Glossary of Religion
Learn the definitions of religious terms and concepts with our extensive Glossary of Religion. Choose a letter above or explore the random terms below.
- golden fishes
- (Sanskrit suvarnamatsya). Buddhist symbol of good fortune, fertility and salvation.
- Veneration of Saints
- no in Protestantism; yes in other branches
- Chinese place-god
- (also spelled talit; Yiddish tallis; plural talitot) A prayer shawl worn by Jews during weekday morning services, on the Sabbath, and on holidays.
- A holy man who has renounced the material world to devote himself to spiritual practice. He wanders from place to place and owns nothing. A female sadhu is a sadhvi.
- ("Lord of Hosts"). Also Ganesha, Vinayaka, Ekadanta, Lambodara, Siddhadata, Vighnaraja. God of wisdom and good fortune, represented with a pot belly and the head of an elephant. Ganesh has been one of the most popular Hindu gods since medieval times and is claimed by all sects as their own. As the remover of obstacles, he is invoked before religious ceremonies and worldly undertakings.
- The Jewish autumn festival celebrated in September or October (15-21 Tishri) as a festival of thanksgiving. Sukkot is one of three Jewish pilgrim festivals. In biblical times the festival was associated with the agricultural year. Following the tradition established in Leviticus (23: 42), 'booths' or temporary shelters are built in homes, gardens, and synagogues in memory of the huts used by the Israelites after leaving Egypt.
- Style and period associated with the reign of the Islamic dynasty that began to rule in Anatolia in 1281 until the promulgation of the Constitution of the Turkish Republic in 1924. Under the support of Ottoman sultans, a distinct architectural style developed that combined the Islamic traditions of Anatolia, Iran, and Syria with those of the Classical world and Byzantium.
- Baha'i New Year, celebrated on the spring equinox (March 20 or 21)
- Branch of systematic philosophy that deals with the character of the universe as a cosmos, combining speculative metaphysics and scientific knowledge.
- Orthodox Judaism
- Designates the branch of Judaism that most staunchly adheres to traditional beliefs and practices, characterized by the belief in the immutability and supreme authority of the Written Law and Oral Law as the fundamental basis of religious observance, by resistance to modernization, by strict conformity to daily worship and dietary laws, by the regular study of the Torah, by the observance of the Sabbath, and by the separation of men and women in the synagogue.
- Religion and philosophy founded in India in the sixth century BCE by Vardhamana, one of the religious figures who protested and repudiated the orthodox doctrines of the Vedic cult. It is characterized by an aversion to rites of sacrifice prevalent in Vedic traditions, by the belief in the ethical doctrine of ahimsa, advocating non-injury to all living creatures, and by the struggle for the consummate ideal of human perfection achieved through monastic and devout living.
- Maltese cross
- Symbol of the Order of St. John (Knights of Malta), Malta, and many modern-day firefighters and paramedics.
- Sexuality characterized by romantic love or sexual desire toward members of one's own sex.
- In the Western Christian church, a period of penitential preparation for Easter that includes 40 weekdays extending from Ash-Wednesday to Easter-eve, observed as a time of fasting and penitence in imitation of Jesus Christ's fasting in the wilderness. In Eastern churches Lent begins Monday seven weeks before Easter and ends the Friday 9 days before Easter. This "Great Lent" allows that Saturdays and Sundays are relaxed fast days.