Baptism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 12 pages of information about Baptism.
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BAPTISM. The word baptism comes from the Greek baptein, which means to plunge, to immerse, or to wash; it also signifies, from the Homeric period onward, any rite of immersion in water. The frequentative form, baptizein, appears much later (Plato, Euthydemus 227d; Symposium 176b). The baptismal rite is similar to many other ablution rituals found in a number of religions, but it is the symbolic value of baptism and the psychological intent underlying it that provide the true definition of the rite, a rite usually found associated with a religious initiation.

Pre-Christian Religions

The purifying properties of water have been ritually attested to ever since the rise of civilization in the ancient Near East. In Babylonia, according to the Tablets of Maklu, water was important in the cult of Enki, lord of Eridu. In Egypt, the Book of Going Forth by Day (17) contains a treatise on the baptism...

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This section contains 3,331 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Baptism Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Baptism from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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