Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Defining "Worship"

The Business of ReligionImage by Trinitas Imaging / Udit Kulshrestha via Flickr

So. Worship. In the theological sense.

This is a sticky word to talk about. Different people have different concepts of the idea. To some people it's a neutral thing, just a way of describing this thing that happens. To others, it's a good thing and a key part of religion. To still others, it's so negative that they avoid the word in favor of terms like "work with" or "follow" or "look to" when describing their religion. What is it to you? What do you think of when you hear the word? How do we define what worship is? What is the difference between worship, veneration, honoring, and any of the other terms that get used as an alternative to "worship"? What separates worship from just loving someone/something a lot or being really respectful? Etc., etc., etc.

To try to clarify what my intent is with this: While defining the term "worship" is good, I'm not sure that dictionary definitions will be useful here. I'm also not intending to start talking about who does and who doesn't worship; there's plenty of that in the other thread. I just want to get a discussion going about what we, here at TC, see worship consisting of.

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