Religion Past and Present

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Superstition
(3,603 words)

[German Version]

I. Religious Studies

1. Terminology.

Like the equivalent German term Aberglaube, the word superstition is pejorative in tone and so is inherently critical and polemical: to speak of superstition as a perverted belief implies that the speaker is doing so from the perspective of correct belief or knowledge.

2. Semantic history.

The normative, judgmental character of the term shaped its semantic history. In ancient Rome, superstitio was used to de…

Cite this page
Küenzlen, Gottfried, Sparn, Walter, Stolz, Fritz and Hollenweger, Walter J., “Superstition”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 29 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_COM_00052>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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