Abstracts


 

 

 

 

MICHEL-M. CAMPBELL

CYRANO, THE PRECIOUS AND THE CULT OF THE IN-SIGNIFICANCE

This article, for the first part more methodological, defines the "wild ritual" as that which imposes itself independently of the institutional apparatus of a religion, and specifies that this type of ritual can be found even at the heart of an individual's life. Secondly, it analyses the rite of Cyrano by Rostand. Whether this be in his social, military or love life, he spends his time in eclipsing the limit by the esthetic of form; and this, at the risk of living by a borrowed body a love that would be without a doubt otherwise possible. The conclusion indicates several contemporary works that replay, under different character types, the same ritual structure.

Read the Article | Summary of number 16 | Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GHISLAIN FOURNIER

TO EACH HIS HERO. ROLE PLAYING AND ADOLESCENT RITES

At the end of the XXth century, Québec faces a proliferation of a phenomenon which can properly be called the heroic culture. As the relevance of religious and moral teaching in schools is being put in question, one witnesses adolescents' enthusiasm for role-playing games; among such games, Dungeons & Dragons stands as the figurehead. The adult world is not resistant to this enthusiasm: the success of Québec City's Medieval Festival (les Médiévales) speaks for itself. Although the Middle Ages are by no means the sole bearers of this heroic culture, they provide us with a symbolic "reservoir" rich enough to feed a craving for dreams and, ultimately, for specifically initiatic rituals.

Read the Article | Summary of number 16 | Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DENIS JEFFREY

WILD RITUALS, DOMESTIC RITUALS

In the wild ritual, there seems to be an experience of the sacred that does not succeed in organizing and symbolizing itself, in making itself known. The violence, which it contains, transports outside of oneself, in excessiveness and in ecstasy, in that border zone of death, frequented by mystics and fans of absolute risk. A participation which is certainly extremely dangerous, given the possibility of a loss of control. Is the ritual loss of control always a transgression - and a fertile one? All transgressions are assuredly not wild rituals. This text, consisting of three situations that one could qualify as wild rituals (a bachelor's party, the tragedy of Antigone, and the extreme behaviour in the film Thelma and Louise), questions the heuristic relevance of the distinction between the wild ritual and the domestic ritual.

Read the Article | Summary of number 16 | Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SYLVIE-ANNE LAMER

TATTOOING, AN ANCESTRAL RITUAL BECOME WILD?

Bastide was the first to describe a type of sacred experience which falls outside established norms, outside the institutions which are normally the guardians of the sacred experience. He called this the wild sacred, an experience that he also designates under the term instituting sacred as opposed to the instituted sacred of official organizations. If the practice of permanently marking the body seems like mutilation to some, is it correct to associate this practice to a form of wild rituality? This short article proposes an interpretation of permanently marking the body, through the example of tattooing as it is practiced in the West, in the light of the idea of the wild sacred, of ritual and by extension, of it possibly being a wild ritual.

Read the Article | Summary of number 16 | Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAVID LE BRETON

SYMBOLIC GAMES WITH DEATH

The confusion of social and cultural markers, in modern society, leads each actor to a personal production of his identity. In the realm of this anthropological crisis, this article is interested in that which pushes a growing number of actors towards the practice of taking risks where death is symbolically approached, sometimes even at the risk of one's life. The actor in search of meaning and value to give to his life, and without always knowing this consciously, thus questions the ultimate signifier, death, in order to know if life still has meaning: as if only death symbolically solicited, in the manner of an oracle, can still state the legitimacy of existence and nourish the desire to live with new breath.

Read the Article | Summary of number 16 | Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOSEPH-JOSY LÉVY

WILD RITUALS: SOCIO-PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES

The idea of wild rituals does not come without posing problems of definition in relation to more classical ideas. From an analysis of extreme practices, which seem to overlap with this concept, this article investigates the differences of sex that socio-psychological researches were able to draw out, which ask to be better understood. Some of the main explanatory models or theories are onsidered - like the search for strong feelings and the vulnerability tied to the masculine identity; so are the hypotheses pertaining to the relation between shame and the fascination that danger exerts, which is at the basis of certain wild conducts.

Read the Article | Summary of number 16 | Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AMNON J. SUISSA

DRUG ADDICTION AND RITUALS

Cultural and social realities of addiction represent essential factors in the comprehension of drug addiction. On the level of mental health, it has been shown that the rituals, the laws, the beliefs and the values of certain cultural groups can prevent or encourage mental health problems. Applied to this field, certain cultural practices seem to play a dominating role in the layout of the modes of use or abuse. How do we explain that the physiological effects of one or another substance varies according to the values of the culture in question? Through an overview of three cultural communities (Amahuacas in South America, Jewish culture, and Autochtons of Canada), a social analysis will be undertaken in order to explain the impact of cultural values and of mental heath on the development of the modes of consumption.

Read the Article | Summary of number 16 | Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROBERT VERREAULT

CHILDHOOD AND RITUALS IN A FEW QUEBEC WRITERS

The theme of the passage to adulthood marks the work of certain of the most well known authors of Quebec literature: M. Tremblay, R. Ducharme, M.-C. Blais, A. Hébert. These writers describe a strongly ritualized passage, marked by the anguish of the passing time. Tremblay and Ducharme express a violent refusal of adult sexuality. M.-C. Blais presents a universe seemingly exhausted by an excessive fertility and where children's bodies are countless. Les enfants du sabbat by A. Hébert describes, in short, an exhausted and ossified world, where contact with the sacred, paradoxically, appears possible only in sacrilege.

Read the Article | Summary of number 16 | Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MATTHEW KOSUTA

THE BUDDHA AND THE FOUR-LIMBED ARMY

The Military in the Pali Canon

The coexistence of a pacifist ethic ans a military tradition creates an apparent contradiction. In an attempt to better understand this paradox, this study examines the treatment of the military in the Pali Canon. The all-encompassing focus of the study is the interaction between a pacifist religion, here Theravada Buddhism, and the military apparatus that protects the country within which this religion is found. Specifically, within the boundaries of this presentation will be an examination of the canonical texts relative to the question. The study has two objectives: examine how the Canon treats the subject of the military, and find the attitude expressed by this treatment.

Read the Article | Summary of number 16 | Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHRISTINE PINA

RELIGION AND POLITICS IN THE "RENOUVEAU CHARISMATIQUE"

Is thereone single Catholic charismatic renewal? We pondered this question when we started our research on two French communities, "le Chemin Neuf" and "les Béatitudes". Then, thanks to sixteen non directive interviews, we discovered that the same extraordinary spiritual experience (the encounter with God as a loving person) could be expressed very differently in these two communities. The irruption of God in one's personal history had different consequences in everyday life, and specially, led people to consider differently society and politics. In fact we observed that each community created its own sensitivity and that the relationships between religion, society and politics depended first of all on the discourse and the organization of the community.

Read the Article | Summary of number 16 | Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHILIP L. TITE

P. K. DICK'S VALIS AND MODERN GNOSIS

Gnosticism typically has been studied in its "classical" - ancient - forms. Modern religious sensibilities, however, include an appropriation by various groups and individuals of what has come to be understood as "Gnostic" generally. The discovery of the Nag Hammadi Codices in 1945, and the popularity of C. G. Jung's writings, has helped to encourage such religious appropriation. This article looks at one modern author's literary expression of Gnosticism. Philip K. Dick's novel Valis - somewhat of a spiritual autobiography - explicitly connects Dick's own spiritual self-understanding to Gnosticism. This article will look at how Dick's novel expresses this motif primarily through literary articulations of dualism and character development that run throughout the novel.

Read the Article | Summary of number 16 | Home Page