Follow Us

Send us your news and events!

Mail them to
(No attachments!)

Subscribe to our News & Events Blog

Follow us on Twitter


Annual Conference at Durham University

2011 September 5-7th

Ritual Knowledge

The theme of ritual has long played a part in Religious Studies and allied disciplines, and has taken a variety of new turns in recent years in relation to cognitive, evolutionary, embodiment, emotions, and other studies. Accordingly, this conference invites papers dealing with a spectrum of interest, whether theoretical, descriptive and participatory in papers that might deal with, anthropological-sociological, architectural, artistic, gendered, historical, literary-textual, musical, psychological, philosophical or theological approaches to ritual whether that of traditional ‘religious’ or more ‘secular’ forms of rite. Some might want to question the ‘ritual’ category itself, along with the designations ‘religious’ or ‘secular’ that frequently qualify it.

From the walking of pilgrimage to the sonority of bells; from pressing cremator buttons to the willowy shrouds of natural burial by priest or civil celebrant; From Eucharistic eating to Charismatic speaking; from the Coronation and Royal Weddings to Soap opera birthday parties ritual knowing arises.

Among the Conference papers, two international plenary papers will engage in different ways with cognitive scientific -evolutionary biological aspects of ritual, with a Durham speaker asking how language may replace action in ritual, exemplified through Crypto-Judaism.

Armin Geertz Aarhus University, Denmark. “New approaches to the cognitive science of religious ritual”.

Loyal Rue- Luther College, Iowa, USA. “Rite Makes Right”.

Seth Kunin Durham Pro-Vice Chancellor for Arts and Humanities. “The Telling of Ritual”.


Conference Organiser Prof. Douglas J. Davies. President of the BASR & Professor in the Study of Religion at Durham University

Mr Daniel Smith is helping to administer the conference papers and


All Registration and Accommodation details are available on the Registration Form that needs to be posted to BASR Conference 2011, St Chad’s College, 18 North Bailey, Durham, DH1 3RH.