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relevance criteria[edit]

Anyone see the Yahweh thing? I think this is a little biased. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:28, 13 August 2008 (UTC) The yahweh thing is extremely biased, and fails on the disinterested removal requirement in a big way. Please remove or edit! -zuck —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:07, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Now that this page has the appropriate title, and a little information about the way scholars have viewed the sacred, several things need to be done. We need to admit that this concept is not native to every culture or religion, and reconsider some of the information included here: for instance, the information on Buddhism belongs in an article on purity, not holiness or the sacred. Because this would involve a lot of deletion, I'll wait for input from others for awhile. Wyote 18:01, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

What I'm talking about is the organizational sacredness which may include, but not limited to:

  • The purity of Shrine / altar / symbols / icons - absence of other forms of life, such as animals or any animal body parts, fierce, death penalty and sexual images
  • The purity of clergy - such as low incident of sexual abuse cases (i.e. <2%)
  • The purity of lay people - such as low incident of violent events (i.e. <2%)

(note: the definition of violent events may need to be addressed)

  • Healing ability - such as curing the diseases which is not curable by conventional medicines (> 5%)
  • disciplined practice, such as..... (has to be universally accepted)
Who wrote that? Don't forget to sign your name! Ok, "purity" can be part of holiness. But there's a problem with those criteria. How can you judge that the absence of sexual images renders a shrine "pure?" Consider the statue of Artemis at Ephesus, or Angkor Wat. How do you measure "2%" of clergy being involved in sexual abuse cases? What about ritual prostitution? Why is violence necessarily "impure?" What about human sacrifice, self-mutilation, gods of war, etc.? As for healing ability, that should be a new article. And what is an example of universally accepted disciplined practice? Wyote 23:00, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

from my understanding, any ritual outcomes and secular spirit services, such as ritual murder, ritual prostitution, ritual violence and memorial services to the dead and ancestors will more or less result spirit assisted activity. It is much to do with conductor's motivation than the formation of the event. For sure, the civilization level of human and animal spirits are different although some human spirit might be more evil than animals. By large, human spirits are much intellegent, less violent and easy to be negociated at the era of democracy compared to the times of the post-ice age in which human populations are heavily ruled/governed as did in the animal world/regime by their superiors.

Another comment that I wish to make is that as long as the animal images, textures, or materials do not form the maijor part of the setting in the surrounding of (not in) the shrine/altar, and their locations are not in the positions of the gardians or distingished VIP of shrine/altar, such orientation should be considered for decoration purposes only, but is not recommended and preferred. when possible, further improvement should be made. Especially some arrangements according to the conspiracy theory which are biased, harmful and unsafe to the external world should be abolished sooner or later. However, the time of abolishing should be justified and on action-to-action bases. Gardian's positions refer to the places being either above average human being's heights, or direct at the left/right/back side of the shrine/altar, whereas distinguished VIP position is the place equivalent but opposite to the shrine/altar.

The shrines/altars do not include the cases of the officially approved world cultural heritages and world 7 wonders, as those reflect the importance of human evolution history and are of archiving and preservation values even though the importance of the heritages and wonders are sometime being rotated and dismayed :-). These are only my personal opinions and welcome to make CIVILIZED debating

More thoughts[edit]

If some of the shrines are orientated with task-performing animals, then it should be managed by a licence holder (similar to a gun licence) and regulated by government agencies which enforce the national constitutional law (i.e. doing similar to gun law). Any rituals to be conducted on this shrive should be informed to relavent regulatory agencies in advance.

Whether these thoughts are rational or not, welcome to make comments.

moved talk from holiness page[edit]

I'm moved many of the comments here from the holiness page; the sacred (comparative religion) is the better title for this article, as discussed by myself and others below. Wyote 05:15, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and history merged both this talk page and the sacred article. Graham87 09:34, 10 March 2010 (UTC)


This article should cover a lot more - both in existing sections and particularly on other religions and denominations (e.g. Orthodox Christianity, modern Jewish groups, Islam, Hinduism, etc) as well as general anthropological theories of the development and significance of holiness in religion. Anyone know anything relevant? -- 11:37, 8 May 2006 (UTC) sorry, that's --ADMH 11:44, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

This was a very poor decision. We now have an article for the word holy under the title sacred. We type in holy we do not expect sacred. Please lets have an article for holy on wikipedia not a pointless redirection. There is virtually nothing about sacred here. We have a very poor situation where the New Advent version is better than the original one.

This issue is a classic example of what can go wrong with wikipedia. Why butcher an excellent article on holy that was a credit to Wikipedia —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:31, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

External link/link spam[edit]

I reverted the addition of an external link to "Holiness Debate" that an anonIP had been adding to various spiritual/religous articles. The bears no direct relationship to the article; and by the contributions history, this appears to be a case of external link spam. However, if this is a legitimate addition, please comment and revert back. — ERcheck (talk) @ 03:58, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

"Etymology and concept" section removed. Etymology moved to introduction.[edit]

"Etymology and concept" is an extremely confusing section. On the one hand it gives the etymology of the word, then it goes on about psychology and the idea of "individuation", which is not the same as "holiness" (except that "holy" is derived from a word which used to mean "whole"). That the idea of individuation and wholeness is not the same as holiness is borne out by the fact that we do not use "whole" and "holy" interchangeably. The concept of holiness persists in modern times quite independently of anything psychologists may theorise. As an example, there is no psychological principle that determines that an individuated person cannot be wholly evil. The individuation idea is so inappropriate to the section in which it appears, both textually and conceptually, that I have little doubt that it was copied directly from some psychology source. I have therefore removed the whole section, since it has no function other than the Jungian individuation psychology bit, and moved the etymology to the introductory section. It may be appropriate to address the psychological equivalent of holiness in a separate section (e.g. "Holiness as a psychological construct"), but not as "etymology and concept". --Seejyb 22:13, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Holy from Holly?[edit]

  • References to "holy" as a derivation of "holly" on Google start with the Wikipedia itself, followed by sites advocating that much of Christianity is unoriginal and drawn from paganism.

Is there a etymological source which derives "holy" from "holly" that can be cited here? patsw 15:12, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


The sacred page and the sanctity page both refer to this page and are stubs. In fact, the three terms are synonyms—see wikt:sacred and wikt:sanctity. It seems silly to have three pages (viz this, Sacred, and Sanctity) when they all tend to the same subject, and only this has any worthwhile content.—Red Baron 18:43, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I have performed the merger. Now comes the task of incorporating the little text there was in the old pages. The "Sanctity" page had nothing, but the "Sacred" contained the following:

Red Baron 14:54, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Importance of "the sacred" in "comparative religion" and "religious studies"[edit]

I will do more research before posting this, but for now, here's this--I hope to get some helpful input before I post it:

Durkheim developed the contrast of "the sacred" and "the profane" in his studies of religion, where he emphasized the social importance of the sacred, in contrast to other scholars (such as William James) who approached religious experience primarily from an individualistic standpoint. Then the concept of "the holy" was analyzed by Rudolph Otto as "a fascinating and tremendous mystery," providing scholars a new way to study religion. This was taken up by Mircea Eliade, who used Otto's concept but Durkheim's terminology, and through him it became the central concept in the study of comparative religion in the US.

With that in mind, perhaps a distinct page for "sacred" would be appropriate, or renaming this page, since the term "holiness" is not used by any scholars that I know of. Wyote 08:39, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree, the merge was made too rush. A simple search on google scholar shows that "sacred" is the term used by scholars: 430.000 results despite of 49.000 for "holiness".--BMF81 06:40, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm confident that either a page needs to be created for "sacred," or this page needs to be renamed. The quesion is, which? Wyote 07:05, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Sacred and Religion = NOT[edit]

What is wrong with you people? Sacred is not ONLY referred to religion. What I mean by this is where are the definitions of sacred without the words religion, or god in them? This is pathetic the whole article makes use of religion as a defining point of sacred which is ONLY partly true, meaning there should be two definitions of sacred, one based in religion and one without. For example, people can have sacred things, doesn't mean it's relevant to religion or religious anything, except for the fact that it's close to heart for the person calling it sacred. This article is the worst kind of preaching I've seen on wikipedia yet. Stop stuffing religion in every hole you can find! kandrey89 16:26, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, We need to take the language of Wholeness, away from the narrow perspective of dualistic religion, and cultural bias. Whether God, Allah, Enlightenment, Spirit, man's perspective is always limited to his experience in culture, tradition, environment, and personality.... Whole, implies the possibility of Complete, Infinite, surrender to the Truth beyond the boundaries of our refractory. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:14, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

St. Thomas Aquinas[edit]

I found this after pinging off the definition of holiness in the site. There they depend on Aquinas who divides holiness from sanctity. I am not "holy" enough to comment on his words nor literate enough to add to your article but thought I would toss that out as something you may want to add to your article. 02:34, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Holiness hatnote needs changing[edit]

The "Holiness" hatnote needs changing but I don't know how to do it. "Holiness" does not redirect here. Nurg (talk) 10:42, 2 September 2008 (UTC)


Holly (genus: Ilex aquifolium) is an evergreen shrub whose name derives from the Old English holen, from the same root as the Old High German hulis. According to the Oxford English Dictionary it appears to be cognate with the Welsh, celyn, the Cornish, celin, and the Irish, cuillean. Holly thus has a different etymological genealogy to the word Holy which it appears to resemble. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:19, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Holiness in Orthodoxy[edit]

This section requires expansion. Willthacheerleader18 (talk) 20:25, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Someone needs to add information to this section, or it will be removed. --Willthacheerleader18 (talk) 01:15, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

See Also List[edit]

I was wondering why some of the topics listed under "See Also" are there. I can't see a real connection between holy/sacred and Joseph Campbell, Neopaganism, New Age, Polytheistic reconstructionism, Theosophy, or Traditionalist School. I find "See Also" can be very useful in exploring a topic...unless there is no strong connections between the topics. Any objections to deleting these links?Jumpinbean (talk) 21:50, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Sacred is not holy[edit]

Excuse me, sacred is not the same of holy, you should remark the important difference. In latin sacer means also terrible or untouchable ( auri sacra fames - Vergilius, terribilem et sacrum libellum - Catullus). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:18, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

In modern day context they mean the same thing. However, it could be mentioned in the article what the roots of the word mean if that has not already been done. --Willthacheerleader18 (talk) 12:29, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Sacredness and holiness are some of the most important concepts in the world, since most human beings have religious beliefs of some kind. Thus there are probably dozens of different definitions of these words.
In my experience with Evangelical Protestant Christianity, sacredness and holiness are very different. "Sacred" means having a special value to human beings or to God. For example, the phrase "human life is sacred" means human life is valuable to God and should be honored and cherished by human beings. Sacredness, in this meaning, to my knowledge is a later development in Christianity and not mentioned in the Bible, but rather derived from Christian thought. "Holy" on the other hand is a Biblical term. Holy means set apart to God. In the Old Testament, certain elements of the temple and things offered to God were considered holy. They could only be touched or eaten by certain people; violators would be executed or struck down by God himself. Also, God is considered holy. The meaning of God's holiness is very complicated and has been controversial among Christian scholars for two thousand years.
An example of the difference between sacredness and holiness is that God is not "sacred". He is holy. And human life isn't "holy." It's sacred.--Deersfeet (talk) 09:26, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Can someone make a link to finnish wikipedia? It has an article about the same subject. -- (talk) 09:34, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Christian Holiness[edit]

In the book of Revelation, God is referred to as thrice holy. I would like to know why. It deserves a brief explanaion under the Catholic/Christian heading.

Matt.mawson (talk) 21:53, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Are you referring to Revelation 4:8 -- "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come"? The same phrase is used in Isaiah 6:3, so it is not unique to the book of Revelation. If that's the idea you are referring to then I'd say that the word is primarily repeated for emphasis and not notable enough to include here. Matthew C. Clarke 12:11, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Repeating an adjective three times in Hebrew is somewhat akin to the Latin superlative suffix "-issimus"; however, it's even more like its descendants in Spanish and Italian, which are even more than the superlative. To say "He is the biggest" in Spanish you say "Él es el más grande." But if you say "Él es grandísimo" that means something like, "He is exceptionally big." To relate this back to Hebrew, Qadosh qadosh qadosh means "Exceptionally holy."
As far as I know, Greek does not use a thrice-repetition structure like this. However, when the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek (the Septuagint), the repetition αγιος αγιος αγιος in Isaiah 6:3 was preserved into Greek. The author of Revelation simply quoted the Greek Old Testament.--Deersfeet (talk) 09:41, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Inclusion of religious viewpoint[edit]

There is not a single perspective on what is the sacred. Therefore, it is useful to highlight from which worldview the definition of the sacred stems. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JaysonSunshine (talkcontribs) 09:49, 18 August 2014 (UTC)