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Douglas Thomas and Elizabeth Eowyn Nelson

work and illustrate the value of a depth psychological approach: the symbolic function of Parsifal as ritual theater, the psychological dynamism of the Grail/Spear duality, and the ecopsychology of land and earth as central characters hidden in plain sight. Plot synopsis For readers unfamiliar with

Current Studies on Rituals

Perspectives for the psychology of religion

Edited by Hans-günter Heimbrock and H. Barbara Boudewijnse


Edited by Alexander Beihammer, Stavroula Constantinou and Maria G. Parani

Publicly performed rituals and ceremonies form an essential part of medieval political practice and court culture. This applies not only to western feudal societies, but also to the linguistically and culturally highly diversified environment of Byzantium and the Mediterranean basin. The continuity of Roman traditions and cross-fertilization between various influences originating from Constantinople, Armenia, the Arab-Muslim World, and western kingdoms and naval powers provide the framework for a distinct sphere of ritual expression and ceremonial performance. This collective volume, placing Byzantium into a comparative perspective between East and West, examines transformative processes from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages, succession procedures in different political contexts, phenomena of cross-cultural appropriation and exchange, and the representation of rituals in art and literature.
Contributors are Maria Kantirea, Martin Hinterberger, Walter Pohl, Andrew Marsham, Björn Weiler, Eric J. Hanne, Antonia Giannouli, Jo Van Steenbergen, Stefan Burkhardt, Ioanna Rapti, Jonathan Shepard, Panagiotis Agapitos, Henry Maguire, Christine Angelidi and Margaret Mullett.

Martyna Chrzescijanska

Sacrifice in Jungian psychology Discussion of the similarities between sacrifice rituals and the process of individuation are not new. Jung overtly referred to sacrifice as a metaphor of individuation (e.g. 1968 , 1970 ) and he often referred to a hero-quest as a model of growth, especially in

Paternity as Function

Structuring the Religious Experience

Vassilis Saroglou

Faced with the contemporary proliferation of a “religion of emotional communities” and the multiplication of gurus, spiritual directors and masters, the psychologist of religion should question the impact of the paternal function on the structuring of religious experience. This question is examined here within the context of ancient monasticism and on the basis of ascetic sources (mainly the Ladder of John Climacus, 7th c.), as well as by means of the analysis of rituals such as baptism and monastic profession. The author demonstrates that the spiritual father refers to paternity as function, and that this function is both structural and structuring with respect to religious experience. It is also examined how this crossroads-concept of fatherhood is linked to other psychic realities such as the maternal dimension of religious desire and the role of the community, the relations between the real, the imaginary, and the symbolic, the paternal uncertainty, the articulation of the mystical desire with the Law, and the control of sexuality. This study shows the importance of this function for bringing together structure and development in the religious experience and indicates the risks of this paternity for a religious pathology.

Gary David Astrachan

recent paper on the Greek god Dionysos (Astrachan, 2009 ), in which the author's express intention is to explore and follow the tracks of just two of the innumerable epithets, nicknames, or ritual cultic names of this particular god, Dionysos, and there focuses precisely on Mainomenos – the ‘mad’ god

Nuala Flynn

daimonic reality, in Celtic terms this Otherworld, was foundational across cultures where the visible world is experienced as interpenetrated with another, shadowy, yet powerful reality, full of wonder, beauty and terror. In Sri Lanka, the ritual healing tradition of Yakun Natima still survives (Dargert

David Parker

all being’. Moving into the realms of performance, Douglas Thomas and Elizabeth Nelson present the thought-provoking paper, ‘Wagner's Parsifal as ritual theater: approaching the numinous unknown’. Eschewing more conventional critiques of this major work – which, as Thomas and Nelson indicate, have

Kesstan Blandin

perception and time. In Greek eschatology, mortals accessed the underworld through acts that suspend our sense of time: dreams (Achilles in the Iliad ), and the descent into the underworld (Odysseus in the Odyssey ) (Powell, 2009 ). ‘The only way to get there is through the ritual or epic suspension of

Eric Krasny

to yourself.’ The woman appears very distant, withdrawn, and even pulls her scarf up over her head as though putting on a ritual hood before the first threshold. In the book, we learn that her husband has died two years prior but that is never brought up in the movie. All that we know is that she is