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Preliminary Materials

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Chapter Summary

This front matter section of the book titled When Rituals Go Wrong: Mistakes, Failure, and the Dynamics of Ritual contains preface. The idea that rituals can 'fail' is not new in anthropology or liturgical studies, but it is also a subject that has been very little explored in the literature. This collection is the first attempt by a group of scholars to address the issue of 'ritual failure' as a topic in its own right in the study of ritual. What is 'ritual failure', how may it be characterised? Why should it be a focus of study? These issues are very much alive in one way or another in all the papers in this collection-but they have been problematic for a very long time.

Keywords: anthropology; ritual failure



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