We earn 8% in referral fees when you shop Amazon through our link. We make it easy! Click to learn how.
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ANIMISM

A form of religious belief and practice that attributes the human qualities of mind, will, and emotions to material objects or to nonhuman living creatures. These objects, considered as animated and endowed with a mana, can in certain circumstances enter into direct relation with human beings in their personal and social activities. Since the power attributed to the objects is extraordinary and even superhuman, they are invoked to obtain favors and are propitiated to prevent evils. Ritual ceremonies, appeasing or placating these hidden forces, are an essential part of animism. (Etym. Latin anima, soul, principle of life, life.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Opening Ourselves to Meaning and Purpose 3 hours ago
A thin-skinned Vatican spokesman harms his own standing 3 hours ago
Pope Francis prevails in Round I of battle for Vatican reform 11 hours ago
Social Media’s Vanity Fair: Danger on every side! March 4
The Ways of Evangelization March 3

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis to address Congress in joint session in September CWN - February 5