A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF RITUAL PRACTICES OF TIME
I have undertaken a comparative methodology explicating the ritual practice of time organised and systematised in a variety of Mesoamerican calendars—the Long Count calendar of the classic Maya, the 260-day calendar and the 365-day calendar of the postclassic Yucatec Maya, and the 52-year calendar of the postclassic Aztec.
Various calendars and their associated temporal ritual practices serve diverse functions and have several meanings according to the linguistic, cultural and religious context. The concept of time and related world-view are reflected by the ceremonial practice of a specific calendar of a cultural system. The ritual practice of time has been analysed concerning the ritual’s relation to the cosmogony (cosmological time) and the past (historical and pre-historical time), space (spatial-temporal time), its social meaning and function (the sociology of time), power (the politics of time), the future (eschatological/apocalyptical time), and the philosophy (ontology) of the order and the quality of divine/sacred time.
A comparative summary of theoretical perspectives of the symbolic meanings and ritual practices of the calendar time are in the concluding part synthesised in an analytical model based upon the theoretical framework (and arguments) of the previous four parts of the book. Furthermore, a section examines accessible information of whether several ritual practices of time of the various calendars were simultaneously performed within a culture.