Journey And Its Liminality Theology Religion

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In this essay I will be discoursing a Rite of Passage known as the “ Journey ” – which the class 10s of an all male child ‘s high school called Saint Alban ‘s College ( which I will mention to as St Alban ‘s for the remainder of the essay ) in Lynnwood, Pretoria have to undergo – and how it relates to Turner ‘s ( 1969 ) theory of ‘liminality ‘ .

S. J. Tambiah, as quoted by Bowie ( 2006 ) , defined ritual as “ A culturally constructed system of symbolic communicating. It is constituted of patterned and ordered sequences of words and Acts of the Apostless, frequently expressed in multiple media, whose content and agreement are characterized in changing grade by formality ( conventionality ) , stereotypy ( rigidness ) , condensation ( merger ) , and redundancy ( repeat ) . ” This is the definition of ritual I will mention to in this essay.

Van Gennep ‘s ( 1908 ) theory of ritual being divided into three stages is besides an built-in portion of how I will be measuring Journey and its relation to Turner ‘s ( 1969 ) theory of liminality as it falls under the liminal stage in Van Gennep ‘s ( 1908 ) theory.

In the 2010, I was a class 10 pupil in St Alban ‘s and hence had to partake in Journey wherein we ( the male child ) hiking, rhythm, horseback drive, rappel, swim and kayak our manner to a campground merely abruptly of Machadodorp, Mpumelanga from the front gate of St Alban ‘s in Clearwater Road in Lynnwood, Pretoria over a period of 23 yearss ; and so return to St Alban ‘s by coach. Each twelvemonth group consists of around 120 to 130 scholars that are divided into 6 groups that have to make Journey. Each group leaves a twenty-four hours after the old group and each group has two ritual seniors assigned to them that will attach to them until the terminal of the Journey.

On the first twenty-four hours of Journey, we are given a flag with our group figure on it and we walk out of the schoolyard through a guard of honor to symbolize our completion of the junior part of our high school calling and our Ascension to a higher societal circle as we are eventually deemed feasible to set about the rite that is Journey. The rite of separation that we have to travel through is that, during the 23 yearss, the lone communicating we have with people that we do non come into direct contact with such as our households, is written letters that merely arrive at the intended receivers one time a hebdomad, nevertheless there are times where the letters are delayed and merely arrive with the following mail bringing. Thereby about wholly cutting off our interaction with the remainder of society for the continuance of Journey.

On yearss 2 to 13, we hike or rhythm or kayak towards an country called “ Kingdom ” in Mpumelanga. The ritual seniors accompany us and detect what we do and how we deal with unanticipated jobs and state of affairss while seeking to affect themselves every bit small as possible as to measure how we deal with what arises. Some such jobs are level Surs, bike concatenation interruptions, kayaks turtling, and conditions alterations. For this initial stage of Journey, the non-participation of the ritual seniors is unlike other rites such as the Venda misss ‘ induction rite or Vhusha ( McNeill, 2011 )

On twenty-four hours 14 of Journey, we have another rite of separation called “ Solo ” . Solo is when you and your group mates – that you have now endured the last two hebdomads with – are split up and segregated from any and all human interaction for 36 hours to reflect upon yourself and your topographic point in the greater strategy of things. During Solo, all you are given is your kiping bag, a 2 metre by 2 metre PVC tarp, a rope if you thought to convey one and some nutrient for the continuance of Solo. The liminal stage of Solo would be how you reflect upon yourself and asses your standing in life. The collection stage happens after the 36 hours, when we are all brought together in silence at a big fire where we sit around it and the ritual seniors have a “ debriefing ” session with each of the male childs in bend around the fire where they see how much each of the novices have changed since the novices started the Journey.

From twenty-four hours 15 to 22, we continue to do our manner towards the cantonment near Machadodorp. On twenty-four hours 22, we arrive at the concluding campground where we can physically loosen up because when we get to that cantonment, as it is the terminal of the physical journey until we have to sit back to St Alban ‘s. On the penultimate twenty-four hours, we have another debriefing session but this clip as a group wherein each novice has a opportunity to portion how he feels he or person else in the group has changed and how the Journey has affected him. The ritual seniors besides partake in the concluding debrief and remark on each member of the group and what has been the most outstanding facets of each individual.

On the concluding twenty-four hours, we make our manner back to St Alban ‘s on a coach, and when we get out, we walk through another pompous guard of honor that is largely comprised of the older pupils that have already completed the rite that is Journey. When we arrive at the range pole in the Centre of the campus, we raise the flag that our group was given at the beginning of Journey to symbolize our return and successful completion of Journey. The ritual of each group raising the flag marks the collection back into the St Alban ‘s community as portion of the senior scholars.

For the continuance of the Journey, it does n’t count what a individual ‘s societal standing is, when they are partaking in it, everyone is equal and if they do non accept and larn to trust on everyone every bit as every individual has different accomplishments, so Journey would be a close impossible undertaking to make in 23 yearss. Turner ‘s ( 1969, p. 96 ) theory of communitas can be seen really clearly within the context of Journey as each individual that I have spoken to that has completed Journey and my ain experience of Journey shows that when everyone works on the same degree as peers to acquire a common undertaking done, it is much easier than when there is a sense of different societal category while in the group that is making the same rite. An illustration would be on cycling yearss of Journey, if you rhythm on your ain, it is more hard than when you fall into the airstream of the leader and when the leader gets tired, the group rotates to delegate a new leader of the formation. This method allowed us to rhythm for 90km in under 5 hours. However, some groups did non endorse the communitas attack and merely arrived at their cantonment about 10 hours subsequently.

While Journey is non a compulsory rite that every pupil is forced to travel through, there exists a certain sum of segregation between those who have completed Journey and those who refused to make it. But most pupils do Journey because it has become ritual for St Alban ‘s class 10s to travel on Journey each twelvemonth. While some say they will ne’er make it once more, most say they would.

In decision, Journey ‘s rites of separation, liminality and collection are less about leaving cognition from ritual seniors and more about conveying about communitas through the rites, rites and ceremonials that compose Journey to make a better leading squad in St Alban ‘s and impart cognition from fellow novices that you learned to trust on and trust.

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