Expanding Religious Studies: The Obsolescence of the Sacred/Secular Framework for Pagan, Earthen and Indigenous Religion
AbstractThrough an examination of the concepts of universality and indigenousness, the authors' argument is that a more comprehensive definition of ?religion? is possible than there is via traditional Western academic understanding. Instead of the more restricted, confrontational and inadequate ?sacred?/ ?secular? framework, the Japanese principle of Irekawari suggests the possibility of a mutual conversion between the sacred and the profane. The author explores two conceptual dyads: that of hare ?festive? and ke ?ordinary? that includes magic and sorcery along with religion and the sacred within a broader framework; and that between i/yu (a Japanese religious linguistic element) and ke that allows the consideration of defilement, pollution, danger, and obstacle as religiously significant, ?for example, the funeral ceremony, spiritual curing, and so on. The authors' endeavour is to avoid the necessity of positing a transcendent or supernatural reality for the study of religion in its fullest understanding.
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