RITE AND RITUAL. Rites and rituals have been studied from antiquity: Western philosophers pondered these practices, which in modern times have become an object of study in anthropology, ethnology, and sociology. The diversity of practices makes an authoritative definition problematic, but certain general descriptors apply: A rite is a well-ordered, obligatory action or group of actions that is.
Religious belief is on the decline in Western society and this also contributes to the general outlook on rituals and rites. Western industrial society has idolised ideals, rationality and a limited type of practicality and all too often regards the conscious ritual of other cultures as a frivolous curiosity (LaChapelle, 1984:1-6). We have forgotten much in the last 300 hundred years that we.