Religion Past and Present

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(383 words)

[German Version]

A word, which consists of sounds (vowels and consonants), constitutes the smallest self-contained linguistic unit (Language) and can therefore be considered the prototype of human communication and human self-realization. As such it points beyond its mere function as an utterance: it also stands for the object it speaks of. The advanced civilizations of the ancient Near East preserved the identity of word and object (Akkad. amātu, Egyp. md.t, Heb. dābār). Associated with this identity is the notion of the efficacy of words in general, and in the re…

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Prenner, Karl, “Word”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 08 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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