Religious Terms

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  • All Souls Day

    All Souls Day
    Often overshadowed by the two days preceding it, Halloween (October 31) and All Saints Day (November 1), All Souls Day is a solemn celebration in the Roman Catholic Church commemorating all of those who have died and now are in Purgatory...

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  • The serpent in Egypt and in the Bible: evil, power, and healing (1)

    The serpent in Egypt and in the Bible: evil, power, and healing (1)
    If we look at how the serpent is portrayed in the Hebrew Scriptures in relation to the serpent's symbology in Egypt, and if we investigate the statement by Jesus about the bronze serpent in John 3, one discovers how the serpent was used by God to show His power and His ultimate healing through Christ.

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  • What Is Rosh Hashanah? (Judaism)

    What Is Rosh Hashanah? (Judaism)
    What Is Rosh Hashanah? The anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, a day of judgment and coronation, the sounding of the shofar . . .

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  • Ramadhan (رمضان)

    Ramadhan (رمضان)
    Ramadhan is a special month in the Islamic calendar. During this month the Muslims refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours (called fasting [sawm]) and they also seek to improve themselves by sinning less and praying more.

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  • Glossary of Christianity (2): D-E-F-G

    Glossary of Christianity (2): D-E-F-G
    Glossary of Christianity (1): D-G

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  • Pilgrimages (2): History in general

    Pilgrimages (2): History in general
    In 333 was the famous Bordeaux Pilgrimage ("Palestine Pilgrim Text Society", London, 1887, preface and notes by Stewart). It was the first of a whole series of pilgrimages that have left interesting and detailed accounts of the route, the peoples through which they passed, the sites identified with those mentioned in the Gospels.

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  • Qu'est-ce que la Pentecôte?

    Qu'est-ce que la Pentecôte?
    Comme les juifs, les chrétiens célèbrent la Pentecôte cinquante jours après Pâques. C'est un jour marqué par l'acte de naissance des deux religions : les juifs commémorent le jour où Moïse reçoit les dix commandements, les chrétiens celui où les disciples de Jésus reçoivent l'Esprit saint,...

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  • World Religions

    World Religions
    Religious life throughout the world, regardless of the specific tradition, exhibits both personal-psychological and communal-social aspects. Of course, persons within the diverse religious traditions of the world perceive the spiritual dimension of their faith as transcending both the individual psychological and emotional as well as the corporate and social aspects of their faith’s expressions

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  • Pilgrimages: Origin

    Pilgrimages: Origin
    The idea of a pilgrimage has been traced back by some (Littledale in "Encycl. Brit.", 1885, XIX, 90; "New Internat. Encyc.", New York, 1910, XVI, 20, etc.) to the primitive notion of local deities, that is, that the divine beings who controlled the movements of men and nature could exercise that control only over certain definite forces or within set boundaries.

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  • Anatta or soul-lessness

    Anatta or soul-lessness
    This Buddhist doctrine of rebirth should be distinguished from the theory of reincarnation which implies the transmigration of a soul and its invariable material rebirth. Buddhism denies the existence of an unchanging or eternal soul created by a God or emanating from a Divine Essence (Paramatma).

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  • What Happens on Good Friday?

    What Happens on Good Friday?
    Good Friday is an important observance for Christians everywhere. It is typically the last Friday before Easter. Friday was traditionally set aside as early as the first century for the purpose of prayer and fasting. In the fourth century, the Church began observing Good Friday as a special day to commemorate Jesus Christ's crucifixion.

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  • Qu’est-ce que la messe chrismale?

    Qu’est-ce que la messe chrismale?
    Chaque année, dans tous les diocèses du monde, prêtres, diacres et fidèles se réunissent pour célébrer la Messe Chrismale. Elle se célèbre normalement au matin du Jeudi Saint mais peut être anticipée. C’est au Mardi de la Semaine Sainte que cette célébration s’est fixée depuis longtemps dans notre diocèse.

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  • Meanings of ambiguous terms

    Meanings of ambiguous terms
    Meanings of ambiguous terms beginning with the letters "A" to "R": The term "Abrahamic Religions" is derived from the Abraham of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). Through him, God is said to have made a covenant with the Jewish people. The three major religions which trace their roots back to Abraham are often referred to as the Abrahamic religions (a.k.a. Abramic religions).

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  • Glossary of Christianity (1): A-B-C

    Glossary of Christianity (1): A-B-C
    A-B-C... Alexandrian School: School of thought associated with Alexandria, Egypt. It was influenced by Platonic philosophy and tended to emphasize the divinity of Christ over his humanity and interpret scripture allegorically. Compare with the Antiochene School. Notable Alexandrians include Clement and Origen.

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  • Enlightenment

    Enlightenment
    The Sanskrit word for enlightenment is "bodhi," which means "awakened." But awakened to what?

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  • 30 Religious Terms you should know

    30 Religious Terms you should know
    The definitions given here are not intended to be exhaustive. For one thing, some of the terms are defined differently by different religious groups. For permutations of meaning, see the OED or some other authoritative dictionary.

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