Hans Kippenberg
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(1,630 words)

The entry addresses abandonment of one’s belief for another in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. While in ancient pagan society people could freely choose the deities they worshipped, Judaism and later Christianity and Islam regarded the exclusive worship of God as fundamental to one’s redemption. Apostasy was an issue in three respects: as intentional abandonment of one’s religious belonging; as a legally prohibited act; as an ordeal that will afflict the community of believers at the end of time. The category did not vanish in the modern age. ⸙

Vocabulary for the Study of Religion Online

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