The Sacred in Baldwin’s "Go Tell it on the Mountain" The etymology of the word sacred originates from the Latin word sacer , meaning holy. From sacer came sacrare , meaning to devote. The word in Middle English eventually became sacren , or to consecrate (Kluge). Thus, etymologically, the sacred is whatever has been devoted to God. The theme of the sacred infuses Baldwin’s Go Tell it on the Mountain from beginning to end. However, the novel’s conception of the sacred is broad; it moves past the central tenets of Christianity to embrace numerous elements of ordinary life. Consecration takes place on several levels in the novel. First, consider Baldwin’s description of the transformation of what had been a secular storefront in Harlem to a...The end:
.....n saw no value in salvation that did not permit him to behave with love” (38). References Baldwin, James. The Cross of Redemption. New York: Pantheon Books, 2010. Baldwin, James. Go Tell it on the Mountain. New York: Delta Trade, 2000. Bloom, Harold. James Baldwin. New York: Infobase , 2007. Hardy, Clarence. James Baldwin’s God. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2003. Kluge, Friedrich. English Etymology. New York: BiblioBazaar , 2008. Marshall, R. Political Spiritualities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. Oxtoby , William & Segal, Alan. A Concise Introduction to World Religions. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2007. Thornton, Jerome. James Baldwin and the Christian Tradition. Buffalo: SUNY Buffalo Press, 1976.