Ritualization and the Distinction between Rituals and Non-Rituals in Religious Studies

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student in Religious Studies,, Faculty of Religions, University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Faculty of Religions, University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran.



A major problem in religious studies as an interdisciplinary field is to identify certain actions as rituals in a context. The present paper adopts a novel interdisciplinary approach to study how rituals are distinguished from ordinary actions. The approach in question combines several notions of ritual, embodiment. spatiality. and intentionality in the various branches, which we incorporate within the course of ritualization as what distinguishes rituals from non-rituals. we consider the success of certain actions to make themselves recognized as rituals. Studies show that, through ritualization, a ritual space is produced in which certain actions are rendered meaningful through the bodies of those who practice the rituals, in which case they turn from an ordinary action to a ritual action. Finally, we conclude that a main component by which rituals are distinguished from non-rituals and successful rituals are formed is the physical training of those who practice rituals through occasional ritual situations.


Main Subjects