عنوان مقاله [English]
Religious mourning rituals, especially those of Moharram, are a significant element of the Shiite’s religious identity. Due to such significance, western experts on Shiism have carried out a large number of studies on these rituals. The daily-growing glory of Ashura rituals indicates its deep social functions; otherwise, they wouldn’t enjoy dynamism and deepness as they do. Based on a functional analysis, the present paper is going to offer some of the most important functions of these rituals such as the promotion of revolutionary and protesting spirit, patience in the face of difficulties, pain releasing, the increase of social solidarity, establishment of the inter-generation connections, the increase of social control and the visibility and representation of Shiite arts. Surely, due to the challenge between the modern culture and this long-lasting ritual one can mention some malfunctions or negative functions, such as the emergence of religious groups endangering social bonding, the increase of conflict between Shiites and non-Shiites, permanent religiosity and seasonal morality.