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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Hallucinogens and Entheogens

(3,440 words)

Author(s): Michael Winkelman | Mark Hoffman
Abstract: The religious use of psychoactive substances called hallucinogens and psychedelics has numerous manifestations across pre-history, history, and the contemporary world. Sympathetic understan…


(3,024 words)

Author(s): Adrian Furnham
Abstract: This entry considers what we know about the causes and consequences of happiness — a matter which has only recently been subjected to scientific study, although the topic has been dicussed …
Date: 2014-09-16

Healing / Disease

(3,330 words)

Author(s): John Swinton
Abstract: Healing and disease are open to varying understandings across cultures and contexts. What the terms mean depends on who is asking the question and why. This entry will explore the concepts …


(2,390 words)

Author(s): Jeff Levin
Abstract: Scholarly discourse on medicine and health has a longstanding history within religious and theological writing, across the world’s faith traditions. This includes contemporary traditions of…
Date: 2014-09-16

Heaven / Hell

(3,116 words)

Author(s): Jeffrey Burton Russell
Abstract: The concepts of heaven and hell constitute a specific view of afterlife that focuses on morality, character, and judgment. Though not unique to the three main monotheistic religions — Judai…


(2,102 words)

Author(s): Jonathan Joseph
Abstract: Hegemony is an important concept in various social and political fields. Emerging in ancient Chinese and Greek thought, the concept is today most often associated with the Italian Marxist A…
Date: 2014-09-16


(6 words)

Abstract:   ⸙Heaven / Hell Bibliography 


(1,234 words)

Author(s): Janne Arp-Neumann
Abstract: The term “henotheism” was introduced to the study of the hymns of the Veda to denote the genre of texts, in which one god is alternately praised and given prominence above the others. Havin…
Date: 2014-09-16


(1,882 words)

Author(s): Christoph Baumgartner | Irene van Renswoude
Abstract: Religious dissent has often been described as heresy. This entry describes the traditional understanding of heresy as “religious error” and contrasts it to the relational approach, which un…

Hermeneutics and Interpretation

(4,867 words)

Author(s): Richard Briggs
Abstract: The wide-ranging terms “hermeneutics” and “interpretation” are most naturally applied to texts. Texts are first interpreted, and the subsequent articulation, analysis, and evaluation of an …
Date: 2014-09-16

Hero / Heroism

(4,662 words)

Author(s): Robert Segal
Abstract: This entry discusses the changing conceptions of heroism, the relationship between heroes and gods, and the differences between classical heroes and modern ones. It then presents the four m…