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Eliade: The Sacred and the Profane - Essay Example

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Eliade: The Sacred and the Profane

Just like water is used ordinarily in cleaning, and renewing things, water, also, is used symbolically to signify the cleansing of the baptized Christian from his early sins, and old way of life which is not in conformity with the new life in Christ. The water of baptism also, symbolises, a complete renewal or rebirth of the baptized person, into the new life in Jesus Christ (133). Secondly, baptism ritual signifies the confronting of Satan, symbolized as the dragon in the Bible, and defeating the dragon, as one starts the new life in Jesus Christ (133). Defeating the Satan here means a complete overhaul in one’s life, to start a new life in Jesus Christ. This confrontation and defeat of Satan is symbolized through the immersion into water. The abyss of water symbolizes danger and battle. Just as Jesus before starting His public ministry went to River Jordan to face the Dragons in the abyss of water, and to defeat them, Christians, also, through immersion into the water are able to face their spiritual dragons, the Satan, and to defeat them. We find Noah in the Bible, also, through his faithfulness in God, overcoming the dangers of the immense flood, and emerging the winner. The abyss of water, therefore, signifies the battle with the Satan, and the eventual defeat of Satan. The third meaning of Christian baptism ritual lies in the act of baptismal nudity itself. ...
Eliade thinks that in the Modern World, there is no place for the Religious worldview of the archaic civilizations. Although there is something common in the Homo religious of the archaic civilization and the Homo religious of the modern times, the general world view of the archaic civilization and the modern world view, are quite different (202). The common believe in the Home religious of the archaic civilization and the Homo religious of the modern world is the believe that God is, indeed, the creator and sustainer of life. Homo religious as Homo religious believes that God is the reason of being and existence, and that human life, having come from God is sacred (202). But what is the real difference between the world view of the archaic civilization and the world view of the modern world? The difference in the world view of the two historical eras can be attributed, largely, to the development of two phenomena in the modern world; these two phenomena were alien in the archaic civilizations. These phenomena are, the desacralization, and the nonreligious phenomenon. These two terms are closely related but they are different. Desacralization refers to the depriving any reality, of its spiritual significance or sacredness (168). Nonreligious on the other hand refers to the people who refuse to accept any form of transcendence, or simply to people who don’t hold any religious believes (203). Besides viewing God as the source, and maintainer of life, the Homo religious of the archaic era, viewed all reality as manifesting God in a very clear way. For the Homo religious of the archaic period all the cosmic events, including even the normal human physiological processes, have ...Show more


Henry Nabea Dr. Mbiti Philosophy, 1o1 27 Nov. 2012 The Sacred and the Profane The three meanings of baptism rituals highlighted by Mircea Eliade Mircea Eliade understands the Christian baptism ritual, as a very rich ritual, fraught with religious meanings…
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