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Sacred and Profane
(2,506 words)

1. Religious and Biblical Aspects

1.1. Religious, Psychological, and Sociological

The terms “sacred” and “profane” are significant in the vocabulary of comparative religion (Religious Studies). When the 19th century found that we do not encounter ideas of God always and everywhere, but that God “is a late comer in the history of religion” (G. van der Leeuw, Religion, 104), a new and universally applicable term for religion was needed. In 1871 E. B. Tylor (1832–1917) thought that a belief in spirit…

Cite this page
Kippenberg, Hans G. and Otte, Klaus, “Sacred and Profane”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 14 August 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_S.7>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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