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Ritual, Play and Belief, in Evolution and Early Human Societies

Ritual, Play and Belief, in Evolution and Early Human Societies

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Cambridge University Press, 12/21/2017
EAN 9781107143562, ISBN10: 110714356X

Hardcover, 350 pages, 29.4 x 22.8 x 2.3 cm
Language: English

The origins of religion and ritual in humans have been the focus of centuries of thought in archaeology, anthropology, theology, evolutionary psychology and more. Play and ritual have many aspects in common, and ritual is a key component of the early cult practices that underlie the religious systems of the first complex societies in all parts of the world. This book examines the formative cults and the roots of religious practice from the earliest times until the development of early religion in the Near East, in China, in Peru, in Mesoamerica and beyond. Here, leading prehistorians and other specialists bring a fresh approach to the early practices that underlie the faiths and religions of the world. They demonstrate the profound role of play ritual and belief systems and offer powerful new insights into the emergence of early civilization.

1. Introducing ritual, play and belief
in evolution and early human societies Iain Morley
2. Introduction
play as the precursor of ritual in early human societies Colin Renfrew
Part I. Play and Ritual
Forms, Foundations and Evolution in Animals and Humans
3. The origins, evolution, and interconnections of play and ritual
setting the stage Gordon Burghardt
4. Play and creativity Patrick Bateson
5. Pretend and sociodramatic play in evolutionary and developmental perspective Peter K. Smith
6. Pretend play, cognition and life-history in human evolution Iain Morley
7. From play and ritualisation to ritual and its arts
sources of Upper Pleistocene ritual practices in Lower Middle Pleistocene ritualised and play behaviours in ancestral hominins Ellen Dissanayake
Part II. Playing with Belief and Performance in Ancient Societies
8. Maya sacred play
the view from El Perú-Waka' David Friedel and Michelle Rich
9. Communal performance and ritual practice in the Ancestral Puebloan era of the American Southwest Claire Halley
10. Architecture and imagery in the early Neolithic of Southwest Asia
framing rituals, stabilizing meanings Trevor Watkins
11. Dancing with masks in the Protohistoric Near East Yosef Garfinkel
12. Ritual, mimesis and the animal world in early China Roel Sterckx
13. Manipulating the bones
Eating and augury in the Maltese temples Caroline Malone
Part III. The Ritual in the Game, The Game in the Ritual
14. Play, ritual and transformation
Sports, animals and manhood in Egyptian and Aegean art Lyvia Morgan
15. Bull games in Minoan Crete
social and symbolic dimensions Nanno Marinatos
16. Epic Games Nigel Spivey
17. The ball game, boxing and ritual bloodsport in ancient Mesoamerica Karl Taube
18. Rituals, games and learning Vanghelis Kyriakidis
Part IV. From Play to Faith? Discussion
19. Play and ritual
some thoughts from a material-culture perspective Lambros Malafouris
20. Believing in play and ritual Robin Osborne
21. The pentagram of performance
ritual, play and social transformation Iain Morley.