Introducing World Religions:
The eBook

Introducing World Religions Online:
Comprehensive Glossary of Terms

Term Definition

Fon term for the orisha associated with divination, who is known also as Ifá.


Prophet Muḥammad's daughter who married ٔAlī, and gave birth to Ḥasan and Ḥusayn.

Five Classics

Five ancient texts that became foundational texts in the Confucian tradition: Book of Odes, Book of Rites, Book of History, Spring and Autumn Annals and Book of Changes.

Five Ks

Articles worn by members of the Sikh Khālsā: keś (uncut hair), kanghā (comb), kaccha (men's undergarment), kaṛā (steel bracelet), kirpān (sword, dagger).

Five Pillars of Islam

Five key rituals performed by Muslims: proclaiming the creed, prayer, social welfare tax, fasting, and pilgrimage.

Four Books

Four texts that became the basis for the Chinese Confucian civil service examination from 1313 to 1905: Analects, Book of Mencius, Great Learning and Doctrine of the Mean.

Four Noble Truths

Gautama Buddha's key teaching, which speak of suffering, the causes of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the path to the cessation of suffering.

four opponent powers

Four Buddhist ways to minimize the effects of negative karma: take refuge, confess, apply an antidote, and vow not to repeat the act.

four valleys

Metaphor used by Bahá’u’lláh to describe the process of coming to see the Unseen according to these Arabic words that describe aspects of God: (1) Intended One (maqṣūd), (2) Praiseworthy One (maḥmūd), (3) Attracting One (majdhūb), and (4) Beloved (maḥbūb).

Francis of Assisi

(1181 or 1182-1226) Christian saint known for his ability to communicate with birds, who founded a type of Roman Catholic spiritual community outside of the monastic setting.


 In the Zoroastrian religion, the restoration or freshening of the cosmos after 12,000 years of finite time.


A key Zoroastrian symbol of a figure whose upper is a bearded man, and whose lower is a bird with outstretched wings.


A spiritual being in the Zoroastrian religion who serves as a feminine guardian spirit.

Fu Xi, Shen Nong, and Huang-di

Ancient Chinese culture Heroes, traditionally said to date from the third millennium BCE.

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