Anth248: Anthropology of Religion
October 1, 2003
Boyer distinguishes ritual from other human action in that rituals follow a specific rule, and a performed in a specific manner and place, and with a specific instrumentation. (231) Failure to comply with scripts is believed to lead to a vague danger, and so practitioners follow ritual steps with particular zeal. (Boyer 236).
Although Boyer has not specified it, I believe that rituals create a sense of “urgency” precisely because the dangers of otherwise not following them are not specified. Because the danger is not described, and human imagination tends to fill in the details, the hyperreactive propensity of the mind (145) will most likely believe that a nonspecific danger is a risky danger.