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Culture > Religion > Beliefs

Now updated for CSW19. New words, if any, and new inflections of existing words, are shown in red.

acolyte acolyth a faithful follower, esp. a religious one.
acosmism a doctrine denying the existence of a universe distinct from God.
acosmist one who denies the existence of a universe distinct from God.
adharma in Hinduism, unrighteousness (the opposite of DHARMA).
agnostic one who believes that existence of God cannot be known but does not deny the possibility that God exists.
ahimsa in Hinduism, the principle of noninjury to living beings.
ajiva in Hinduism, inanimate matter.
anagoge anagogy a spiritual, mystical, or allegorical interpretation of such works as the Bible.
anastasis in Byzantine art, the Harrowing of Hell; resurrection > ANASTASES.
anata anatman the belief that there is no such thing as a permanent self.
anicca in Hinduism, the belief that everything is impermanent and constantly changing.
aniconism the worship of an object symbolising but not representing a god.
aniconist one who practises ANICONISM.
animatism the primitive attribution of life to natural phenomena, but not (as in ANIMISM) belief in the spirits that reside in them.
animatist one who indulges in ANIMATISM.
animism the attribution of soul to plants, inanimate objects and natural phenomena.
animist one who indulges in ANIMISM.
animistic of or pertaining to ANIMISM, the attribution of soul to inanimate objects.
anticult opposed to cults.
apostacy apostasy abandonment of one's religious beliefs.
apostate a person committing APOSTASY.
arkite a believer in Noah's Ark.
atheism the belief that there is no God.
atheist one who indulges in ATHEISM.
atheistic like an ATHEIST > ATHEISTICALLY.
atma atman in Hindusim, the individual soul.
autolatry self-worship.
avel ovel a Jewish mourner esp during the first seven days after a death.
azymite a member of any church using unleavened bread in the Eucharist.
ba in ancient Egyptian religion, the soul > BAS.
baalism worship of Baal; idolatry.
bardo in Tibetan Buddhism, the intermediate stage between death and rebirth.
bejesuit to initiate into Jesuitism.
cabala cabbala cabbalah kabala kabbala kabbalah qabala qabalah a mystical tradition of Jewish rabbis.
the secret science of the CABALA.
cacodoxy incorrect doctrine, heresy, heterodoxy.
chiliasm the doctrine that Christ will return and reign for a thousand years.
chiliast one who believes in CHILIASM.
churchism devotion to church rules over religious precepts.
converso a mediaeval Spanish Jew converting to Catholicism > CONVERSOS.
credal creedal of or relating to a creed.
credendum a thing to be believed; an article of faith; -- distinguished from AGENDUM, a practical duty > CREDENDA.
credo a concise statement of doctrine; a section of Mass followed by offertory > CREDOS.
creed a statement of belief
creedal see CREDAL.
cult a system of religious belief.
cultic relating to a CULT.
cultish of or like a CULT > CULTISHLY.
cultism adherence to a CULT.
cultist one who adheres to a CULT.
cultlike resembling a CULT.
dawah the practice of educating non-believers about the practice of Islam.
decretist one who studies, or professes the knowledge of, the DECRETALS, papal decrees deciding a point of church law.
deism belief in God but rejection of religion.
deist an adherent of DEISM.
deistic deistical relating to DEISM > DEISTICALLY.
demonism belief in demons.
demonist a believer in, or worshipper of, demons.
devilism the state of the devil or of devils; doctrine of the devil or of devils.
devotee a person who is devoted, esp. to religion.
dhamma dharma custom or law regarded as duty; the basic principles of cosmic or individual existence.
dharmic of or like DHARMA.
diabolism devil-worship.
diabolist one who practises DIABOLISM.
diabology the study of devils.
diaspora the dispersion of the Jews after their Babylonian captivity.
diphysite diophysite dyophysite a believer in the existence of two natures in Christ, human and divine.
dissenter one who dissents esp. in religious matters.
ditheism belief in two equal gods, one good and one evil.
ditheist one who holds the doctrine of ditheism; a dualist.
a believer in DITHELISM.
dithelism diothelism dyothelism the doctrine that Christ on earth had two wills, human and divine.
docetic pertaining to the heresy that Christ's body was insubstantial.
dogmatics the science which treats of Christian doctrinal theology.
donatism the tenets of the Donatists, a schismatic body of N. African Christians which originated when they declared invalid the consecration of Caecilian as Bishop of Carthage in 311.
douleia dulia in Roman Catholicism, the inferior veneration accorded to saints and angels. Cf. LATRIA.
doxastic relating to belief.
druidism the religious system of the druids.
dualism the doctrine of two distinct principles of good and evil, or of two divine beings of these characters.
duhkha dukkha suffering due to the desire for permanence.
dulia see DOULEIA.
ebionise ebionize to hold a doctrine denying the apostolate of Paul and the miraculous birth of Jesus.
ebionism holding the beliefs of an Ebionite, an early Christian who denied the apostolate of Paul and the miraculous birth of Jesus.
ebionitic relating to EBIONISM.
ebionize see EBIONISE.
egotheism identification of oneself with God.
emanatist one who believes in EMANATION, the universe considered as issuing from God.
epopt a person fully initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries.
fetichism fetishism devotion to or reverence for a fetish or fetishes.
fetichist fetishist one who worships a FETISH.
fideism the doctrine that knowledge depends on faith over reason.
fideist a believer in the doctrine of FIDEISM, the doctrine that knowledge depends on faith over reason.
fideistic relating to FIDEISM.
formalism the practice or the doctrine of strict adherence to, or dependence on, external forms, esp. in matters of religion.
gematria a cabbalistic method of interpreting the Hebrew scriptures by interchanging words > GEMATRIAS. [Aram. g'matreya f. Gk geometria, GEOMETRY].
gentilism paganism; the quality of being a GENTILE.
geolatry earth-worship.
giaour a term used by Turks for an infidel, one not of their religion.
gymnosoph gymnosophist one of a sect of naked ascetics of ancient India.
hadjee hadji haji hajji a Muslim pilgrim to Mecca.
hafiz one who knows the Koran by heart > HAFIZES.
hajjah a Muslim woman who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca.
heathen an uncivilized person.
heathenry the state, quality, or character of the heathen.
heresy an unorthodox religious belief.
hierology the science of sacred matters.
hierurgy religious worship or work.
idolater idolator one who worships idols.
idolatry the worship of idols.
idolism worship of idols.
idolist one who worships idols.
immolator one who offers in sacrifice; specifically, one of a sect of Russian fanatics who practice self-mutilation and sacrifice.
impanate embodied in bread.
irenics irenical theology, concerned with promoting peace between churches.
isagogics that part of theological science directly preliminary to actual exegesis, or interpretation of the Scriptures.
jehad jihad in Islam, a holy war.
jehadi jihadi a person who takes part in a JEHAD, a holy war.
jehadism jihadism an Islamic fundamentalist movement that favours the pursuit of jihads in defence of the Islamic faith.
jehadist jihadist a believer in JEHADISM.
jihad see JEHAD.
jihadi see JEHADI.
jihadism see JIHADISM.
jihadist see JEHADIST.
jujuism belief in a JUJU.
jujuist one who believes in a JUJU.
ka in Egyptian belief, the spirit or soul of a dead person; (verb) to serve > KAS, KAING, KAED.
kabala see CABALA.
kabalism see CABALISM.
kabalist see CABALIST.
kabbala see CABALA.
kabbalah see CABALA.
kabbalism see CABALISM.
kabbalist see CABALIST.
kalam a type of Muslim theology.
kama in Hinduism, earthly desire.
karaism the doctrines of the Karaites, a strict sect of Jews.
karma the moral quality of actions regarded as determining the nature of a future existence.
karmic relating to KARMA, the moral quality of actions regarded as determining the nature of a future existence.
kenosis the relinquishment of the form of God by Jesus in becoming man > KENOSES or KENOSISES. [Gk. kenosis, emptying].
kenotic relating to KENOSIS, the relinquishment of the form of God by Jesus in becoming man.
kenotics the study of the doctrine of KENOSIS.
kerygma the apostolic proclamation of salvation through Jesus Christ > KERYGMAS or KERYGMATA. [Gk. kerugma, f. kerussein, proclaim].
kismat kismet fate, destiny.
kismetic relating to KISMET, fate, destiny.
krypsis the doctrine that Christ secretly exercised divine powers > KRYPSES. [Gk. krypsis, concealment].
laicism the doctrine of opposition to clergy and priests.
laity lay people as distinct from the clergy and priests.
lamaistic of or pertaining to Lamaism.
latria in Roman Catholicism, the veneration accorded to God alone. Cf. DOULEIA.
layman a member of the laity.
layperson a member of the laity > LAYPERSONS, LAYPEOPLE.
laywoman a female member of the laity.
logos the divine rational principle > LOGOI.
macumba a Black religious cult practised in Brazil, characterized by sorcery, ritual dancing, and the use of fetishes.
maenad menad a woman participant in orgiastic Dionysian rites > MAENADS or MAENADES; MENADS.
mammetry maumetry mawmetry the religion of Mohammed; idolatry.
maranatha a member of a Christian sect.
marrano a Jew who has converted to Christianity to avoid persecution > MARRANOS.
martyr a person bearing witness to his or her religious beliefs by refusing to renounce them in death > MARTYRLY; (verb) to put to death for adhering to a belief.
martyrdom the state of being a MARTYR.
maumetry see MAMMETRY.
mawmetry see MAMMETRY.
maya in Buddhist philosophy, the power to produce illusions.
mayan relating to MAYA, in Buddhist philosophy, the power to produce illusions.
menad see MAENAD.
methodist a follower of Methodism.
miscreed a false creed.
modalism belief in the unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
modalist an adherent of MODALISM.
moira individual destiny, will of the gods, fate > MOIRAI.
moksha in Buddhism, freedom from the endless cycle of transmigration.
monachism monasticism the monastic system or mode of life.
monergism the theory that the Holy Spirit alone can act.
monolater one who worships one god only out of many believed to exist.
monolatry worship of one god without excluding belief in others.
mystagog mystagogue mystagogus one who teaches mystical doctrines or one who inititates others into religious cults.
mystagogy the doctrines, principles, or practice of a mystagogue; interpretation of mysteries.
mysticism the habit or tendency of religious thought and feeling of those who seek direct communion with God or the divine.
neopagan a modern believer in PAGANISM.
nirvana in Hindu and Buddhist religions, freedom from the endless cycle of birth and death and related suffering,. [Skr. nirvana, blowing out, extinguishing).
nirvanic of or like NIRVANA.
nonbelief absence of belief.
nonpagan (one who is) not a PAGAN.
nontheism not believing in a god or gods.
nontheist one who is not a THEIST.
occultism the study of the occult.
occultist one who studies the occult.
ontologic ontological related to ONTOLOGY > ONTOLOGICALLY.
ontology a branch of metaphysics concerned with the nature and relations of being.
ovel see AVEL.
oversoul the all-containing soul.
pagan an irreligious person.
pagandom the pagan lands; pagans, collectively; paganism.
paganise paganize to make pagan.
paganiser paganizer one who converts others to PAGANISM .
paganish of or pertaining to pagans; heathenish.
paganism an irreligious attitude.
paganist a student of pagans or paganism.
paganize see PAGANISE.
paganizer see PAGANISER().
painim panim paynim a pagan.
palmer one who bears a palm-branch, in token of having made a pilgrimage to Palestine.
panislam the world of Islam.
panim see PAINIM.
pantheism the belief that the universe is God; belief in many gods.
pantheist one who holds to PANTHEISM, the belief that the universe is God.
parousia a coming, especially the second coming of Christ. [Gk parousia, presence, arrival].
paynim see PAINIM.
paynimry heathendom.
perdition everlasting misery after death, damnation.
perfecti a Catharist sect in the 12th and 13th centuries who led very strict lives. N.B. this is a plural.
pewholder one who has his or her own pew in a church.
phallism the worship of the generative principle in nature, symbolized by the phallus.
phallist an adherent of PHALLISM.
pietism unquestioning or dogmatic religious devotion.
pietist a person characterized by or professing (often affected or exaggerated) piety.
pietistic relating to PIETISM, unquestioning or dogmatic religious devotion.
pilgrim pilgrimer someone who goes on a pilgrimage.
pillarist an ascetic living on top of a pillar, a STYLITE.
pleroma fullness, abundance; in Gnosticism, divine being. [Gk. pleroma, that which fills].
prajna wisdom or understanding considered as the goal of Buddhist contemplation.
preterist a person who holds that the prophecies of the Apocalypse have been already fulfilled.
proselyte a convert, especially to Jewish faith; (verb) to become a proselyte.
pyrolater a fire-worshipper.
pyrolatry fire-worship.
qabala see CABALA.
qabalah see CABALA.
qabalism see CABALISM.
quietism the doctrine of enlightenment through mental tranquility.
rabbinism a rabbinic expression or phraseology; a peculiarity of the language of the rabbins.
rastafari rastafarian a member of a W. Indian cult which rejects western ideas and regards the Emperor Haile Selassie as divine > RASTAFARIS. [The real name of Haile was Prince Ras Tafar Makonnen].
recusant one who refuses to attend Catholic church services; generally, one who refuses to submit to authority.
regalist one who believes in royal supremacy, esp. in church matters.
responsum in rabbinical literature, a written response to a question of doctrine > RESPONSA or RESPONSUMS.
rigorist one who is rigorous; -- sometimes applied to an extreme Jansenist.
sacrilege profanation or disregard of anything holy.
said saiyid sayid sayyid a descendant of Mohammed's daughter Fatima.
samsara in Buddhism, the never-ending cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
sangha the Buddhist community or Buddhist monastic order.
santeria a Caribbean religion composed of elements from both traditional African religion and Roman Catholicism.
satanism the worship of the Devil.
satori a state of sudden enlightenment, sought in Zen Buddhism.
sayid see SAID.
sayyid see SAID.
sect a group of people united by common beliefs or interests, esp. religious beliefs.
sectary a member of a sect; a person who is zealous in the cause of a sect.
secular not spiritual > SECULARLY; (noun) a layman; a clergyman not bound by monastic rules.
shamanism the religion of certain peoples of N. Asia, based essentially on magic and sorcery as practised by shamans.
sharifian sherifian relating to a SHERIF, a descendant of Mohammed through his daugher Fatima.
soterial of or pertaining to salvation.
spikery very high-church Anglicanism.
spiritism spiritualism the belief that nothing is real except the soul or spirit.
spiritist spiritualist one who believes that nothing is real except the soul or spirit.
subcult a subordinate CULT.
subsect a SECT directly derived from another.
synergism the belief that human will and divine spirit cooperate in salvation.
talmudism belief in the doctrines of the TALMUD, the body of the Jewish civil and canonical law not comprised in the Pentateuch.
tao a path of virtuous conduct in Chinese philosophy.
tathata in Buddhism, the ultimate nature of things.
terminism the doctrine that there is a time limit for repentance.
terminist a believer in TERMINISM, the doctrine that there is a time limit for repentance.
tetradite a person who attaches mystic properties to the number four; a believer in a godhead of four persons.
theism a belief in the existence of God with or without special revelation.
theistic theistical of or pertaining to THEISM.
theodicy a vindication of the justice of God in establishing a world in which evil exists.
theology the study of God, religion and revelation.
theonomy government or rule by God.
theosoph theosopher theosophist a believer in THEOSOPHY.
theosophy immediate divine illumination or wisdom.
theurgist a believer in THEURGY, magic performed with the aid of beneficent spirits.
thiasus a group of worshippers gathered to dance in praise of gods > THIASUSES. [Gk. thiasos].
thurifer an altar boy or acolyte who carries a THURIBLE.
tora torah the body of Jewish law and learning, including sacred literature and oral tradition > TORAS; TORAHS, TOROT, TOROTH.
totemism the belief that a group has a special kinship with an object or animal.
totemist totemite one belonging to a clan or tribe having a totem.
traditor an early Christian who surrendered sacred books and vessels or betrayed fellow-Christians in times of persecution to save his or her own life > TRADITORS or TRADITORES.
traducian a believer in TRADUCIANISM, the theory that the soul is transmitted to a child in the act of generation or concomitantly with its body.
tritheism the belief that the members of the Trinity are three separate gods.
tritheist one believing that the members of Trinity are three separate gods.
tropist a user of tropes; someone who understands the Bible as figurative.
twicer one who goes to church twice on a Sunday.
unitarian one who denies the doctrine of the Trinity, believing that God exists only in one person.
venerative relating to veneration, worship.
wicca the practice of witchcraft.
wiccan a member of the cult of WICCA.
worshiper worshipper one who worships.
zealant zelant a zealot, a religious fanatic.
zealot a religious fanatic.
zendik (Arabic) in the east, one who abstains from magic or practises religion.
zoolater someone who worships animals.
zoolatria zoolatry worship of animals.
zoomorphy zoomorphism the conception of a god or man in animal form
zootheism the attribution of divine qualities to animals.