Ezzy, D, Reassembling religious symbols: the Pagan God Baphomet, Religion, 45 pp. 24-41. ISSN 0048-721X (2015) [Refereed Article]
© 2014 Taylor & Francis.
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 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|
|Author:||Ezzy, D (Professor Douglas Ezzy)|
|Deposited By:||Office of the School of Social Sciences|
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