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

Church Fathers: St. Polycarp and St. Papias January 24
On News Both Good and Fun January 23
Guess who thinks Pope Francis shouldn't give so many interviews? January 23
A rare “win” in the Venerable League: Laity 4, Priests and Religious 3 January 23
The Didache Bible Is Here January 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis names 20 new cardinals CWN - January 5
In ‘state of the world’ address, Pope decries ‘throwaway culture’ CWN - January 12