Glossary of Religion: U
Learn the definitions of religious terms and concepts with our extensive Glossary of Religion. Choose a letter above or explore the random terms below.
- Ulrich Zwingli
- (1484-1531) Swiss reformer and humanist. He taught a purely symbolic interpretation of the Eucharist (as opposed to both transubstantiation and consubstantiation), accepted state action in religious matters, and died on the battlefield at Cappel, Switzerland (near Zurich).
- People who do not identify with any religion or call themselves atheist, agnostic, or secular.
- Unitarian Universalism
- Liberal denomination founded in the United States and Canada in 1961 through the merger of the Unitarian and Universalist denominations. Its characteristic principles include the responsibility of each individual for her or his own religious beliefs and ethics, the inherent worth and dignity of every human being, the value of religiously-motivated action for social reform, democratic method in church governance, and respect and regard for a diversity of religious traditions.
- Universal House of Justice
- The supreme ruling body of the Bahá'í Faith, headquartered in Haifa, Israel. Its nine members are elected every five years. Bahá'ís regard its judgments as divinely guided and authoritative.
- Specifically the liberal Protestant denomination active in the United States and Canada, starting first as an organized movement in the 18th century and achieving denominational status in the 19th century. Its basic and defining belief was in the salvation of all souls, rejecting the Calvinist doctrine of the election of a few and the damnation of many.
- Genre of Vedic texts that were the last to be added (and thus also known as Vedanta, "the end of the Vedas), written between 1000 and 500 BCE. The Upanishads are much less concerned with Vedic gods and rituals than other Vedic texts, and focus on philosophical and mystical questions about reality. The Upanishads contain the teaching that atman (the self) is Brahman (ultimate reality), and that knowledge of Brahman brings release (moksa) from the suffering of rebirth (samsara). The later Upanishads are less philosophical and more sectarian.