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Ministry As A Ritual Profession

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Chapter Summary

The first section of the chapter explores ministry as a ritual profession. Then it clarifies empirically how pastors evaluate the office which shapes their ritual profession. The attitudes towards pastoral ministry were mirrored in discussions of the published research results and give an overview of the reception of the findings. Finally, the chapter assess to what extent the problems revealed in that reception affect the professional practice of liturgy, thus presenting aims and issues for further research into ritual professions. There is a strong anthropological tradition which holds that ritual is basic expressive action and cannot be defined in terms of inherent conditions or purposes, let alone professional ones. However, if one acknowledges a need for ongoing hermeneutic interpretation of liturgical adaptation to changing ritual scenarios, one can hardly deny the need for ritual expertise. This article was written in response to that need.

Keywords: anthropological tradition; hermeneutic interpretation; liturgy; ministry; ritual profession



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