Problem sacrum w badaniach afrykanistycznych

Adam A. Szafrański


In the context of post-modernist anthropology with its conception of the "elusiveness of sense" in a given sign we demonstrate, on the comparative material (Sudan, Ghana), the value of SACRUM as a meaningful and "inherent structure of cultural reality." We refer to the works of E. E. Evans-Pritchard (E-P) Nuer Religion, G. Lienhardt's Divinity and Experience (both anthropologists are the disciples of B. Malinowski) and many studies of H. Zimoń. The latter is an Africanist working at the Catholic University of Lublin; we also mention C. Geertz, an American anthropologist. The latter is not connected with Africanist studies, but by introducing Mircea Eliade's model of sacrum into the province of anthropology, has become a significant figure, in the level of anthropological research on religion.

The works of British functional anthropologists, the exception here is E-P's Nuer Religion, fail to notice other works than E. Durkheim's conception of art. Durkheim associated the categories of sacrum with society and everything that was social was sacred, and therefore unquestioned. Some anthropologists had doubts as to the effectiveness of Durkheim's reductionist model of sacrum and functional-utilitarian conception of religious actions understood as a magic behavior.

E-P noticed those difficulties and the image KWOTH with the Nuer, he brought to mind, is a phenomenological attempt to analyze religious phenomena. Sacrum, according to Eliade, is beyond time, but on the other hand it always, in a mysterious way, comprises time and space. H. Zimoń takes up this point, including Eliade's model of sacrum in the analyses on the religious rituals among the people of, among other things, Konkomba in Ghana. He proved that this value in African cultures has a transcultural meaning.

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