The Brill Dictionary of Religion

Get access Subject: Religious Studies
Edited by: Kocku von Stuckrad

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The impressively comprehensive Brill Dictionary of Religion (BDR) Online addresses religion as an element of daily life and public discourse, is richly illustrated and with more than 500 entries, the Brill Dictionary of Religion Online is a multi-media reference source on the many and various forms of religious commitment. The Brill Dictionary of Religion Online addresses the different theologies and doctrinal declarations of the official institutionalized religions and gives equal weight and consideration to a multiplicity of other religious phenomena. The Brill Dictionary of Religion Online helps map out and define the networks and connections created by various religions in contemporary societies, and provides models for understanding these complex phenomena.

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Eastern Mediterranean

(2,404 words)

Author(s): Preißler, Holger
Historical Region 1. The countries of the Near East that border on the Eastern Mediterranean between Asia Minor and Egypt belong to the regions of the earth that, with their Eastern and Southern hinterlands, possess special meaning for the history of religion. The area is one of the oldest regions of human habitation. In the ninth millennium BCE, the Neolithic Revolution began in this region and spread out from here. Since the seventh millennium BCE, medium-large urban settlements are in evidence …


(2,076 words)

Author(s): Schmoll, Friedemann
Eating as Basic Need and Social Activity 1. Eating and drinking ‘keep body and soul together,’ we say. The adage points to altogether distinct dimensions of the taking of nourishment. On the one hand, eating satisfies, and thus serves to maintain the human being biologically. But the expression also refers to dimensions of eating by which the human being is distinguished from the beast: psychic elements, which can be realized in cultural, religious, and social dimensions. Between the organic need of hu…


(3,492 words)

Author(s): Kehrer, Günter
Satisfying Needs by Exchange 1. Economic trade is an activity proper to human beings. Its premises are, for one, unlimited needs, and for another, limited means of satisfaction of those needs. What sort of needs these are is not important. In terms of economics, no need is ‘obvious.’ The intention of economic exchange is to achieve optimal possible satisfaction of needs by optimal mediate investment. While these abstract definitions are always valid, they generate no uniformity of economic exchange.…


(129 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Unlike → enthusiasm, when God or the Spirit enters human beings, in ecstasy (Gk., ek-stasis, ‘standing out of’) human beings ‘leave’ themselves, so that they lose consciousness and self-control. The concept is variously differentiated. In the psychological sense, euphoria (→ Emotions/Feelings) can be included. The anthropology of religion has especially described the techniques of the release of the spirit or → soul from the body by dance, rhythm, or drugs. In a context of the history of religions, the applic…

Ecumenical Movement

(1,127 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Urs
‘Oneness’ 1. The Ecumenical Movement denotes the “movement of oneness and coming together of Christianity on earth” (R. V. Kienle). The goal of the Ecumenical Movement within Christianity is the re-gathering of splintered Christianity to the one, holy, apostolic, and universal church of Jesus Christ, in the common → Lord's Supper and the worldwide bond of love of all churches. Outside Christianity, the purpose of the movement is a worldwide understanding of cultures and races, regions and religions, ideologies and sciences, over humanity's common questions, needs, and tasks. The Gr…


(1,486 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
Egypt in Western Memory 1. Egypt has been present in Europe's cultural memory from the beginning. European identity rests on the two broad religious and cultural bases of Greece and Israel (→ Palestine/Israel). Each culture, in confrontation with Egypt, developed contrasting images of its own that came to be of key meaning and importance, for both the Hellenistic and the Israelite self-concepts, respectively. The contradictory reception of Egypt has gained entry into European awareness of history, a…

Egypt/Ancient Near East: Time Chart

(3,148 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
Chronologies 1 a) Chronology of Egypt (Following Jürgen von Beckerath: Chronologie des Pharaonischen Ägypten, Mainz 1997) c. 6000 BCE Badari cultures (A + B) in Egypt Neolithic cultural groups; agriculture; ceramics; cemeteries with corpses on stools, and burial gifts. c. 4000 Naqada cultures (I–III) Continuation of burial cult; ceramics with images of animals; female idols, illustrations of ships; palace and ritual installations. c. 3150 0 Dynasty (some 150 years) Direct transition from the Naqada culture to the first pan-Egyptian rulers. 3032–2707 Ancient era: First and Se…