The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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

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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(2,074 words)

Author(s): Nölle, Christine
In pre-Islamic times, Iran was a center of → Zoroastrianism. Since the early sixteenth century, it has a special place from a religious viewpoint, since here, unlike the Turkish, Uzbekish, and Indian neighboring states, the Shia has become the religion of the state. Iran's recent history offers an interesting example of Islam's political potential. The 1979 Islamic Revolution, and the subsequent state systems that were formed, reflect the influential role of the clergy (→ Khomeini) as opponent or representative of state power. Pre-Islamic Times and Islamization 1. Iran's topograp…


(3,682 words)

Author(s): Rebstock, Ulrich
The word Islam means, in Arabic, ‘devotion/surrender’ (to God), ‘submission’ (to God). Generally joined to the definite article ( al-Islām), it has come to be the self- and foreign designation for the totality and socio-cultural community of the individuals, peoples, and states that see their origin and close comradeship based on devotion to the revelation of the Prophet → Muhammad (570–632). Consequently, the devotees are called ‘Muslims,’ i.e. ‘People who surrender to God.’ The designation ‘Mohammedans’ is to be…

Islam: Festal Calendar

(198 words)

Author(s): Imhof, Agnes
Due to the method of observation of the moon, the pure lunar calendar used by Muhammad, which determines the times of religious duties, etc. (e.g., fasting), is very inexact. Accordingly, even in Islamic antiquity, additional months of twenty-nine and thirty days were introduced. This device occasions a shift vis-à-vis the solar calendar. In parallel with the Islamic lunar year, other calendars were used from the outset, such as that of Yazdegird (Iran, 365 days), resting on the solar year, or t…

Islam: Time Chart

(4,913 words)

(Further information is to be found under regional entries → Africa and → Near East.) Era 1: Muhammad and the Qur'an (c. 575–632) c. 575 Birth of the Prophet Muhammad in Mecca The time of Muhammad's birth is marked by military confrontations between the Persian Sassanid Empire and the great power of Byzantium. c. 609 First revelation: God's ambassador, and his position in salvation history According to Islamic legend, Mohammed received his first revelation from the Angel Gabriel in the Lailat al-Qadr (the night of the twenty-seventh of Ramadan), as he was med…


(4 words)

→ Palestine/Israel