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TH 409 Glossary 1

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 4 months ago





Axis Mundi - The "center of the world / universe."  Like the spoke of a wheel, the axis mundi is the point around which a given cosmos is understood to find its center, rooting, meaning.  A given culture's axis mundi tends to be the center of their living environment.


Bauopfer - German term, literally "construction drama," the sacrifice or effort one makes in building something.  Pronounced "BOW-op-fur"


Cosmos - From the Greek, kosmoon, meaning "world," as in, the whole of human experience and existence, creation, everything.


Cosmogony - a narrative account or explanation for the existence of a cosmos or "world space."  Example: the book of Genesis includes a cosmogony in its first chapters, as does the book of John.


"Crypto-religious behavior" - Actions that have a similar appearance to religious behavior without being attached to a specific faith or faith-practice.


Existential value - Concerning the state of one's being and/or the "ultimate questions" of a human life. 


Ganz Andere - German term, meaning "completely other / wholly alien."  Pronounced "Gahntsz AN-d'-rah"


Heterogeneity - Cultural, social, or other differences within a group; being made up of different parts.


Hierophany - Think "hier-" as in "hierarchy," "-phany" as in "Epiphany."  Literally, the revelation of divine order, or the inbreaking of the divine into normal life.  A manifestation of the sacred. Pronounced "hi-RAH-fan-ee"


Homogeneity / Homogeneous - The opposite of heterogeneity.  Something made up of uniform or very similar parts, uniformity.


Homologue - an exact or very similar copy of something, a twin.


"Homo Religiosus" - a variant on the Latin term for human, Homo Sapiens.  Means "religious human being"


Hypaethral - means "it has a hole in its roof."  Example, a Native American teepee, built with a hole so smoke can rise up out of it like a chimney.  Pronounced "Hi-PAY-thrall"


Imago mundi - image or model of the cosmos / world


Incipit vita nova - Latin, means "promoting new life" or "here new life begins."  Pronounced "Een-CHEE-peet VEE-tah NO-vah"


In principio - Latin, means "at the beginning.  Pronounced "Een preen-CHEE-pee-oh"


Ontology - Of or concerning the question of the essence of "being" itself.  Example: a question such as "Could you have an omlet without eggs?" is an ontological question, as it analyzes what is essential to the "being" of an omlet.


Primordial - at the very beginning, generative, part of the origin of something.


Sacrament - Act of communion or joining with the sacred.


Soteriology / Soteriological - Concerning the salvation or existential safety of a group or an individual.  Example: Christ's action on the cross is soteriological for believers, bringing salvation.


Summer solstice - Usually falling around June 21st, the point when the Earth's northern hemisphere is closest to the Sun, the longest day of the year.


Tabus - Alternate spelling of "taboos," which are things a culture defines as bad or evil.  Example: incest is a tabu in our culture.


Weltanschauung - German term, meaning literally world view.  A fancy way of referring to one's personal perspective.  Pronounced "VELT - on - SHAWng"


Ziggurat - A multi-levelled pyramid (like stair-steps) built by the Zoarastrian religion in ancient Babylon.



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