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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Homo Religiosus

(1,186 words)

Author(s): Gregory D. Alles
Abstract: Scholars of religions have used the term Homo religiosus, patterned on the biological designation of human beings as Homo sapiens, in several ways: to refer to religious specialists (a sense now largely out of …


(2,665 words)

Author(s): Peter Cave
Abstract: “Humanism” can be sensibly considered a term of “family resemblance,” for over the centuries it has been used in ways that suggest only various resemblances and overlaps among diverse stanc…
Date: 2014-09-16

Human Rights

(5,165 words)

Author(s): Liam Gearon
Abstract: With roots in classical antiquity, human rights came to the political foreground in the eighteenth century, when religions in Europe and America were losing political power. Only in moderni…
Date: 2014-09-16


(3,613 words)

Author(s): Elliott Oring
Abstract: The common meaning of humor as something that provokes amusement is recent. Laughter was a focus of discussion in ancient and medieval Jewish, Greek, Christian, Islamic, and Buddhist texts, and f…


(2,512 words)

Author(s): Thomas Widlok
Abstract: Hunting as a human pursuit has since early humankind never been a purely utilitarian means to gain sustenance, but it has always been symbolically marked. Hunting metaphors express concerns…