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Unformatted text preview: Basic Religious Studies Vocabulary SHARED VOCABULARY deity/deities- gender and species neutral term for gods, goddesses, and higher beings. the sacred- generic term for that which is interpreted as having momentous significance hierophany- any manifestation of the sacred - this is a subset of "epiphany," which means any moment of insight or significance. A "theophany" is a manifestation of a deity; therefore, it is a special case of a hierophany. A kratophany is a manifestation of sacred power. hierarchy/hierarchical- the common language definition of hierarchy now is "any system of persons or things ranked one above another," used especially to describe governmental and authoritative power structures. The root of this word is from the Greek 'hieros' - meaning 'sacred' used in reference to priestly authority social stratification- the existence of different hierarchic levels in a society; a class or prestige-based social structure pantheon- the gods and goddesses of a particular religious tradition, and their system of inter-relations iconography- conventionally agreed-upon ways of presenting deities, persons, or ideas visually attributes- specific ornaments, instruments, colors, garments, or settings associated with particular deities or persons in visual art, by which they can be identified without textual support. animism- the idea that supernatural power is present, but manifests differently in different specific objects; thus, for example, there might be a 'whale-spirit', an 'arrow-spirit' and a 'child-spirit'. Interestingly, many local cultures contain both dynamism and animism; they only seem to be mutually exclusive systems to analysts. dynamism- the idea that there is a generic supernatural force present in all things without distinction based on particular peculiarities. This can be conceived of as a 'life- force' which is the same regardless of whether it is found in a woman, a fish, a tree, or a clay pot. cosmogony/cosmogonic- concerning the beginnings of the universe cosmology- the general structure of the universe (which may or may not include its origins) understood philosophically and/or physically. immanent- indwelling, internal, inherent transcendent- going beyond, exceeding, surpassing axis mundi- 'center of the world' - a term used to describe ceremonial centers ontology- branch of philosophy concerned with existence and being soteriology- religious doctrines concerned with salvation soteriological goal- the desired goal for participants in any given religion (eg. heaven, nirvana, moksa, etc.) eschatology- religious doctrines concerning the end of time proselytize- to convert or attempt to convert polemic- an argument made to incite controversy against an opposing point of view; religious polemics often attack other belief systems or denominations; usually polemics are vigorous and sharp in their tone apology- (not the common language use) - an argument made to defend an idea, doctrine, institution or point of view; the author of such an apology is called an...
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