The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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(1,064 words)

Rhythm derives from the Greek rhythmós, ‘time measure,’ ‘beat,’ and can also mean, ‘proportion’ in general; gestalt or ‘form’ (‘shape’); and, in Ionic, ‘custom,’ ‘practice,’ ‘habit.’ Originally, the word designates an invariable motion, such as that of the waves of an ocean (in Gk., rhein, ‘to stream,’ ‘to flow’). Thus, rhythm is an ‘arranging,’ an ‘ordering’ (especially with respect to time) by way of cycli…

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Gietz, Karl-Peter and Schmull, Heino, “Rhythm”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 03 March 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

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