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Glossary of spiritual and religious terms

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Note: Conservative Christian faith groups often define terms very differently than other faith groups and secular movements. The former are shown in italics in this section.


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Using religious terms:

bullet Religious words, terms, phrases and symbols with multiple (often unrelated) meanings
bullet Differences in the definitions of terms used by Evangelicals and by others
bullet Using religious terms in essays, reports, etc.
bullet Using secular terms in essays, reports, etc. about "hot" religious topics.

Other glossaries of religious terms on the Internet:

bullet Asatru terms: and
bullet Atheist terms:
bullet Buddhist terms:
bullet A glossary of Mahayana & Tibetan Buddhism terms:
bullet Christian terms:
bullet Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):
bullet Counter-cult Movement:
bullet Episcopalian:
bullet Episcopal/Anglican:
bullet Evangelical Christian:
bullet Mennonite terms:
bullet Orthodox Christianity:
bullet Orthodox liturgical terms: (at bottom of page)
bullet Roman Catholic:
bullet Gnostic terms:
bullet Hindu terms:
bullet Islamic terms: and
bullet Jewish terms:, and
bullet Metaphysical terms:
bullet Religion and Society at:
bullet Scientology and Dianetics terms:
bullet Sikh terms: and
bullet Vampire/Vampyre terms
bullet Wiccan terms:
bullet Zen terms: and
bullet Zoroastrian terms:

The Glossarist has a list of hyperlinks to -- at last count -- 76 religious glossaries and dictionaries at:

The Religious Newswriters Association maintains a religion stylebook at:

Specialist glossaries on this website:

bullet Terms related to Satanic Ritual Abuse
bullet Terms related to human sexuality
bulletTerms related to being transgender, transsexualism, and gender identity:
bullet Words beginning with A to S
bullet Words beginning from T to Z

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

  1. Jim Lawless, "Total Depravity" at: 
  2. Karen Armstrong, "The Battle for God," Knopf, (2000). This book studies Fundamentalism in Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store 
  3. David Levinson, "Religion: A cross-cultural dictionary," Oxford University Press, (1998). Read reviews or order this book
  4. The "World Wide Encyclopedia of Christianity" is available online at:

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Copyright 2003 to 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2003-JAN-28
Latest update: 2016-MAR-21
Author: B.A. Robinson

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