Full Text


Subject Religion

Key-Topics salvation

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xxxiv ] A term which originates in the Judaeo-Christian traditions but which is indiscriminately, and misleadingly, applied to other religious traditions in some approaches to the comparative study of religions. The English term has its root in the Latin terms for ‘health’ or ‘deliverance’. Scripturally the English has been a translation of Hebrew terms which have a basic meaning of ‘safety’ or ‘deliverance’ and of Greek terms which have the basic meaning of ‘safety’ or ‘soundness’. Thus salvation properly refers to a state wherein a person is removed from peril or threat into a haven of protection. Some scholars argue that salvation is the goal of every religion, that the practice of religion is directed away from life as it is towards life and afterlife as it ought to be. Salvation in these terms means deliverance, rescue from unfortunate existence, from alienation, sin, evil and the consequences of these negative forces. To speak thus of salvation may be correct as it applies to the family of religions deriving from J udaism. Indeed, in some manifestations of this family of religions and their sub-families salvation and the achieving of salvation often appears to be an all-consuming, almost pathological obsession. In many smaller religious manifestations, tribal or pre-literate, the notion of salvation is not by any means so clearly defined. Often the nearest the adherent ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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