Just the facts on religion.

Glossary of Religion

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

T'u-ti
Chinese place-god
tafsir
Branch of Islamic learning devoted to Qur'anic exegesis (interpretation).
talbiya
Ritual formula recited repeatedly during the Hajj. They are the words attributed to Ibrahim (Abraham) when he summoned all people to the pilgrimage to Mecca.
tallit
(also spelled talit; Yiddish tallis; plural talitot) A prayer shawl worn by Jews during weekday morning services, on the Sabbath, and on holidays.
Talmud
a collection of rabbinical writings that interpret, explain and apply the Torah scriptures
Tao
Central principle of Taoism and is highly influential throughout Chinese thought. It is the ultimate reality and the eternal principle. It has no characteristics, but contains within it all potentiality and all opposites. Thus yin and yang, yu and wu (being and not-being), and all other dual realities exist within the Tao.
tapas
("heat"). Self-discipline. One of the five niyamas.
taqiya
concealing one's faith under threat of persecution
(Japanese chado). Zen ritual to overcome ordinary consciousness.
Ten Commandments
Ten religious and moral laws that God gave the Israelites through Moses, as recorded in the book of Exodus.
Thargelia
Spring festival of Apollo.
thaumaturgus
(Greek, "wonder-working"). Title given to saints who have worked many miracles.
Crusades
(Lat. cruciata, "cross-marked") Wars fought against enemies of the Christian faith, primarily the Muslim Turks in the period 1095 to 1291, but later against other infidels and heretics.
The Fall
The disobedience of Adam and Eve described in Genesis 3 that resulted in ill effects for the remainder of humanity.
Great Schism
The division between Eastern and Western Christendom, which occurred in 1054 AD.
Qur'an
The sacred text of Islam, revealed to Muhammad over a 20-year period by the Angel Gabriel.
vase
In Buddhism, the vase symbolizes wealth, treasure, and good fortune.
Vedas
("knowledge"). Collection of Hindu scriptures regarded as sacred and authoritative by all Hindus.
Theotokos
(Greek, "God-bearer"). Title of the Virgin Mary in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, used from the time of Origen (early 3rd century) onwards as an affirmation of Christ's divinity.
Three Jewels
1. I take refuge in the Buddha 2. I take refuge in the dharma (truth or teachings) 3. I take refuge in the sangha (monastic community)
thurible
Container in which incense is burned.
Tibetan Book of the Dead
A text that describes in detail the stages of death from the Tibetan point of view.
tithing
The practice of giving a set amount of one's income, traditionally 10 percent, to a religious or governmental organization.
Transfiguration
Event described in Mark 9:2-8, Matthew 17:1-8, and Luke 9:28-36, in which Peter, James and John saw Jesus transformed into a glowing heavenly figure and talking with Elijah and Moses.
transubstantiation
The doctrine that the bread and wine of the Eucharist actually becomes the body and blood of Christ, although it continues to have the appearance of bread and wine. Transubstantiation was rejected in different degrees by the Reformers, but remains an important part of Catholic belief today.
treasury of merit
Doctrine in which certain saints performed more good works than was necessary to save them, and that this surplus can be applied to other believers in order to shorten purgatory. This was the logical basis for the sale of indulgences in the Middle Ages.
Trimurti
Hindu doctrine that Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva (Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer, respectively) are three forms of the Ultimate Reality. The doctrine developed around 1000 CE in an attempt to synthesize various sects. Today, the Trimurti continues to appear in temples, the vast majority of which are dedicated to Vishnu or Shiva.
Trinitarian monotheism
Holy Trinity = God the Father + God the Son + God the Holy Spirit
Trinity
The Christian conception of the one God as three persons: the God the Father, the Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
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.
triratna
Symbol representing the Triple Gem or Three Jewels of Buddhism
triumphant cross
Cross with an orb, representing Christ's reign over the world.

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