Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(3,019 words)

1. Definition

The word ritual is derived from Latin ritus (cultic/religious practice). It denotes a sequence of actions generally performed in a fixed order. In present-day usage, ritual and rite frequently overlap semantically, but they are not identical. While ritual refers to a complex sequence of actions, a rite can include either several ritual actions or just a single one. In the Christian churches, furthermore, ritual als…

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Gareis, Iris, “Ritual”, 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 29 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_026764>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210601

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