Durkheim explains what it means when something is “sacred” which is “it refers to the extraordinary, that which is set apart from and “above and beyond” the everyday world. He also states “In direct contrast to the sacred realm, is the realm of the everyday world of the mundane or routine, or the “profane.” I see the difference in both of them by relating the sacred to something religious that has a significance something along the lines of a cross, or the wine chalice. The profane part of this is that anyone can drink out of a wine glass but once it is put in a certain circumstance such as a religious one you categorize it as sacred. Durkheim also talks about rituals and symbols which I think add to these two specific terms. Rituals are “a highly routinized act such as taking communion, and a symbol is something that sounds for something else. It is a representation that calls up collective ideas and meanings.” In the same case of religion and receiving communion the “cross can be symbolic of Jesus and God, and the whole Catholic church in general. Some other examples can be when football players put the black marks under their eyes during game time, that is something that they constantly do and it is pretty profane, however in the Catholic church on Ash Wednesday to mark the beginning of Lent we go to church and have a cross put on our forehead in black ash, now the marking of ones body is a sacred thing as well as a ritual that is being done every Ash Wednesday. To continue with the sports I know that on a daily basis fans wear teams jerseys all the time however when Yankee stadium was being rebuilt someone tried to put a red socks jersey in the cement and the person was penalized because the Yankees and some fans are superstitious especially because the red socks are their rivals. Yankee stadium is considered “sacred ground” and someone was trying to disrupt that. Even during wedding in the Hindu traditions the woman have henna put on their arms with different types of designs I am sure are related to taking this next step in their lives, and I believe it is a ritual that they do it is pretty common, as well as symbolic. However this sacred event where the woman wear henna can also be shown in a profane way because people outside of the culture have henna done to their bodies because it is interesting art work. There are many different ways you can relate rituals and symbols to everyday events, as well as putting things into different categories of sacred and profane.
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- Nicole Hala