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aśoka

Overview page. Subjects: Hinduism — Plant Sciences and Forestry.

An evergreen tree (Saraca indica) with a spectacular red flower. Sacred to Śiva, it is associated with chastity, and is said to bloom if kicked by a pure girl.

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badger

Overview page. Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences — Religion.

Badgers are stockily built mustelids that are widely distributed in the northern hemisphere. They originated in the forests of Asia during the Tertiary period (the genus Meles...

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banyan

Overview page. Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry — Hinduism.

Species of fig tree (Ficus) that have spreading crowns and descending prop roots. They commence life as epiphytes; then descending anastomosing (see anastomosis) roots strangle the trunk of...

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cat

Overview page. Subjects: Religion — Biological Sciences.

Any of a number of domesticated breeds of the species Felis catus. Popular breeds include short-haired breeds: Domestic Shorthair, Siamese, Burmese, Abyssinian, Russian Blue, Havana Brown,...

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5. Definitions, types, domains

Barry Stephenson.

in Ritual

January 2015; p ublished online February 2015 .

Chapter. Subjects: Sociology and Anthropology of Religion; Customs and Traditions; Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology; Social and Cultural Anthropology. 5010 words.

The word “ritual” is used in three different, though related, ways. First, ritual is conceived as a kind of action. Second, ritual is a cultural domain, arena, stage, or field, in and out...

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dolphin

Overview page. Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences — Religion.

[L from Gk. delphis].

The porpoise-like marine, warm-water mammal appears often in early Celtic iconography but not later. It may be found on the Gundestrup cauldron and on Gaulish...

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donkey

Overview page. Subjects: Biblical Studies — Genetics and Genomics.

Equus asinus, a close relative of the horse. The female is referred to as a jennet, the male as a jack. See Equus, horse-donkey hybrids.

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earwig

Overview page. Subjects: Religion — Zoology and Animal Sciences.

THE BELIEF THAT EARWIGS ENTER THE EARS OF sleeping people and bore into their brains is completely unfounded; some earwigs can indeed bite, but the effect would be hardly...

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fairy ring

Overview page. Subjects: Ecology and Conservation — Religion.

A circle of dark-green grass (in a lawn or field) in which toadstools may be found. The circle is formed as a result of the radial growth of a fungus through the soil, away from the centre...

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fox

Overview page. Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences — Biblical Studies.

Foxes were common in Palestine, and Ezekiel lambasts false prophets as foxes (AV; ‘jackals’, NRSV, REB, NJB), that is, scavengers who hope to profit from the ruin of the nation (Ezek. 13:...

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