Richards, Sarah Emily
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This work explores the reciprocal relationship between sacred time as manifest in religious calendars and their parent religious traditions. The primary purpose of the work is to introduce a new conceptual tool for diagramming and studying the functions and effects of recurring religious holidays and rituals. This conceptual tool is called "spiralinear time", and it combines several of the traditional dualities assigned to concepts of time such as linear versus cyclical. The spiralinear time concept is built upon observation of several calendar traditions of Western civilization as well as major theories of time in the study of religion. This thesis will also defend the idea of co-development and co-genesis between a given religion and its associated calendar, rather than viewing the calendar as a direct product of its religion. It will show that calendars are thus one of the most effective tools in the purpose-driven evolution of religion, as well as one of the most interesting products thereof.