Religion and Revelation

Keith Ward

in The Oxford Handbook of Religious Diversity

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195340136
Published online January 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Religion and Revelation

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Revelation is most widely regarded as knowledge provided by the action of a god or supernatural being. Where divination is practiced, as in the ancient Roman practice of divining the future from animal entrails, information is allegedly obtained from marks that can only be interpreted by specially gifted seers. Divination is an intermediate case between revelation by the action of a spiritual agent and a sort of human observation that requires the use of special techniques or rituals. Usually, the term “revelation” is applied only when there is an active spiritual component thought to be at work. But one could speak of revelation in a broader sense, as information only accessible to humans with special, extraordinary, or even superhuman capacities for accessing a spiritual reality. Such persons reveal a normally hidden spiritual reality to others, and they can come to have great authority in matters of spiritual truth. This article deals with religion and revelation and discusses revelation in Judaism, Orthodox tradition, non-Orthodox Jewish traditions, Christianity, Islam, and the traditions of India and East Asia (including Buddhism and Hinduism).

Keywords: Judaism; Orthodox tradition; Christianity; Islam; religion; revelation; Hinduism; Buddhism; India

Article.  6899 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Comparative Religion

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