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New Book on Shinto Liturgy

I’ve just released the next volume of the Mimusubi Essays on Shinto on Amazon: Shinto Liturgy. (That’s an affiliate link. The terms and conditions say that I have to tell you that, in case you think I am offering a completely neutral and disinterested recommendation of my own book. Anyway…)

This is a compilation of two of the Patreon essays: “Ritual Movements in Shinto” and “Shinto Liturgy“, which are available individually from Gumroad at those links. (Those are not affiliate links, but I still get money if you buy my books.)

Mainstream Shinto does not have a defined theology, or indeed anything that all priests are expected to believe. On the other hand, it does have very clearly, and precisely, defined rules for how matsuri should be carried out: what should happen, in what order, and exactly how the priests should move while performing the ritual. These essays are about those rules. The rules for sitting (yes, there are rules for sitting) are described in detail to give you an idea of how precise they are, and the rest are described more generally, so that you should be able to roughly picture a matsuri.

In my experience, these guidelines are followed quite closely at a wide range of jinja, so if you read this before attending a ceremony at a jinja, you will probably recognise what is going on. If you are interested, please take a look.

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