Glossary of Religion: N
Learn the definitions of religious terms and concepts with our extensive Glossary of Religion. Choose a letter above or explore the random terms below.
- Baha'i New Year, celebrated on the spring equinox (March 20 or 21)
- (Japanese; Chinese nien-fo; "mindfulness of the Buddha"). Central practice of Pure Land Buddhism, consisting of chanting Namu Amida Butsu, "I take refuge in the Buddha Amida." This practice is believed to grant entry into the Pure Land after death.
- A dirge of lamentation and praise of a deceased person, sung to a flute accompaniment by a hired mourner. Named for Nenia, the goddess of funerary lamentation.
- A philosophy developed by Plotinus in Alexandria in the 3rd century CE that consists of a modified version of Platonism combined with aspects of Judaic and Christian thought and possibly Oriental mysticism. Neo-Platonism holds that there is one source from which all existence comes from and with which an individual soul can be mystically united; it also emphasizes the plurality of levels of being, with the physical universe perceptible to the senses being the lowest.
- "Temple warden." Originally, a temple official. From the late 1st cent. CE, a title for a city that held a provincial temple in the Roman Empire.
- A new member of a religion.
- The practice of bestowing an office or patronage on one's relatives. It was especially rampant among 16th-century popes, and was condemned by Pope Pius V in the bull "Admonet Nos" (1567).
- The doctrine, named for Nestorius (d. c. 451), Patriarch of Constantinople, that there were two separate persons in the incarnate Christ, one divine and the other human. Nestorius preached against Apollinarianism and objected to the term Theotokos ("God-Bearer") as a title for the Virgin Mary, and was opposed by St. Cyril of Alexandria.
- (pronounced "neh-vee-EEM") (Hebrew, "Prophets"). Second section of the Tanakh, containing the writings of the prophets and history covering roughly 700 years after Moses.
- New Rome
- A name for the city of Constantinople, which may have been coined by Constantine himself. The Council of Constantinople (381) declared that "the Bishop of Constantinople is to have honorary pre-eminence after the Bishop of Rome, because Constantinople is the new Rome."
- New Testament
- The second part of the Christian Bible, consisting of the Gospels, Acts, letters, and an apocalyptic work.
- New World Translation
- Translation of the Christian Bible produced by Jehovah's Witnesses in 1950-60.
- Nichiren Buddhism
- A school of Japanese Buddhism founded by the militant Japanese Buddhist reformer Nichiren (1222-82). Nichiren, who attacked other forms of Buddhism, believed that the 'Lotus Sutra' contained the ultimate truth and asked the Japanese people to convert to true Buddhism. Today there are almost 40 sub-sects, with Nichiren Shoshu being the largest and most important.
- Moral observance; something one should do. Comparable to the western idea of virtue.
- Noble Eightfold Path
- In Buddhism, the way to permanently escape suffering and the cycle of rebirth: right knowledge; right intention; right speech; right action; right livelihood; right effort; right mindfulness; right concentration.
- Nighttime drumming and dance ritual held on Rasta holidays and special occasions.