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# AIRDATE AUDIO

TOPIC & GUEST

067

04/01/03

Topic:

The Importance of Rituals & Rights of Passage

Guest:

Callers are the guests

SHOW DETAILS

Topic: The Importance of Rituals & Rights of Passage

People throughout the world have heightened emotions during times of important changes in their lives. These stressful changes may be physiological or social in nature. They are usually connected with personal transitions between important stages that occur during our lives. These transitions are generally emotionally charged--they are life crises. Most cultures consider the important transitions to be birth, the onset of puberty, marriage, life threatening illness or injury, and finally death. Graduation from school, divorce, and retirement at the end of a work life are also major transitions in modern large-scale societies.

During the early 20th century, the Belgian anthropologist, Arnold Van Gennep, observed that all cultures have prescribed ways for an individual and society to deal with these emotion charged situations. They have ritual ceremonies intended to mark the transition from one phase of life to another. Van Gennep called these ceremonies rites of passage. In North America today, typical rites of passage are baptisms, bar mitzvahs and confirmations, school graduation ceremonies, weddings, retirement parties, and funerals. These intentionally ritualized ceremonies help the individuals making the transition, as well their relatives and friends, pass through an emotionally charged, tense time. Most rites of passage are religious ceremonies. They not only mark the transition between an individual's life stages but they reinforce the dominant religious views and values of a culture. In other words, they reinforce the world-view.

Guest: Callers are the guests

 

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