THE SACRED AND THE SPIRITUAL

THE SACRED AND THE SPIRITUAL - THE SACRED AND THE SPIRITUAL...

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THE SACRED AND THE SPIRITUAL Introduction Two concepts closely related to religion are the sacred and the spiritual. Like religion they are not easy to define let alone deeply comprehend and appreciate. Nevertheless, they need to be seriously and systematically considered, it would be unscientific and unscholarly to do otherwise. . Sacred The sacred is often considered to be the key concept in religion. Indeed, religion is frequently defined as phenomena related to the sacred. [See, for example Emile Durkheim’s classic definition of religion]. But the sacred as a phenomenon is much wider than religion. It is generally considered to have four characteristics: (1) special or unique, (2) it involves the most important values, (3) it is fundamental or primordial in consciousness, and (4) it involves dynamic and ineffable communication (Bailey 1998:443). Often the sacred is contrasted with the profane or secular, especially by scholars like Emile Durkheim and Rudolf Otto. Some use the terms sacred, holy, and numinous as essentially synonymous while others attempt to draw
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2011 for the course ANTH 444 taught by Professor Sponsel during the Spring '11 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.

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THE SACRED AND THE SPIRITUAL - THE SACRED AND THE SPIRITUAL...

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