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What Makes the Sacred Sacred?

RELI 284
Spring 2014 not offered
Certificates: International Relations

Sacred, sacredness, sacrifice, sacrament, sacristy, sanctity, sacrum, sanction, saint, consecrate, sacrosanct, sacrilege, desecrate. The notion of sacredness has pervaded the English language in myriad ways over nearly a millennium. What, then, makes the sacred sacred? Is sacredness universal? If so, what defines it? If not, why do Anglophones use the term sacred as if it is? Are there parallels among different religious cultures and their literatures? Are these parallels close enough that the English term sacred can be translated into other languages? This course will explore these questions using multidisciplinary methods and diverse readings reflecting various cultures' views of social and cosmic order. We will interrelate readings of primary and secondary sources by using four themes (sacred places, invoking the sacred, sacred bodies, and sacred nation) to examine five traditions (Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Lakota).
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS RELI
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on JUN-13-2024
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