Religion Past and Present

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Ancestors, Cult of
(3,486 words)

[German Version]

I. Religious Studies – II. Greco-Roman Antiquity – III. Old Testament – IV. China – V. India – VI. Missiology

I. Religious Studies

All ancestors that are worshiped are dead, but not all dead people are ancestors, and not every mortuary ritual represents an ancestor cult. For an ancestor cult, there must be a consciousness of a familial and genealogical connection with the ancestors over one or more genera…

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Balz, Heinrich, Harich-Schwarzbauer, Henriette, Podella, Thomas, Seiwert, Hubert, Michaels, Axel and Ahrens, Theodor, “Ancestors, Cult of”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 31 May 2023 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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