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July 2017
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LiBRI: The Sacred in Literature and Arts

We all know that the sacred is present in our lives, but sometimes we cannot understand it and perceive it. This paper represents and endeavor of synthesizing knowledge from the field of arts, literature, art criticism and history of religions, starting with the conception of the sacred from the book The Visual Representation of the Sacred, written by Adrian Stoleriu. The paper has 3 main sections: the Sacred, the Sacred in Literature and the Sacred in Contemporary Works of Art.

The Visual Representation of the Sacred
The Visual Representation of the Sacred

Firstly, the paper defines the word “sacred” as not being related to literature or arts. But, as seen in the next lines, we realize that this word has a very large meaning. Still, the author offers broad perspectives on the Romanian, English and French definitions on the term, also decribing Rudolf Otto’s perspective, a German theologian and philosopher, and one of Mircea Eliade, a Romanian historian of religions. The author focused on the Romanian-French-English perspective of the concept and reveals the origins of the word “sacred”, linking it to its meanings.

It is stated that one of the most complex definition was given by Mircea Eliade. He admitted that hierophany is the main modality of knowing the sacred and the essence of his vision is represented by homo religious. As we read the next lines, we notice a link to Adrian Stoleriu’s work, who states that the individual is at the interference of the spheres of the sacred with the one of the profane. Later on, we find out what is the difference between the sacred and the profane according to Durkheim.

Secondly, the paper refers to the manifestation of the sacred in literature. The works which are discussed are Lucrarea – 2004 (The Work) and Se întorc morții acasă – 2014 (The Dead are Coming Back Home), written by Cornel Constantin Ciomâzgă. The first book is presented as a novel which has fragments that underline the steps of spritual transformation one should make in order to get closer to God. In the second one, the literary dimension of the sacred is represented by the words related to the beauty of love.

And, finally, the paper links the sacred to the contemporary works of art. We know that the sacred had a great influence in art, but here we have to focus on certain works, for example, on an article that appeared in Anastasis. Research in Medieval Culture and Art, called “Sacred Symbols in Dimitrie Gavrilean’s Paintings”. Dimitrie Gavrilean was a contemporary painter who focused on Romanian fundamental myths, ancestral myth and recently Christianized myths. His work reflects his deep attachment towards the principles of the Christian iconography of Byzantine tradition. One of his works which can be seen as an example of sacred art marked by the presence of angels is “Cel Vechi de zile” (The Ageless One).

Concluding, this article shapes the differencies between the existing definitions of the sacred, but also states the distinction between the sacred and the profane and these things are proven by describing and analyzing works from literature and art.

Read more here: http://www.edusoft.ro/brain/index.php/libri/article/view/642

Mihaela Guţu