Sacred

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Holiness, or sanctity, is in general the state of being holy (perceived by religious individuals as associated with the divine
Divinity
Divinity and divine are broadly applied but loosely defined terms, used variously within different faiths and belief systems — and even by different individuals within a given faith — to refer to some transcendent or transcendental power or deity, or its attributes or manifestations in...

) or sacred (considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspiring awe or reverence among believers in a given set of spiritual ideas). In other contexts, objects are often considered 'holy' or 'sacred' if used for spiritual purposes, such as the worship
Worship
Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something, for example, Christian worship.Evelyn Underhill defines worship thus: "The absolute...

 or service of gods
Deity
A deity is a recognized preternatural or supernatural immortal being, who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, and respected by believers....

. These terms can also be used in a non-spiritual or semi-spiritual context ("sacred truths" in a constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

). It is often ascribed to people ("a holy man" of religious occupation, "holy prophet" who is venerated by his followers), objects ("sacred artifact" that is venerated and blessed ), times ("holy days" of spiritual introspection, such as during winter holidays), or places ("sacred ground", "holy place").

Etymology



The word "sacred" descends from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 sacrum, which referred to the gods or anything in their power, and to sacerdos, priest; sanctum, set apart. It was generally conceived spatially, as referring to the area around a temple
Temple
A temple is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice, or analogous rites. A templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur. It has the same root as the word "template," a plan in preparation of the building that was marked out...

.

The English word "holy" dates back to at least the 11th Century with the Old English word hālig, an adjective derived from hāl meaning "whole" and used to mean "uninjured, sound, healthy, entire, complete". The Scottish hale ("health, happiness and wholeness") is the most complete modern form of this Old English root. The modern word "health" is also derived from the Old English hal. As "wholeness", holiness may be taken to indicate a state of religious completeness or perfection. The word "holy" in its modern form appears in Wyclif's Bible
Wyclif's Bible
Wycliffe's Bible is the name now given to a group of Bible translations into Middle English that were made under the direction of, or at the instigation of, John Wycliffe. They appeared over a period from approximately 1382 to 1395...

 of 1382.

In non-specialist contexts, the term "holy" is used in a more general way, to refer to someone or something that is associated with a divine power
Divine grace
In Christian theology, grace is God’s gift of God’s self to humankind. It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to man - "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved" - that takes the form of divine favour, love and clemency. It is an attribute of God that is most...

, such as water used for baptism
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

.

Hierology

For the study of hieroglyphics, see hieroglyphology. For the study of sacred writings, see hierographology.


Hierology (Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 ιερος, hieros, "sacred" or "holy", + λογος, logos, "word", "account", or "reason") refers to the study of the sacred and sacredness. It is generally pursued by those who find real truth in many faiths and especially refers to philosophical speculations
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 about religion that involve the tradition
Tradition
A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes , but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings...

s of multiple culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

s or belief systems
World view
A comprehensive world view is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the individual or society's knowledge and point-of-view, including natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and...

. It differs from theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 in that a god
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 or gods
Deity
A deity is a recognized preternatural or supernatural immortal being, who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, and respected by believers....

 are not necessarily a focus and in that it may include sources with no origin in Western philosophy
Western philosophy
Western philosophy is the philosophical thought and work of the Western or Occidental world, as distinct from Eastern or Oriental philosophies and the varieties of indigenous philosophies....

 or religion.

Buddhism


In Theravada
Theravada
Theravada ; literally, "the Teaching of the Elders" or "the Ancient Teaching", is the oldest surviving Buddhist school. It was founded in India...

 Buddhism one finds the designation of 'noble person' or ariyapuggala (Pali
Páli
- External links :* *...

). The Buddha described four grades of such person depending on their level of purity. This purity is measured by which of the ten fetter
Fetter (Buddhism)
In Buddhism, a mental fetter, chain or bond shackles a sentient being to sasāra, the cycle of lives with dukkha. By cutting through all fetters, one attains nibbāna ....

s (samyojana) and klesha have been purified and integrated from the mindstream
Mindstream
Mindstream in Buddhist philosophy is the moment-to-moment "continuum" of awareness. There are a number of terms in the Buddhist literature that may well be rendered "mindstream"...

. These persons are called (in order of increasing sanctity) Sotapanna
Sotapanna
In Buddhism, a Sotāpanna , Srotāpanna , or "stream-winner" is a person who has eradicated the first three fetters of the mind. Sotapanna literally means "one who entered the stream ", after a metaphor which calls the Noble Eightfold Path, 'a stream'...

, Sakadagami
Sakadagami
In Buddhism, the Sakadagami , "returning once" or "once-returner," is a partially-enlightened person, who has cut off the first three chains with which the ordinary mind is bound, and significantly weakened the fourth and fifth...

, Anagami
Anagami
In Buddhism, an anāgāmi is a partially enlightened person who has cut off the first five chains that bind the ordinary mind. Anagami-ship is the third of the four stages of enlightenment....

 and Arahant. The latter term designates an enlightened human being and is sometimes rendered into English as the Holy One.

Catholicism


Catholicism has inherited much of the Jewish vision of the world in terms of holiness, with certain behaviour appropriate to certain places and times. The calendar gives shape to Catholic practice, which tends to focus on the Eucharist
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

, in which the Real Presence
Real Presence
Real Presence is a term used in various Christian traditions to express belief that in the Eucharist, Jesus Christ is really present in what was previously just bread and wine, and not merely present in symbol, a figure of speech , or by his power .Not all Christian traditions accept this dogma...

 of Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

 is manifested. Holy days, celebrating Catholic saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

 lavin and events of the life of Christ are celebrated throughout the year. Many features of the Jewish temple (although now seen as having Christian significance) are imitated in churches, such as the altar
Altar
An altar is any structure upon which offerings such as sacrifices are made for religious purposes. Altars are usually found at shrines, and they can be located in temples, churches and other places of worship...

, bread, lamp, incense
Incense
Incense is composed of aromatic biotic materials, which release fragrant smoke when burned. The term "incense" refers to the substance itself, rather than to the odor that it produces. It is used in religious ceremonies, ritual purification, aromatherapy, meditation, for creating a mood, and for...

, font
Baptismal font
A baptismal font is an article of church furniture or a fixture used for the baptism of children and adults.-Aspersion and affusion fonts:...

, etc., to emphasise the extreme holiness of the Eucharistic elements, which are reserved in a tabernacle
Church tabernacle
A tabernacle is the fixed, locked box in which, in some Christian churches, the Eucharist is "reserved" . A less obvious container, set into the wall, is called an aumbry....

. In extension of this focus on the Sacrament as holy, many objects in Catholicism are also considered holy. They are called sacramentals
Sacramentals
Sacramentals are material objects, things or actions set apart or blessed by the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches, the Anglican Churches, and Old Catholic Churches to manifest the respect due to the Sacraments, and so to excite good thoughts and to increase devotion, and through these...

 and are usually blessed by a priest. Such items include rosaries
Rosary
The rosary or "garland of roses" is a traditional Catholic devotion. The term denotes the prayer beads used to count the series of prayers that make up the rosary...

, crucifix
Crucifix
A crucifix is an independent image of Jesus on the cross with a representation of Jesus' body, referred to in English as the corpus , as distinct from a cross with no body....

es, medals, and statues and icons of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

, angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

s and saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

s (Virgin Mary). While Catholics believe that holy places and objects (i.e., objects dedicated to God for sacred use) should be respected and not put to profane use, the Catholic Church condemns worshiping the object itself, as any worship given to something other than God is considered idolatry
Idolatry
Idolatry is a pejorative term for the worship of an idol, a physical object such as a cult image, as a god, or practices believed to verge on worship, such as giving undue honour and regard to created forms other than God. In all the Abrahamic religions idolatry is strongly forbidden, although...

.

People in a state of sanctifying grace
Actual grace
Actual grace is, in Roman Catholic theology, a share in God's life. It is contrasted with sanctifying grace, which is a state of being that can be permanent, in that it consists only in a passing influence of God on the soul....

 are also considered holy in Catholicism. A central notion of Catholicism as articulated in contemporary theology is the "[personal] call to holiness," considered as a vocation
Vocation
A vocation , is a term for an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which they are suited, trained or qualified. Though now often used in non-religious contexts, the meanings of the term originated in Christianity.-Senses:...

 shared by every Christian believer. Profound personal holiness has traditionally also been seen as a focus for the kind of contagious holiness primarily associated with the Sacrament. So the communion of saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

s in Catholicism is not only the acclamation of their piety or morality, but also reverence for the tangible holiness that flows from their proximity to the divine. Hence the places where saints lived, died, performed miracles, or received visions frequently become sites of pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

, and notable objects surviving a saint (including the body or parts of it) are considered relics. The holiness of such places or objects, resulting from contact with a deeply holy person, is often connected with the miraculous long after the death of the saint.

Sanctus
Sanctus
The Sanctus is a hymn from Christian liturgy, forming part of the Order of Mass. In Western Christianity, the Sanctus is sung as the final words of the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer, the prayer of consecration of the bread and wine...

 is the name of an important hymn of Christian liturgy. The Trisagion
Trisagion
The Trisagion , sometimes called by its opening line Agios O Theos or by the Latin Tersanctus, is a standard hymn of the Divine Liturgy in most of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, Oriental Orthodox Churches and Catholic Churches.In those Churches which use the Byzantine Rite, the Trisagion is chanted...

 ('Thrice Holy') is a standard hymn of the Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Churches.

Protestantism


The Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 stood in opposition to the beliefs of tangible holiness in the Catholic Church and rejected most of its teachings regarding devotional practice, language and imagery. The early Protestant Reformers, who were often scholars of Ancient Greek and also borrowed from Jewish scholarship, recognized that holiness is an attribute
Attributes of God
The Attributes of God in Christian theology are those characteristics of God revealed in the Bible.-Classification:Many Reformed theologians distinguish between the communicable attributes and the incommunicable attributes...

 of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

, and holiness is always part of the presence of God
Presence of God
Presence of God is a term used in Catholic theology and devotion.In theology, it refers to the belief that God is present by His Essence everywhere and in all things by reason of His Immensity...

. Yet they also recognized that "practical holiness" was the evidence of the presence of God in the converted believer. Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 viewed God's grace (and therefore God's holiness), as an invasion of the life. Actions that demonstrated holiness would spring up, not premeditated, as the believer focused more and more on his or her relationship with Christ. This was the life of faith
Faith
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

, according to Luther; a life in which one recognizes that the sin inherent in human nature never departs, yet Grace invades each human spirit and draws each person after Christ.

Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

, on the other hand, formulated a practical system of holiness that even tied in with culture and social justice
Justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

. All unholy actions, Calvin reasoned, resulted in suffering
Suffering
Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, is an individual's basic affective experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with harm or threat of harm. Suffering may be qualified as physical or mental. It may come in all degrees of intensity, from mild to intolerable. Factors of duration and...

. Thus he proved out to the city fathers of Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

 that dancing and other social vices always ended with the wealthy oppressing the poor. A holy life, in his outlook, was pietistic and simple, a life that shunned extravagance, excess, and vanity. On a personal level, Calvin believed that suffering would be a manifestation of taking on the Cross
Cross
A cross is a geometrical figure consisting of two lines or bars perpendicular to each other, dividing one or two of the lines in half. The lines usually run vertically and horizontally; if they run obliquely, the design is technically termed a saltire, although the arms of a saltire need not meet...

 of Christ, but suffering was also part of the process of holiness. He expected that all Christians would suffer in this life, not as punishment, but rather as participation in union with Christ, who suffered for them. And yet, socially, Calvin argued that a holy society would end up as a gentle, kindly society (except to criminals) where the poor would be protected from the abuses of the wealthy, the lawyers, and others who normally preyed upon them.

In Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

, especially in American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 branches of Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 of the more Pentecostal variety, holiness has acquired the secondary meaning of the reshaping of a person through spiritual rebirth. The term owes its origin to John Wesley
John Wesley
John Wesley was a Church of England cleric and Christian theologian. Wesley is largely credited, along with his brother Charles Wesley, as founding the Methodist movement which began when he took to open-air preaching in a similar manner to George Whitefield...

's concept of "scriptural holiness" or Christian perfection
Christian perfection
Christian perfection, also known as perfect love; heart purity; the baptism of the Holy Spirit; the fullness of the blessing; Christian holiness; the second blessing; and entire sanctification, is a Christian doctrine which holds that the heart of the regenerant Christian may attain a state of...

.

The Holiness movement
Holiness movement
The holiness movement refers to a set of beliefs and practices emerging from the Methodist Christian church in the mid 19th century. The movement is distinguished by its emphasis on John Wesley's doctrine of "Christian perfection" - the belief that it is possible to live free of voluntary sin - and...

 began within Methodism
Methodism
Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, among those who thought the church had lost the zeal and emphasis on personal holiness of Wesley's day. In the latter part of the 19th century revival meetings were held, attended by thousands. In Vineland, N.J
Vineland, New Jersey
Vineland is a city in Cumberland County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 60,724...

 in 1867 a camp meeting was begun and the "National Holiness Camp Meeting Association, which went on to establish many holiness camp meeting
Camp meeting
The camp meeting is a form of Protestant Christian religious service originating in Britain and once common in some parts of the United States, wherein people would travel from a large area to a particular site to camp out, listen to itinerant preachers, and pray...

s across the nation. Some adherents to the movement remained within their denominations; others founded new denominations, such as the Free Methodist Church
Free Methodist Church
The Free Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination within the holiness movement. It is evangelical in nature and has its roots in the Arminian-Wesleyan tradition....

, the Church of the Nazarene
Church of the Nazarene
The Church of the Nazarene is an evangelical Christian denomination that emerged from the 19th century Holiness movement in North America with its members colloquially referred to as Nazarenes. It is the largest Wesleyan-holiness denomination in the world. At the end of 2010, the Church of the...

, and the Church of God (Anderson)
Church of God (Anderson)
The Church of God is a holiness Christian body with roots in Wesleyan pietism and also in the restorationist traditions. Founded in 1881 by Daniel Sidney Warner, the church claims 1,170,143 adherents...

. Within a generation another movement, the Pentecostal
Pentecostalism
Pentecostalism is a diverse and complex movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, has an eschatological focus, and is an experiential religion. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek...

 movement was born, drawing heavily from the Holiness Movement. Around the middle of the 20th century, the Conservative Holiness Movement
Conservative Holiness Movement
The conservative holiness movement is a term that loosely defines a group of conservative Christian denominations that trace their origin back to Methodist roots and the teachings of John Wesley.-Doctrines and distinctives:...

 was born - a conservative offshoot of the Holiness movement.

The Higher Life movement
Higher Life movement
The Higher Life movement was a movement devoted to Christian holiness in England. Its name comes from a book by William Boardman, entitled The Higher Christian Life, which was published in 1858...

 appeared in the British Isles during the mid-19th century.

In the contemporary Holiness movement, the idea that holiness is relational is growing. In this thought, the core notion of holiness is love
Love
Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. Love is central to many religions, as in the Christian phrase, "God is love" or Agape in the Canonical gospels...

. Other notions of holiness, such as purity, being set apart, perfection, keeping rules, and total commitment, are seen as contributory notions of holiness. These contributory notions find their ultimate legitimacy when love is at their core (Thomas Jay Oord
Thomas Jay Oord
Thomas Jay Oord is a theologian, philosopher, and scholar of multi-disciplinary studies. He is the author or editor of about twenty books and professor at Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho...

 and Michael Lodahl).

Commonly recognized outward expressions or "standards" of holiness among more fundamental adherents frequently include applications relative to dress, hair, and appearance: e.g., short hair on men, uncut hair on women, and prohibitions against shorts, pants on women, make-up and jewelry. Other common injunctions are against places of worldly amusement, mixed swimming, smoking, minced oaths, as well as the eschewing of television and radio.

More traditional or mainline Protestant denominations, such as the Anglican, Lutheran, and some Methodist denominations, believe in Holy Sacraments that the clergy perform, such as Holy Communion and Holy Baptism. As well as strong belief in the Holy Catholic Church
Four Marks of the Church
The Four Marks of the Church is a term describing four specific adjectives—one, holy, catholic and apostolic—indicating four major distinctive marks or distinguishing characteristics of the Christian Church...

, Holy Scripture
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, Holy Trinity, and the Holy Covenant
Covenant (biblical)
A biblical covenant is an agreement found in the Bible between God and His people in which God makes specific promises and demands. It is the customary word used to translate the Hebrew word berith. It it is used in the Tanakh 286 times . All Abrahamic religions consider the Biblical covenant...

. They also believe that angels and saints are called to holiness.

Islam


Among the names of God in Quran is القدوس (Al-Qoddous) : and , the closest English translation for which is 'sacred'. As God
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

 alone is considered to be the ultimate source of all true purification and guidance in Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, all holiness is his alone too.

Judaism



Some consider that the Hebrew noun for "holiness," kedushah , from the adjective kodesh, "holy," has the connotation of "separateness", although Hebrew has other verbs and adjectives to indicate separate, such as badal (בָּדַל). That which is holy in Judaism is set apart, and the separation is maintained by both legal and spiritual measures. Certain places and times are intrinsically sacred, and strictures are placed on one's actions in those situations. However, holiness is not a single state, but contains a broad spectrum. The Mishnah
Mishnah
The Mishnah or Mishna is the first major written redaction of the Jewish oral traditions called the "Oral Torah". It is also the first major work of Rabbinic Judaism. It was redacted c...

 lists concentric circles of holiness surrounding the Temple in Jerusalem
Temple in Jerusalem
The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...

: Holy of Holies
Holy of Holies
The Holy of Holies is a term in the Hebrew Bible which refers to the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle and later the Temple in Jerusalem where the Ark of the Covenant was kept during the First Temple, which could be entered only by the High Priest on Yom Kippur...

; Temple Sanctuary; Temple Vestibule; Court of Priests; Court of Israelites; Court of Women; Temple Mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

; the walled city of Jerusalem; all the walled cities of Israel; and the borders of the Land of Israel
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...

. Distinctions are made as to who and what are permitted in each area. Likewise, the holidays, including and especially the Sabbath, are considered to be holy in time; the Torah calls them "holy [days of] gathering. Work is not allowed on those days, and rabbinic tradition lists 39 categories of activity
39 categories of activity prohibited on Shabbat
The commandment to keep Shabbat as a day of rest is repeated many times in the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. The commandment is usually expressed in English in terms of refraining from the doing of work on Shabbat, but the Hebrew term used in the Bible is melakha , which has a slightly different...

 that are specifically prohibited.

The Torah describes the Aaronite priests
Kohen
A Kohen is the Hebrew word for priest. Jewish Kohens are traditionally believed and halachically required to be of direct patrilineal descent from the Biblical Aaron....

 and the Levite
Levite
In Jewish tradition, a Levite is a member of the Hebrew tribe of Levi. When Joshua led the Israelites into the land of Canaan, the Levites were the only Israelite tribe that received cities but were not allowed to be landowners "because the Lord the God of Israel himself is their inheritance"...

s as being selected by God to perform the Temple services; they, as well, are called "holy." A righteous person (tzadik
Tzadik
Tzadik/Zadik/Sadiq is a title given to personalities in Jewish tradition considered righteous, such as Biblical figures and later spiritual masters. The root of the word ṣadiq, is ṣ-d-q , which means "justice" or "righteousness", also the root of Tzedakah...

) is also considered to be holy.

Beyond the intrinsically holy, objects can become sacred through consecration. Any personal possession may be dedicated to the Temple of God, after which its misappropriation is considered among the gravest of sins. The various sacrifices
Korban
The term offering as found in the Hebrew Bible in relation to the worship of Ancient Israel is mainly represented by the Hebrew noun korban whether for an animal or other offering...

 are holy; those that may be eaten have very specific rules concerning who may eat which of their parts, and time limits on when the consumption must be completed. Most sacrifices contain a part to be consumed by the priests - a portion of the holy to be consumed by God's holy devotees.

The encounter with the holy is seen as eminently desirable, and at the same time fearful and awesome. For the strongest penalties are applied to one who transgresses in this area - one could in theory receive either the death penalty or the heavenly punishment of karet, spiritual excision, for mis-stepping in his close approach to God's domain.

Sacred ground


Usually, social or religious groups considers an area sacred or holy, where there is a human presence, e.g. a cemetery
Cemetery
A cemetery is a place in which dead bodies and cremated remains are buried. The term "cemetery" implies that the land is specifically designated as a burying ground. Cemeteries in the Western world are where the final ceremonies of death are observed...

 or a building or site for worship. However, there are natural areas on each continent—canyons, mountains, rivers, forests, deserts, seashores, etc. that are considered sacred, where the site's value as a sacred area trumps its use for economic purposes, and is usually preserved for perpetuity.

See also



  • Buddhology
    Buddhology
    Buddhology is the study of the Buddha or Buddhahood. The term is also used as a synonym for Buddhist Studies, contemporary academic investigation of Buddhism....

  • Hallow
    Hallow
    To hallow is "to make holy or sacred, to sanctify or consecrate, to venerate". The adjective form hallowed, as used in The Lord's Prayer, means holy, consecrated, sacred, or revered.-Etymology:...

  • Joseph Campbell
    Joseph Campbell
    Joseph John Campbell was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience...

  • Neopaganism
    Neopaganism
    Neopaganism is an umbrella term used to identify a wide variety of modern religious movements, particularly those influenced by or claiming to be derived from the various pagan beliefs of pre-modern Europe...

  • New Age
    New Age
    The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational...

  • Polytheistic reconstructionism
    Polytheistic reconstructionism
    Polytheistic reconstructionism is an approach to Neopaganism first emerging in the late 1960s to early 1970s, and gathering momentum in the 1990s to 2000s...

  • Sacred architecture
  • Sacred art
    Sacred art
    Sacred art is imagery intended to uplift the mind to the spiritual. Sacred art involves the ritual and cultic practices and practical and operative aspects of the path of the spiritual realization within the bosom of the tradition in question....

  • Sacred dance
    Sacred dance
    Sacred dance encompasses all movement that expresses or enhances spiritual experiences. It may be a part of a worship service, a group experience or a private spiritual practice.Some examples of sacred dance are:* Native American Ghost Dance...

  • Sacred geometry
    Sacred geometry
    Sacred geometry is the geometry used in the planning and construction of religious structures such as churches, temples, mosques, religious monuments, altars, tabernacles; as well as for sacred spaces such as temenoi, sacred groves, village greens and holy wells, and the creation of religious art...

  • Sacred history
    Sacred history
    The term sacred history is sometimes used in theology for the parts of the Torah narrative on the boundary of historicity, especially the Moses and Exodus stories which can be argued to have a remote historical nucleus without any positive evidence to the effect.In a wider sense, the term is used...

  • Sacred language
    Sacred language
    A sacred language, "holy language" , or liturgical language, is a language that is cultivated for religious reasons by people who speak another language in their daily life.-Concept:...

  • Sacred music
  • Sacred Mysteries
    Sacred Mysteries
    The term sacred mysteries generally denotes the area of supernatural phenomena associated with a divinity or a religious ideology.-Pre-Christian religious mysteries:...

  • Sacred prostitution
  • Sacred text
  • Sacred Tradition
    Sacred Tradition
    Sacred Tradition or Holy Tradition is a theological term used in some Christian traditions, primarily in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions, to refer to the fundamental basis of church authority....

  • Sacred waters
    Sacred Waters
    As opposed to holy water, water elevated with the sacramental blessing of a cleric , sacred waters are characterized by tangible topographical land formations such as rivers, lakes, springs, and oceans...

  • Theology
    Theology
    Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

  • Theosophy
    Theosophy
    Theosophy, in its modern presentation, is a spiritual philosophy developed since the late 19th century. Its major themes were originally described mainly by Helena Blavatsky , co-founder of the Theosophical Society...

  • Traditionalist School
    Traditionalist School
    The term Traditionalist School is used by Mark Sedgwick and other authors to denote a school of thought, also known as Integral Traditionalism or Perennialism to denote an esoteric movement developed by authors such as French metaphysician René Guénon, German-Swiss...