Just the facts on religion.

Glossary of Religion

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Random Terms

Allah
Strict monotheism. One God (Allah in Arabic); the same God revealed (imperfectly) in the Jewish and Christian Bibles
aureole
A halo that surrounds a sacred figure's whole body.
dhyana mudra
Buddhist hand gesture representing meditation.
Godhead
Mormon concept of God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost as three individual beings who are united in purpose.
Hanukkah
(Hebrew, "dedication"). Also spelled Chanukah. An eight-day holiday beginning on 25 Kislev (mid-December) that commemorates the revolt of the Maccabees in 164 BCE and the miraculous oil that burned for eight days.
lotus
The flower that is rooted in the mud but blooms pristinely above the water represents non-attachment to the world in Hinduism and Buddhism.
mantra
Sacred sound believed to possess supernatural powers.
mezuzah
(Hebrew, "doorpost"). Small parchment of Torah verses placed on the doorpost of Jewish homes in obedience to Deut. 6:9.
mitzvot
(Hebrew "commandments"). Commandments; religious actions (singular mitzvah). Sometimes used more generally to refer to any good deed.
parasol
Buddhist symbol of royalty and spiritual power.
swastika
(Sanskrit svastika, "all is well") Ancient symbol of good fortune and well-being, with a variety of uses and meanings in Hinduism, Buddhism and many other faiths.
tallit
(also spelled talit; Yiddish tallis; plural talitot) A prayer shawl worn by Jews during weekday morning services, on the Sabbath, and on holidays.
Tanakh
(acronym for Torah, Nevi'im and Ketuvim). The Jewish Bible.
Tibetan Book of the Dead
A text that describes in detail the stages of death from the Tibetan point of view.
treasure vase
Buddhist symbol of spiritual and material wealth, abundance, and good fortune.
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.
varada mudra
Buddhist hand gesture representing "boon-granting."
Vesak
The birthday of the Buddha and the most important festival in Buddhism, celebrated in May.
zakat
Almsgiving. One of the Five Pillars of Islam.
Zohar
The major text of the Kabbalah movement.

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