Glossary of Religion: E

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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.

e'udat mitzvot
A festive meal following the fulfillment of a mitvot, such as circumcision.
eagle symbol
Because it soars upward, the eagle can represent the resurrection or ascension of Christ, baptized Christians, or St. John the Evangelist (because of his lofty, "soaring" gospel).
Easter
Joyful spring festival, oldest holiday, and most important holiday in Christianity, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Eastern Orthodoxy
Branch that formed from the gradual estrangement among Church authorities in the early centuries of Christianity and from the political upheavals between the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire and the Holy Roman Empire. The schism intensified in 1054 between Rome and Constantinople, and while Western theology remained under the influence of Augustinian ideas, Eastern theology continued to be shaped by the Greek Fathers.
ecclesiology
Study of the doctrines of the church, including the study of ecclesiastical art, antiquities, and the adornment and equipment of churches.
ecumenical council
A council of the Christian church at which representatives from several regions are present. To be distinguished from a "synod," which is a meeting of the local church.
Edict of Nantes
Edict signed by Henry IV at Nantes on April 13, 1598, after the end of the French wars of religion. It granted extensive rights to the Huguenots (French Calvinists). The edict was revoked by Louis XIV in the Edict of Fontainebleau on October 18, 1685.
education
Discipline that concerns the entire process of imparting knowledge, attitudes, skills, or socially valued qualities of character or behavior. For the specific activities involved in deliberately conveying knowledge, skills, or social values to others, use "educating.".
Eid
(or 'id; from Aramaic/Syriac, "festival"). In Islam, holiday or festival, of which there are two major ones: 'Id al-Adha and 'Id al-Fitr.
Eid Al-Adha
("Feast of the Sacrifice"). Islamic holiday marking the end of the hajj.
Eid Al-Fitr
("Feast of the Breaking of the Fast"). Holiday celebrated at the end of the month of Ramadan.
eiresione
Olive branch carried by singing boys at various festivals, then deposited either at the temple of Apollo or house doors. The branches were hung with symbols of agricultural abundance: figs, fruits, etc. Householders were expected to give the boys a present in return.
ELCA
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The largest Lutheran church body in the U.S. and more liberal than the LCMS.
Eleusinia
Important festival of games held at Eleusis (in Attica) on a grand scale every fourth year and on a lesser scale every two years. The prize was grain from the Rarian field in Eleusis, where grain was believed to have been first cultivated.
Elysian Fields
(also Elysium). Paradise inhabited by the distinguished or the good after their death. First named in Homer's Odyssey as the destiny of Menelaus.
endless knot
Buddhist symbol representing the Buddha's endless wisdom and compassion.
Epiphany
A festival celebrated on January 6 that is one of the three main and oldest festivals of the Christian Church (the other two being Christmas and Easter). The festival originated in the East where it originally celebrated both the birth and baptism of Jesus Christ. Since the 4th century when December 25 became the date of Christmas, the festival in the East has remained the celebration of the manifestation of Christ's divinity at his baptism.
eschatology
The science or teachings concerned with last things, such as the end of history or of the present world, the fate of the soul after death, the final judgment of individuals, and the creation or restoration of a perfect world.
eucharist
A type of sacrament and central act of worship for most Christian denominations that is based on the Last Supper when Jesus identified the wine he poured and the bread he broke as his blood and body. The rite generally consists of the consecration of bread and wine by the minister or priest and its distribution to the worshippers. Aspects of the theology of the eucharist have long been controversial, particularly during the Reformation.
Evangelicalism
A tradition within Protestant Christianity emphasizing active evangelism, personal conversion and faith experiences, and Scripture as the sole basis for theology and practice.
evolution
The scientific theory describing how biological species change over time.
ex cathedra
(Latin "from the throne.") Authoritative statements made by the Pope in Roman Catholicism, which are believed to be infallible.
excommunication
A penalty imposed by the Catholic Church prohibiting a person from receiving or administering sacraments or holding church office.
exegetes
An interpreter or teacher of sacred lore. Athenian exegetai concerned themselves primarily with the unwritten sacred law, but also pronounced on secular and domestic questions.
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Article Info

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