Theorizing Rituals puts theory on the agenda of ritual studies. Apart from illustrating the current state of the art it aims at exploring new perspectives in this field.
Volume one assembles 34 leading scholars from various countries and disciplines working within this field. The authors review main methodological and meta-theoretical problems (part I) followed by some of the classical issues (part II). Further chapters discuss main approaches to theorizing rituals (part III) and explore some key analytical concepts for theorizing rituals (part IV). The volume is provided with extensive indices.
Volume two consists of an annotated bibliography of some 500 items covering those books, edited volumes and essays that are considered most relevant for the field of ritual theory.
Theorizing Rituals is explicitly designed for the classroom. It is useful for research scholars within the field as well as for graduate students who enter the field of ritual studies.
"Theorizing Rituals is simply exhaustive both in the depth and breadth of contemporary scholarship represented. It is a “must use” reference work for anyone engaged in ritual studies.", Brian B. Schmidt, University of Michigan
"Consisting of nearly 1,400 pages and supported over a period of years by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), Theorizing Rituals is a tour de force, a major resource for researchers in a variety of social sciences as well as the humanities. Psychologists of religion in particular would do well to familiarize themselves with it, whether or not ritual is a focus of their own work. To be gained is not only knowledge in depth of a field, ritual studies, that has much to offer psychologists, and of a mode of scholarly discourse that psychologists might do well to adopt, but also new sensitivity to ritual as one engages in it oneself. If nothing else, one will come to appreciate what may be lost by those who reject religion as obligatory creed and mindless ritual and embrace individualistic “spirituality” instead." David M. Wulff, Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts