Expert Meeting Ritual Techniques: New Openings in Ritual and Liturgical Studies

20 January 2022 15:00 - 18:00

The Institute for Ritual and Liturgical Studies (IRiLiS) is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary with an expert meeting on ritual techniques. The meeting aims to sketch new directions in the study of contemporary and historical liturgy and ritual. It asks how rituals can be fruitfully explored as techniques: operational processes involving work with things and symbols which entail both 'know-how' and 'know-that'. You can view the programme.

About the meeting

Practices-with-things both regularize and habituate the body’s movements, on the one hand, and can provide a basis for new spaces for perception, communication, and cognition on the other.

In short, instead of probing what rituals mean, or their significance in a secular or post-secular society, we want to examine how to think about what rituals do, what they make possible, and how. We have invited six scholars working across disciplines in different fields, cultures, and periods, to explore these questions from their own scholarly perspective. By engaging critically with this central question from theological, practical, and historical points of view, the meeting will chart new avenues of research and education.

Each scholar will give a research statement or concept paper engaging with the central question of 'ritual techniques' on the basis of their own research field and interests, and, at the same time, with an eye to scholarly, cross-disciplinary exchange. They will share their statements in brief, in order to allow a generous amount of time for questions and debate. We hope this opportunity for each presenter to sketch central ideas and to discuss them critically will both prove stimulating, and help facilitate the cohesion of a special jubilee edition of the Yearbook for Ritual and Liturgical Studies  to which presenters will submit their contribution.  

Guests are invited to attend this expert meeting and to participate in the discussions. If you are also interested in writing a contribution for the jubilee edition of the Yearbook for Ritual and Liturgical Studies, which will be a special issue on the topic of Ritual Techniques, please contact the coordinator of IRiLiS,
dr. Janieke Bruin (



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