Introducing Western Sociologists

Introducing Western Sociologists

Question

Distinguish between the sacred and the profane.

Answer
1. Religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to the sacred things.

2. The central beliefs in any religion are related to the sacred and sharply distinguished from ‘the profane’.

3. The core or the most important values of society or group are considered sacred.

4. The considerations of mundane or day to day life are considered profane.

5. The sacred is that which is set apart, considered holy and venerated or dreaded and avoided. The sacred includes religious beliefs and rites, deities or anything, which is socially defined as requiring special religious treatment. The sacred is generally in a higher position, valued more than profane things. Its identity and power are sacred by social rules.

6. Participation in the sacred order such as rituals or ceremonies gives a special prestige. But one has to prepare oneself through rites to participate in the sacred order.

7. The profane order on the other hand, relates to the mundane, ordinary and utilitarian aspect of day-to-day existence.

8. The sacred thing is par excellence what the profane not touch and cannot touch with impurity.

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