Can get Assignment # 2 in TA office hours next week. Assignment 3 is like the second, but
different because you get to choose the article on which you write. Rest of the essay fulfils the
question, but the first part can state the actual question. Helps show TA’s the focus and then
follow-up. Footnotes (should they be needed) will go on the back of the paper to avoid
plagiarism when quoting. DUE MARCH 9 .
Last class: sacred tower/sacred myth/book. Sacred ritual was last week. Sacred power is
realized through things like sacred myth/word/ritual. What you say/read/do is an extrapolation of
what sacred power is. Keep in mind that we as academics can’t make this reality, only insiders.
Ineffable and almighty to the physical. It needs to be performed on a regular basis or else the
order of the universe will fall apart (in many religious texts). Ex. Religious ceremony of
Babylon’s New Year: renew/invigorate all of activities that go on in that empire. Thank God for
order. Reminds kings how they should behave, etc.
Rituals are one of more favoured areas of interest academically. Anthony Wallis (sp?) divides
rituals up so that they all have some relevance, but not always. Individualistic ritual (private
ritual), shamanistic ritual (holy man/medicine man. Part time position unlike priests/nuns),
communal ritual (performed by community as a whole, ex. Passover), eplasiastico (sp) (highly
structured/defined. Professionally trained to do rituals. Have power to perform these rituals).
What is expected from these rituals? More often than not a situation when someone has asked
for something, they are given it, and then they celebrate their thankfulness
Control nature, health, behaviour (rite of passage), celebitic (sp) (with individual in mind, safety),
revitalizing ritual (renew entire community’s future. Cult/sect)
Idea of sacrifice (make holly, secure, safe) something soft in ritual. Rain dance is simplest.
Kessler=many meanings of sacrifice.
Scapegoat kind of sacrifice. Creation of peaceful cultures.
Not just one school of thought, but there is a relationship between myth and ritual.
Today: Chapter 6 Sacred Space and Time
Religion sees the world (reality) as insubstantial. This is important. Everything we see can wear
out and die. Materiality of our world means nothing lasts forever. From point of view of religion.
There is nothing that stands unsupported and is unchangeable and everlasting. Natural
conclusion is that this continues on, so there must be something or someone that sustains this
cycle who is not subject to it. Sacred word/ritual of the sacred power. Religion believes that it
“is”, but not “is” like you and I. What is real? We feel like we’re real, but the reality we posses is
always changing, wearing away, etc. This is the real world vs the sacred power is real. You have
to choose. From religious perspective, unexplainable and doesn’t exist like you and I exist, but
is real. It’s channelled out. No deity wants to just be alone. If there is nothing but God, it’s lonely.
God wants to be known, so he makes himself known through revelation/rituals.