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Idol, Idolatry

Related: icon - religious fetishism

A totem


Idolatry is the worship of idols, i.e. physical objects such as statues, that are thought to be gods; the term "idolatry" is also used by Islam and Judaism to refer to the use of any physical object or artwork that represents God. The term idolatry is used disapprovingly by most monotheistic religions. This term is also sometimes used by one religious group to denigrate another religious group's worship of a different deity or God.

Forms of worship encompassed by the term idolatry include prostrating before an idol, offering prayers to idols, making material offerings, or animal sacrifices to idols. Sometimes statues or publicly displayed images of political rulers are condemned as idolatrous.

The worship of icons or images is, more specifically, known as iconolatry. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idolatry [2004]

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