The paper contrasts forms of devotion in the Western European and in Asian religious traditions. Special attention will be given to the Confucian greeting ritual of the kowtow as well as the role of kneeling in the Judeo-Christian traditions. The underlying conceptions of respect, it is shown, are not as neutral and independent of cultural presumptions as it is often assumed. During the second part of the paper, it will be shown how the function of devotion has been transformed in increasingly secular societies.
Devotion, Kneeling, Kowtow
2019 Special Focus—Universal Religious Symbols: Mutual Influences and Specific Relationships