Lara Buchak

Lara Buchak

Associate Professor of Philosophy; Senior Fellow, Berkeley Institute


Understanding Ritual

Whether we are religious or secular, our lives are structured by rituals. Religious believers often participate in liturgies, but our culture is filled with other “liturgies” as well. This seminar will ask what a “ritual” is and what purposes ritual serves. We will examine this issue by looking at specific examples. What is the point of prayer, and what does one need to believe or do for it to be effective? Must a religious service take a specific form? Do spiritual practices need to be tied to a religion, or can secular analogues serve the same purpose? Students will be invited to discuss their own experiences about daily habits and “rituals” that form human character. For more information, please contact

Dates: Tuesdays on 2/25, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17
Time: 5:30-7:00 PM

Reading schedule:

Location: 2134 Allston Way

**This seminar is free and open to all Cal, GTU, and St. Mary’s students**