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Glossary of religious and spiritual terms

Words and phrases
starting with the letters "Ti"
to "Tre"

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See the preceeding list for words beginning with Ta to Th
and the following list for words beginning with Tri to Tz

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bullet Tikkun olam: A Jewish term usually translated as "repairing the world." First used by Isaac Luria, a Cabbalist from the 16th century. It describes the obligation of a Jews to do good works, promoting peace, understanding, and help for the hungry, homeless and oppressed.
bullet Tithe: The practice of donating 10% of one's income to the church. "Triple Tithing" is also used; it consists of 13% of one's income, donated according to a specified schedule.

Tolerance, General: The willingness to grant to other people equal rights and freedom from persecution and oppression, irrespective of their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, language, nationality, language, ability status, marital status, etc.



Tolerance, Religious: This very important term unfortunately has multiple, very different, meanings.

  • Conservative Christians often believe that it involves the belief:
    • That all religions are the same, and/or
    • That all religions are equally true, and/or
    • That all religions are simply different paths to God.

  • Others define religious tolerance as:
    • Valuing the human right of other people to freely hold religious beliefs which are different from your own, without oppression or persecution, and the right to change their religion at any time. This is the meaning that we use in this web site.

With such different definitions for the same term, dialog between conservative Christians and others on this topic is almost impossible.

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bullet Tongues, speaking in: See glossolilia.
bullet Torah: From the Hebrew word for "teaching" or "law." The Torah, (a.k.a. Pentateuch, or the Law) are the first 5 books of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Most conservative Christians and Jews believe that they were written mainly or entirely by Moses. There is a near consensus among other theologians that they were written and edited by many persons or groups of persons over a period of many centuries.
bullet Total inability: Alternative description of the first of the The Five Points of Calvinism: the belief that it is impossible for the ordinary "natural" human to understand the Gospel's message. They are spiritually helpless. First, God must first decide to intervene in the form of the third personality within the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, the person is lost.
bullet Total depravity: This is the first of the The Five Points of Calvinism: the belief that as a result of Adam and Eve's disobedience to God -- the Fall of Man -- sin has extended to all parts of every person's being: "his thinking, his emotions and his will."
bullet Touch for health: See Therapeutic Touch.
bullet Touch therapy: See Therapeutic Touch.
bullet Tractarianism: Synonym for Anglo Catholicism.
bullet Tradition: a term used by Neopagans to indicate the group that is being referred to. It is analogous to "denomination" in Christianity.
bullet Traditional marriage: The union of one man and one women to the exclusion of all others, freely entered into. Most of the eight family and marriage types mentioned in the Bible do not represent natural marriage. The term is typically used by individuals and groups opposed to same-sex marriage who wish to keep marriage as a special privilege offered only to opposite-sex couples.

Traditionalism: In a religious sense:

  • The belief that, after death, unsaved people will  be tormented for all eternity of time in Hell without hope of mercy or relief. This contrasts with:
    • Annihilationism (a.k.a. conditionalism  and conditional immortality) which teaches that these individuals spend only an interval of time being tortured in Hell; they are then exterminated and cease to exist, and
    •  Universalism which teaches that all will be saved and attain Heaven.

  • The belief that one is unable to learn fundamental metaphysical, moral or religious truths through the use of reason. It is must be an act of faith based on revelation.
bullet Traditionalism: the concept that deity is remote from the world and the rest of the universe.
bullet Transcendence: Being beyond the limits of all human experience and knowledge.
bullet Transference of the Holy Spirit: The concept that a person can transfer or impart a blessing to another person, often by physical contact, as in the laying on of hands. In some Christian denominations, it is believed that one Christian can transfer either demons or the Holy Spirit to another person by the laying on of hands.
bullet Transferability of sin: A concept, supported by numerous biblical examples, in which the responsibility and punishment for sinful actions of one person can be ethically transferred to an innocent person. This is one of the foundational themes taught throughout the Bible, but one that is rarely acknowledged today. A logical corollary of the transferability of sin is that the innocent person can be punished for the behavior that they did not commit. This concept, considered immoral by all world religions, naturally leads to the idea of collective responsibility.

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bullet Transfiguration:
bullet In Christianity, this refers to the transfiguration of Jesus as described in three of the gospels: Mark 9:2-13, Matthew 17:1-13, and Luke 9:28-36. Jesus climbed Mount Tabor with three of his disciples, and was joined by Moses and Elija. All three appeared clothed in dazzling white. Luke records how God's voice came from the cloud, saying "This is my chosen Son; listen to him." 1

bullet In the Harry Potter series of books for children, transfiguration refers to the use of magic to change the appearance of an object - e.g. from a toothpick to a needle.
bullet Transgender: An individual whose feelings of gender identity do not match the gender that they were assigned at birth. Some feel that they are female trapped in a male body, or vice-versa. Therapy has had little or no success in trying to harmonize the persons perceived and biological genders.
bullet Transhumanism: This is not a religious or ethical term. We have included it only because some people might confuse it with Humanism. Transhumanism is " international intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of new sciences and technologies to enhance human mental and physical abilities. They hope to eventually eliminate disease, aging and death." 2 Potential technologies include virtual reality, gene therapy, space colonization, autonomous robotics, molecular manufacturing, etc.

bullet Transmigration of the Soul: The Hindu belief that at death, a person's soul is reborn into another living entity. Often, this is a new human. But if the individual has accumulated a negative balance of Karma, they may return as an animal. This term is often confused with Reincarnation.
bullet Transphobia: Any attitude, action or institutional structure which systematically treats an individual or group of individuals differently because of their gender identity or their perceived gender identity. See also colorism, homophobia, racism, religism, sexism, shadeism, and transphobia for other forms of bigotry. The most common forms of transphobia in North America is discrimination against transgender persons and transsexuals in employment, accommodation, ordination, church membership, and church leadership. A secondary meaning of transphobia is fear or loathing of persons with a specific gender identity.
bullet Transsexual: An individual who is severely distressed by a conflict between their assigned birth gender, and their personal feelings of their actual gender. There is no standardized definition of "transsexual;" however it is often used to refer to a transgender persons who is planning or has gone through gender reassignment surgery and hormone treatment.
bullet Transubstantiation: The belief, held by Roman Catholics, that during the Lord's Supper, the Holy Spirit transforms the wafer and wine into the actual body and blood -- and sometimes the soul and divinity -- of Jesus without changing the wafer's color, shape, size, texture, or any other physical property.
bullet Treyf, Treif, Trayf, Treyf, or Tref: A word in Yiddish that refers to a type of food that is not kosher. That is, it does not meet the requirement of Jewish food law.

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See the preceeding list for words beginning with Ta to Th
and the following list for words beginning with Tri to Tz

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References used: 

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Transfiguration," at:
  2. "Transhumanism," Wikipedia, at:

Copyright 1996 to 2016by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally published on: 1996-MAR-11
Last update: 2016-DEC-26
Author: B.A. Robinson
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