Introducing World Religions:
The eBook

Introducing World Religions Online:
Comprehensive Glossary of Terms

Term Definition


A Zoroastrian "tower of silence" where corpses are taken to be devoured by vultures.


ay, road, path; term used in Chinese traditions for the way of the universe.

 Dao de jing

Chinese Daoist classic attributed to Lao-zi, also known as the Lao-zi.


View, perspective; name given to any of six schools of Hindu sacred science; in Hindu devotional theism "taking" this refers to seeing and being seen by a holy person or deity.

Dasam Granth

A Sikh holy book attributed to Gobind Siṅgh, the Tenth Gurū (although scholars debate the authorship of some parts).


The first Israelite king (d. 900s BCE), who made Jerusalem into the capital.

Day of ٔĀshūrā’

Name of the holy day on the tenth of Muḥarram (the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar) during which the Shīٔah recall al-Ḥusayn's martyrdom.

Day, Dorothy

(1897-1980) American Christian who started a publication called The Catholic Worker and sought promote the social teachings of Christ to benefit the poor and members of the working class.


Power or virtue; term used in Chinese traditions for the moral force that brings social and cosmic influence.

definition of religion

"A dynamic cultural complex with positive or negative impacts that stake a claim to legitimacy based on a foundational connection to reports of hierophany."


Shining one; general term for a god of the ancient Vedic religion, used later in Hindu tradition.


Name of a Hindu goddess; (non-capitalized) a general term for the goddess in Hindu tradition.


Universal law or duty; key concept in Jain, Buddhist and Hindu traditions, used with various emphases in each; Hindus focus on caste duty, while Buddhists and Jains focus on the notion of cosmic law; more generally; Buddha's teachings are called by this term, which is included as one of the Three Jewels.


Arabic term for "remembrance," used with reference to the Muslim contemplative practice of reciting the ninety-nine beautiful names of Allāh.


Protected people; people of the book (typically Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians) who may practice their faith in a Muslim country, under certain restrictions.


Meditation; any of eight high states of consciousness within saṃsāra reached through śamatha meditation; basic term used for buddhist meditation school, which includes Chan, Sŏn, Thiên, and Zen.


Dispersion; used with reference to Jews forced into exile after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 CE, and more broadly to Jews living outside the land of Israel, and other peoples dispersed outside of their native lands.


The "sky clad" community of Jains whose monks take a vow of nudity.


In the Christian scriptures, this term refers to Jesus' closest male followers; generally the term is used for followers of Jesus of Nazareth, past or present, and followers of other spiritual teachers.


Fortelling future events or interpreting current circumstances through ritual methods that make use of signs and frequently involve supernatural communications.


Divine sound; sound emitted from a Jain who attains to the highest knowledge.


Things that are wicked or deceitful according to Zoroastrian belief.

DRESTAT functions

Term used by our author for seven activities found in ritual and other cultural "performances," namely, donation, restoration, enactment, symbolization, transformation, accession, and transmission.


Suffering, dissatisfaction, alienation; Buddha's first Great Fact says this characterizes life before enlightenment.

For questions about your order or for technical support please send an e-mail.