One possible interpretation traced to Ciceroconnects lego read, i. The definition of religio by Cicero is cultum deorum, "the proper performance of rites in veneration of the gods. Augustinefollowing the interpretation given by Lactantius in Divinae institutiones, IV,
Baltic religion, religious beliefs and practices of the Baltsancient inhabitants of the Baltic region of eastern Europe who spoke languages belonging to the Baltic family of languages. The study of Baltic religion Problems The study of Baltic religion has developed as an offshoot of the study of Baltic languages—Old Prussian, Latvian, and Lithuanian see Baltic languages.
These form a separate group—the oldest one—of the Indo-European languageswhich are closely related to the ancient Indian language Sanskrit.
Although the study of Baltic languages is important in the study of Indo-European linguistics, the study of Baltic religion has not assumed a similar level of importance in the study of comparative religion.
In it was shown that the religious concepts of the Balts, when compared with those of other European peoples, are found to be marked by many older features that agree with Vedic ancient Indian and Iranian ideas.
At least one scholarly reconstruction of ancient Indo-European religion depended mainly on Baltic religious traditions. International research in Baltic religion has, however, been greatly hindered by the fact that the languages of these small Baltic countries Latvia and Lithuania are but little known and because Baltic scholars have been able to work in this field only relatively recently.
Thus, a comprehensive review of Baltic religion is possible only on the express understanding that many findings Explain how the characteristics of religion only hypothetical and require further research. But, as will be seen below, even under these circumstances Baltic religious concepts help greatly in understanding the formation and structure of the oldest phases of Indo-European religion.
Sources of data There are four main sources of data, each with its own relevance and each requiring its own specific methodology: Since the last half of the 19th century, archaeological material has furnished much information about burial and sacrificial rites.
The remains of sacred buildings have also been found. This material is of special interest in that it corroborates old religious traditions preserved by folklore, which gives added reliability to both of these sources.
But archaeological material can at best furnish only a partial and incomplete picture, even though it is meaningful in some respects. Historical documents, already partially compiled and published, could be expected to yield much more information.
Their value, however, is made problematic by the fact that all such documents were written by foreigners, mainly Germans who, in the course of their centuries-long eastward expansion, subjugated the Baltic peoples and exterminated some of them.
Since the conquerors did not understand the Baltic languages, many documents contain the names of gods and other divinities that are without basis in fact. Baltic religion was viewed dogmatically and negatively in the light of Christian interpretations. Linguistic source material, also compiled by foreigners, shows fewer signs of interpretation, especially in regard to toponymy.
Baltic folklore —one of the most extensive folklores of all European peoples—contains the greatest amount of material, especially in the form of daina s short folk songs of four lines each and folktales.
Folklore is especially valuable because it contains many concepts that elsewhere have been lost under the influence of Christianity. Old religious beliefs have persisted because the Germans, after conquering the Baltic lands in the 13th and 14th centuries, made practically no attempt at Christianization and contented themselves with only economic gains.
The positive result of this policy is the preservation of old traditions and religious beliefs; some researchers have also noted the similarity between the metrical structure of the dainas and that of the Old Indian short verses in the Rigveda a Hindu sacred scripture.
The student of Baltic religion still encounters two difficulties. First, as has been noted, since written documents were established in Christian times, Christian influences in them are inescapable.
Such influences cause difficulties and make a critical approach mandatory. Second, after the establishment of political independence of the Baltic countries following World War Ithere arose a certain national romanticism that has attempted to identify Baltic culture with that of the ancient Indo-Europeans.
On the other hand, those western European scholars who are unfamiliar with the special historical and social circumstances of the Balts have assumed Baltic folklore to be on a level with the thoroughly Christianized western European folklore and thus have underestimated its importance.
Mythology Cosmology In the traditions of the Baltic peoples, there are no epic myths about the creation of the world and its structure. This fact is explained by the historical and social circumstances mentioned above, which either have hindered the formation of these types of myths or, more likely, have simply made their preservation impossible.
Furthermore, there has been no significant research concerning Baltic myths and their interrelationships. Fragmentary evidence found exclusively in folklore indicates only two complexes of ideas with any certainty: There is disagreement as to whether the Balts pictured the world as consisting of two regions or of three.
The two-region hypothesis seems to be more plausible and is supported by a dualism found frequently in the dainas: The evidence does not show conclusively whether this world is located in the direction of the setting sun or under the earth, beneath which the sun travels back to the east.
The sky is considered to be a mountain, sometimes of stone, and is the residence of the sky gods.Characteristic List & Definitions - Free download as Word Doc .doc), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. Many say the etymology of religion lies with the Latin word religare, which means "to tie, to bind."This seems to be favored on the assumption that it helps explain the power religion has to bind a person to a community, culture, course of action, ideology, etc.
Mar 31, · Major Characteristics of Religious Advocacy Groups. Advocacy groups represent a growing variety of faiths in Washington. They also vary greatly in staff size, yearly financial expenditures and other characteristics that affect their visibility on Capitol Hill and in the national media, including their institutional structure and tax status.
William Paley's teleological watch argument is sketched together with some objections to his reasoning. In his book Religions of the World, Niels Nielsen presents 12 common characteristics found in most religions.
Most religions include belief in the supernatural (spirits, gods, God) or belief in some other Ultimate Reality beyond, yet connected to, human experience and existence. Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals which were an integral part of ancient Egyptian society.
It centered on the Egyptians' interaction with a multitude of deities who were believed to be present in, and in control of, the forces and elements of nature.