Ritualising Cultural Heritage and Re-enchanting Rituals in Europe

by Alessandro Testa

Forthcoming September 2023

Tags: Anthropology

ISBN 978-1-5310-2673-8
eISBN 978-1-5310-2674-5

Cultural heritage, public rituality, and unconventional religious practices have recently reacquired a new centrality in Europe. Stemming from the past but operating in the present and branching out towards the future, these phenomena can function as catalyzers of cultural synergy (or conversely cultural resistance) vis-à-vis the tectonic sociocultural changes of our late modern era. They do this by shaping new imaginaries and discourses, molding senses of typicity and traditionality, and structuring feelings of authenticity and social belonging that lie at the very core of European local communities. All of these and other kin processes are conjured up and conveyed by symbols, the immaterial substance of which cultural life is made.

This book analyses these phenomena and immaterial substances from the perspective of social anthropology and European ethnology. The workings and entanglements of cultural heritage, popular beliefs and practices, the invention of new symbols, and ritual forms of collective action are all hereby explored ethnographically and comparatively, while the concepts that we use to define and characterize them are thoroughly rethought and theorized. This book also systematises and reviews the conceptual state of the art of these terms and ideas, which are fundamentally crucial in the understanding of European cultures today. Notions of "ritual" and "rituality," for instance, are the object of special scrutiny.

Comp Copy If you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy.