Kneeling: communication of morality or power asymmetry?



Year of publication 2018
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Some cultures consider kneeling posture the most salient bodily expression connected to religious ritual practice. Closed, collapsed and lowered postures such as kneeling are generally perceived as either expressing submission and obedience or shame and atonement. Therefore, depending on the associated affective state (submission or shame), these postures might either emphasize power asymmetry (between the superhuman agents and human participants), or signal conformity with moral norms. With the use of the free-list technique, I compared two distinct cultural models and understanding of the kneeling posture. The two studied cultures are Czech and Mauritian, providing a significant contrast of religious traditions: the inhabitants of historically Christian, now highly atheistic Czech Republic compared with Mauritians living in considerable ethnic, religious and cultural diversity in one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
Related projects: