in their practice.

Put simply, the development is a return to tradition and orthodoxy, to past practices, observances, and customary ways of worshiping. But it is not simply a return to the past—at least not in all cases. Even while drawing on deep traditional resources, many participants are creating something new within the old forms. They are engaging in what Penn State sociologist of religion Roger Finke calls "innovative returns to tradition."

Read the whole article here.

1 comment:

Cane Caldo said...

Compare and contrast:

I hope the Newsweek article is more accurate of trends.