Ritual, Theater, and Sacrifice
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Ritual, Theater, and Sacrifice book
In the animal world, behavior patterns become ritualizations when they come to be employed as signaling devices, either in addition to or in displacement of their more pragmatic functions. The styles of bodily commitment in ritual have great variety, in some traditions, for example in the black church in North America, exuberant displays of emotion are expected. One of the ways in which ritual, religion, and liberative action are alike is that they all construct alternative worlds, nourishing themselves with imaginative visions. The sacrificial victim, prior to all specific symbolization, is the target of ritual's own quest for an ultimate performance. Something of this sort was intuited earlier in this century by that herald of a ritualized "theater of cruelty," Antonin Artaud. The dangers of religious ritual are associated with sacredness and sacrifice. Something within ritual performance that can lead to blood sacrifice.