Vocabulary for the Study of Religion

Purchase Access
Subject: Religious Studies

Edited by: Robert A. Segal & Kocku von Stuckrad.

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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(2,460 words)

Author(s): Rudolf Makkreel
Abstract: The German term Geisteswissenschaft is generally translated as “human science” in English. The Geisteswissenschaften received their classical formulation in Wilhelm Dilthey’s Introduction to the Human Sciences. Dilth…
Date: 2014-09-16


(6,194 words)

Author(s): Katherine Young
Abstract: There is contention over the meanings of the terms “sex” and “gender.” To understand why, this entry analyzes their etymologies, their biological and cultural components, contemporary usage…
Date: 2014-09-16


(2,335 words)

Author(s): William Doty
Abstract: Subdivisions in literature between types or forms of writing are…
Date: 2014-09-16


(6,269 words)

Author(s): Christoph Wulf
Abstract: Gestures play an important role in religion and faith. They are significant movements of the body that, directed at those addressed, express and present a shared intentionality. They are brought forth and understood in mimetic processes; they have central importance for human communication, cultural life, and the arts. Gestures are performative, that is, they are staged and performed; they shape religious community, human cooperation, and aesthetic production. They show something and show themselves in the process; they are ludic and self-referential. As ritual gestures, they are associated with religious institutions and also express hierarchies and power relationships. Gestures constitute the psychosocial foundation for the creation of spoken languages and are closely associated with the generation of emotions, thoughts, and actions. …