The Brill Dictionary of Religion

Get access Subject: Religious Studies
Edited by: Kocku von Stuckrad

The impressively comprehensive Brill Dictionary of Religion (BDR) Online addresses religion as an element of daily life and public discourse, is richly illustrated and with more than 500 entries, the Brill Dictionary of Religion Online is a multi-media reference source on the many and various forms of religious commitment. The Brill Dictionary of Religion Online addresses the different theologies and doctrinal declarations of the official institutionalized religions and gives equal weight and consideration to a multiplicity of other religious phenomena. The Brill Dictionary of Religion Online helps map out and define the networks and connections created by various religions in contemporary societies, and provides models for understanding these complex phenomena.

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Local Devotion

(1,251 words)

Author(s): Treml, Martin
1. By “local devotion” is meant the veneration of one or more higher powers in a particular → place, usually practiced by persons of a restricted group. These powers are effective only in limited ways, and they make no claim to generality. It may be a matter of numinous objects, protectors of a home, patrons of the → family, mythic tribal → ancestors, a matter of → heroes of various extraction, or, indeed, of gods, to whom an area, a grove, a precisely defined space, is assigned. It is their pos…

Lord's Supper/Eucharist

(1,646 words)

Author(s): Wiedenmann, Erhard J.
Lord's Supper 1. Concepts: Lord's Supper is Paul's term for the sacred meal regularly celebrated in the first Christian communities. The word Eucharist (Thanksgiving), which was in use as early as the beginning of the second century, is the one most often applied in the Catholic Church today. In addition, from the sixth century onward the term Mass was formed for divine service with the celebration of the Eucharist. The community aspect comes to the fore in the concept of Communion. In Protestantism, the term Abendmahl (Evening Meal) has acquired currency since Luther. In the ec…


(1,346 words)

Author(s): Grieser, Alexandra
Thematic Overview 1. The use of the word ‘love’ in Western European discourse—from its casual meaning of “like,” to sexual “lovemaking,” to the much discussed “ideal of relationship”—is closely connected, in its culturally constructed meaning, with the religious history of the concept, for example in the mass media. Most often understood as a category of emotions for positively experienced, intensive associations free of any means-end relationships, today's concept of love mixes religious models o…


(1,372 words)

Author(s): Siggelkow, Ingeborg
1. ‘Having luck,’ and ‘being lucky,’ are two different things. The former expression reflects the idea that luck befalls a person from without; it is bestowed. It is this luck that underlies a coincidence regarded as ‘lucky.’ Nevertheless, luck depends not only on life circumstances, but also on the individual attitude toward life and the way in which it is led. This luck, settled in the interior of the person, corresponds to the turn of phrase, ‘being lucky.’ Antiquity itself distinguished between the Greek eutychía (in Lat., fortuna), ‘having luck,’ and eudaimonía ( felicitas), ‘being…

Luther, Martin

(2,452 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
The Person 1. Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483, at Eisleben, in Saxony, Germany. In 1505, to fulfill a private vow that he had made in acute fear of death and the Last Judgment, he entered the monastery of Augustinian hermits in Erfurt. His experience of failing to attain a salvific relationship to God even as a monk led him to a gradual change of attitude and the ‘reformatory turn’ that he later stylized in his self-interpretation as a sudden experience of breakthrough and awakening. O…