Religion Past and Present

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(468 words)

[German Version]

In line with its Greek origin, phenomenon still primarily denotes what reveals itself to sensory vision, or is present as object to the senses. In antiquity phenomenon had a double meaning. On the one hand, phenomenon meant that which is given to the senses as it is, and hence was mostly synonymous with appearance or manifestation. On the other hand, phenomenon also denoted being in the sense of what is apparent. Thus for Plato, phenomenon indicates terminologically what is deceptively apparent to sensory perception, as distinct from true being. For Ar…

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Gander, Hans-Helmuth, “Phenomenon”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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