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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(627 words)

Author(s): Mohr, Hubert
Icons (Greek, eíkon, ‘image’) are the sacred images of the Eastern Churches. Since the Byzantine image controversy (which began around 726 under Emperor Leo III and lasted, through various reversals, until 843 under Empress Theodora), the icon has stood at the center of Eastern Christian theological and artistic effort. The laborious defeat of currents of opposition to and even destruction of images (‘iconoclasm’) had the consequence that the creation of icons in the Eastern church was subjected t…


(555 words)

Author(s): Berghoff, Peter
The concept of identity derives from the philosophical tradition, in which it represents most especially a logical predicate. Thus, a subject can be attributed the predicate of identity when, in various perspectives and states of affairs, it can be identified always as the same subject. Two subjects ( x and y) are identical, then, in virtue of the principle of (non)contradiction, when all qualities of x also pertain to y ( x = y). In today's linguistic usage, identity has mainly become a concept of psychology and the social sciences: there it is used principally in t…


(258 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, Georg
In the seventeenth century, in the wake of the → Enlightenment, and from the wish for a knowledge of reality delivered from various phantoms and illusions, Francis Bacon drafted his doctrine of idols (Lat., idolum, ‘specter,’ ‘idol’; from Gk., eídolon, ‘image’; → Idol), a classification of avoidable prejudices. ‘Ideologue’ (Fr., idéologue, from Lat., idea, ‘[ideal] image’) was used in the latter half of the eighteenth century to indicate French Enlightenment thinkers like A. L. C. Destutt de Tracy (1754–1836) and E. B. de Condillac (1714–1780), wh…


(415 words)

Author(s): Frohn, Elke Sophie | Lützenkirchen, H.-Georg
The meaning of the Greek word eídolon is ‘image,’ ‘shadow,’ or ‘phantom,’ or also, in a narrow sense, ‘sacred image.’ In Greco-Latin ecclesiastical language, the concept attaches to the ‘image of the gods of the pagans,’ a ‘false god.’ In this sense, it denotes polemically an object or person shown an extravagant, immoderate reverence, or ‘deified.’ In a neutral sense, ‘idol' can also designate the material picture of a deity. In this meaning, it plays an eminent role in all cultures, whether as canon…