Communitas

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    This suffering is symbolized throughout Baldwin’s piece by a sense of darkness that invades the lives of the narrator 's family and the African American community. In the absence of structure in Sonny’s life, communitas was spontaneously created during the musical performance. Sonny was no longer side by side the members or above or below, he was equal and balanced. This ceremony helped Sonny address his difficult circumstances by use of strong rhythms, symbols and dance, similar to affliction cults. Sonny was purified as he was initiated and healed. In Turner’s final state of reincorporation Sonny finds a sense of “coolness,” a key element of African diaspora. He finds a harmonious life with himself as well as others through his musical performance. The narrator explains his healing by saying, “Freedom lurked around us and I understood, at last, that he could help us be free if we would listen, that he would never be free until we did.” In this moment…

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    Society has been obsessed with the proclamation that “bigger is better” since the industrial revolution. Ever since then, humanity has been pushing its limits as to how high their skyscrapers can be built and obsessed with what the “next big thing” will be. A message of “go big or go home” has been perpetuated throughout the ages; yet, the assumption that there is a correlation between size and prosperity is an idea that urbanized culture has trained citizens to believe. Large urban areas tend…

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    Personal Theology: A Garden of Community Lucy Atkinson Rose’s idea of the sermonic moment continues to strike me as a new and powerful method of developing relationships through sermons. Atkinson Rose proposes the following: “One form of preaching aims to gather the community of faith around the Word where the central conversations of the people of God are fostered and refocused week after week.” In suggesting that we rethink sermons as a shared experience of Truth, rather than truth from the…

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    As Victor Turner explains in his text “Liminality and Communitas”, the middle stage of a rite of passage is called liminality and this allows for people to see the lower side of that society and experience it first hand. He believes that without this structural mobility there would be no social bond amongst the members belonging to that society. This does show that rites of passage does include power dynamics and in this case, whether in Judaism or any other religion, children are not members of…

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    and a communitas state. The pre-liminal state is characteristically defined as a time when events occur under specific conditions that start to press against an individual’s normal social structure and thought process. The liminal period is a time of “in-between” in which individuals no longer participate in their typical social structures or identify with their characteristic ways of thinking. Contemporaneously, they are on the edge of transitioning into an aberrant social structure…

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    phenomena of communitas, and the passage being either ritual of status elevation or ritual of status reversal. Liminality is a state of being that is between social position. Essentially it is the cracks of a social structure where individuals lack any assigned social position, thus liminal individuals are unique for they have no qualities of the social states they are found between, but within the same instance they hold both positions and all that comes with them. An example of such…

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    accepted practice for infants or young babies is to perform a dedication of the child back to God. This practice is performed by multiple religious groups and it is a symbolic service where the parents recognize that God gave them the child and they in return are giving him/her back to God in an act of submission and recognition. This rite of passage for the child ensures that the parents have began the infants Christian journey with the blessing of the pastor/priest and that they have done…

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    The documentary, The Devil’s Playground, directed by Lucy Walker illustrates the lifestyle of the Amish culture. This film particularly focuses on a Rite of Passage known as Rumspringa. Rumspringa occurs when an adolescent turn sixteen years old and the adolescent then has an opportunity to experience the outside world before deciding rather or not to officially join the Amish church. By using Turner’s concepts of liminality, communitas, rituals of status elevation and status of reversal, one…

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    the Ndembu tribe of Zambia, and studied their use of symbols in rituals and rites of passage. Clifford Geertz (1926-2006) was an American anthropologist whose largest and most important works were on the Balinese cockfights in Indonesia, and defined culture as a web of ideas expressed in symbols, that can have multiple meanings. Stanley Tambiah (1929-2014) was a Professor Emeritus at Harvard that formulated a performative approach to ritual, where every human action was a ‘performance’ and all…

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    journey is a quest for literacy as well as freedom” (67). Stepto references the symbolic journey, most specifically focusing on the ideas of “symbolic geography” and “ritual grounds.” Symbolic geography is represented through specific landscapes which offer: a time and space offering spatial expressions of social structures and ritual grounds on one hand, and of communitas and genius loci on the other. The distinction between the two pairings has to do with time: social structures and ritual…

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