World Relgions

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61 terms

religion

"re" meaning again
"lig" meaning join or connect

monotheism

belief in a single God

pantheism

the belief that everything in the universe is divine

polytheism

belief in multiple Gods

atheism

the belief that there is no god "Not God"

agnosticism

The belief that God's existence cannot be known or proven "Not Known"

nontheism

A position unconcerned with the supernatural, not asserting or denying the existence of any deity.

animism

belief that spirits inhabit everything "spirt" "soul" "life force"

mandala

any of various geometric designs (usually circular) symbolizing the universe

dualism

the doctrine that reality consists of two basic opposing elements, often taken to be mind and matter (or mind and body), or good and evil

philosophy

"soul study" deals with human mental states, emotions and behaviors.

theology

"study of the divine" study of topics as they relate to one particular religious tradition

mythology

study of religious tales, texts and art

hagiography

a biography that idealizes or idolizes the person (especially a person who is a saint)

pilgrimage

a journey to a sacred place

holistic culture

a culture whose various elements may all have religious meaning

taboo

a strong social prohibition

libation

the act of pouring a liquid offering (especially wine) as a religious ceremony

shaman

specialist who contacts and attempts to control spirits that cause injury

sympathetic magic

rituals in which doing something to an image of an object produces the desired effect in the real object

divination

foretelling the future or looking into the past by means of magic

totem

an animal that is considered to be related by blood to a family or clan and is it guardian or symbol

Vedas

4 collections of ancient prayers and rituals

Upanishads

written meditations on the spiritual essence of the universe and the self

Brahman

the spiritual essence of the universe

Atman

the spiritual essence of all individual human beings

karma

the moral law of cause and effect that dteremines the direction of rebirth

samsara

(Hinduism and Buddhism) the endless cycle of birth and suffering and death and rebirth

moksha

The Hindu concept of the spirit's 'liberation' from the endless cycle of rebirths.

maya

"illusion" what keeps us from seeing reality correctly; the world, viewed inadequately

Bhagavad Gita

A short section of the epic poem Mahabharata in which the god Krishna teaches the great warrior Arjuna about bhakti marga and other ways to God; Hinduism's most popular text.

brahmin

member of the priestly caste

yoga

a spiritual discipline; a method for perfecting one's union with the divine

bhakti yoga

The spiritual discipline of devotion to a deity or guru

hatha yoga

the spiritual discipline of postures and bodily exercises

monism

the philosophical position that all apparently separate realities are ultimately one; the belief that God and the universe are the same, that the universe is divine

ahimsa

"nonharm" or "nonviolence"

mantra

a short sacred phrase, often chanted or used in meditation

puja

offerings and ritual in honor or a deity

Trimurti

"Three forms" of the divine; the three gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.

Brahma

god of creation

Vishnu

a god associated with preservation and love

Shiva

a god associated with destruction and rebirth

avatar

an earthy embodiment of a deity

Rama

a god and mythical king; a form of Vishnu

Krishna

a god associated with divine playfulness; a form of Vishnu

Devi

"Goddess"; the divine feminine, also called the Great Mother

Kali

"Dark" a form of Devi; a gooddess associated with destrucion and rebirth

guru

a spiritual teacher

bodhi

enlightenment

Sangha

the community of monks and nuns

Dharma

the totality of Buddhist teaching

dukkha

sorrow, misery

nirvana

the release from suffering and rebirth that brings inner peace

sutra

a sacred text, especially one said to record the words of the Buddha

stupa

Buddhist shrine that is shaped like a dome or mound

karuna

compassion, empathy

bodhisttva

those who have attained nirvana but vow to remain active in helping everyone else

shunyata

the mahayana notion of emptiness, meaning that the universe is empty of permanent reality

koan

a question used by Zen teachers to boggle the student's mind and thus liberate direct awareness

mudra

a symbolic hand gesture

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