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Cult (religious practice)

Cult is literally the "care" owed to deities and to temples, shrines, or churches. Cult is embodied in ritual and ceremony. Its present or former presence is made concrete in temples, shrines and churches, and cult images, including cult images a ...

Religious experience

A religious experience is a subjective experience which is interpreted within a religious framework. The concept originated in the 19th century, as a defense against the growing rationalism of Western society. William James popularised the concep ...

Atonement

Atonement is the concept of a person taking action to correct previous wrongdoing on their part, either through direct action to undo the consequences of that act, equivalent action to do good for others, or some other expression of feelings of r ...

Chosen people

Throughout history, various groups of people have considered themselves to be chosen people by a deity for a purpose, such as to act as the deitys agent on earth. In monotheistic faiths references to God are used in constructs such as "Gods Chose ...

Consecration

Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service. The word consecration literally means "association with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different groups. T ...

Deathbed confession

A deathbed confession is an admittance or confession when someone is nearing death, or on their "death bed". This confession may help alleviate any guilt, regrets, secrets, or sins the dying person may have had in their life. These confessions ca ...

Double belonging

Double belonging is the phenomenon in which one claims to be an adherent of two different religions at the same time or incorporates the practices of another religion into their own faith life. It is increasing in certain parts of Europe and Nort ...

Enlightenment (spiritual)

Enlightenment is the "full comprehension of a situation". The term is commonly used to denote the Age of Enlightenment, but is also used in Western cultures in a religious context. It translates several Buddhist terms and concepts, most notably b ...

Entheogen

An entheogen is a psychoactive substance that induces alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, or behavior for the purposes of engendering spiritual development in sacred contexts. The religious, shamanic, or spiritual significa ...

Faith healing

Faith healing is the practice of prayer and gestures that are believed by some to elicit divine intervention in spiritual and physical healing, especially the Christian practice. Believers assert that the healing of disease and disability can be ...

Faithbooking

Faithbooking, or spiritual scrapbooking is a creative expression of a familys spiritual journey, values and events that are captured in scrapbooks, diaries or journals that combine the use of photographs, decorated papers, scripture, thoughts, pr ...

Flagellation

Flagellation, flogging, whipping or lashing is the act of beating the human body with special implements such as whips, lashes, rods, switches, the cat o nine tails, the sjambok, the knout, etc. Typically, flogging is imposed on an unwilling subj ...

God helmet

The God Helmet is an experimental apparatus originally called the Koren helmet after its inventor Stanley Koren. It was developed by Koren and neuroscientist Michael Persinger to study creativity, religious experience and the effects of subtle st ...

Hierophany

A hierophany is a manifestation of the sacred. The word is a formation of the Greek adjective hieros and the verb phainein.

Holy water

Holy water is water that has been blessed by a member of the clergy or a religious figure. The use for cleansing prior to a baptism and spiritual cleansing is common in several religions, from Christianity to Sikhism. The use of holy water as a s ...

Importance of religion by country

The table below is based upon global Gallup Poll in 2009 research which asked "Is religion important in your daily life?". Percentages for "yes" and "no" answers are listed below; they often do not add up to 100% because some answered "dont know" ...

Kundalini

Kundalini, in Hinduism is a form of divine energy believed to be located at the base of the spine. It is an important concept in Saiva Tantra, where it is believed to be a force or power associated with the divine feminine. This energy, when cult ...

Missionary

A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to promote their faith or perform ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care, and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 w ...

Modern flat Earth societies

Modern flat Earth societies are organizations that promote the belief that the Earth is flat while disputing the Earths sphericity. Such groups date from the middle of the 20th century; some adherents are serious and some are not. Those who are s ...

Modes of religiosity

The theory of divergent modes of religiosity is intended to explain how religions are created, transmitted, and changed. DMR theory was first developed by anthropologist Harvey Whitehouse following his ethnographic fieldwork in Papua New Guinea. ...

Murder for body parts

The murder of human beings for their body parts is a crime in all countries. Such practices have been confirmed or suspected to occur within a handful of contexts. Medicine murder not to be confused with "medical murder" due to medical negligence ...

Nudity in religion

Hesiod the writer of the poem Theogony, which describes the origins and genealogies of the Greek gods in Ancient Greek religion, suggested that farmers should "Sow naked, and plough naked, and harvest naked, if you wish to bring in all Demeters f ...

Numinous

Numinous is a concept derived from the Latin numen meaning "arousing spiritual or religious emotion; mysterious or awe-inspiring". The term was popularized by the German theologian Rudolf Otto in his influential 1917 German book Das Heilige, whic ...

Penance

Penance is repentance of sins as well as an alternate name for the Catholic, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. It also plays a part in confession among Anglicans and Methodists, in which ...

Piety

In spiritual terminology, piety is a virtue which may include religious devotion, spirituality, or a mixture of both. A common element in most conceptions of piety is humility.

Pious fraud

Pious fraud is used to describe fraud in religion or medicine. A pious fraud can be counterfeiting a miracle or falsely attributing a sacred text to a biblical figure due to the belief that the "end justifies the means", in this case the end of i ...

Popular belief

Popular beliefs are studied as a sub-field of social sciences, like history and anthropology, which examines spiritual beliefs that develop not independently from religion, but still outside of established religious institutions. Aspects of popul ...

Prayer

Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed towards a deity, or a deified ance ...

Sacred prostitution

Sacred prostitution, temple prostitution, cult prostitution, and religious prostitution are general terms for a sexual rite consisting of sexual intercourse or other sexual activity performed in the context of religious worship, perhaps as a form ...

Religious ecstasy

Religious ecstasy is a type of altered state of consciousness characterized by greatly reduced external awareness and expanded interior mental and spiritual awareness, frequently accompanied by visions and emotional euphoria. Although the experie ...

Religious Experience Research Centre

The Religious Experience Research Centre was founded by the distinguished marine biologist Professor Alister Hardy FRS in 1969 as The Religious Experience Research Unit. He and his co-researchers began to gather a unique archive of accounts of re ...

Religious fanaticism

Religious fanaticism is uncritical zeal or with an obsessive enthusiasm related to ones own, or ones groups, devotion to a religion – a form of human fanaticism which could otherwise be expressed in ones other involvements and participation, incl ...

Religious habit

A religious habit is a distinctive set of religious clothing worn by members of a religious order. Traditionally some plain garb recognizable as a religious habit has also been worn by those leading the religious eremitic and anchoritic life, alt ...

Religious initiation rites

Many cultures practice or have practiced initiation rites, including the ancient Greeks, the Hebraic/Jewish, the Babylonian, the Mayan, and the Norse cultures. The modern Japanese practice of Miyamairi is such as ceremony. In some, such evidence ...

Religious male circumcision

Religious circumcision generally occurs shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is most prevalent in the religions of Judaism, Islam, the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Ch ...

Religious name

A religious name is a type of given name bestowed for a religious purpose, and which is generally used in religious contexts. Different types of religious names may be in use among clergy of a religion, as well in some cases among the laity.

Religious tourism

Religious tourism, spiritual tourism, sacred tourism, or faith tourism, is a type of tourism with two main subtypes: pilgrimage, meaning travel for religious or spiritual purposes, and the viewing of religious monuments and artefacts, a branch of ...

Religious vows

Religious vows are the public vows made by the members of religious communities pertaining to their conduct, practices, and views. In the Buddhist tradition, in particular within the Mahayana and Vajrayana tradition, many different kinds of relig ...

Renunciation

Renunciation is the act of rejecting something, especially if it is something that the renouncer has previously enjoyed or endorsed. In religion, renunciation often indicates an abandonment of pursuit of material comforts, in the interests of ach ...

Repentance

Repentance is the activity of reviewing ones actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs, which is accompanied by commitment to and actual actions that show and prove a change for the better. In Judaism and Christianity it is often d ...

Sacred contagion

Sacred contagion is the belief that spiritual properties within an object, place, or person may be passed to another object, place, or person, usually by direct contact or physical proximity. While the concept of sacred contagion has existed in n ...

Sandpainting

Sandpainting is the art of pouring coloured sands, and powdered pigments from minerals or crystals, or pigments from other natural or synthetic sources onto a surface to make a fixed, or unfixed sand painting. Unfixed sand paintings have a long e ...

Self-flagellation

The Flagellation refers in a Christian context to the Flagellation of Christ, an episode in the Passion of Christ prior to Jesus crucifixion. The practice of mortification of the flesh for religious purposes was utilized by some Christians throug ...

Self-realization

Self-realization is an expression used in Western psychology, philosophy, and spirituality; and in Indian religions. In the Western understanding it is the "fulfillment by oneself of the possibilities of ones character or personality". In the Ind ...

Shi (personator)

The shi was a ceremonial "personator" who represented a dead relative during ancient Chinese ancestral sacrifices. In a shi ceremony, the ancestral spirit supposedly would enter the descendant "corpse" personator, who would eat and drink sacrific ...

Shroud

Shroud usually refers to an item, such as a cloth, that covers or protects some other object. The term is most often used in reference to burial sheets, mound shroud, grave clothes, winding-cloths or winding-sheets, such as the famous Shroud of T ...

Spiritual direction

Spiritual direction is the practice of being with people as they attempt to deepen their relationship with the divine, or to learn and grow in their own personal spirituality. The person seeking direction shares stories of their encounters of the ...

Surrender (religion)

To surrender in spirituality and religion means that a believer completely gives up his own will and subjects his thoughts, ideas, and deeds to the will and teachings of a higher power. It may also be contrasted with Submission. Surrender is will ...

Taper burn mark

Taper burn marks are deep flame shaped scorch marks often found on the timber beams of early modern houses. They were originally thought to have been accidental, but research suggests that most marks may have been made deliberately, as there is c ...

Testimony

In the law, testimony is a form of evidence that is obtained from a witness who makes a solemn statement or declaration of fact. Testimony may be oral or written, and it is usually made by oath or affirmation under penalty of perjury. To be admis ...

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