Glossary of Religion: H

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ADVERTISEMENT

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

haftarah
Portion of the Prophets read in synagogue services.
haggadah
(Hebrew, "discourse" or "telling"). Non-legal material in the Talmud and Midrash, including stories, legends, theology, and sermons.
hagiography
Saints' lives as a branch of literature or legend.
hajj
("pilgrimmage"). Pilgrimage to Mecca required of every able Muslim at least once during his or her life. One of the Five Pillars of Islam.
Halakhah
(Hebrew, "the walk"). Jewish Law. Consists of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah plus rabbinic law and custom.
Halakhah
(Hebrew, "the walk"). Jewish Law. Consists of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah plus rabbinic law and custom.
Hallel
Psalms 113-118, recited at the end of morning service on festival days.
halo
In Christian art and symbolism, a circle or disc of light around the head. It was used in the Hellenistic period for gods and demi-gods and later for Roman emperors, and was not adopted by Christians until the 3rd or 4th centuries. In modern Catholicism, a halo is permitted only for saints.
Han Hsiang-tzu
One of the Eight Immortals. He is depicted as a peaceful mountain-dweller with a flute, flowers and a peach. He is the patron of music.
Hanukkah
Jewish religious season commemorating the rededication (164 BCE) of the Second Temple of Jerusalem after its desecration three years earlier by order of Antiochus IV Epiphanes; the Syrian king was thus frustrated in his attempt to extirpate the Jewish faith. Beginning on Kislev 25 (in December), Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days; during this time, in addition to the lighting of the ceremonial candles, gifts are exchanged and children play holiday games.
Hashem
(Hebrew, "The Name"). God. Used especially by Orthodox Jews to avoid saying a name of God.
Hashkiveinu
Evening prayer for God's protection while sleeping.
Hasidism
A type of Jewish mysticism characterized by an ascetic lifestyle, strict observance of the commandments, and loud ecstatic forms of worship and prayer. Its origins are usually traced back to Poland in the late 18th century and it was developed in opposition to rabbinic authority and certain Jewish traditions. Hasidism emphasizes prayer as a means of communicating with God as opposed to study of the Torah.
Hatha Yoga
The yoga (path) focusing on bodily postures to improve meditation. Popular in the West as a means to health, fitness, and relaxation.
heaven
Place or state of eternal bliss and ideal relationship with God or the gods, usually accorded as the reward for virtue and true religious faith.
hechsher
(Hebrew) The "seal of approval" on kosher foods.
hell
Place or state of extreme or eternal suffering, usually inflicted as punishment upon the wicked or the nonbelieving.
hell-beings
Beings in the lowest of the six realms of existence, who have accumulated massive amounts of bad karma due to extremely harmful actions such as murder. Hell-beings experience the most suffering of any of the realms.
heresy
Belief or opinion that is contrary to orthodox (accepted) religious doctrine. Mainly used in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
hierodouloi
"Sacred slaves." The term can refer to slaves who are technically the property of a god and live on land owned by temples, slaves who are attached to the service of a god through a gift or civic decree, and slaves who were manumitted through a fictitious sale to a god. Occasionally it was also used by devotees of a cult to refer to themselves as "slaves of the god."
hieros gamos
("holy marriage") Specifically, a festival in Athens celebrating the marriage of Zeus and Hera and also known as Theogamia. More generally, the mythical or ritual presentation of a solemn sexual union involving at least one divine partner.
Hijira
The Prophet's flight to Medina in 622 CE, marking the beginning of the Muslim calendar.
Hinduism
Set of highly diverse beliefs and practices that generally denote the Indian civilization and culture of the last two thousand years. The religion heavily influences Indian art, literature, society and politics. Hinduism includes diverse religious beliefs and practices and regards other gods, other forms of worship and other religious concepts as complementary to one another.
Ho Hsien-ku
The only female Immortal.
Hochmut
Amish concept meaning pride, arrogance, or haughtiness.
Holi
An annual spring festival that is the last festival of the Hindu calendar, occuring on the full-moon day of Phalguna in February or March. The festival is probably ancient in origin and is characterized by its sense of playfulness and reversal of normal codes of behavior. It is only on this day that the typical restrictions of caste, sex, age, and status are set aside.
holy water
Generally, water dedicated to sacred uses and used for ritual purification of persons and things. More specifically, water blessed by a priest and used in various rites and devotional acts, such as baptisms and blessings. .
Homer
The real or legendary author of the epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey, which were written in the 8th century BCE.
homoousios
(Greek, "one substance" or "one in being"). The Christological doctrine introduced by Athanasius and accepted as orthodox at the Council of Nicea in 325. The doctrine arose in the context of the heresy of Arius, who contented that Christ was created by the Father and was thus not fully divine.
homosexuality
Sexuality characterized by romantic love or sexual desire toward members of one's own sex.
hsien
(Chinese, "fluttering") The Immortals, who are described in the Chuang-tzu. Perhaps originally intended to be allegorical, the nature and abilities of these beings became a practical goal for later Taoists.
hsin
Chinese, "heart" or "mind."
hun
In Taoism, the three heavenly human souls. These leave the body upon a human's death.
hungry ghost
Beings who populate the second to the lowest of the six realms of existence in Mahayana Buddhism. Usually depicted as having small mouths or necks and giant stomachs, hungry ghosts experience continual frustration and unsatisfied craving.
ADVERTISEMENT

Article Info

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