Designed for both academic and lay audiences, this book identifies the characteristics of ritual and, via multiple examples, details how ritual works on the human body and brain to produce its often profound effects. These include enhancing courage, effecting healing, and generating group cohesion by enacting cultural--or individual--beliefs and values. It also shows what happens when ritual fails.
About the Author:
Charles D. Laughlin is Emeritus Professor at Carleton College. His recent books include Communing with the Gods: Consciousness, Culture and the Dreaming Brain (2011, Daily Grail), which explores the anthropology of dreaming and recounts his experiences as a practitioner of Tibetan dream yoga.