Religious terms starting
with the letters "Ia" to "Inf"
I Ching: A Chinese technique of predicting the future, based on
a book by the same name -- one of the five foundational books of
Confucianism. Yellow stocks or rods are cast in order to select one of 64
hexagrams (patterns of six lines which may be broken or continuous).
Idol: This has two main meanings:
A drawing, statue, or other representation of an item in heaven
or earth, that is used for worship.
Anything in life that takes a position of priority over one's
relationship with God.
Idolatry: From the Greek: worship of a false god.
Iftar: A Muslim term referring to a meal eaten at
sunset that breaks a fast.
Ignosticism: The belief that the question of whether God exists is meaningless, because there is no unambiguous definition of the term "God." The term was coined in the 1960s by Sherwin Wine, a rabbi and a founding figure of Humanistic Judaism.
Igtheism: The opinion that belief in a metaphysical, transcendent being is incoherent and unintelligible. The term was coined by the secular humanist Paul Kurtz in his 1992 book The New Skepticism.
Ihram: A white seamless garment worn by male Muslims during the hajj
-- a pilgrimage to Mecca. It is normally in two pieces: one is wrapped around
the waist, and the other is draped over the left shoulder.
An acronym for Isis, Horus, and Seb -- the Egyptian trinity
consisting of the Mother, the Child and the Father.
The first three letters of the name Iesus, the Greek version of
Illuminati: (a.k.a. the enlightened ones)
A group or individual who claim to be unusually enlightened.
A secret philosophical and political society established by Adam
Weishaupt in Germany in 1776. They promoted free thought and democracy.
A game involving trading cards.
A sinister organization believed to consist of evil men who control
world finances, and whose goal is world domination through world
government. Many consider this group to be non-existent.
Iman: A Muslim term meaning belief
Imam: A Muslim term for a national leader or the leader of worship
in a mosque.
Imitatio Dei: A Latin term for "imitation of the Gods." Taking on
godly values. Expressed in:
Leviticus 19:2: "Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy."
Matthew 5:48: "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly
Father is perfect."
Immaculate Conception: The belief that before the birth of Mary (the mother of
Jesus) was born, she was preserved from original sin at the time of her
conception, circa 20 BCE. It is
widely but incorrectly believed to refer to Jesus' conception, circa 5 to 8
Immanence: the concept that God is very much associated with creation, is
all-present in the world, and is close to believers.
Baptists and some other Christian groups generally translate the
Greek words baptizo and baptisma as implying the total immersion of a
convert during baptism.
Many other Christian denominations believe that the words can also
imply washing, without any specific description of the method. Thus, a
baptism by sprinkling is biblically valid.
Imminence: the belief that an event is about to occur in the
near future. e.g. the Second Coming.
Immorality: Behavior which transgresses a given system of
morals; incorrect behavior. Liberal and conservative Christians differ in
many matters over what is moral, even though both sincerely believe that
their positions are biblically based. Moral standards change over time,
even within a given religious group. Church schisms were common in the mid
19th century over slavery because parts of a denomination considered
slavery to be profoundly immoral, while other believers believed that it
was condoned, regulated and accepted by the Bible. Major moral shifts over
the past 150 years have involved slavery, inoculation of children, birth
control, abortion, sexism, racial segregation, discipline of children
through the use of pain, and homophobia.
God has traditionally been considered to be immortal, there having
been no point at which he has not existed.
Humans who have been saved have traditionally been considered to be
immortal in that they will continue to exist in Heaven after death.
Most Christian groups teach that the unsaved are also immortal in
that they will continue to exist in Hell for all eternity after death.
Other faith groups teach annihilationism.
Imprecation: A curse that invokes evil on one or more persons.
Imprecatory prayer: To pray to God asking him to curse and bring
evil upon one or more persons. A biblical example is found in Psalms 109 when
Jeremiah was being slandered. He asked God to punish the slanderer. 1
Incarnation: The embodying of a spiritual entity in physical
form. Within Christianity: the concept that God became a man, Yeshua of
Nazareth (Jesus Christ) and dwelt
among other humans. This was rejected by the Gnostic Christians, the Ebionites and other Jewish Christians, but
accepted by Pauline Christians.
Inclusion: In general usage, inclusion means to allow people
into a group; i.e. excluding nobody. In relation to salvation, the "Gospel of Inclusion" means a belief that
everyone -- or almost everyone -- will be saved, will attain Heaven and avoid Hell. This is a heresy according to conservative Christians, and an accurate interpretation of
the Bible according to liberal Christians. 4
Inclusivism: The recognition that
ones belief system is
the only true and valid one. Beliefs of other religions contain some
truth, and their followers are deserving of respect, even though those
beliefs might be in conflict
with one's own view of the truth. Opposing beliefs are exclusivism and pluralism. More
Incubus: (Plural: Incubi)
A male demon who would visit sleeping women at night and engage
in sexual activity. This belief was commonly held during the late Middle
Ages and Renaissance. There were also female demons, called succubi who
were believed to visit men.
Inology: The study of the history, literature, culture, and religions of India.
Indulgence: Originally an ancient practice by which a person could pay money to
the church or do a good deed and obtain remission of the temporal
punishment in Purgatory due to sin. After the Protestant Reformation, cash no longer
became an acceptable way to obtain an indulgence.
Inerrant: When applied to a sacred
text like the Bible, inerrancy is
the belief that, as originally written, its
contents are infallible, totally free of error and totally authoritative. Many religions,
particularly their conservative wings, believe in the inerrancy of their particular sacred texts and deny the inerrancy of the texts of other religions. However, the concept of inerrancy is weakened when multiple, contrasting and conflicting meanings can be derived from the same passage. It is also weakened when the clear meaning of some passages differ from that of other passages. There are many passages that appear ambiguous because different intelligent, thoughtful, sincere, competent theologians derive confilicting meanings from them. There are also many passages which such theologians find in conflict.
Inerrancy, limited: This is thebelief that the Bible is
only inerrant on matters of moral, spiritual and religious truth. That is,
biblical passages that describes cosmology, origins of life, the Earth and
the rest of the universe, place names, some events, etc. are not necessarily
When applied to a sacred text like the Bible, infallible means that the text is fully trustworthy. i.e. it does not deceive
the reader into falsehood. There are problems
with this concept, because even within the conservative wing of
Christianity, Bible experts reach many different conclusions about divorce, hell, the millennium, Book of Revelation, and creation/evolution, etc. Since these theologians' beliefs are mutually exclusive, most must be
wrong. Since they were all derived from the Bible, the concept of
biblical infallibility is suspect.
Within the Roman Catholic Church, the belief that the pope can speak
on matters of faith and morals without error. This belief was
promulgated in 1870. The pope stripped Hans Küng
of his credentials as a teacher of Catholic theology, largely because of
his questioning of the doctrine of Papal infallibility.
Infidel: a person who does not believe in your particular religion, denomination
or religious tradition. Similar to "Unbeliever" but more of a "snarl"
word. The Anti-Religion Shoppe at Cafe Press sell T-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, baseball caps, etc. with the definition "INFIDEL: One
who does not believe in your God." See http://www.cafepress.com
Everyone is an infidel. Nobody believes in everyone else's version of a god, a goddess, multiple gods, multiple goddesses, or patheon of deities.