Vocabulary for the Study of Religion

Purchase Access
Subject: Religious Studies

Edited by: Robert A. Segal & Kocku von Stuckrad.

The Vocabulary for the Study of Religion offers a unique overview of critical terms in the study of religion(s). This first dictionary in English covers a broad spectrum of theoretical topics used in the academic study of religion, including those from adjacent disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, historiography, theology, philology, literary studies, psychology, philosophy, cultural studies, and political sciences.

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Death and Burial

(3,391 words)

Author(s): Christina Lee
Abstract: Death is one of the most profound experiences witnessed by humans an…


(2,702 words)

Author(s): Barry Stocker
Abstract: This article on deconstruction focuses on the philosophy of Jacques Derrida, though other authors are also noted. Derrida’s work on religion is tied to his views of the limits of experience, the relation between force and the mystical in law, the relationship between the language of law and the language of poetry, the status of writing and the idea of the book, performative utterances, and …


(2,919 words)

Author(s): Stephen Kent | Ashley Samaha
Abstract: Researchers use “deconversion” and related terms for the process of leaving a community. That decision often involves intellectual doubts, emotional suffering, …
Date: 2014-09-16

Definitions of Religion

(2,515 words)

Author(s): Daniel Dubuisson
Abstract: There are many competing definitions, both of a religion — a specialized human institution, proper to a given culture — and of religion
Date: 2014-09-16


(1,466 words)

Author(s): David Fergusson
Abstract: Rudolf Bultmann’s project of demythologization sought to reject the long outmoded, pre-scientific worldview of the New Testa…

Deus otiosus

(1,272 words)

Author(s): Robert Segal
Abstract: The term deus otiosus refers to the widespread, whether or not universal, belief that the creator God, upon finishing creation…


(1,964 words)

Author(s): Jay Johnston
Abstract: ⁧The term “deviance” refers to characteristics, qualities, or behaviors of an individual or group that are considered to be different from the “normal.” The term…