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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(1,260 words)

Author(s): Douglas Allen
Abstract: Epoché, which means a “suspension” or “bracketing” of judgment, is a technique used in philosophical phenomenology and the phenomenology of religion to secure neutrality. Epoché serves to help restrain one’s presupp…
Date: 2014-09-16


(1,368 words)

Author(s): Alex Law
Abstract: Equality is a political and moral ideal that refers to some universal condition thought to be shared by human beings. Ideals of equality are often claimed to have been corrupted and denied …


(1 words)


Esoteric / Esotericism

(1,932 words)

Author(s): Kocku von Stuckrad
Abstract: The article traces the origins of the terms “esoteric” and “esotericism” in European intellectual history and describes the emergence of “Western esotericism” as a distinct field of researc…


(3,000 words)

Author(s): Peter Kivisto
Abstract: Ethnicity is a term of relatively recent vintage. This entry reviews varying definitions of the concept and of its cognates, “ethnic” and “ethnic group.” Roger Brubaker’s attempt at writing…
Date: 2014-09-16


(3,382 words)

Author(s): Boris Bizumic
Abstract: Ethnocentrism is a slippery concept that different disciplines and individuals use in diverse, inconsistent, and incompatible ways. Ethnocentrism is usually defined as a kind of ethnic or c…


(2,059 words)

Author(s): Michael Lambek
Abstract: Ethnography entails the conjunction of a mode of research practice, a mode of writing, and an epistemological stance. It involves an exploration of what people think, do, make, and feel in …
Date: 2014-09-16


(1,273 words)

Author(s): Bernhard Lang
Abstract: The term “ethos” designates the character — the prevailing values and attitudes toward life — of a group, such as an ethnic group, a nation, or all members of a larger cultural community. W…
Date: 2014-09-16


(6 words)

Abstract:   ⸙Insider / Outsider Bibliography 


(1,292 words)

Author(s): John Lindow
Abstract: Euhemerism refers to the theory that gods were once men, and the theory might also be regarded as apotheosis or deification. The term derives from the name of Euhemerus (Euhemeros) of Messe…