Cultural and Philosophical Resistance to Ritual in Contemporary Culture
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According to modernity, it is by eschewing full participation in norm governed institutional settings like rituals, I am able to take back my life and make it my own. However, this chapter argues that participation in the very norm-governed practices eschewed by the fans of authenticity increases the repertoire of actions open to us and facilitates our ability to perform many important actions and to inculcate appropriate moral attitudes and virtues in our fellows. Many in contemporary culture would find it inconceivable that by subjecting ourselves to the authority of rituals and other norm-governed social practices, that we can actually gain in power and in the range of actions open to us. That this is the case seems to follow from a careful examination of the nature of ritual and its relation to human action.