Ritual efficacy is not my kettle of fish but

I have a few friends with a personal interest in attending to [Christian] ritual life (with and without belief). God-neutral faith is the topic of this short piece by Tanya Marie Luhrmann on the New York Times site.

How do we understand this impulse to hold a “church” service despite a hesitant or even nonexistent faith? Part of the answer is surely the quest for community. rituals change the way we pay attention these rituals work, if by “work” we mean that they change people’s sense of their lives. It turns out that saying that you are grateful makes you feel grateful. Saying that you are thankful makes you feel thankful. Religion is fundamentally a practice that helps people to look at the world as it is and yet to experience it — to some extent, in some way — as it should be.

I say this is not my ‘thing’, but I read this article because I recognised Lurhmann’s name (from an undergraduate subject in witchcraft plus my honours research in the area of the Anthropology of Christianity), a belief free ‘religion’ (with a ritual life clearly influenced by my familiarity with Catholicism) is exactly a topic I spent many a conversation at high school considering and I even volunteered for a project that sought to capture and disseminate ritual practices for use (DSI -Disruptive Spiritual Innovation – which I discussed in earlier posts on this blog).

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