宗教. Language related to religions.

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Heaven in Japanese

I have found that there are a number of words in Japanese that correspond to "heaven" in English. By heaven I mean the concept of a paradisiacal afterlife. The two most frequent in my limited and ...
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How was Japanese animism referred to before 国家神道 (State Shinto) was created?

Pre-Meiji: What was Japanese animism popularly called before 国家神道 (State Shinto) was created in the early Meiji period (19th century)? Prior to that, was the word 「神道」 a common term among the ...
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How do you replace 「お悔やみ」 in condolences to a Japanese Christian?

In Yosh's answer to the question What are the ways to express someone's condolences?, this link states that Buddhist terms should not be used in expressing condolences to a Christian in Japanese: ...
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How to invoke God/spirits in Japanese

No, this is not about any Buddhist chant or mantra that can be used to call forth Japanese gods or heavenly spirits, but rather about any specialized words or interjections that attract attention of ...
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How accurately can 使い be translated as “angel”?

On jisho.org, 使い is translated with words such as "errand", and the same holds true on translate.google.com. Neither site is offering "angel" as a suggestion. Yet in Matthew 1:20, the phrase: ・・・...
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火の車 Where did it come from

My sensei in class told us about 火の車 that means someone in a difficult financial strait . I was wondering what does it have to do with fire 火 and a car 車?
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Can a cathedral be referred to as a 寺?

I was listening to a song Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame in Japanese (the intro, The Bells of Notre Dame or ノートルダムの鐘), and I noticed that they referred to the cathedral as a 「てら」. I thought that was ...
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What do you call the small wooden plates that people write wishes in and hang on some stand in a shrine?

What do you call the small pieces of wood(?) where people write wishes on and hang them on some stand close to where you tie folded o-mikuji (おみくじ)? Or are they also called おみくじ? Related question: ...
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What's that accordion style book you can get at shrines called?

When visiting shrines or temples, one can get an accordion style book and for a couple hundred yen have a shrine's seal stamped inside. What is this book called?
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Why is Eden written as エデン in Japanese?

I just started watching "Eden of the East" and noticed that the Katakana used for Eden was エデン. I'm wondering why isn't it instead イデン which would be pronounced the same way as in English (which I was ...
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Obscure religious expression

菩提心をおこすこと、かならず慮知心をもちいる。 It's something about enlightenment and Buddha thing, but I can't find any English equivalent to 慮知心, not to mention the whole expression. "Enlightenment through empathy"?
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Buddhist facilities

I am working on Japanese texts describing Buddhist temples in South-East Asia and there is quite a number of words I can't really translate in English. Here is a list with my tentative translations (I ...
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What's the difference between the に祈る【いのる】 and を祈る【いのる】 forms?

What's the difference between the に祈る and を祈る forms? Like what's the difference between (1.) and (2.): うまく行くのに祈ってくださいね。 うまく行くのを祈ってくださいね。 EDIT: What's the difference between the ように祈る and のを祈る ...
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Would educated Japanese people without special training be able to understand Buddhist mantras/真言?

A well-educated speaker of Hindi (a modern descendant of Sanskrit) who doesn't have any special training in Buddhist (or Hindu) liturgy would probably be able to more or less understand the following ...
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Why would the Japanese transliteration from Greek Χριστος be spelled as ハリストス instead of キリストス?

Although it's not as common as キリスト, ハリストス is seen in the name of Japan's Orthodox Church. But why ハリストス if the pronounce of the Greek Χριστος is khristós (with a clear kri sound)? There is キリストス too, ...
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What is the difference between 仏 and 釈迦?

Both 仏 and 釈迦 are defined as "Buddha" in my dictionary. Is there a difference between these words?
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Can 法王(ほうおう) mean anyone besides the Pope?

I know this word can refer to the the Pope, the head of the Roman Catholic church, but when I tried looking it up on google images, in addition to the Pope, I also saw the Dalai Lama, and some other ...