A common feature of much recent work done in a variety of disciplines is the foregrounding of
embodiment. Thinking in terms of a situated body, however, brings up a complex problem which
has often been overlooked: the re-importation of a kind of metaphysics of the body, or a covert
idealism, which stubbornly persists in many such discussions. This is seen in treatments of the body
as a mediation or as a site for inscription of socio-cultural codings. We will briefly show how even
such an influential account of ritualization practices, that of Catherine Bell, shows traces of these
problems. The corrective strategy to such conceptions is a properly situational ontology as suggested
by Merleau-Ponty’s later philosophy and Tim Ingold’s critical work on environments.