anathema

/euh nath"euh meuh/, n., pl. anathemas.
1. a person or thing detested or loathed: That subject is anathema to him.
2. a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction.
3. a formal ecclesiastical curse involving excommunication.
4. any imprecation of divine punishment.
5. a curse; execration.
[1520-30; < L < Gk: a thing accursed, devoted to evil, orig. devoted, equiv. to ana(ti)thé(nai) to set up + -ma n. suffix]

* * *

      (from Greek anatithenai: “to set up,” or “to dedicate”), in the Old Testament, a creature or object set apart for sacrificial offering. Its return to profane use was strictly banned, and such objects, destined for destruction, thus became effectively accursed as well as consecrated. Old Testament descriptions of religious wars call both the enemy and their besieged city anathema inasmuch as they were destined for destruction.

      In New Testament usage a different meaning developed. St. Paul used the word anathema to signify a curse and the forced expulsion of one from the community of Christians. In AD 431 St. Cyril of Alexandria pronounced his 12 anathemas against the heretic Nestorius. In the 6th century anathema came to mean the severest form of excommunication that formally separated a heretic completely from the Christian church and condemned his doctrines; minor excommunications, while prohibiting free reception of the sacraments, obliged (and permitted) the sinner to rectify his sinful state through the sacrament of penance.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Anathema — Anathema …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • Anathema — • Placed on high, suspended, set aside Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Anathema     Anathema     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Anathema — Фестиваль Festimad 2007, Мадрид …   Википедия

  • Anathema — (in Greek Ανάθεμα) meaning originally something lifted up as an offering to the gods; later, with evolving meanings, it came to mean: # to be formally set apart, # banished, exiled, excommunicated or # denounced, sometimes… …   Wikipedia

  • Anathema — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Para el vocablo griego, véase Anatema. Anathema Anathema tocando en vivo en España en 2007 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Anathema — sur scène en 2007. Pays d’origine Liverpool …   Wikipédia en Français

  • ANATHEMA — ut et Devotio ac Sacrum, interdum rem pietatis ergo Numini sacratam, interdum diris onustam denotat; cum scil. utraque devovebatur, haec ut malorum Vindici, illa ut bonorum Auctori Conservatorique. Unde et Hebraeum Cherem, seu Anathema aut… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Anathema — A*nath e*ma, n.; pl. {Anathemas}. [L. anath[e^]ma, fr. Gr. ? anything devoted, esp. to evil, a curse; also L. anath[=e]ma, fr. Gr. ? a votive offering; all fr. ? to set up as a votive gift, dedicate; ? up + ? to set. See {Thesis}.] 1. A ban or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • anathema — (n.) 1520s, an accursed thing, from L. anathema an excommunicated person; the curse of excommunication, from Gk. anathema a thing accursed, originally a thing devoted, lit. a thing set up (to the gods), from ana up (see ANA (Cf. ana )) + tithenai …   Etymology dictionary

  • anathema — 1. The meaning has changed over several centuries of use. Originally a Greek word meaning ‘a thing dedicated’ it then came to mean ‘a thing dedicated to evil; an accursed thing’ and then, in the context of the Christian Church, ‘the act or… …   Modern English usage

  • Anathēma — Anathēma, 1) (gr. Ant.), ein, einer Gottheit geweihtes Geschenk, bes. Kränze, Gewänder, Gefäße, erbeutete Waffen, Kunstwerke etc., um, mit Inschriften versehen, od. von einer Votivtafel od. einem Gemälde begleitet, im Tempel niedergelegt od.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.