Drawing on Maurice Bloch’s “Symbols, Songs, Dance,” discuss the creation of ritual authority in “Speaking is Believing” by Susan Harding and, the ways ritual or formal authority is maintained in Henkel’s ‘Between Belief and Unbelief Lies the Performance of Salāt.,” and the critique or dissolution of authority in Bruce Lincoln’s “Revolutionary Exhumations in Spain.”
Requirements for Option 1: Your essay should define formalization (according to Bloch).
This definition should be used to guide interpretation of the creation of authority in the ritual of witnessing (Harding) and the maintaining of authority in the practice of daily prayer (Henkel).
Drawing on Maurice Bloch’s “Symbols, Songs, Dance,” discuss the creation of ritual authority in “Speaking is Believing” by Susan Harding.
Requirements for Option 2: Your essay should define formalization (according to Bloch). This definition should be punctuated with examples of formalization from Bloch’s essay and further illustrated with reference to Susan Harding’s essay on witnessing.
For Option 1 and 2: your definition of formalization should make reference to
Your essay should explain to the reader what formalization is (provide an extended definition from Bloch’s essay). This definition should then be punctuated by variety, with examples of how we create, maintain, or dissolve authority creating authority in processes of formalization or ritualization.
This essay, which focuses on the nature of authority and how it is produced, maintained, and dissolved, is all about definition. You are providing a well- illustrated definition of formalization, moving through Bloch’s examples as well as providing additional examples from the required readings to illustrate how authority, symbols, and formalization work.
Assignment 2 is to be uploaded to a folder in UMLearn.
Your assignment should be written so that it could be used as. Required reading in this section of the course. Think of yourself as writing for future students in this course.
Assignment 2 and my expectations for this assignment will be discussed in more detail on February 16 in Writing Workshop 2. In the workshop, writing strategies and tips will be discussed.
Basic elements of your assignment
Aim of assignment and how it fits with intended learning outcomes.
The assignment requires that you have a good grasp of formalization as outlined by Maurice Bloch. The emphasis of this assignment, apart from definition, is on comparison. Each case studies provides an exemplification of a particular kind of authority. These attempts are strategies. In comparing the three case studies you are creating a vocabulary for talking about ritual and ritualization, authority and authorization.
This assignment emphasizes the importance of definition (authority in the context of formalization, what we’re also calling ritualization), comparison (case studies), and analysis and interpretation (the correctness of your definition, the accuracy of your application or interpretation). The assignment is an opportunity to practice reading, writing, and communication skills as well as work towards identify personal challenges in the writing process. In the workshop, strategies for overcoming writing obstacles and difficulties will be addressed.
Formalization, according to Maurice Bloch, refers to the process by which cultural practices become standardized, routinized, and highly scripted. This process is crucial in creating and maintaining ritual authority, which is the power and legitimacy that a particular ritual or practice holds within a community.
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