201 Toolkit: Roy Rappaport on Ritual

Once again we'll turn to Roy Rappaport's Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity, this time to examine the idea of ritual. It should come as no surprise that such a term is much-discussed, and definitions abound, offered by ranks of scholars in various disciplines. In the course of studying religion, I necessarily encountered several of these, and ultimately found Rappaport's superior. Of course, as I've mentioned before, I'm particularly fond of Rappaport. While I maintain he's my favorite theorist because his lens proved the most useful all around, nevertheless I'll admit my bias in his favor.

In any case, when I speak of ritual, it is with his definition in mind, a definition which he gives on page 24: "I take the term 'ritual' to denote the performance of more or less invariant sequences of formal acts and utterances not entirely encoded by the performers." (Italics his.)


Mana Matters, Part II: Five Color Cosmology

As noted in our initial post on Magic, mana exists in five colors (red, green, white, blue, black) produced by the five types of basic lands (mountain, forest, plains, island, swamp). Each of these colors possesses a distinct set of characteristics, and in terms of gameplay, spells using certain colors of mana tend to have access to particular sorts of effects which other colors generally may not.


Mana Matters, Part I: This Land

In our previous post on Magic: The Gathering, we noted the naturalistic concept of mana which underlies both the premise and mechanics of the game. Today, we will begin examining this particular facet of Magic, with an eye for the religious implications of this fundamental concept of the game.


Long Horizon

We will return to a regular posting schedule in the near future. In the meantime, best wishes for the new year to all.