Questions tagged [religion]

For questions about English terminology that relates to religious thought in general or to a specific religion.

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A good term for "Dead" God [closed]

I am doing some world building for my game, but it's not really a world building question. I wouldn't have the problem with this term in my native language, it's strictly about the limits of my ...
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2 answers
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Collective Noun for Religious Implements

Is there a general term to describe the instruments used in Christian rituals like the mass? I am referring to cruets to hold the bread and wine, the paten, ciborium, chalice and the like.
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3 votes
3 answers
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Is there a word for the human tendency to be religious?

I am looking for a word that captures the Voltaire quote “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” There is the id, ego, and superego from Freud to describe the three tendencies in ...
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3 votes
4 answers
146 views

What is a word for adapting a god into a demi-god or saint?

There are words that describe elevating a person into the divine: apotheosis, divinization, and deification as nouns, and deify as a verb. In some religions, it is possible for a human to undergo ...
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2 votes
0 answers
47 views

Is the book title "God versus gods" grammatically incorrect?

I wrote a book entitled God versus Gods which depicts the struggle between the One God of Jewish Monotheism and the multiplicity of gods in the pagan/polytheistic ancient world. The prevailing rule in ...
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1 answer
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Qur'anic Studies: Meaning of the word "tooth" [closed]

In the meantime, Luxenberg has made two proposals that relate to the question of how the text was first written. First, he argues that the “Ur-Qur’an” sometimes used a single “tooth” as mater ...
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8 votes
3 answers
2k views

What does "hell's bells" refer to?

The expression "hell's bells" conveys anger, irritation, or surprise, according to CED, MW etc, but they do not explain the origin. Were there bells in hell? What is this in reference to?
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2 votes
2 answers
930 views

What is the meaning of the "narrow" road/path metaphor?

All my life, I've regularly heard phrases such as: Walk on the narrow road, never steering off into Hell! Don't listen to the Devil trying to lure you into his dark path! This, to me, metaphorically ...
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1 answer
81 views

Does this essay question have a grammar error?

Thank you for taking the time to answer this question. "Discuss the concept of religious belief social scientific perspectives addressing issues of societal change." Does this sentence make ...
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4 answers
140 views

Theism has words for I don't know, believe, or care. What about I have NO NEED for theism/gods? [closed]

Along the lines of Apatheist (I don't care), Atheist (I don't believe), Agnostic (I don't know)... Is there a neat little word expressing "I have no need for a god"?
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1 answer
355 views

Sodomy, but no "Gomorry"? [closed]

Sodom and Gomorrah are two cities in the Abrahamic religions that were destroyed by brimstone and fire for their sins. Even though English speakers use both cities historically as metaphors for sin ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Should I use [sic] when quoting the KJV 1611?

I am currently working on a project for my Grade 12 religion class, and it requires (surprise, surprise) Biblical quotations. I have decided to use the 1611 KJV Bible and quote verses with very ...
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0 answers
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Meaning of 'staging' in 'the Qur'an's staging, penetrating and eclipsing of Biblical tradition'

What's the meaning of the word staging in the following context? "The Qurʾān’s Staging, Penetrating and Eclipsing of Biblical Tradition" It's the address of a study conducted by Angelika Neuwirth.
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0 answers
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What does “occasion of sin” mean?

I am watching Grace and Frankie, S2:E9 in which Robert and John are talking to each other at a park. John asks him the reason for coming out the closet so late, to which Robert replies that he fell in ...
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Spongy green glass found on graves

In my childhood, there was a spongy (ie full of bubbles) glass of a pale-green shade which was placed covering the stone-bounded graves in more than one of the church grounds near me, is there a name ...
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0 votes
2 answers
496 views

A word for non-Christian equivalent of "chapel"? [closed]

Specifically, the part of a temple in which the equivalent of an altar is situated, also where the religious services are performed. I need this word for a fantasy novel I'm writing in which no real-...
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3 votes
1 answer
96 views

Religious names in index. How do you order and present? [closed]

I have a book that discusses Catholicism. I would like to know if there are any established resources that advise on listing religious names in indexes, where the norm is reversal of surnames and ...
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2 votes
2 answers
597 views

Word for the religious equivalent of 'demonym'

A demonym is a noun used to denote the natives or inhabitants of a particular country, state, city, etc. For example, Europeans are from Europe; the word "Europeans" is the demonym of "Europe". ...
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When is it appropriate to send Seasons Greetings?

During what time of the year is it appropriate to close semi-formal written conversation with "Season's Greetings"? Obviously sometime around December 25th, but how much in advance and how much past ...
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1 vote
0 answers
67 views

3 in 1 is a Trinity. What is 2 in 1, 4 in 1, 5 in 1, N in 1? [duplicate]

Background The use of the word "Trinity" occurs frequently in Catholicism when referring to God's nature, 3 persons in 1 God. What words would describe a being that is 2 persons, 4 persons, 5 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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What is the most appropriate word to describe the phenomenon of many church bells ringing concurrently?

Usually in celebration of a wedding or Christmas morning? Although I know I've read a word that describes this event exactly, I can't recall where or when. I've polled some pals and gotten "jubilee ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What does it mean if someone says they are "blessed"? [closed]

If Person X says that they're "blessed", does this have to imply that they believe they've received a blessing from some higher power? Or could it just mean they feel "fortunate" or even just happy ...
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29 votes
6 answers
14k views

Why is it "came back from the dead" and not "came back from the death"?

Many times now, I've heard native English speakers (from the USA and Canada) say "he came back from the dead" instead of "from the death" when they mean resurrection. Dead is not a noun, so I don't ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Is it acceptable to call teachings such as "How to behave as a Muslim" a science? If not, what should we call them in English?

In the Muslim world, it is very popular to call the teachings of the religion a science. As we all know, the God and resurrection cannot be proven or rejected in a lab or through scientific methods. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
142 views

What are the etymological origins of the names Muhammad, Jesus and Buddha? [closed]

Muhammad, Jesus and Buddha are names today strongly connected with the religions these guys founded. So obviously they were not derived from their respective religions. So what did these names signify ...
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2 votes
3 answers
3k views

Which is correct: "eucharistic" or "Eucharistic"? Or is there no hard rule? [closed]

Recently I have been writing a question at https://christianity.stackexchange.com. I have noticed that browser underlines word "eucharistic". As I am neither English nor catholic, I do not know any ...
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2 votes
3 answers
760 views

The belief that a god is human-like

What is the word that means someone who believes a deity has a recognizable human form and personality? Usually, these personality traits are virtuous but they can also mimic man's weaknesses and ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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How do I write (not cite) Bible verses in MLA format?

For in-text MLA citations of the Bible, everything I've seen says to write the following: Saint John tells us that "God so loved the world that he sent his only-begotten Son" (Revised Standard ...
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1 vote
1 answer
72 views

Word order in the Hail Mary prayer

Part of the Hail Mary reads Blessed art thou among women, And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, etc. I have some intuitive sense that putting the adjective first accomplishes something subtle but ...
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3 votes
1 answer
216 views

Word that refers to efforts by people of all religions to develop closer relationships and better understandings

I am looking for a word like ecumenical: Ecumenism refers to efforts by Christians of different Church traditions to develop closer relationships and better understandings. Wikipedia What I want ...
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1 vote
1 answer
60 views

Specific adjective to qualify a religion

I am looking for a word to describe a religion which is flexible or liberal enough to accept a variety of folk beliefs, magical practices, other demons etc. The author (translator) of the text which ...
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2 votes
1 answer
221 views

Why and how did "Shinto shrine" largely replace "Shinto temple"?

According to ngrams, "Shinto shrine" and "Shinto temple" were roughly equal in popularity until the 1930s, but nowadays, "Shinto shrine" is roughly 9 or 10 times more common than "Shinto temple", ...
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10 votes
7 answers
1k views

Better alternative for Mythology

On Hinduism Stackexchange, we have mythology a most popular tag. Since the word can have two different meanings i.e somewhat ambiguous nature, users often raise discussion on meta to rename or remove ...
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1 vote
2 answers
459 views

"Polishing Saint-in-the-Box"?

I'm reading St. Lucy's School for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell. I haven't been able to figure out exactly what "Saint-in-the-Box" means (I googled it) in the following: 'Does Mirabella ...
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0 votes
1 answer
380 views

Query about C.E./A.D. and B.C./B.C.E

I know the difference between A.D./B.C. and C.E./B.C.E. in terms of the religious accuracy i.e. that Christ was probably born in 4 B.C., what I don't understand is how this affects the C.E./B.C.E. ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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What does 'lift up' mean in a religious context?

I came across this tweet from Sen Rob Portman from Ohio, referring to the death of Otto Warmbier, His passing today is a loss for Ohio and for all of us. Jane and I are lifting up the Warmbier ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Equivalent Metonymy of "The Crown" for the Pope and Papacy

I'm writing about the English Reformation-era split allegiance to the king and pope, and I want to write a sentence comparing allegiance to "The Crown" to the equivalent metonym for the papacy. I ...
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12 votes
7 answers
2k views

Can you use the word atheistic to describe a lack of belief towards one specific religion?

I don't believe in any deities. Therefore I am an atheist. But if I were to just express that I don't believe in say Zeus, would it be correct to say "I am atheistic towards Zeus"? Take a person who ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Word for applying heavenly arguments to terrestrial issues

Is there a word for the process of applying heavenly-derived arguments to terrestrial issues? For example, "John Doe argues against abortion because his Catholic faith says it's wrong. John's ...
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2 votes
1 answer
536 views

What does "cease to be never" means?

The line is from a translation of Bhagavad Gita by Sir Edwin Arnold: Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never; Never was time it was not; End and Beginnings are dreams! .......
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6 votes
1 answer
183 views

Word for the perception that the majority of people thinks about something the same way they do

So for example, supposing that I believed in God then because of my own belief I would assume that most people everywhere necessarily also believe in God. Kind of bias in the thought because of one’s ...
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1 vote
1 answer
346 views

Generic word for religious establishment

I need a word to describe any community that is religious. For example, a Church Group or Temple Youth Group. Would Religous Institution be correct? Edit: As single word would probably be impossible, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
149 views

Is *holy*, used sarcastically, potentially offensive? [closed]

Do I need to replace holy with sacred in the following formal writing, because a Christian reader might take offense? The poor survey design and irresponsible use of the results left the parents ...
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1 vote
2 answers
3k views

If "thy" is an informal pronoun, then why does The Lord's Prayer use it to refer to God? [duplicate]

The commonly used version of this Christian prayer comes from the King James Bible 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come,...
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5 votes
4 answers
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What do you call one who believes in a higher power but doesn't call it "God"? [closed]

What do you call a person who believes in a higher power but doesn't call that higher power "God"? Someone who respects every religion as a subject of study, or a valid belief system, but does not ...
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3 votes
3 answers
498 views

Word for religious supernatural?

The term supernatural often refers to things like ghosts, magic powers or special abilities, or a general sort of "magic". I was wondering if there is a specific word for the supernatural within a ...
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0 votes
2 answers
1k views

"Eye of the Needle" Joke in Supply-Side Jesus

"It is easier for a rich man to enter heaven seated comfortably on the back of a camel than it is for a poor man to pass through the eye of a needle," is a funny inversion of "Matthew 19:24" from Al ...
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1 vote
2 answers
257 views

Does "Period of Continence" mean the same as "Prescribed waiting period"?

If you are acquainted with Islamic Sharia (law), you may have come across the term "iddah" (the period a woman must observe after the death of her spouse or after a divorce, during which she may not ...
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2 votes
2 answers
664 views

Is nationalism specifically secular?

Does the word nationalism specifically imply a feeling of kindred superiority in a secular sense? For instance, if country X opposes themselves to country Y based on religious practice or reasons, ...
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13 votes
12 answers
6k views

"God's own country"

According to Collins-Robert English-French Dictionary by Beryl T. Atkins, Alain Duval, and Rosemary C. Milne, ed. 1985, manufactured in the United States of America by Rand McNally & Company, (US)...
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