Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 992130-M-6
Ritual Today: Traditions and Dynamics
Course info
Course module992130-M-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences; TSH: Department of Culture Studies; Culture Studies;
Is part of
M Culture Studies
Contact persondr. W.R. Arfman
Coordinator course
dr. W.R. Arfman
Other course modules lecturer
dr. W.R. Arfman
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. P.G.J. Post
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2018
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksThis information is not up to date. Check the Course Catalog 2019 or select the course via “Register”.
Registration openfrom 20/08/2018 09:00 up to and including 31/07/2019
Objectives (learning goals)
Knowledge: after following this course, the student:
  1. Can differentiate between different schools of thought within the field of Ritual Studies and give examples of influential scholars and concepts.
  2. Analytically evaluate, relate and contrast major international academic works dealing with ritual.
Skills: after following this course, the student:
  1. Can critically formulate their own grounded position, both orally and in writing, on issues concerning the contested status and fluidity of ritual.
  2. Can make their own innovative and independent contributions to the field of ritual studies by writing an essay on the contemporary relevance of a particular scholar.
Character building: The course serves to heighten awareness of the ways in which our academic viewpoints are culturally and historically embedded and how this poses the students with important challenges if the goal is to increase our understanding of social and cultural behavior in times of globalization and superdiversity.
In its core, the study of ritual is the study of repeatable symbolic performances. Many of these performances are religious in nature, but they might just as well concern civil and political ceremony, public commemoration, or reconciliation after violent conflict. Ritual studies theory has proven to provide new angles for anything from the study of community art to public communication and issues of superdiversity. In this course we will offer an overview of the ongoing project of understanding ritual, and ritual-like, practices in all their variety.
Throughout this course, the particular traditions for studying ritual in different academic contexts are explored with a special focus on the emergence of the interdisciplinary field of Ritual Studies in the 1970s. The emergence of this field is of particular importance as it marked an interest in ritual not just as a marker of tradionality but of social and cultural dynamics as well.
After discussing a comprehensive and panoramic overview of relevant persons and patterns, the course zooms in on some main authors in the field, like Victor Turner, Johan Huizinga, Ronald Grimes, Catherine Bell, Harvey Whitehouse and Heidi Campbell. By looking both at their work and their position within larger schools of research, a range of key concepts are discussed for the study of ritual, and ritual-like, practices today.
The course closes with the showcasing of some “work in progress” at Tilburg University.
Timetable information
992130-M-6|Ritual Today: Traditions and Dynamics
Required materials
To be announced
Recommended materials
Paper 80%

Presentation 20%

Kies de Nederlandse taal