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Towards A Liturgical Theory Of The Incarnated Mind. A Non-Reductive Naturalist View

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Chapter Summary

This chapter defines religious rituals as the coalescence of divine and human action - or, more precisely, as divine actions working through human actions. Next, it presents a theory of the way the incarnated mind works in ritual actions and draws on the cognitive theory of participants' competence at ritual forms, developed by E. Thomas Lawson and Robert N. McCauley. On the basis of Lawson and McCauley's theoretical assumptions it formulates research questions regarding to the role of emotions in rituals. The chapter ends with an evaluation and discussion of the results. It evaluates some assumptions of Lawson and McCauley's cognitive theory of ritual competence, and considers the possibility of a non-reductive naturalist view of ritual competence in liturgical science. To participate in this public debate about religious rituals in general, and Christian rituals in particular, liturgical science must speak a conceptual language which permits academic partnership with other disciplines.

Keywords: Christian; emotions; human actions; Lawson and McCauley's cognitive theory; liturgical theory; non-reductive naturalist view



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