Written by (Mathieu Deflem ) Victor Turner
This paper offers a systematic outline and discussion of Victor Turner's anthropology of religion and ritual. Along with an examination of Turner's theoretical stance, an account of his personal life history is presented. Attention is paid to Turner's initial functional analysis, the development of his methodological frame and processual mode of analysis, and his conception of anti-structure. This account will serve to elaborate on some important issues in the study of ritual and religion. First, the discussion focuses on the parallels between Turner's life and the innovations in his approach. Second, his notion of religion the study of ritual is examined. Finally, the distinctiveness, value, and limitations of his work are analyzed with reference to other approaches in symbolic anthropology.