The Brill Dictionary of Religion

Purchase Access
Subject: Religious Studies

Edited by: Kocku von Stuckrad

The impressively comprehensive Brill Dictionary of Religion (BDR) Online addresses religion as an element of daily life and public discourse, is richly illustrated and with more than 500 entries, the Brill Dictionary of Religion Online is a multi-media reference source on the many and various forms of religious commitment. The Brill Dictionary of Religion Online addresses the different theologies and doctrinal declarations of the official institutionalized religions and gives equal weight and consideration to a multiplicity of other religious phenomena. The Brill Dictionary of Religion Online helps map out and define the networks and connections created by various religions in contemporary societies, and provides models for understanding these complex phenomena.

Subscriptions: see


(1,536 words)

Author(s): Rogers, Matthew D.
Paganism ‘Paganism’ is a term historically applied to any and all religions outside the Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and in particular to the polytheistic religions indigenous to Europe (→ Heathen). In the twentieth century, various species of revived, reconstructed, and invented paganism have gained adherents throughout Europe and North America. In recent religious studies—and sometimes on the borderline between religious practice and historical research—attempts have…


(1,794 words)

Author(s): Frank, Monika
1. Bodily pain, occasioned by corporeal injury, represents a total, holistic reaction calculated to protect the health of the organism. Persons can feel pain from birth onward. Further, within a multifaceted process of learning and integration during individual development, a person becomes heir to the ability to bear, and, precisely, to process or manage, repeated painful physical experiences (of fright or fear, shame and embarrassment, guilt, disappointment, illness, timidity). As fundamental …


(2,102 words)

Author(s): Kleefeld, Annekathrin
History 1. Palestine/Israel is the designation for that part of the Near East that today makes up the territory of the state of Israel and the Palestinian Autonomous Region. Beginning in the fourteenth century BCE, Israelite nomads wandered into the region. According to biblical narrative—which is not attested by archeological evidence—the ‘twelve tribes of Israel’ were bound together in a sacred alliance that reverenced the god YHWH. Simultaneously, the seafaring people of the ‘Philistines’ sett…

Palestine/Israel (Near East/Eastern Mediterranean): Time Chart

(1,578 words)

Author(s): Buc, Katja Dorothea
Era 1: Emergence of the three monotheistic religions 1st millenium BCE Emergence of Jewish religion 1st millenium CE Emergence of Christianity 7th millenium CE…


(802 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard
Two Scientists 1. “That conviction of reason—bound up with deep feeling—that is revealed in the experiential world, forms my concept of God. Thus, it can also be designated, in the customary manner of expression, as pantheistic (Spinoza).” So wrote Albert Einstein in 1934, thereby inserting his ‘relation to the world’—that, in another connection, he also designated as ‘cosmic piety’—into the tradition of Jewish philosopher Baruch de Spinoza (1632–1677).1 Spinoza's formulation, sive deus sive natura


(1,168 words)

Author(s): Rademacher, Stephan | Auffarth, Christoph
Title and Claim 1. The pope (from Gk., papas, ‘father’) is the spiritual and secular sovereign of the Catholic Church, with his seat in Rome: he is plenipotentiary of doctrine, ordination, and leadership, including the power of sanction. His full title reads: “Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles [Peter], Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province [of the Church], Sovereign of Vatican City State.”…


(1,250 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Joachim
What Does Parapsychology Seek? 1. It is the aim of parapsychology to investigate, by means of academic scientific methodology, phenomena not to be reconciled with scientific images of the world known and acknowledged up until now. Here parapsychology recognizes the fundamental scientific premises…


(1,403 words)

Author(s): Nanko, Ulrich
Current Situation 1. On the level of the individual human being, peace means harmony with oneself, one's fellow human beings, the environment, or wit…


(1,272 words)

Author(s): Yavuzyasar, Ayfer
Concept 1. When someone inflicts harm on another, the injured party may demand compensation for the injury. The injury must be ‘repented.’ In case of conflict, one appeals to a judge, to establish the seriousness of the injury and the degree of guilt attaching to it. Especially with a murder, for example, an injury can be ‘condignly’ compensated only by the death of a member of the opposing party; still, the ‘capital’ punishment (from Lat., caput

Perception/Sensory System

(6,155 words)

Author(s): Mohr, Hubert
1. “On Sundays, my father takes me to Mass, and when the ladies sing Hosanna I think I won't get out of there in a thousand years. Hosanna, Hosanna, they screech, without letup, and nobody can put the brakes on them, not the Chief of Police or anybody […] The beautiful things about Mass are: all the lamps are lit, and all the flowers smell wonderful […] The bad things about Mass are: you have to kneel too long, it lasts too long at Easter […]”1 No one's tastes are the same, and so neither are their sense impressions. The Neapolitan grammar-school girl describes …