The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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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.


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Zombie

(977 words)

Author(s): Mattes, Claudio
Concept 1. The word zombi(e), or zumbi, comes from the Bantu languages (→ Africa), and means ‘enslaved spirit.’ Zombies are ‘un-dead’ or ‘living corpses,’ of whom it is supposed that they can be awakened to life for purposes of black magic. ‘Zombie’ can denote either: the spirit (of someone dead), as the soul separated from the body, or a ‘living corpse,’ a body without a soul. The zombie concept originated in the → Voodoo religion, but is also familiar in other parts of the Caribbean, and in Brazil. In order to understand the phenomenon, it is important to indicate that in no trad…

Zoroastrianism

(4,121 words)

Author(s): Stausberg, Michael
Designations ‘Zoroastrianism’ is the modern designation (established in colonial times) for one of the oldest living religious traditions of mankind. The name refers to one of the Greek names of its ‘founder’ Zoroaster, known as Zarathushtra in the sources from ancient → Iran (→ Zarathustra). In antiquity, most Greek authors referred to the religion simply as ‘the religion of the Persians,’ while indigenous sources termed it as the ‘good’ or the ‘mazda-worshipping’ religion—the latter term focusi…