The following text is from Irving Hexham's Concise Dictionary of Religion, first published by InterVarsity Press, Carol Stream, USA, 1994, second edition, Regent College Press, Vancouver, 1999.
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Copyright © Irving Hexham 1994, 1998.
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For further information about the book and the sources used to compile this text see the PREFACE.
For a Religious Studies READING LIST
Cross-references are indicated by the use of CAPITAL LETTERS.
ZAYDIS: a branch of Shi'ite ISLAM which shares many features of the SUNN TRADITION such as accepting the legitimacy of AB BAKR and Umar but rejecting many Shi'ite BELIEFS about ALI and the NATURE of the IMAM.
ZAZEN: a FORM of MEDITATION in ZEN BUDDHISM involving sitting in the lotus position and
regulated breathing to free the mind from all attachments.
ZEALOTS: a JEWISH SECT founded by Judas of Galilee to resist the Roman annexation of Judaea. After their initial revolt was crushed, they resorted to guerilla warfare against the Romans and those they saw a collaborators. They were finally destroyed after the Jewish revolt of 66 A.D.
ZEN BUDDHISM: a development of Japanese BUDDHISM which denies the REALITY of the external world and advocates mental and physical self-control as a path to ENLIGHTENMENT. It is known for its use of the KAN and vivid stories about the sudden enlightenment of particularly HOLY men.
ZEUS: the chief of the GODS in Greek mythology.
ZINZENDORF, Nikolaus Ludwig Graf von (1700-1760): founder of the reorganized MORAVIAN BRETHREN and an important influence on WESLEY.
ZION CHRISTIAN CHURCH: commonly known as the ZCC, this AFRICAN INDEPENDENT CHURCH is the largest Church in Southern Africa with well over three million members making it at least twice the size of any other Church. It was founded in 1924 by Ignatius Lekganyane who had been influenced by the work of John Alexander Dowie. Essentially ORTHODOX in THEOLOGY, the Church is CHARISMATIC with a strong emphasis on healing and prophecy expressed in terms of TRADITIONAL Black cultural SYMBOLS enabling it to act as an important modernizing force among upwardly mobile and recently urbanized people.
ZIONISM: a MODERN JEWISH political movement with relig ious overtones which began in the nineteenth century as a nationalist revival that sought a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The Zionist Movement led to the creation of the State of Israel and has strong SOCIALIST and UTOPIAN tendencies.
ZOROASTER (6th century B.C.): Iranian PROPHET and religious leader who founded ZOROASTRIANISM. He is known through his utterances found in the SCRIPTURES (Gths) of his RELIGION.
ZOROASTRIANISM: the ancient RELIGION of Iran preached by ZOROASTER. Its tenants remain somewhat obscure although it was clearly DUALISTIC involving mankind in a choice between GOOD and EVIL.
ZURVAN: the ancient Iranian GOD of time.
ZWINGLI, Ulrich (1485-1531): Swiss Preacher who led the PROTESTANT REFORMATION in Zurich. He admired LUTHER and taught JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH but rejected Luther's view of the SACRAMENTS arguing instead that they are simply memorials without supernatural influence. His willingness to cede power to SECULAR magistrates led GREBEL and others to develop their own ANABAPTISM.