Timothy Miller’s NRM syllabus terms

Timothy Miller’s NRM syllabus terms


A.D. :“Anno Domini,” i.e., “In the year of the Lord.” The word “Domini” makes a theological

claim (that Jesus is Lord); a more neutral and generally accepted usage is C.E., “Common Era.”

Altar: A raised platform or table for religious sacrifices or other ceremonial use. Note correct

spelling (not alter).

B.C. :”Before Christ.” The word “Christ” (=Messiah) makes a theological claim (that Jesus was

the Messiah); a more neutral and generally accepted usage is B.C.E., “Before the Common Era.”

Bible: Literally “book”; principal book of sacred writings for Christians and Jews. Always

capitalized, but not underlined or italicized although a book title. Similarly names of individual

books within the Bible are not underlined or italicized. The adjectival form is “biblical”;

capitalization is optional.

Canon: Literally “rule” or “list.” (1) Law of the Catholic Church. (2) The list of the saints.

Minister: Literally “servant”; noun commonly used to denote member of the clergy in


Pastor: Literally “shepherd”; used to describe a Catholic priest or Protestant minister who

oversees a parish.

Priest: Member of the clergy authorized to perform the sacraments; term widely used in

liturgical churches and in some nonchristian religions.

Rabbi: Literally “master”; authoritative teacher in Judaism.

Evangelical: (1) Conservative Protestant. (2) Having to do with the Gospel. (3) Certain


Evangelism, evangelistic: In Christianity, work aimed at making converts; literally, preaching

the gospel.

Prophet: Inspired person who speaks for God. Note spelling (not profit).

Prophecy (noun): A pronouncement made by a prophet.

Prophesy (verb): To give a prophecy.

Spiritualism, spirituality: These once interchangeable terms now have distinct meanings.

Spirituality has to do with a person’s spiritual quest or outlook. Spiritualism is a religion whose

best-known distinction is a belief that the living can communicate with the dead.

Above terms from http://www.aarweb.org/syllabus/syllabi/m/miller/millersyllabusMAY02.pdf)

 Theistic religions: “religions based on one’s relationship to the divine Being” (with Being is thought to be singular= Monotheistic, “if many attributes and forms of the divine are emphasized”= Polytheistic) Monistic religions: “religions which hold that beneath the multiplicity of apparent forms there is one underlying substance.”

Atheism: “the belief that there is no deity”

Agnosticism: “is not the denial of the divine but the feeling, ‘I don’t know whether exists or not,’ or the belief that if it exists it is impossible for humans to know it”

Ritual: “a repeated, patterned religious act”

Symbols: “visible representation of an invisible reality or concept”

Myths: “symbolic stories that communities use to explain the universe and their place within it”

Orthodoxy: straight/ correct belief

Orthopraxy: straight/ correct practice

Heresy: from the Greek “to choose”

Epistemology: beliefs concerning the basis of knowledge (What are our sources for valid knowledge?)

Ontology: study of the nature of reality (What is really real?)

Eschatology: study of the “end times”

Soteriology: study of a doctrine of salvation

Syncretism: “the process of combining religious elements of diverse origins in a new sect or movement”

Millenialism: (lit. thousand year) “the Christian belief in the thousand- year reign of Christ and his saints on earth as described in Revelation 20:1-10”

Premillienialists: believe in a future when Jesus will rule in Jerusalem before the Judgment. (Jesus comes back to start 1000 year reign of peace)

Postmillenialists: believe in a future when Jesus will return after 1000 year golden age

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Filed under Lectures (Academic Study of Religion), Lectures (New Religious Movements)

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