Introducing World Religions:
The eBook

Introducing World Religions Online:
Comprehensive Glossary of Terms

Term Definition

Old Avestan

Extinct ritual language in which the original hymns of Zarathushtra were composed.

Old Testament

The portion of Christian scripture that was adopted from Judaic tradition; basically equivalent to the Tanakh.


A racist attitude that lumps all peoples of the "orient" (East) together without distinguishing their specific characteristics. (Edward Said's term.)


Spiritual beings of the indigenousYoruba tradition of West Africa, and related traditions such as Candomblé, Santeria, Umbanda, Vodoun and others.

Orisha Child

A Candomblé initiate who has been "mounted" by an orisha, and become certified to help people through the medium of the orisha that has "called" her or him.

Otto, Rudolph

(1869-1937) Christian theologian who developed the notions of mysterium tremendum and mysterium fascinans with reference to a person's experience of the Holy.

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