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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Nietzsche, Friedrich

(1,630 words)

Author(s): Kubik, Andreas
Life and Work 1. Friedrich Nietzsche was born on October 15, 1844, the son of a Protestant minister. Even before the end of his studies, he was Professor of Ancient Philology in Basle. Psychosomatic complaints obliged him to lay aside his office in 1879. From then on he lived on his pension and freelance authorship, and until 1889 was usually traveling in Switzerland and Italy. As to his Weltanschauung, Arthur Schopenhauer and Richard Wagner were his first influences, from both of whom he later turned away. The unwonted breadth of his lectures, not always matche…


(1,015 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, Georg
1. The expression nihilism (from Lat., nihil, ‘nothing’) is used in the broadest sense, and frequently with polemical intent, to denote a radical skepticism, as handed on in classical form by Sophist Gorgias (c. 480–380 BCE): “First, there is nothing. Second, even if there were something, it would still be unknowable for human beings; third, even if it were knowable, it could not be transmitted to our fellow human being, or made understood” (Sextus Empiricus, Adv. Matt., VII, 65ff.: DK 82, B3). Inasmuch as the reproach of nihilism was levied in connection with religious…


(257 words)

Author(s): Holzapfel, Kirsten
The Sanskrit word nirvāṇa (in Pali, nibbāna) denotes the goal of Buddhist practice. The one who realizes the redeeming insight, and therewith nirvana, has been delivered from the conceptualization of an abiding ego, and has overcome greed, hatred, and delusion. For the redeemed person, there is no new karma, and no more reincarnation. The Pali Canon has little to say about nirvana. It is mostly described in negations: it has not come to be, it is imperishable, not born, deathless, neither a coming nor…