The Brill Dictionary of Religion

Get access

(322 words)

The word ‘fatalism,’ derived from the Latin fatum (‘saying,’ ‘dictum of the gods’) denotes the belief that a higher power determines the inevitability of human ‘destiny,’ often enough blindly, and the consequent challenge of loyalty to that destiny. In Greek and particularly Roman antiquity, the concept of fatum was combined with the philosophical and religious idea of Heimarmenê and Tuchê (→ Destiny/Fate). Jewish and Christian philosophers and theologians generally stress human responsibility for human activity. In the Qur'an, God's determination is of…

Cite this page
Walther, Wiebke, “Fatalism”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 21 January 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

▲   Back to top   ▲