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.

Subscriptions: Brill.com

Icon / Iconography

(3,745 words)

Author(s): Sebastian Schüler | Isabel Laack
Abstract: Icons constitute much of everyday religiosity, often being treated like representations or incarnations of gods or deities. The study of icons (iconography) therefore represents an interest in the history and development of the material and visual cultures in religions. Yet its potential to theorize about religion had played a minor role in the study of religions for a long time. This article discusses the theoretical and methodological implications of the so-called iconic turn for the study of religions and investigates its heuristic approach to iconography. The aim of this perspective is to portray some of the recent developments in iconography and visual religion. As an example of the discussion one theoretic…


(1,988 words)

Author(s): Diane Apostolos-Cappadona
Abstract: Iconoclasm is traditionally understood as the violent destruction of images for religious reasons. Yet the term has become used more broadly to refer to the suppression or annihilation of images, whether the motivation is cultural, political, religious, or social. Not limited to Christianity, the study of iconoclasm in religions around the world sheds light on more general issues concerning the embedded religious and cultural valuing of images. The generic “power of images,” especially in relation to the human body and sexuality, i…
Date: 2014-09-16


(3,527 words)

Author(s): Ulrike Popp-Baier
Date: 2014-09-16


(2,936 words)

Author(s): Roland Boer
Date: 2014-09-16

Idol / Idolatry

(2,311 words)

Author(s): Gerald Hawting
Abstract: First, the sources of the concept of idols and idolatry are discussed with reference to the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek. Considerat…