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Ritual, Performance and the Senses


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Table of Contents

IntroductionJon P. Mitchell and Michael Bull, University of Sussex, UKRitual Action Shapes Our Brains: an Essay in NeuroanthropologyRobert Turner, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, GermanyPlace-making in the 'Holy of Holies': the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, JerusalemTrevor Marchand, School of Oriental and African Studies, UKThe Importance of Repetition: Ritual as Extension of MindGreg Downey, Macquarie University, AustraliaDivine Intervention: Ontology, Cognition and Performance in Maltese Visionary PhenomenaJon P. Mitchell, University of Sussex, UKMaking 'Sense' in Embodied/Enactive Modes of Actor Training and PerformancePhilip Zarrili, University of Exeter, UKRamlila and SpaceRichard Schechner, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU, USAExploring the Andean Sensory Model: Knowledge, Memory and the Experience of PilgrimageZoila Mendoza, University of California, Davis, USASensation and TransmissionDavid Howes, Concordia University, CanadaAfterwordSarah Pink, Loughborough University, UKBibliographyIndex

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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.
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.

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