The problem of ritual has been a central topic of religious studies since the earliest days of the research tradition. Rituals offer material for interesting paths of inquiry related to both historical and contemporary perspectives, and can also be viewed from several different angles, such as the sociological, psychological, ethnographic or theological. This visible form of religious engagement is especially interesting to discuss in relation to the increasing secularisation of the public spaces and discourses in the Nordic countries today.

Among the articles we find significant contributions concentrating on theoretical aspects of rituals. Some authors present novel analyses of ancient religious rituals, such as pilgrimages to Jerusalem, Japanese rites of passage and Dionysian mysteries. The issue also includes a number of articles that deal with rituals of a modern, non-traditional kind, such as Neo-pagan cyber rituals, Christian rock concerts and women’s recreation of ritual practices.

Published: 2003-01-01