RE220 - The Sacralization of Christmas Commerce Summary

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Religion & Culture
Chris Klassen

TheSacralization ofChristmas CommerceSummary  TheSacralizationof ChristmasCommerce o Relationship thatChristmas is a Christian Holy Day and secular occasion is paradoxical  Consumer materialism challengesnon-materialistic values of Christian theology o World s preparation is fundamentally about commerce. Thechurch s preparation is focused on the birth ofhim who is the wordmade flesh incarnate among us  Opposition of sacredand profanevalues in thesecular world o Sacred and profanehave interactedandevolved overtime in ways that havehad substantial impacts on both the religious and commercial organization  Not true, commercial aspect hascome to dominate religious  Definitionsof theSacredandtheprofane o Evans(2003) defined sacred as  The strictly religious  The transcendent  Including divine being or senseof ultimate reality of truth  The set-apart  Durkheim doesnot necessarily have to beconnection to supernatural or to formal religion o Pull together group mentally/physically o Sharedcreation andevocation of emotionally valenced symbols o Social product based on collective beliefs/practices o Profane  Mundane, ordinary, everyday states in theworld  Equated within capitalist modernity with commerce  What has been considered profane may be sacralised  Through process which involves theological reconfiguration of secular and sacred  Christmas intheNortheasternUnitedStates from the17 to 18 centuryth o Most of the colonists in Northeast US were Puritans orCalvinists o Early Puritans suppressed religious celebrations partly because Bible failed to provide evidence of Jesus birth date o Generally observed with more revelry than piety o Cotton Mather regarded Christmas as dancing anddrunkenness, fornication and wantonness  Nothing sacred about celebrating Christmas o Anglicans also shared the same views o Early American Methodistshoped to reclaim Christmas as religiousholiday  Created religious awareness, but didnot replace rowdiness th  Christmasinthe19 century o Coincided with industrializat
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