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Secularized sovereignty and sacrifice: a ritualistic point of view
chapterposted on 2016-11-28, 00:00 authored by Rohan BastinRohan Bastin
Dumont's contentious insight for India was the priest-king relation and with that the idea that the Indian king was a secularized being. In this paper, I support his contention and argue that secularization was not a process of separating the sacred from the secular, but of ritually creating the relationship between the two and of thereby asserting the primacy of ritual as practice rather than as representation. Such ritual is, moreover, sacrificial, but is not sacrifice in the conventional and limited sense of killing and substitution of victim, rather than more literally making sacred through processes of what Bruce Kapferer identifies as deconstitution and reconstitution. These ideas are explored through a reconsideration of my previous work on Hindu temple design and rite with reference to Frits Staal's insights regarding the meaninglessness of ritual.