Class Note for REL 419 at UA-Myth Ritual And Magic (1)
Class Note for REL 419 at UA-Myth Ritual And Magic (1)
Popular in Course
Popular in Department
This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by an elite notetaker on Friday February 6, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to a course at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 67 views.
Reviews for Class Note for REL 419 at UA-Myth Ritual And Magic (1)
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 02/06/15
Sacredfrom Latin sacer Originally this Latin adjective had several uses all of which held in common the idea of being set apa1t Consecration holiness divine patronage and inviolability are all meanings modern English speakers would recognize There are two others that warrant speci c mention According to the Oxford Latin Dictionary sacer could describe one whose person and property are forfeited to a god by reason of an offense against a divine law or be a term of abuse meaning execrable detestable As previously stated separation can be seen as an undercurrent to all usages of sacer be it separation for holy or unholy reasons Sacer went on to in uence a number of modern languages including French and English In Frenchspeaking areas sacer was transformed into sacre which can mean sacred or can be used as a profane exclamation In the latter we can see the more objectionable de nitions of sacer in uencing modern language Most English usages refer to consecration sacredness to a divinity or royal families due to the idea of divinely appointed monarchies These meanings were in use and development prior to the nineteenth century However English also held brie y to meanings that many in the twenty rst century would render as profane Now rare sacred sometimes meant accursed While more common in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries we see this use as late as the nineteenth century Like in French we can see the Latin idea of separation persisting through the modern connotation of holiness Sacred became a mainstay of religious studies discussion through the work of functionalists Most notably French Sociologist Emile Durkheim paid great attention to the tension between what he saw as the sacred and the profane This contrast formed a central piece of his de nition of religion In The Elementary Forms of Religious Life a case study of Australian native tribes and key text on religious theory Durkheim argues The division of the world into two domains one containing all that is sacred and the other all that is profaneisuch is the distinctive trait of religious though For many in the functionalist tradition the word sacred is an adjective describing what has been set apart religiously be it in reference to trees sacred to a god an amulet or a temple This idea is closely connected to the nineteenth century religious studies concept of taboo For Durkheim sacredness is meaning given to an object or person by humanity there is no essence of sacredness and therefore human constructs must draw the line between sacred and profane Sacred things are those which are protected and isolated by prohibitions states Durkheim profane things are those to which the prohibitions apply and they must keep their distance from sacred things In contrast later scholars reinvented the academic term sacred as a noun In doing so they seem to draw on older meanings of the word and its Latin roots for they focus on the idea of sacred things being wholly other from the world This appears to have been first pioneered by RH Codrington a nineteenth century missionary who considered that perhaps the explanation for experiences so out of the ordinary as found in religion lay in an encounter with some sacred reality This idea was further advanced by Rudolf Otto early twentieth century German theologian In The Idea of the Holy Otto called this sacred reality the Holy and argued that religious life centered on experiencing that which humbled and awed humanity both attracting love and causing fear The idea was then most thoroughly discussed by Mircea Eliade a Romanianbom historian of religions who presented his theory in The Sacred and the Profane For Eliade the Sacred notice the use of capitalization to emphasize overarching power was that overwhelming essence experienced through a hierophany and felt in opposition to the mundane and profane world On heirophanies Eliade said In each case we are confronted by the same mysterious actithe manifestation of something of a wholly different order a reality that does not belong to our world in objects that are an integral part of our natural profane world In this system the sacredprofane tension lacks the add weight of morals or prohibitions found in Durkheim and modern daily usage of these words Instead the tension is simply between the ordinary and extraordinary For those who seek more empirical understandings of religion both arguments pose problems Durkheim s work opens the floor for opposition between varying degrees of sacredness as well as profaneness This muddies the use of any sacredprofane dichotomy Eliade on the other hand meets critics at the outset of his approach Some have labeled his work as more of a religious undertaking than that of scholarship Such critics would prefer Eliade to not allow for an unexplained force that acts upon human psychology and sociology Despite such criticisms both major uses of sacred remain useful in discussing religious theory as well as understanding the history of the religious studies field Sources 0 OED 0 Oxford Latin Dictionary 0 Harper Collins Dictionary of Religions o The Elemental Forms of Religious Life 0 The Sacred and the Profane Possible related terms 0 Profane o Functionalism Essentialism Taboo Holy the Sui generis Numinous
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'