Religion Past and Present

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Rite and Ritual
(6,139 words)

[German Version]

I. Religious Studies

1. The terms

The terms rite and ritual are often used synonymously, both in daily speech and in the specialized language of religious studies, leading to a lack of clarity. “Rite” is etymologically related to Sanskrit ṛta, “right, order, truth, custom,” and may thus be regarded as the “smallest” building block of a ritual, which can be defined as a complex series of actions in a (logical) functional relati…

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Hutter, Manfred, Stausberg, Michael, Schwemer, Daniel, Gertz, Jan Christian, Hollender, Elisabeth, Betz, Hans Dieter, Kranemann, Benedikt, Kaczynski, Reiner and Preul, Reiner, “Rite and Ritual”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 22 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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