Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(774 words)

1. General

The concept of initiation is common to all eras and cultures. Derived from the Latin verb initiare (“introduce,” “induct”), it denotes induction into an office or admission to a social status or a group. It denotes both an initiation ritual and the totality of initiation rites (Ritual). It is often used as a synonym for rites of passage, but the terms overlap only partially.

Since the late 19th century, the initiation rites of indigenous and non-European peoples have especially interested sch…

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Gareis, Iris, “Initiation”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 05 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_021415>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190124

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