Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2010 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming, Kathryn Madden, Stanton Marlan


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-71802-6_300

Hierophany is a term for manifestation of the divine. It is a broader term than the more familiar term, theophany, because it allows non-personal forms of the divine to become manifest. The term was popularized by the noted scholar of comparative religion, Mircea Eliade (1907–1986). His major thesis (1959) is the distinction in human experience between the sacred and the profane modes of life. Our ordinary lives are profane, but he does not use this in a pejorative sense, but as simply the opposite of sacred. When we are in contact with the divine ground of being we are in “sacred space and sacred time,” and when we are out of contact we are in a profane or ordinary mode of existence. Whether it is in a formal worship service, or a private experience of mystical communion with the divine, we have the capacity to enter into a new and more profound mode of being in the world. In this world of the spirit we experience some type or degree of communion with the divine. Hierophany is the...

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyChicagoUSA