How to Download Il Sacro e Il Profano PDF for Free: A Guide to Mircea Eliade's Classic Work
Il Sacro e Il Profano PDF: A Review of Mircea Eliade's Masterpiece on the Nature of the Sacred
If you are interested in the history of religions, you may have heard of Mircea Eliade, one of the most influential scholars of the 20th century. His book, Il Sacro e Il Profano (The Sacred and the Profane), published in 1957, is a classic work that explores the essence and manifestations of the sacred in different cultures and traditions.
Il sacro e il profano pdf
In this article, we will give you a brief overview of the main themes and arguments of Il Sacro e Il Profano PDF, and explain why it is still relevant and inspiring for anyone who wants to understand the religious dimension of human existence.
What is the Sacred?
According to Eliade, the sacred is not a specific category of objects or phenomena, but a quality that can be attributed to anything that reveals a transcendent reality beyond the ordinary and profane world. The sacred is what makes us aware of the presence and power of something that is different and superior to us, something that we cannot fully comprehend or control.
The sacred manifests itself through hierophanies, which are appearances or revelations of the sacred in the profane world. Hierophanies can be simple or complex, natural or artificial, personal or impersonal. For example, a stone, a tree, a mountain, a river, a star, a fire, an animal, a human being, a statue, a temple, a ritual, a myth, a symbol, etc. can all be hierophanies if they convey a sense of sacredness.
For the religious person, the sacred is the only real and meaningful reality. Therefore, he or she seeks to live in contact with the sacred, to inhabit a sacred space and time, to participate in sacred actions and events, to follow sacred models and norms. The sacred gives order, stability, security and value to his or her life.
Sacred Space and Time
Eliade argues that one of the fundamental differences between the religious and the non-religious person is their perception and experience of space and time. For the religious person, space and time are not homogeneous and relative, but heterogeneous and qualitative. There are spaces and times that are more sacred than others, because they are connected to the origin and destiny of the world and humanity.
Sacred space is the space that has been consecrated or transformed by a hierophany. It is opposed to chaotic and fluid profane space. Sacred space is where the religious person feels at home, where he or she can communicate with the divine and access other levels of reality. Sacred space often has a center, which represents the axis mundi (the cosmic pole), the point where heaven and earth meet. The center can be marked by natural features (such as mountains or trees) or by human constructions (such as temples or altars). The center can also be movable or portable (such as a tent or a staff).
Sacred time is the time that corresponds to the mythical time of origin, when the gods created the world and established its order. It is opposed to historical and profane time. Sacred time is periodically re-enacted and re-lived through rituals and festivals that commemorate and reactualize the cosmogonic events. By participating in sacred time, the religious person escapes from the monotony and decay of profane time, and regains contact with the primordial freshness and vitality of creation.
Sacred and Profane in Modern Society
How does Eliade's idea of the sacred and the profane apply to modern society? Is there still a place for the sacred in a secular and pluralistic world? How do people experience and express the sacred in their everyday lives?
Some sociologists have argued that modern society is characterized by a process of secularization, which means the decline of religious beliefs, practices and institutions. According to this view, the sacred has lost its relevance and influence in the face of rationality, science, technology and individualism. The profane has become the dominant mode of understanding and organizing reality.
However, other sociologists have challenged this view, and have pointed out that the sacred has not disappeared, but has changed its forms and expressions. They have suggested that the sacred can be found in various aspects of modern culture, such as art, music, literature, sports, politics, nature, human rights, etc. These aspects can function as sources of meaning, value and identity for people, and can inspire feelings of awe, wonder, reverence and belonging.
Moreover, some sociologists have argued that modern society is not homogeneous or uniform, but diverse and complex. There are different types of societies and cultures within the modern world, some more secular and some more religious. There are also different types of religions and spiritualities within the modern world, some more traditional and institutionalized and some more individualized and eclectic. There are also different ways of relating to the sacred and the profane within the modern world, some more rigid and exclusive and some more flexible and inclusive.
Therefore, it can be said that the sacred and the profane are not fixed or static categories, but dynamic and relational ones. They depend on the context, perspective and interpretation of the people who use them. They can also coexist and interact with each other in various ways. The sacred can be profaned or desecrated by human actions or events. The profane can be sacralized or sanctified by human actions or events. The sacred can be hidden or revealed by human actions or events. The profane can be transformed or transcended by human actions or events.
Challenges and Opportunities of Living in a Sacred-Profane World
Living in a world where the sacred and the profane coexist and interact can pose both challenges and opportunities for individuals and societies. On the one hand, it can create conflicts, tensions and contradictions between different values, beliefs and practices. On the other hand, it can also create possibilities for dialogue, learning and creativity between different perspectives and experiences.
Some of the challenges of living in a sacred-profane world are:
The loss of a common framework of meaning and morality that can guide collective action and social cohesion.
The risk of intolerance, violence and fundamentalism that can arise from the clash or rejection of different forms of sacredness.
The difficulty of finding a balance between personal freedom and social responsibility, between individual expression and communal belonging.
The danger of trivializing or commodifying the sacred, or of alienating or marginalizing the profane.
Some of the opportunities of living in a sacred-profane world are:
The enrichment of cultural diversity and pluralism that can foster mutual respect and understanding among different groups and traditions.
The stimulation of critical thinking and innovation that can result from the exposure and exchange of different ideas and practices.
The empowerment of personal choice and agency that can enable individuals to find their own sources of meaning and value.
The appreciation of the complexity and beauty of reality that can emerge from the recognition and integration of different dimensions of existence.