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Studying religion

A103_7 Glossary

Studying religion glossary
Browse the glossary using this index

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Muslim name for the one God; not a personal name, having the sense of ‘the God’.
Permalink: Allah


‘Noble’ or ‘pure’. Used of themselves and their traditions by Indo-Europeans who migrated into ancient India and whose beliefs are preserved in early parts of the Veda.
Permalink: aryan


Following its own laws; when applied to religion, this implies that religion is an entirely distinctive phenomenon and thus can only be understood on its own terms. The Latin phrase sui generis (of its own kind) is sometimes used to make this point.
Permalink: autonomous


Bhagavad Gita

‘Song of the Lord’: a Hindu religious text.
Permalink: Bhagavad Gita


Usually refers to Christian scriptures comprising both the Old and New Testaments.
Permalink: Bible


Ultimate power or reality underlying the visible world.
Permalink: brahman


‘Priestly’ class in the Hindu social system.
Permalink: brahmin



Place where Christians meet for worship but also the world-wide community of Christians, or a particular community of Christians.
Permalink: church



‘Sight’ or vision of the deity. In these units darshan refers to standing in the presence of the sacred in the expectation that the ‘sight’ of the deity will bring a blessing.
Permalink: darshan


One name given to the string of Hindu festivals that fall at the end of the monsoon season. The first nine nights are also known as Navratri and, in Bengal, Durga Puja is celebrated during this time.
Permalink: Dasshera

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