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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(3,445 words)

Author(s): Gísli Sigurðsson
Abstract: Orality is used to describe the transmission of words without the aid of a written medium. Early societies are thought to have been exclusively oral, even though words have always have been…

Orientalism / Occidentalism

(4,618 words)

Author(s): Meltem Ahıska
Abstract: This article gives a brief account of the intertwined histories of Orientalism and Occidentalism, and of the debates around the concepts. The focal question centers on whether an “authentic…

Origins of Religion

(4,165 words)

Author(s): Robert Segal
Abstract: The term “origin” can refer to either the historical, one-time origin of religion — the time and place when and where religion began — or the recurrent origin — the cause of religion whenev…

Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy

(3,221 words)

Author(s): Peter Collins
Abstract: In this essay I will introduce four terms which are very closely interrelated and which need to be considered together: orthodoxy, orthopraxy, heterodoxy, and heteropraxy. I will begin by e…


(2,904 words)

Author(s): Olav Hammer
Abstract: The term othering has become increasingly common in scholarly literature as a general label for the ways in which other social groups are presented as fundamentally different from one’s own, an…

Other-Worldly and This-Worldly

(1,315 words)

Author(s): Sylvie Shaw
Abstract: Scientific inquiry practiced since the Scientific Revolution in the seventeenth century developed a clear, empirically-based set of laws for uncovering the machinations of the physical worl…


(6 words)

Abstract:   ⸙Insider / Outsider Bibliography