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Reassembling religious symbols: the Pagan God Baphomet


Ezzy, D, Reassembling religious symbols: the Pagan God Baphomet, Religion, 45 pp. 24-41. ISSN 0048-721X (2015) [Refereed Article]

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© 2014 Taylor & Francis.

DOI: doi:10.1080/0048721X.2014.949898


Religious symbols are primarily significant because they draw people into relationships. Drawing on actor-network theory the paper demonstrates that symbols are hybrids of beliefs, cognitive interpretations, ritual performances and relational networks. The significance of symbols is located in this middle ground, as they mediate between thought and action, as well as between interpretative meaning and relational practice. Aesthetic experiences and ritual performance are interwoven with cognitive meaning and representation to generate the impact of religious symbols. This understanding of symbols is illustrated through an ethnographic account of a Pagan ritual involving the deity Baphomet. One of the participants describes this ritual succinctly: ‘Baphomet is a recreation of the Witches’ sabbat, an invocation of archetypal Witchcraft. It’s R-rated, it contains adult themes, nudity and sex references.’ Through ritual experiences, religious symbols change the way people feel about themselves, the world and the people around them.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:religious symbols; Paganism; actor-network theory; Bruno Latour
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Religion and Religious Studies
Research Field:Religion and Society
Objective Division:Cultural Understanding
Objective Group:Religion and Ethics
Objective Field:Religious Structures and Ritual
UTAS Author:Ezzy, D (Professor Douglas Ezzy)
ID Code:117454
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-06-15
Last Modified:2018-03-13

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