Xenophobia: Hatred or fear of persons of a
different nationality or ethnicity than one's own.
Xylolaters: Literally "wood worshipers." A disrespectful
term used to refer to Eastern Orthodox believers who revered images and
Yahweh: A vocalization. favored by most theologians, of the
tetragammaton -- the name of God ("JHWH") found throughout the
Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). An alternative pronunciation is Jehovah,
a popular name but one that was probably never used in ancient times.
Yana: A Sanskrit word meaning vehicle, or path. It is used in
Buddhism to refer toa school or tradition of Buddhist teaching. Some
group Buddhist traditions into two Yana: Theravada and Mahayana Vajrayana.
Others consider a part of Mahayana Buddhismcalled Vajrayana (a.k.a. Tantric Buddhism, Mantrayana, Tantrayana, Esoteric
Buddhism, or True Words Sect) to bea third Buddhist path.
Yarmulke: a Jewish head covering traditionally restricted to males. "...the Code
of Jewish Law says, 'It is forbidden to walk four cubits without a head
Synonym: kippah (also spelled "kippa")
Year-day theory: A theory in which a day in some passages of
biblical prophecy is held to be equal to a calendar year. This
relationship is stated in Numbers 14:34. The theory has found extensive
application in interpreting prophecies in Daniel and Revelation. It has
been used repeatedly to estimate the second coming of Christ; the answers
have always been wrong.
Yiddish: A language primarily used by Jews in Europe. It uses the
Hebrew alphabet, and includes a mixture of words from Hebrew, German and
other European languages.
Yin and yang: A Taoist belief that the universe is make up of
pairs of opposing forces, like male and female, positive and negative.
One's task is to harmonize these forces, both within one's body and in the
rest of the universe. A mythical "Yellow Emperor" wrote: ''The
principle of Yin and Yang is the foundation of the entire universe. It
underlies everything in creation. It brings about the development of
parenthood; it is the root and source of life and death it is found with
the temples of the gods...Heaven was created by the concentration of Yang,
the force of light, earth was created by the concentration of Yin, the
forces of darkness. Yang stands for peace and serenity; Yin stands for
confusion and turmoil. Yang stands for destruction; Yin stands for
conservation. Yang brings about disintegration; Yin gives shape to
Yoga: A Hindu method of learning that includes exercises,
breathing sequences and meditation. It is designed to aid in enlightenment. The exercise component of Yoga
is often practiced in the West as an aid to healthy living.
Yom Kippur: Hebrew for "Day of Atonement." The most important
annual day of observance in Judaism.
Yule: An ancient Celtic seasonal day of celebration at the time
of the winter solstice. Depending upon
the year, the solstice may fall on DEC-20 to 23. A popular minor Sabbat
(holy day) observed by Wiccans and other Neopagans.
Zealots: From the Greek phrase "to be enthusiastic." Originally, the name of a small group of Pharisees in
1st Century CE Judea who used terrorist tactics to
attack the occupying Roman Army. Their goal was religious and political
independence from Rome. The term has since evolved to refer to any extreme
radical religious group or individual.
Zen: A Japanese school of Buddhism which has become popular in
North America. It is similar to the Chinese school of Buddhism known as
Zionism: Derived from "Zion," an ancient Hebrew name for
Jerusalem. Zionism is a movement created during the 1860s and 1870s in
Europe to create a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine. Some religious
Zionists believe that this would fulfill biblical prophecy and trigger the
coming of the millennium and the arrival of the Messiah.
Zoroastrianism: This religion was
founded in ancient Persia, perhaps during the sixth and seventh
century BCE. Many scholars believe that numerous
religious concepts first appeared in Zoroastrianism, and were later
adopted by Judaism, and then Christianity. These include: heaven, hell,
resurrection of the body, the Messiah, final judgment, and the battle
of Armageddon. Once a religion with many followers, it currently only
has about 200,000 members; most live in Iran and India.