The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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(1,919 words)

Leading Figure

1. A hero (Gk., heros, ‘hero,’ originally ‘free man’) is an individual who stands out from the crowd of ordinary persons by his corporeal or spiritual assets, and who provides a model for ethical orientation. The heroic charisma rests on extraordinary (or superhuman) traits, and it draws human beings into the spell of the hero's personality. The hero cons…

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Behrenbeck, Sabine, “Hero/Heroism”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 28 January 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

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