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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(953 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
1. Diaspora (Gk., ‘scattering’) in the context of its early Jewish origin denotes the Jewish communities in diverse places outside the ‘Land of Israel’ (Palestine), and far from Jerusalem. Since the sixteenth century, the term has been used to designate Protestant and Catholic minorities living in an environment of different Christian confessions. Over the last three decades, the concept of Diaspora has achieved a great popularity in social and cultural scientific research. It is often applied in…


(273 words)

Author(s): von Somm, Christian
The word ‘disciple’ is derived from discipulus (Lat., ‘pupil,’ from discere, ‘learn’), a word occurring in the Latin Bible. It designates certain followers of Jesus, especially the Apostles. At the same time, the term points to the age difference between the teacher and his pupils. Those pupils are designated ‘disciples’ who “depend on a personality to whom they ascribe extraordinary characteristics as his or her charismatic gift.”1 They submit to the authority of the teacher ( Master/Pupil). Master and disciples usually live closely together, either ‘on the r…


(1,555 words)

Author(s): Engler, Steven
‘Discourse’ is not a religious term; it is used in attempts to describe, interpret, or explain religious phenomena. The term refers to linguistic phenomena beyond the basic units of word and sentence, but the extent of this ‘beyond’ can vary widely, from larger linguistic units to the widest possible historical, social, and cultural contexts. Although often used in writing about religion, the term is seldom defined, and the theoretical allegiances that frame its use are rarely made explicit. Defining ‘Discourse’ Like ‘religion,’ ‘discourse’ is a term whose definition presup…

Disenchantment/Re-enchantment of the World

(471 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, Georg
1. The concept disenchantment of the world (Ger., “Entzauberung der Welt”) reflects experiences of the nineteenth century. Industrialism and the triumph of science, together with the art of engineering, fostered the belief that, in principle, everything can be experienced and then conquered by calculation. Max Weber, with whose work the concept of disenchantment is especially connected, traced this conviction back to Western intellectualization and rationalization, which, he thought, is reflected in …