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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Realizing the sacred: power and meaning in Chinua Achebe's 'Arrow of God'
Author:Mathuray, MarkISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Nigeria
About person:Albert Chinualumogu Achebe (1930-2013)ISNI
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v034/34.3mathuray.pdf
Abstract:The Latin word 'sacer', which denotes the idea of the sacred, has an ambiguous character. It incorporates both the mythic hero and the sacrificial victim. Through a reading of Chinua Achebe's 'Arrow of God' (2nd ed., 1986), the author of the present paper makes a case for the use of the concept of sacred in the analysis of myth and ritual in African literary texts. This approach has been premised on the belief of the persistence of the sacred in contemporary African society, structuring and delimiting the sphere of political relations and epistemological concerns. The double value of the sacred and its relative opacity places indeterminacy at the heart of these relations/concerns, an indeterminacy that institutes a specific form of morality. Power and Meaning are placed outside the sphere of humans in the symbolic order of the sacred; thus the exercise of power and the search for meaning is always constrained by this belief. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]