In rituals, priests often use ritual handbooks in a handwritten or printed form. The paper will discuss the relationship between such scripts and the performance of rituals, their typology and their traditions. It will also deal with the question how ritual handbooks can be analysed for writing a kind of grammar of rituals using computer-linguistic methods. The talk is based on extensive field studies and editing of ritual handbooks of life-cycle rituals in Nepal.
Dr. Axel Michaels is Full Professor and former Director of the Department of Cultural and Religious History of South Asia (Classical Indology) at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University. In addition, he is the Director of Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe,” and Head of the research unit “Documents on the History of Religion and Law or pre-modern Nepal.” Prof. Dr. Michaels is the author of several books including most recently Homo ritualis. Hindu Rituals and its Significance for Ritual Theory. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.