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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(1,791 words)

Author(s): Bochinger, Christoph
Determination of the Concept 1. ‘Pietism’ (from Lat. pietas, ‘devotion’) is an umbrella concept for intra-church devotional and renewal movements in → Protestantism. It especially denotes a movement of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Germany and certain neighboring countries. Its aim was a religious interiorization of the → Reformation achievements, and their translation into practical living (‘tätiges Christsein’ [Ger., ‘active being-a-Christian’], praxis pietatis [Lat., ‘practice of piety’). Connected to this was a criticism of prevailing eccl…


(1,862 words)

Author(s): Hassauer, Friederike
1. In almost all religions, pilgrimages are time-honored migrations to outlying sacred places. This phenomenon of religious mobility is attested among peoples of ancient times, as well as for India, Ceylon, China, and Japan. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity also have their traditions of pilgrimages, as do many tribal religions. This devotional journeying is underlain by the belief that the local presence of a deity, a hero, or a saint in this specific place makes transcendence in immanence especially effective and available to experience, and …

Place, Sacred

(212 words)

Author(s): Wolf, Jürgen
Sacred places are holy places remarkable for their special disposition, or for a → memory connected to a particular place, where religious rites are performed. Scholarly dispute concerning their actual function notwithstanding, the oldest places of worship can be dated back to the Old Stone Age (→ Cave). The stone settings of the megalith cultures that began in Europe at the end of the New Stone Age (from 3000–2000 BCE), and to a certain extent lasted to the middle of the Bronze Age (1500 BCE), …


(2,252 words)

Author(s): Imhof, Agnes
Concept 1. The world of thought, the maxims and teachings, the myths, and the concepts of the Greek philosopher Plato and his school are among the most influential traditions of European thought. ‘Platonism’ rested not only on an astonishing ancient continuity of doctrine—the Platonic Academy lasted a good nine hundred years, until 529 CE—it also influenced, just as did → Aristotelianism, the philosophical formation of theory until well into modern times. From the viewpoint of religious history, …


(1,731 words)

Author(s): Welker, Michael
Relativism or Conformism 1. Immanuel Kant, following Christian Wolff, offers the first definition of ‘pluralism’ worthy of discussion: by contrast with the ‘egoist,’ the ‘citizen of the world’ tests his judgments and his practical goals against the judgments and goals of other persons. Kant is thus a ‘pluralist.’ But he cannot show what protects these pluralists or this pluralism from becoming either a reservoir of chronic hesitators, waverers, and relativists, or else developing into a collective …