blasphemy

blasphemy
/blas"feuh mee/, n., pl. blasphemies.
1. impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things.
2. Judaism.
a. an act of cursing or reviling God.
b. pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton (YHVH) in the original, now forbidden manner instead of using a substitute pronunciation such as Adonai.
3. Theol. the crime of assuming to oneself the rights or qualities of God.
4. irreverent behavior toward anything held sacred, priceless, etc.: He uttered blasphemies against life itself.
[1175-1225; ME blasphemie < LL blasphemia < Gk. See BLASPHEMOUS, -Y3]
Syn. 1. profanity, cursing, swearing; sacrilege, impiety.

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      irreverence toward a deity or deities and, by extension, the use of profanity.

      In Christianity, blasphemy has points in common with heresy but is differentiated from it in that heresy consists of holding a belief contrary to the orthodox one. Thus, it is not blasphemous to deny the existence of God or to question the established tenets of the Christian faith unless this is done in a mocking and derisive spirit. In the Christian religion, blasphemy has been regarded as a sin by moral theologians; St. Thomas Aquinas (Aquinas, Thomas, Saint) described it as a sin against faith. For the Muslim it is blasphemy to speak contemptuously not only of God but also of Muḥammad.

      In many societies blasphemy in some form or another has been an offense punishable by law (Torah). The Mosaic Law decreed death by stoning as the penalty for the blasphemer. Under the Byzantine emperor Justinian I (reigned 527–565) the death penalty was decreed for blasphemy. In the United States many states have legislation aimed at the offense. In Scotland until the 18th century it was punishable by death, and in England it is both a statutory and a common-law offense. It was recognized as the latter in the 17th century; the underlying idea apparently was that an attack on religion is necessarily an attack on the state. This idea probably has been the reason why penalties have been laid down for blasphemy in some secular legal codes.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Blasphemy — • Signifies etymologically gross irreverence towards any person or thing worthy of exalted esteem Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Blasphemy     Blasphemy      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Blasphemy — Blasphemy …   Википедия

  • blasphemy — blas·phe·my / blas fə mē/ n pl mies: the crime of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God or a religion and its doctrines and writings and esp. God as perceived by Christianity and Christian doctrines and writings see also… …   Law dictionary

  • BLASPHEMY — BLASPHEMY, in the broadest (and least precise) sense any act contrary to the will of God or derogatory to His power. Blasphemy is the term employed to translate the Hebrew verbs ḥeref, giddef, and ni eẓ (e.g., Isa. 37:6, gdf, where the servants… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • blasphemy — 1 Blasphemy, profanity, swearing, cursing are comparable when meaning impious or irreverent speech. Blasphemy, the strongest term (see also PROFANATION), applies strictly to an intentional or malicious utterance in which the Supreme Being is… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Blasphemy — Blas phe*my, n. [L. blasphemia, Gr. ?: cf. OF. blasphemie.] 1. An indignity offered to God in words, writing, or signs; impiously irreverent words or signs addressed to, or used in reference to, God; speaking evil of God; also, the act of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • blasphemy — early 13c., from O.Fr. blasfemie blasphemy, from L.L. blasphemia, from Gk. blasphemia a speaking ill, impious speech, slander, from blasphemein to speak evil of. Second element is pheme utterance (see FAME (Cf. fame)); first element uncertain,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • blasphemy — [blas′fə mē] n. pl. blasphemies [ME blasfemie < OFr blasphemie < LL(Ec) blasphemia < Gr blasphēmia: see BLASPHEME] 1. profane or contemptuous speech, writing, or action concerning God or anything held as divine 2. any remark or action… …   English World dictionary

  • Blasphemy — Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Black Metal Gründung 1984 Gründungsmitglieder …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • blasphemy — [n] irreverence abuse, cursing, cussing, desecration, execration, heresy, impiety, impiousness, imprecation, indignity, lewdness, profanation, profaneness, profanity, reviling, sacrilege, scoffing, scurrility, swearing, vituperation; concept 645… …   New thesaurus

  • blasphemy — ► NOUN (pl. blasphemies) ▪ irreverent talk about God or sacred things …   English terms dictionary

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