The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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Enthusiasm
(183 words)

Even more than the ‘enthusiasm,’ as the word is used loosely, that ‘arises’ when a ‘spirit’ takes hold of an assembly or gathering, the Greek word enthousiasmos (en-, ‘in,’ + theos, ‘god’) describes the moment at which a god ‘comes into a person.’ This phenomenon can be attributed to a ‘medium,’ as for instance in ancient prophecy; of a poet, who senses the Muse at work within; or of the God received as wine, who alters consciousness. It does not actually refer to → possession by a demon. (→ ‘Ecstasy,’ for its part, indicate…

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Auffarth, Christoph, “Enthusiasm”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 18 January 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5287_bdr_SIM_00020>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223



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