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Fire
(503 words)

Fire has played a role in human history at least since Peking man (dated perhaps as early as 500,000 b.c.). In its use by the human race, fire can be both positive (providing light, warmth, and a means of cooking) and negative (bringing burning and destruction). It has been regarded as of heavenly origin, especially when kindled by lightning. When kindled by rubbing, it is a manifestation of human culture. When it came to be viewed as a symbol can be decided only in connection with the development of forms of religion that offer representations and symbols, which differ from culture to culture.

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Cite this page
Colpe, Carsten, “Fire”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 24 March 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_F132>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512



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