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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North America

(2,699 words)

Author(s): Unger, Frank
1. a) The space occupied by North America in cultural history consists of the United States of America, as well as Canada, and in many respects represents both as a unit. In the economy, business, in language to a large extent, and particularly in the area of popular culture (such as nationwide leagues in professional sports) and lifestyle, the two countries are tightly interwoven. One area, however, in which Canada and the United States are clearly distinguished is the role of religion in society. b) The immigrant country of Canada, like the United States, is a country with Christi…

North America: Time Chart

(1,879 words)

Author(s): Unger, Frank
Era 1: European prologue (1520–1607) round 1520 Spaniards begin colonization and mission in Mexico, Florida, and California Popes, and Spanish kings such as Charles V, have seen the best warrant for the perpetual exploitation of the fabled riches of the New World in a conversion of the ‘Indians.’ True, there was very early round 1570 Jesuits begin mission work in the Chesapeake Bay intra-church criticism of the treatment of the indigenous American population, for example by Dominican Father Bartolomé las Casas (1474–1566) and Francisco de Vitoria (1483–1546). Era 2: The Protestant…

North America, Traditional Religions

(4,932 words)

Author(s): Johnson, Greg
The Importance of Place 1. Places, Names, Pluralities: Indigenous peoples and scholars increasingly agree that native traditions ‘take place.’ In this usage, place is understood as more than simply location; it is the geophysical anchor of identity (→ Place [Sacred]; Landscape). Place in this enriched sense refers to an embodied and storied landscape.1 As Vine Deloria, Jr. has written with regard to American Indian religions, “[r]ecognizing the sacredness of lands on which previous generations have lived and died is the foundation of all other sentiments.”2 When seeking to unde…

Northern Eurasia/Circumpolar Region

(2,349 words)

Author(s): Holzlehner, Tobias
Age of the ‘Socialist Mission’ 1. At the beginning of the 1930s, the Soviet Union pressed to Northern Eurasia, and propagated the start of a new age. The ‘Socialist mission’ would lead the population of the far North out of its social and religious ‘retardation’ alike. Here the Communist worldview encountered the most varied religious traditions, and problems of understanding were frequent. For example, a young Communist teacher reported of his attempt to convince the spiritual leader of a group of C…

Northern Ireland

(1,552 words)

Author(s): Pflüger, Tobias
1. The conflict over Ireland has seethed for about eight hundred years. Over the same period of time, the British government has stationed English occupation troops in Ireland. In the time of King Henry VIII (1509–1547), England was Protestant (‘Anglican’), while Ireland remained Catholic. In order to acquire support for the forces of occupation, the English Crown settled Protestants from Scotland and England in Ireland's most fertile regions. There was resistance to the occupation troops, which…

Nudity

(1,382 words)

Author(s): Lützenkirchen, Hans-Georg | Zander, Helmut
Nudity as an Exceptional Condition 1. First and foremost, nakedness is an expression of human ‘naturalness.’ Further—as complete or partial nudity—it becomes the symbol of ‘immediacy’ in a framework of religious and magic practices. In art, nudity is a metaphor for the True, for Truth in the form of the nude woman. → Clothing defines the daily normal state, when, for instance, climatic conditions make the wearing of clothing necessary for protection from the cold. Clothing is also a social symbol. In…

Number/Calculation

(1,296 words)

Author(s): Rebstock, Ulrich
1. Counting is an elementary capability of human perception. For distinguishing and communicating the amount of what has been counted, human beings have used numerical symbols, from which (1) systems of numbering have developed. These have formed the basis for (2) methods of calculation, which have organized inter-personal relations for the economy—first of all, numerically organized exchange. Then, in the wake of societal differentiation, methods of calculation were found grouped according to norms of tradition, in (3) scientific disciplines like mathematics or astronomy. All…