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Hierophony

The word “hierophany” comes to us by way of Mircea Eliade’s The Sacred and the Profane. Eliade introduced the neologism, offering that it break down into “hiero” (meaning “sacred”) and “-phany” (meaning “manifestation” or “appearance”).  He uses it in context when he writes: “Man becomes aware of the sacred because it manifests itself, shows itself, as something wholly different from the profane. To designate the act of manifestation of the sacred, we have proposed the term hierophany… we are confronted by the same mysterious act-the manifestation of something of a wholly different order, a reality that does not belong to our world, in objects that are an integral part of our natural ‘profane’ world” (pg 11).