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Related to ritualizing: ritualistic, ritualisation
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While the particularities of narrative allow for the telling to function as an act of self-construction, the story at the same time reveals commonalities that, in the context of a ritualizing group, help form community.
Contemporary ritualizing women use narrative in part to reconstruct a constitutive story that disrupts and challenges traditional myth while recognizing the power of mythic representation.
Within the constructed safety and ritual structure of women's communal worship, narrative has both external and internal functions, reflecting the tension of the communal and the particular that pervades women's ritualizing.
Of all the elements common to women's ritualizing, perhaps the most distinctive and, especially in feminist groups, most pervasive is narrative reflection on the ritual as part of the ritual process itself.
That feminist ritualizing privileges narrative is evident not only in its encouragement of the telling of both personal and historical stories, but also in its stress upon narrative (rather than performative) reflexivity.
Despite feminist theory's condemnation of modernity and general embrace of difference and particularity, elements of postmodernism specific to ritual - especially the understanding of symbol and of meaning as non-foundational and unidentifiable outside a given situation - have had only a limited impact on the theory of women's ritualizing.
Since women's ritualizing does not posit reflection as a category in opposition to ritual practice, but has ritualized reflexivity itself, it has voided (or at least circumvented) the reflection/thought/narrative-performance/action duality elaborated by many postmodernists.
While structures may be repeated or built upon, ritualizing women implicitly try to avoid the transitioning of ritualizing into rites.
Thus, while women's ritualizing may seem comfortably ensconced in the narrative theology camp, it has clear affinities, especially in its stress on particularity, difference, and performance, with postmodern cultural and literary theory.
While feminist theorists in general, and feminist liturgiologists more specifically, have paid little attention, on the whole, to the role of narrative in women's ritualizing, descriptions and observations of what women actually do in such situations tell another story, so to speak.