HDS 3818

Ritualization, Play, and Transitional Phenomena

Michael D. Jackson


The focus of this course is less on institutionalized rituals, viewed as framed and identifiable forms of social action, than on ritualization - on the everyday strategies, tactics and routines of 'playful' and 'magical' action whereby people manipulate words, gestures, emotions, bodies, objects and images in an effort not only to control and comprehend their relationship with the world but to change the way the world appears to them, particularly in times of separation and transition, change or crisis. Like play and fantasy, the process of ritualization is an intrinsic aspect of everyday life, evident in the ways human beings compose stories, furnish and clean their home-spaces, cook and eat meals, read a newspaper, court, joke, argue, mourn, give gifts and converse. Crucial to all these actions is the process of transferring or projecting thoughts and emotions onto non-immediate objects or persons in an attempt to symbolically or vicariously grasp and transform confusing, contradictory or chaotic inner experiences. Note: Course has additional hour to be arranged.

Enrollment Limited: No
Open to BTI Students: Yes
Jointly offered as Religion 1095


0.50 credits
Spring 2014
Thurs 2pm-4pm
Andover Hall Room 102

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • African and African American Religious Studies
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Religion, Ethics, and Politics
  • Religion, Literature, and Culture
  • Religion and the Social Sciences
MDiv Distribution Category/ies
  • African Religions
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry
  • Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • Public Leadership, Community Organizing, and Planning
  • Religious Education and Spiritual Development
Language Course Designation(s) None