Between Sacrum and Prophanum: Authority, Knowledge, Democracy Cover Image

Between Sacrum and Prophanum: Authority, Knowledge, Democracy
Between Sacrum and Prophanum: Authority, Knowledge, Democracy

Author(s): Marian Broda
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Vilnius Gediminas Technical University
Keywords: Authority; democracy; knowledge; power; profanum; sacrum; truth.

Summary/Abstract: An often underestimated reference point of great importance for understanding of the contemporary social and political consciousness is the rooting of such consciousness in the structures of archaic thinking. In this light, the experience of power becomes a component of a more universal experience of sacrum: the establishment of an order, a result of the invasion of holiness – the epiphany – is considered as simultaneous establishment of the world and the truth. Sacrum, power, leadership, order, identity, truth, authority and rightness remain integrally interconnected and only the power able to satisfy such total expectations receives the real legitimization. It does not become a party to “a contract” governing the rights and obligations of each side, but rather – in a manner typical for religious or quasi-religious act, one unconditionally gives up to such power, commits to it. The contents rooted in the archaic experience of sacrum, disguised by the historically younger cultural layers are stemming from deep layers and structures of the social conscience. In particular, in the time of crisis they reveal their presence on multiple occasions, helping various Sons of Lights on their road to power. Such persons, in the eyes of their worshippers hold the monopoly for an alleged higher, exclusive and integral Truth. The authoritarian order, de facto excluding the possibility of an authentic dialogue, becomes an alternative for the democratic citizen society – resting upon the assumptions that the individuals are free, mature and independent, willing to take the responsibility for their own fate and for the matters of their communities.

  • Issue Year: 2009
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 116-125
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: English