Two rituals

1 Choose and briefly describe two ritual events or practices from different societies in the Asia-Pacific region, then use Catherine Bell plus two other readings to…
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1 Choose and briefly describe two ritual events or practices from different societies in the Asia-Pacific region, then use Catherine Bell plus two other readings to back up an argument for importing those rituals into mainstream U.S. society. 500 words maximum. Upload your papers to Canvas “Assignments” and then post on “Discussions” a short summary of the rituals you chose and why you think they are worth importing.Two ritual practices in the Asian Pacific region perfectly highlight an interdependent world where we simultaneously exist in common practice thus reinforcing identity through shared values. These two practices, which are interlinked indefinitely, are ancestor worship and divination, which in all honesty depict the importance of genealogy and cosmology in different cultures. Given the wide cultural landscape of the Asia Pacific Region, ancestor worship and divination as with all religious ritualized practices take different forms and meanings whether it be perfecting the Buddhist Lotus Sutra by performing memorial rites for venerations of ancestral spirits, spirit or deity appeasement though divination (e.g Prayers), or even lighting an incense or candle for a passed loved one as they do in Shintoism. Bell makes clear that these types of rituals “strongly reflect a globally interconnected world ‘for’ rituals enable people to understand themselves as moving about within a cosmos of complex powers that can be addressed, propitiated, or cultivated”1 while retaining a sense of Confucian like filial piety or loyalty to familiar faces (e.g. ancestors) and values (e.g. filial piety stylized family loyalty). As Dr. Nelson adds, it is through these ritual gestures that “individuals could connect with and obtain the benefits from deities in other spheres of existence” that otherwise would not have existed had there been no rituals to reinforce the idea that there are. 2 This is why Bell asserts that rituals are gateways to powers for they “remain a central medium for human activity because it is a direct and practical, if not subtle, form of personal 1 See Bell, “What’s so Powerful about Ritual?”* 2 See Nelson, “Japanese Traditions” (excerpts)*2 empowerment” which to Bell’s way of thinking has the potential to “remake a person as nothing less than an agent of a future that is waiting to be born.” 3 It is because “ritual practices are the mediums in which powers of the cosmos are identified and described – and that process is full of real political opportunities and consequences” for “in these sort of rituals, we still see the chemistry by which familial values and communal loyalties are reinforced,” adds Bell.4 Bluntly put, Bell makes clear that rituals “provide avenues of personal agency that would not otherwise exist.”5 “Ritual resources help individuals cope with the challenge and anxieties of their lives” and is precisely why “people deeply affected by changing political, economic and cultural condition have often been open to innovations in religious beliefs or practice that promise to help them cope challenging new circumstances” states Dr. Nelson. 6 These “traditions force us to rethink the social, cultural, and individual dimensions of religion in a rapidly changing world,” adds Dr. Nelson. 7 Hence, rituals potentially have the means in which society can be more open to tolerance through greater achieved understanding of other viewpoints and perceptions of how the universe should operate and its world defined which is conducive to community solidarity based on the shared American value of tolerance and human dignity of others whose culture might not be the same as ours. Woo makes a clear argument stating that “rituals give symbolic expression to the relationship between the outer and inner worlds. The essential function of ancestor rituals 3 See Bell, “What’s so Powerful about Ritual?”* 4 Ibid. 5 Ibid. 6 See Nelson, “Japanese Traditions” (excerpts)* 7 Ibid.3 was to encourage right relationships, especially between men and women” for “Confucians believe that correctness in human relationships is crucial to a stable society” and this is the very reason why religious rituals were an indispensable part of governance for the Shang kings.8 It is because practices of divination and ancestral worship are essentially a form of communication that provides an alternative avenue to compete and participate in the discourses that construct the world hence offering counter hegemonic viewpoints to western indoctrination stemming from imperialist and colonial traditions.8 See Woo, “Chinese and Korean Traditions” (excerpts)*
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