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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(1,064 words)

Author(s): Gietz, Karl-Peter | Schmull, Heino
Rhythm derives from the Greek rhythmós, ‘time measure,’ ‘beat,’ and can also mean, ‘proportion’ in general; gestalt or ‘form’ (‘shape’); and, in Ionic, ‘custom,’ ‘practice,’ ‘habit.’ Originally, the word designates an invariable motion, such as that of the waves of an ocean (in Gk., rhein, ‘to stream,’ ‘to flow’). Thus, rhythm is an ‘arranging,’ an ‘ordering’ (especially with respect to time) by way of cyclical, identical or varied, repetition of the same elements. A distinction must be made among (1) musical rhythm, (2) the rhythm of spe…

Rites of Passage

(784 words)

Author(s): Boneberg, Hemma
Passage as an Arduous Task 1. Animal and human life is carried out in ‘passages’: between luminous sun and the dark of night; between working day and sleep; between the spatial boundaries of secure, familiar home and open space; between the path of peril and the place that is safe; between the seasonal periods of superfluity and want; in the biographical passages from childhood, to sparkling youth, to generative parenthood, to the debility of old age, to death. Two different, antagonistic, or frankly…


(2,983 words)

Author(s): Boudewijnse, Barbara
Concept 1. ‘Ritual’ is a common word. In ordinary usage the term presents no problems. It is used for a category of individual or social behavior—such as religious or solemn ceremonies or, more generally, procedures regularly followed—that most people seem to recognize immediately. But the meaning of the term has been far from self-evident to its students. For over a century, ritual has been a ‘standard’ topic of study, especially within the social sciences and history of religion. Discussions ha…