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Esther Eidinow
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(1,935 words)

Many disciplines use the terms “blessing” and “curse” to describe similar concepts found across cultures that identify the perceived origins of experiences of fortune and misfortune. As different from culture to culture as the concepts are, they share certain characteristics, such as the role of supernatural powers in their allocation and a tie to notions of justice. In general, blessings and curses support social structures, revealing systems of local moral evaluation. This entry offers an overview of some key defining features, with examples from different cultures. ⸙

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Vocabulary for the Study of Religion Online

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