Vocabulary for the Study of Religion

Get access Subject: Religious Studies
Edited by: Robert A. Segal & Kocku von Stuckrad.

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The Vocabulary for the Study of Religion offers a unique overview of critical terms in the study of religion(s). This first dictionary in English covers a broad spectrum of theoretical topics used in the academic study of religion, including those from adjacent disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, historiography, theology, philology, literary studies, psychology, philosophy, cultural studies, and political sciences.

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Calendar and New Year

(1,160 words)

Author(s): Leofranc Holford-Strevens
Abstract: This entry sets out the different principles by which calendars are governed, giving examples of lunar and solar calendars and a history of the current international Gregorian calendar. The…
Date: 2014-09-16

Canon / Canonization

(2,988 words)

Author(s): Armin Lange
Abstract: The Christian origin of the term “canon” has led to misconceptions of non-Christian canonical histories. To avoid these misconceptions a nuanced terminology is needed to provde an unbiased …

Capital, Forms of

(3,618 words)

Author(s): Anne Koch
Abstract: Forms of capital are an important immaterial reservoir of means of social self-positioning and instruments for attaining goals. Financial, cultural, and social kinds of capital are distingu…


(2,165 words)

Author(s): Warren Goldstein
Abstract: This entry attempts to gain an understanding of the concept of capitalism. In doing so, it relies on how major theorists understood the term. The first part of it summarizes their debates o…

Cargo Cult

(1,236 words)

Author(s): Garry Trompf
Abstract: The phrase “cargo cult” gained increasing currency in Melanesia after World War II to describe islanders’ collective actions to prepare for “the supernatural arrival” of European-style good…
Date: 2014-09-16


(1,400 words)

Author(s): Dana Munteanu
Abstract: The entry surveys the general meanings of “catharsis” in ancient Greek culture, in which the term occurs primarily in medical and cultic contexts, as well as its enigmatic use in Aristotle’s definition of tragedy in the Poetics…


(3,285 words)

Author(s): Jan Faye
Abstract: Bertrand Russell once claimed that the notion of causation in science, much like monarchy, belongs to a bygone age. This is certainly not true. Both before and after Russell, philosophers h…
Date: 2014-09-16