Ritual Textuality: Pattern and Motion in Performance by Matt TomlinsonRitual Textuality: Pattern and Motion in Performance by Matt Tomlinson

Ritual Textuality: Pattern and Motion in Performance

byMatt Tomlinson

Paperback | April 16, 2014

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A classic question in studies of ritual is how ritual performances achieve - or fail to achieve - their effects. In this pathbreaking book, Matt Tomlinson argues that participants condition their own expectations of ritual success by interactively creating distinct textual patterns ofsequence, conjunction, contrast, and substitution. Drawing on long-term research in Fiji, the book presents in-depth studies of each of these patterns, taken from a wide range of settings: a fiery, soul-saving Pentecostal crusade; relaxed gatherings at which people drink the narcotic beverage kava;deathbeds at which missionaries eagerly await the signs of good Christians' "happy deaths"; and the monologic pronouncements of a military-led government determined to make the nation speak in a single voice. In each of these cases, Tomlinson also examines the broad ideologies of motion which frame participants' ritual actions, such as Pentecostals' beliefs that effective worship requires ecstatic movement like jumping, dancing, and clapping, and nineteenth-century missionaries' insistence that thejourneys of the soul in the afterlife should follow a new path. By approaching ritual as an act of "entextualization" - in which the flow of discourse is turned into object-like texts - while analyzing the ways people expect words, things, and selves to move in performance, this book presents a newand compelling way to understand the efficacy of ritual action.
Matt Tomlinson has conducted anthropological research in Fiji since 1996, focusing on the intersections of culture, language, ritual, and politics. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2002, he taught for three years at Bowdoin College, and then became a lecturer at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He is currently an Australian Resea...
Title:Ritual Textuality: Pattern and Motion in PerformanceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:April 16, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199341141

ISBN - 13:9780199341146

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Table of Contents

List of FiguresPreface and Acknowledgments1. Into Motion2. The Holy Ghost Is About to Fall3. Crossed Signs4. Happy Deaths Are Public Deaths5. A Chorus of Assent Will Lift Us All6. Full StopNotesBibliography