Title of the article:



Svetlana А. Мitasova

Information about the author/authors

Svetlana A. Mitasova — DSc in Culturology, Professor, Head of the Department of Social and Humanitarian Sciences and Art History, Dmitri Hvorostovsky Siberian State Academy of Arts, Lenin Str., 22, 660049 Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9791-1892
E-mail: mitasvet@mail.ru


Theory and history of culture




Vol. 67


pp. 68–76


September 18, 2021

Approved after reviewing

October 18, 2021

Date of publication

March 29, 2023



Index UDK


Index BBK



The article analyzes the specificity and scope of the “sacred” category in cultural studies, in contrast to other areas of humanitarian knowledge. The etymology of the word “sacred” is given, which shows the binarity of the category: holy and damned, utmost attractive and forbidden. In theology, the category of the sacred is understood exclusively as an attribute of the divine; in religious studies it was revealed that this category can exist outside of religion. Sociologists of religion asserted that the sacred and the profane are irreconcilable in society, therefore the sacred is taboo. In psychology, the sacred is interpreted as the archetype of the soul, ignoring which is dangerous for the human psyche. From the point of view of cultural studies, applying an interdisciplinary approach, the author interprets the sacred as a cultural form (reified symbol). The following characteristics of sacred symbols are revealed: esotericity and democracy (simultaneous hermeticity, mystery and openness for exploration), tradition and axiologisity (preservation of the true meaning and change in value over time), nationality of symbols as a synthesis of the ethos of a people for its self-preservation. The non-utilitarian expediency of symbols helps to preserve the cultural codes contained in the religious and mythological heritage. The author proposes to consider the sacred as a process of formation and development of a cultural form, which changes its meanings over time, being subject to different value interpretations. Cultural discourse presupposes the study of the sacred symbol in all possible completeness of the accumulated meanings of the latter in order to increase its cultural and creative potential for future generations.


Category “sacred”, Cultural Discourse, Sacred Symbol, Cultural Values, Cultural Interpretation.


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