Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Whole Lotta Worship Goin’ On

This is a season when worship is highlighted. In ancient Christianity, latreia, the highest form of worship, was reserved for God alone. Generally, we use the word adoration in English to cover the concept. But many words ending in the combining form –latria have been useful over the centuries. Latria is the Latin form of the Greek latreia, service to God or divine worship.

Some of these words were obviously designed to attack Roman Catholic beliefs and practices. Ungodly bigotry inevitably rears its head its head when sectarianism is involved.

  • angelolatry: angel-worship. [Gr. angelos, angel]
  • anthropolatry: the giving of divine honors to a human being. [Gr. anthropos, man]
  • artolatry: the adoration of the host or the bread consecrated in the Eucharist. [Gr. artos, bread]
  • astrolatry: the worship of the heavenly bodies. [Gr. astron, star]
  • autolatry: self-worship. [Gr. autos, self]
  • basileiolatry: king-worship. [Gr. basileos, king]
  • bibliolatry: a. extravagant admiration of a book. b. excessive reverence for the mere letter of the Bible. [Gr. biblion, book]
  • demonolatry: demon-worship. [Gr. daimonos, demon]
  • ecclesiolatry: worship of the church; excessive reverence for church forms and traditions. [Gr. ekklesia, church]
  • episcopolatry: worship of bishops. [Gr. episkopos, bishop]
  • grammatolatry: the worship of letters; adherence to the letter of Scripture. [Gr. gramma, letter]
  • gynaecolatry: worship of women. [Gr. gyne, woman]
  • hagiolatry: the worship of saints. [Gr. hagios, holy]
  • hygeiolatry: worship of health; excessive devotion to hygiene. [Gr. hygeia, health]
  • iconolatry: the worship of images. [Gr. eikon, likeness or image]
  • idolatry: the worship of idols or images ‘made with hands’. [Gr. eidos, form or shape]
  • infantolatry: infant worship; babyolatry. [L. infans, child]
  • Mariolatry: excessive reverence for the Virgin Mary. [L. Maria, Mary]
  • necrolatry: worship of or excessive reverence for the dead. [Gr. nekros, dead body]
  • ophiolatry: the worship of serpents. [Gr, ophis, serpent]
  • pseudolatry: false worship; the worship of false gods. [Gr. pseudos, falsehood]
  • staurolatry: the worship of the Cross. [Gr. stauros, cross]
  • symbololatry: worship of or excessive veneration for symbols. [Gr. symbolon, symbol]
  • theolatry: the worship of a deity or deities. [Gr. theos, god]
  • zoolatry: the worship of animals. [Gr. zoon, animal]

Now available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition


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