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Look Inside Ritual in Early Modern Europe

Ritual in Early Modern Europe

2nd Edition



Part of New Approaches to European History

  • Date Published: August 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521602402

£ 28.99

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About the Authors
  • The comprehensive 2005 study of rituals in early modern Europe argues that between about 1400 and 1700 a revolution in ritual theory took place that utterly transformed concepts about time, the body, and the presence of spiritual forces in the world. Edward Muir draws on extensive historical research to emphasize the persistence of traditional Christian ritual practices even as educated elites attempted to privilege reason over passion, textual interpretation over ritual action, and moral rectitude over gaining access to supernatural powers. Edward Muir discusses wide ranging themes such as rites of passage, carnivalesque festivity, the rise of manners, Protestant and Catholic Reformations, the alleged anti-Christian rituals of Jews and witches. This edition examines the impact on the European understanding of ritual from the discoveries of new civilizations in the Americas and missionary efforts in China and adds more material about rituals peculiar to women.

    • Second edition of an accessible textbook on ritual practices in traditional Christian Europe
    • Excellent introduction to a wide range of topics such as rites of passage, carnivalesque festivity, and the alleged anti-Christian rituals of Jews and witches
    • This is the only book on the subject of ritual that covers all of Europe for the period 1400–1700
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… coherent, readable, and stimulating … The book is just the right length for its intended student readership.' Economic History Review

    '… an excellent introduction to a wide range of topics that form part of that new history of sensibility, of emotion and experience that now occupies the attention of many early modern historians … The exposition is clear and systematic and the annotated list of readings is just what undergraduates want. In addition there are judicious comments that constitute original contributions to the field.' History

    '… the book remains an extremely important introduction to early modern European ritual studies for students and scholars alike. And it remains a wonderful example of how to write engaging and well-informed history.' Sixteenth Century Journal

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: August 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521602402
    • length: 334 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: what is ritual?
    Part I. The Ritual Moment:
    1. Rites of passage
    2. The ritual calendar
    Part II. Rituals of the Body:
    3. Carnival and the lower body
    4. Manners and the upper body
    Part III. Ritual Representation:
    5. The Reformation as a revolution in ritual theory
    6. The Reformation as a ritual process
    7. Government as a ritual process
    Epilogue: mere ritual.

  • Author

    Edward Muir, Northwestern University, Illinois
    Edward Muir is Professor of History of the Northwestern University. His publications include Civic Ritual in Renaissance Venice (1981) and Mad Blood Stirring: Vendetta in Renaissance Italy (1998).

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