p. 51. Ritualization
- Barry Stephenson
‘Ritualization’ considers one of the cornerstones of ritual studies—ritualization. It begins with ethology, the study of animal behaviour and goes on to discuss ritualization theory and how this has shaped new attitudes toward the rites we humans perform. Ethology postulates that ritualization is a selective process that allows for the enhanced communication of evolutionary advantageous information and emotional states. What is gained through a biological approach to ritual? What does ethology contribute to our understanding of human ritual, and what are its limitations? Ritual is a window toward our biological or animal being and our cultural being; it is also the point at which these dimensions intersect, mingle, and influence one another.