Just the facts on religion.

Glossary of Religion

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Five Pillars of Islam
(Arabic Arkan al-Islam, "pillars of Islam" or Arkan ud-Din, "pillars of the faith"). The five primary duties of every Muslim: profession of faith (shahada), ritual prayer (salat), fasting during Ramadan (sawm), pilgrimmage to Mecca (hajj) and charity (zakat). Fulfillment of these duties brings rewards on earth and in the afterlife.
Vesak
The birthday of the Buddha and the most important festival in Buddhism, celebrated in May.
varada mudra
Buddhist hand gesture representing "boon-granting."
vase
In Buddhism, the vase symbolizes wealth, treasure, and good fortune.
Lambeth Conferences
Conferences of Anglican bishops from around the world, first instituted in 1867.
Vishnu
("pervader"). Major deity and member of Hindu trinity with Brahma and Shiva. Seen as the preserver of the universe and embodiment of goodness and mercy. To Vaisnavites, Vishnu is the supreme deity (Isvara) who becomes incarnate in times of crisis and declining dharma. Vishnu is usually depicted standing, holding weapons, or reclining on a serpent.
Ganesha
("Lord of the hosts"). Also Ganesha, Vinayaka, Ekadanta, Lambodara, Siddhadata, Vighnaraja. God of wisdom and good fortune, represented with a pot belly and the head of an elephant. Ganesh has been one of the most popular Hindu gods since medieval times and is claimed by all sects as their own. As the remover of obstacles, he is invoked before religious ceremonies and worldly undertakings.
Tripitaka
(Sanskrit; Pali Tipitaka, "three baskets"). The collection of Buddha's teachings, in three sections: sutra, vinaya, and Abhidharma. They are the oldest collection of Buddhist teachings, written around the 3rd century BCE.
Responsa
a vast collection (thousands of volumes) of answers to specific questions on Jewish law
Greatest Name
One of the main symbols of the Bahá'í Faith, a calligraphized Arabic rendering of Yá Bahá'ul 'Abhá ("O Glory of the Most Glorious").
Eid Al-Fitr
("Feast of the Breaking of the Fast"). Holiday celebrated at the end of the month of Ramadan.
yantra
a geometrical diagram representing the universe
Great Dionysia
Festival of Dionysus in Athens.
Darshanas
Hindu philosophy manuals based on the Vedas.
stations of the cross
Series of 14 events in the Passion of Christ, beginning with his condemnation and ending with his body being laid in the tomb. The stations are a popular subject of public and private devotion in Catholicism, especially during Lent.
Brahman
("growth, expansion"). The impersonal Absolute, the unproduced Producer of all that is. In the Vedas, Brahman is the force behind the magical formulas. In the Upanishads it is the supreme, eternal principle behind the origin of the universe and of the gods. In Vedanta philosophy, it is the Self (atman) of all beings and knowledge of Brahman results in liberation (moksha).
Ten Commandments
Ten religious and moral laws that God gave the Israelites through Moses, as recorded in the book of Exodus.
Cassock
Ankle-length garment worn by clergy.
Allah
Strict monotheism. One God (Allah in Arabic); the same God revealed (imperfectly) in the Jewish and Christian Bibles
adoptionism
Doctrine that Jesus was fully human until God "adopted" him, or made him divine, at his baptism.

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