Word Studies/Dictionaries

Dictionary of theological terms

Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms

This second edition of the Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms provides a comprehensive guide to nearly 7,000 theological terms, 1,000 more terms than the first edition. McKim's succinct definitions cover a broad range of theological studies and related disciplines: contemporary theologies, biblical studies, church history, ethics, feminist theology, global theologies, hermeneutics, liberation theology, liturgy, ministry, philosophy, philosophy of religion, postcolonial theology, social sciences, spiritually, worship, and Protestant, Reformed, and Roman Catholic theologies.
This new edition also includes cross-references that link readers to other related terms, commonly used scholarly abbreviations and abbreviations for canonical and deuterocanonical texts, an annotated bibliography, and a new introductory section that groups together terms and concepts, showing where they fit within particular theological categories. No other single volume provides the busy student, and the theologically experienced reader, with such easy access to so many theological definitions.

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TAncient Mesopotamia was a rich, varied and highly complex culture whose achievements included the invention of writing and the development of sophisticated urban society. This book offers an introductory guide to the beliefs and customs of the ancient Mesopotamians, as revealed in their art and their writings between about 3000 B.C. and the advent of the Christian era. Gods, goddesses, demons, monsters, magic, myths, religious symbolism, ritual, and the spiritual world are all discussed in alphabetical entries ranging from short accounts to extended essays. Names are given in both their Sumerian and Akkadian forms, and all entries are fully cross-referenced. A useful introduction provides historical and geographical background and describes the sources of our knowledge about the religion, mythology and magic of "the cradle of civilisation".
This is an excellent resource for anyone interested in Mesopotamian daily life and religion. It provides a quick reference to not just myths and gods, but also religious rites and magical practices. For example, you can look up "sacrifice" if you want to see what information there is on how the Mesopotamians went about such things. I think this helps to flesh out how the religion affected the daily lives of the people. It has a wealth of illustrations and drawings, something that is rather lacking in many books about Sumer.
It also covers the evolution of the gods and cultures who worshipped them, instead of a simplistic "This was the god of X." It helps to know that some things were specific to Assyria or the early Sumerian Dynasties, which is important if you wish to avoid a homogenized 'Babylonianoid' stereotype of Mesopotamian history and religion.

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