Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Jesper Frøkjær Sørensen

Acts that Work: A Cognitive Approach to Ritual Agency

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Questions of agency are central for understanding ritual behavior in general and representations of magical efficacy in particular. Religious traditions often stipulate who are entitled to perform particular rituals. Futher, representations of unobservable agents are often explicitly described as the 'real' ritual agents. Recent invetigations into the processes underlying action representations and social cognition can help explain how these representations arise. It is argued that paying close attention to details in the cognitive processing of ordinary actions can shed light on how ritual actions activate part of these systems while simultaneously leaving other aspects unaccounted for. This has particular effects that make culturally transmitted representations of superhuman agents highly relevant.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMethod and Theory in the Study of Religion
Volume19
Issue3-4
Pages (from-to)281-300
Number of pages20
ISSN0943-3058
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 17619707

994 / i29