Transcultural Imaginations of the Sacred


Editors: Klaus Krüger and Margit Kern
Although we tend to suggest that clear constructions of identity are granted to religious symbols under the assumption that they distinguish between self and other explicitly, perceptions of alterity in fact play a vital role in sacral forms of representation. Markers of foreignness are used in a semantics of the exceptional that characterizes the sacral. Perceptions of difference are thus capable of making visible the remoteness of sacral forms from the profane world of experience. This book, therefore, asks: What role do traits of alterity play in the sacral context? How are various concepts of the sacred synthesized in situations of transcultural translation, for instance in the context of missionary activity? How did an artifact arrive at sacral potency in various cultures, and under what conditions did semantic shifts occur?

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