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Ritual, Continuity and Change: Greek Reflections

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This article examines the tangled question of continuity and change from the point of view of ritual. It brings together in dialogue recent theoretical approaches to ritual in anthropology with several examples of diachronic studies of Greek death practices. It points to the importance of focusing on questions of "form" in ritual practices--that is, "how" rituals work and are transmitted, more or less completely, from one generation to the next. It also considers the importance of historical consciousness, in particular the notion of "changing continuities", in understanding some of the existential ways that ritual addresses common human experiences of temporality.
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Keywords: Cultural Transmission; Death; Greece; Historical Consciousness; Ritual

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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