Glossary of Religion: D

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Learn the definitions of religious terms and concepts with our extensive Glossary of Religion. Choose a letter above or explore the random terms below.

dadouchos
The torchbearer, and second most important priest, of the Eleusian Mysteries. He was chosen from the lineage of the Kerykes for life. He wore a headbadn with a myrtle wreath, a robe of purple, and carried torches. The appointment was considered a great honor and there was often considerable competition for the position.
Daf Yomi
(Hebrew, "the daily page"). Program of studying one page of Talmud per day.
Dalai Lama
Head of the dominant school of Tibetan Buddhism, the Gelugpa (or Yellow Hats), and from 1642 to 1959, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet.
Darshanas
Hindu philosophy manuals based on the Vedas.
De
(Chinese) virtue
deity
A supernatural being believed to control some or all of the world and/or a personification of a force or natural feature.
Demut
Amish virtue of humility.
Denne
In Zen Buddhism, the handing on of the robe as a symbol of the transmission of buddha-dharma in the lineage of patriarchs to a successor.
Deus volt
(Latin "God wills it"). The battle cry of the Crusaders.
Devi
Hindu Mother Goddess whose major forms are Durga, Parvati, and Kali. In the Vedas, the Goddess was associated with natural phenomena such as dawn, night, and the Ganges River. In the post-Vedic period, Mahadevi (Great Goddess) became the source of energy in the cosmos and the counterpart of Shiva. For Shaktas, she is not a counterpart but the supreme deity herself.
dharma
(Sanskrit; Pali dhamma). Truth, teaching, or religion.
Dharma Day
Buddhist festival on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month (usually July), commemorating the "turning of the wheel of the Dharma" (the Buddha's first sermon) at the Deer Park in Sarnath
dharma wheel
(Sanskrit dharmachakra). Buddhist symbol representing the Buddha's teachings. Often used as a symbol of Buddhism.
dharmachakra mudra
Buddhist hand gesture representing the turning of the wheel (of dharma).
dhyana
(Sanskrit; Pali jhana, Chinese ch'an, Japenese zen). Meditative concentration.
dhyana mudra
Buddhist hand gesture representing meditation.
Diaspora
Jews living outside of Israel.
diocese
A geographical region headed by a bishop, which usually includes several congregations. In Eastern Orthodoxy, a diocese is called an eparchy.
Dionysus
(also Bacchus). God of fruitfulness, vegetation, wine and ecstasy. Son of Zeus and Semele.
Dipamkara
First and most popular of the many Buddhas who preceded Gautama.
Diwali
(Sanskrit dipavali, "row of lights"). Major festival in Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism, symbolizing the victory of light over darkness. It is celebrated for five days in the lunar months of Ashvina and Karttika, which is usually late October and November in the Gregorian calendar.
docetism
(Greek "to seem"). The belief that Christ only appeared to have a human body. Associated with Gnosticism and based on the dualistic belief that matter is evil and only spirit is good.
Documentary Hypothesis
The modern scholarly hypothesis that the Torah was written by four distinct authors, identified as J (for "Jehovah"), E (for "Elohim"), P (for "Priestly"), and D (for "Deuternomist"). A fifth, believed to be the editor of the other authors' works, is known as the "Redactor."
Dōkyō
Religious Taoism in Japan.
Donatism
A doctrine deriving from a schism that occurred in Christian North Africa ca. 311 CE. The Donatists arose due to a disagreement over the election of Cæcilian as the Bishop of Carthage. The local bishops consecrated Donatus, a rival, for whom the sect is named.
doxology
(Greek doxa, "glory"). A short hymn glorifying God.
duhkha
(Sanskrit; Pali dukkha). Suffering - the first of the Four Noble Truths.
Dynamic Monarchianism
Form of Monarchianism that teaches Jesus was a man who was adopted as the Son of God, or given the "power" (Gk. dynamos) of God, at his baptism or after his resurrection. Essentially synonymous with Adoptionism.
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Article Info

Title Glossary of Religion: D
Published
Last UpdatedFebruary 13, 2021
URL religionfacts.com/glossary/d
Short URLrlft.co/3494
MLA Citation “Glossary of Religion: D.” ReligionFacts.com. 13 Feb. 2021. Web. Accessed 11 May. 2021. <religionfacts.com/glossary/d>