Glossary of Religion Exam 2

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Wakan Tonka
The Great Mystery. The name for the "High God" of the Plains Indian tribes.
Creator of the universe in ancient Egyptian mythology. The only true god, represented by the sun. His worship (Atenism) was instituted as the basis for the mostly monotheistic — in fact, monistic — religion of Amenhotep IV, who took the name Akhenaten.
wife to Akhenaten.
husband to Nefertiti. Used to be named Amenhotep IV, but renamed himself Akenaten. His revolutionary new religion was the world's 1st true monotheism.
Feather of Truth
The feather came from the headdress of Maat, goddess of Truth and Measure. Maat's feather is used to weigh the hearts of the dead.
Eye of Horus
son of Isis and Osiris. A falcon-headed man, wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. Horus lost his eye in war with Set, but it was magically restored by Hathor. The "Eye of Horus" is now a protective symbol of healing.
Re (Ra)
sun god
patron god of scribes, doctors, architects, scientists, astronmers. He invented writing.
"complete flux." Wheel of birth and death.
To worship god through devotional love.
The Vedas
thousands of memorized hymns. The 4 most ancient scriptures of the Hindus, whose name means "Knowledge of wisdom."
the Sanskrit term for the primordial essence ("soul") of an individual.
an incarnation of Vishnu.
pursuit of release from endless reincarnations.
"He is well" (or "It is is well") sign of auspiciousness and good luck from ancient India.
The Divine as Destroyer/Transformer.
a manifestation of Durga - a fierce, destroying mother-goddess. She represents time, death, and infinity - the destruction of all limits.
God in the role of creator.
The most populat god. The Divine as Preserver/Sustainer. His most famous incarnations are Krishna, Rama, and Buddha (according to some).
Elephant-headed god. "Remover of Obstacles."
Bhagavad Gita
"Song of the Lord." A portion of the Mahabharata, revered by nearly all Hindus.
sacred sounds.
Yantras, sacred visual forms. Symbols.
the Absolute Divine Reality. The absolute, impersonal, unimaginable reality.
ancient sacred script of India, also called Devanagari ("language of the gods")
Indus River Valley
site of urban/agricultural advanced civilization, the Dravidians, 3000 BC.
"Way of the Elders" Earliest form of Buddhism, now practiced mostly in Southeast Asia
"extinguished" ultimately undefinable: the liberated state of non-attachment (no craving or aversion to anything that appears)
The Three Marks of Existence
No eternal self
The Buddhist doctrine of Interdependent Origination
"Everything is everything." All forms and processes give rise to and support each other in a seamless continuum, meaning there is no such thing, fundamentally, as "independence."
an englightened being (in other words, a Buddha) who remains on earth or reincarnates in order to save all sentient beings.
Four Noble Truths
1. All life is suffering.
2. The case of suffering is craving.
3. There is a way out of suffering.
4. The way out of suffering is through the Eightfold Path.
Breakthrough, epiphany, "Aha!" moment in Zen.
fellowship, community of persons on the path. One of the Three Refuges (aka Three Jewels).
cause and effect.
Lao Tzu
lived in 6th century BC. Possibly is a legendary (non-historical) figure. Wrote the Tao Teh Ching. "Old Man."
Tao Teh Ching
the main text of Taoism.
Yin and yang
Yin principle is female, yang is male. A cosmic dynamic harmony.
Confucian ideal of "fellow-feeling" - humaneness and empathy.
reciprocity. "Don't impose on others what you yourself do not desire."
The Analects
collection of teachings and writings.
the Chinese book of oracles associated with Confucious. It predates the earliest writings and sages of China. It is a representation and guide to the fundamental flows and currents of the universe.
Ahura Mazda
Wise Lord in Zoroastrianism. High God over all the godlings.
central and most important document of Judaism revered by Jews through the ages. Written in Hebrew by Moses. Five books.
the anointed one.
Emperor Constantine of Rome
changed his religion to Christianity and changed the state religion of Rome to Christianity as well. This caused Christianity to spread all over.
patriarch of both Judiasm and Islam.
the Prophet Muhammad's first wife (and only wife for 25 years, until her death)
literally "the God" the Judeo-Christian-Islamic god. Arabic-speaking Christians in the Middle East pray to God by the name Allah.
cube at the center of Mecca.
"pilgrimage." All Muslims are expected to make at least one pilgrimage to the kaaba in the city of Mecca (in Saudi Arabia). If you are extremely poor or in bad health, you're excused.
Islamic religious law. The Hadith and the Quran form the twin basis of moral, social, and spiritual guidance in the life of every Muslim. Both contribute to the establishment and interpretation of the Shari'a.
"Happenings" are reports of the Prophet Muhammad's sayings and doings.
"The Recitation" the Holy Word of Allah. Revelations received by Muhammad.
the Fourth of the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs. First cousin of Muhammad. He married Fatima, Muhammad and Khadija's daughter.

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