The Info List - Temple

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A temple (from the Latin
word templum) is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. It is typically used for such buildings belonging to all faiths where a more specific term such as church, mosque or synagogue is not generally used in English. These include Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism
among religions with many modern followers, as well as other ancient religions such as Ancient Egyptian religion. The form and function of temples is thus very variable, though they are often considered by believers to be in some sense the "house" of one or more deities. Typically offerings of some sort are made to the deity, and other rituals enacted, and a special group of clergy maintain, and operate the temple. The degree to which the whole population of believers can access the building varies significantly; often parts or even the whole main building can only be accessed by the clergy. Temples typically have a main building and a larger precinct, which may contain many other buildings. The word comes from Ancient Rome, where a templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur.[1] It has the same root as the word "template", a plan in preparation of the building that was marked out on the ground by the augur. Templa also became associated with the dwelling places of a god or gods. Despite the specific set of meanings associated with the word, it has now become widely used to describe a house of worship for any number of religions and is even used for time periods prior to the Romans.


1 Hindu temples 2 Buddhist
temples 3 Jain temples 4 Mesopotamian temples 5 Egyptian temples 6 Greco-Roman temples 7 Pagan
temples 8 Zoroastrian
temples 9 Sikh temples 10 Mesoamerican
temple 11 Jewish synagogues and temples 12 Christian temples

12.1 Orthodox Christianity 12.2 Western Christianity 12.3 Latter Day Saint movement

12.3.1 LDS Church 12.3.2 Other Latter Day Saint denominations

13 Masonic temples 14 Others 15 See also 16 References 17 Further reading 18 External links

Hindu temples[edit]

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
in Cambodia, is the largest Hindu temple
Hindu temple
in the world.

Main article: Hindu temple See also: List of Hindu temples Hindu temples are known by many different names, varying on region and language, including Alayam,[2] Mandir, Mandira, Ambalam, Gudi, Kavu, Koil, Kovil, Déul, Raul, Devasthana, Degul, Deva Mandiraya and Devalaya. Hindu temples are large and magnificent with a rich history. There is evidence of use of sacred ground as far back as the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
and later the Indus Valley Civilization. Hindu temples have been built in various countries around the world, including Cambodia, Nepal, Mauritius, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Great Britain, the United States, Australia, South Africa, Malaysia
and Canada. Buddhist

Phra Kaew, Buddhist

Main article: Buddhist
temple See also: List of Buddhist
temples, Buddhist
temples in Japan, Korean Buddhist
temples, and List of Buddhist
architecture in China They include the structures called stupa, wat and pagoda in different regions and languages. Temples in Buddhism
represent the pure land or pure environment of a Buddha. Traditional Buddhist
temples are designed to inspire inner and outer peace.[3] Jain temples[edit] Main article: Jain Temple See also: List of Jain temples

Ranakpur Jain Temple, Rajasthan, India.

A Jain temple is the place of worship for Jains, the followers of Jainism.[4] Some famous Jain temples are Shikharji, Palitana Jain Temples, Ranakpur Jain Temple, Shravan Belgola, Dilwara Temples
Dilwara Temples
and Lal Mandir. Jain temples are built with various architectural designs. Jain temples in North India
are completely different from the Jain temples in South India, which in turn are quite different from Jain temples in West India. Additionally, a Manastambha
(meaning column of honor) is a pillar that is often constructed in front of Jain temples.

Mesopotamian temples[edit]

of Ur, Iraq

The temple of Mesopotamia
derived from the cult of gods and deities in the Mesopotamian religion. It spanned several civilizations; from Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian. The most common temple architecture of Mesopotamia
is the structure of sun-baked bricks called a Ziggurat, having the form of a terraced step pyramid with flat upper terrace where the shrine or temple stood. Egyptian temples[edit] Main article: Egyptian temple

Luxor Temple, Egypt

of Hathor in Dendera

Ancient Egyptian temples were meant as places for the deities to reside on earth. Indeed, the term the Egyptians most commonly used to describe the temple building, ḥwt-nṯr, means "mansion (or enclosure) of a god".[5] A god's presence in the temple linked the human and divine realms and allowed humans to interact with the god through ritual. These rituals, it was believed, sustained the god and allowed it to continue to play its proper role in nature. They were therefore a key part of the maintenance of maat, the ideal order of nature and of human society in Egyptian belief.[6] Maintaining maat was the entire purpose of Egyptian religion,[7] and thus it was the purpose of a temple as well.[8] Ancient Egyptian temples were also of economic significance to Egyptian society. The temples stored and redistributed grain and came to own large portions of the nation's arable land (some estimate as much as 33% by the New Kingdom period).[9] In addition, many of these Egyptian temples utilized the Tripartite Floor Plan in order to draw visitors to the center room. Greco-Roman temples[edit] Main articles: Greek temple
Greek temple
and Roman temple

on Acropolis, Athens

Though today we call most Greek religious buildings "temples," the ancient pagans would have referred to a temenos, or sacred precinct. Its sacredness, often connected with a holy grove, was more important than the building itself, as it contained the open air altar on which the sacrifices were made. The building which housed the cult statue in its naos was originally a rather simple structure, but by the middle of the 6th century BCE had become increasingly elaborate. Greek temple architecture had a profound influence on ancient architectural traditions. The rituals that located and sited Roman temples were performed by an augur through the observation of the flight of birds or other natural phenomenon. Roman temples usually faced east or toward the rising sun, but the specifics of the orientation are often not known today; there are also notable exceptions, such as the Pantheon which faces north. In ancient Rome only the native deities of Roman mythology
Roman mythology
had a templum; any equivalent structure for a foreign deity was called a fanum. Pagan
temples[edit] See also: List of modern pagan temples

of Garni, Armenia

The Romans usually referred to a holy place of a pagan religion as fanum; in some cases this referred to a sacred grove, in others to a temple. Medieval Latin
writers also used the word templum. In some cases it is hard to determine whether it was a building or an outdoor shrine. For temple buildings of, the Old Norse
Old Norse
term hof is often used. Zoroastrian
temples[edit] Main article: Fire temple

The Yazd Atash Behram

temples may also be called the darb-e meh and Atashkadeh. A fire temple in Zoroastrianism is the place of worship for Zoroastrians. Zoroastrians revere fire in any form. In the Zoroastrian religion, fire (Atar), together with clean water (Aban), are agents of ritual purity. Clean, white "ash for the purification ceremonies is regarded as the basis of ritual life," which, "are essentially the rites proper to the tending of a domestic fire, for the temple fire is that of the hearth fire raised to a new solemnity. Sikh temples[edit]

Harmandir Sahib
Harmandir Sahib
in Amritsar, India

Main article: Gurdwara A Sikh temple is called a Gurdwara, literally the doorway to the Guru. Its most essential element is the presence of the Guru, Guru Granth Sahib. The Gurdwara
has an entrance from all sides, signifying that they are open to all without any distinction whatsoever. The Gurdwara has a Darbar Sahib where the Guru Granth Sahib
Guru Granth Sahib
is seen and a Langar where people can eat free food.[10] A Gurdwara
may also have a library, nursery, and classroom.[11] A Gurdwara
can be identified from a distance by tall flagpoles bearing the Nishan Sahib, the Sikh flag.

temple[edit] Main article: Mesoamerican

of Kukulcan in Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza
located on top of Kukulcan pyramid.

Temples of Mesoamerican
civilization usually took shape of stepped pyramids with temples or shrines on top of the massive structure. They are more akin to the ziggurats of Mesopotamia
than to Egyptian ones. A single or several flights of steep steps from the base lead to the temple that stood on plateau on top of the pyramid. The stone temple might be square or rounded structure with door opening leading to a cella or inner sanctum. The plateau on top of the pyramid in front of the temple is where the ritualistic sacrifice took place. Some classic Mesoamerican pyramids
Mesoamerican pyramids
are adorned with stories about the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl
or Mesoamerican
creation myths, written in the form of hieroglyphs on the rises of the steps of the pyramids, on the walls, and on the sculptures contained within.[12] Notable example including Aztec
Acatitlan and Mayan Chichen Itza, Uxmal
and Tikal. Jewish synagogues and temples[edit]

A model of Herod's Temple
Herod's Temple
adjacent to the Shrine of the Book
Shrine of the Book
exhibit at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

Templi Hierosolymitani delineatio, Christian G. Hoffmann (1692–1735)

In Judaism, the ancient Hebrew texts refer not to temples, the word having not existed yet, but to a "sanctuary", "palace" or "hall". Each of the two ancient temples in Jerusalem
was called in the Tanakh
Beit YHWH, which translates literally as "YHWH's House." The Temple Mount
Temple Mount
in Jerusalem
is the site where the First Temple
First Temple
of Solomon and the Second Temple
Second Temple
were built. At the center of the structure was the Holy of Holies
Holy of Holies
where only the High Priest could enter. The Temple Mount
Temple Mount
is now the site of the Islamic
edifice, the Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock
(c. 690). The Greek word synagogue came into use to describe Jewish (and Samaritan) places of worship during Hellenistic
times and it, along with the Yiddish term shul, and the original Hebrew term Beit Knesset ("House of meeting") are the terms in most universal usage. Since the 18th Century, Jews in Western and Central Europe began to apply the name "temple", borrowed from the French where it was used to denote all non-Catholic prayerhouses, to synagogues. The term became strongly associated with Reform institutions, in some of which both congregants and outsiders associated it with the elimination of the prayers for the restoration of the Jerusalem
Temple, though this was not the original meaning—traditional synagogues named themselves thus over a century before the advent of Reform, and many continued to do so after.[13] In American parlance, "temple" is often synonymous with "synagogue", but especially non-Orthodox ones.

Christian temples[edit] Orthodox Christianity[edit]

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
in Moscow, Russia.

The word temple, however, is used frequently in the tradition of Eastern Christianity; particularly the Eastern Orthodox Church, where the principal words used for houses of worship are temple and church. The use of the word temple comes from the need to distinguish a building of the church vs. the church seen as the Body of Christ. In the Russian language
Russian language
(similar to other Slavic languages), while the general-purpose word for "church" is tserkov, the term khram (Храм), "temple", is used to refer to the church building as a temple of God
(Khram Bozhy). The words "church" and "temple", in this case are interchangeable; however, the term "church" (Ancient Greek: ἐκκλησία) is far more common. The term temple (Ancient Greek: ναός) is also commonly applied to larger churches. Some famous churches which are referred to as temples include Hagia Sophia, Saint Basil's Cathedral, Cathedral
of Christ the Saviour, or the Temple
of Saint Sava in Belgrade, Serbia. See also: Orthodox church (building) and catholicon. Western Christianity[edit]

Basilique du Sacré-Coeur
Basilique du Sacré-Coeur
in Paris

The word temple has traditionally been rarely used in the English-speaking Western Christian tradition. In Irish, some pre-schism churches use the word teampall. The usual word for church in the Hungarian language
Hungarian language
is templom, also deriving from the same Latin
root. In Spanish, they make a distinction between the temple being the physical building for religious activity, and the church being both the physical building for religious activity and also the congregation of religious followers.[14] The principal words typically used to distinguish houses of worship in Western Christian architecture are basilica, cathedral and church. The Catholic Church has used the word temple in reference of a place of worship on rare occasions. An example is the Roman Catholic Sagrada Familia Temple
in Barcelona, Spain and the Roman Catholic Basilique du Sacré-Cœur Temple
in Paris, France. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, following the Enlightenment, some Protestant denominations in France and elsewhere began to use the word temple to distinguish these spaces from Catholic churches. Evangelical and other Protestant churches make use of a wide variety of terms to designate their worship spaces, such as church, tabernacle or temple. Additionally some Breakaway Catholic Churches
Breakaway Catholic Churches
such as the Mariavite Church
Mariavite Church
in Poland
have chosen to also designate their central church building as a temple, as in the case of the Temple
of Mercy and Charity in Płock.

Latter Day Saint movement[edit]

Kirtland Temple
Kirtland Temple
in Kirtland, Ohio

Main article: Temple
(Latter Day Saints) According to Latter Day Saints, in 1832, Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith
received a revelation to restore the practice of temple worship, in a "house of the Lord". The Kirtland Temple
Kirtland Temple
was the first temple of the Latter-day Saint movement and the only one completed in Smith's lifetime, although the Nauvoo Temple
Nauvoo Temple
was partially complete at the time of his death. The schisms stemming from a succession crisis have led to differing views about the role and use of temples between various groups with competing succession claims. The Book of Mormon, which Latter Day Saints believe is a companion book of scripture with the Bible, refers to temple building in the ancient Americas by a group of people called the Nephites. Though Book of Mormon
authors are not explicit about the practices in these Nephite temples, they were patterned "after the manner of the temple of Solomon" ([15]) and served as gathering places for significant religious and political events (e.g. Mosiah 1-6; 3rd Nephi 11-26).[16] LDS Church[edit]

LDS temple in Salt Lake City, Utah

See also: Temple (LDS Church)
Temple (LDS Church)
and List of temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(LDS Church) is a prolific builder of "Latter-day Saint" or "Mormon" temples. There are 159 operating temples (which includes 9 previously dedicated, but closed for renovation), 11 under construction, and 19 announced (not yet under construction).[17] Latter-day Saint
Latter-day Saint
temples are reserved for performing and undertaking only the most holy and sacred of covenants and special of ordinances. They are distinct from meeting houses and chapels where weekly worship services are held. The temples are built and kept under strict sacredness and are not to be defiled. Thus, strict rules apply for entrance, including church membership and regular attendance. During the open-house period after its construction and before the temple is dedicated, the temple is open to the public for tours.[18] Other Latter Day Saint denominations[edit] Various sects in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith have temples.[19]

The Church of Christ (Wightite), a Latter Day Saint denomination formed by Lyman Wight
Lyman Wight
following the death of Joseph Smith, built first Mormon
temple west of the Mississippi in Zodiac, Texas.[20] about three miles from Fredericksburg. In 1990 or earlier a temple in Ozumba, Mexico
was built by the Apostolic United Brethren.[21] On April 17, 1994 the Independence Temple
Independence Temple
in Independence, Missouri was open by the Community of Christ
Community of Christ
by then-church Prophet-President Wallace B. Smith. The Community of Christ
Community of Christ
also currently owns the original Kirtland Temple, dedicated in 1836 by the Church of the Latter Day Saints (later renamed the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), in Kirtland, Ohio. The Community of Christ
Community of Christ
operates the Kirtland Temple
Kirtland Temple
as a historic site. In 2005[22] construction on the YFZ
Ranch Temple
by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Church began. It is located just outside Eldorado in Schleicher County, Texas.[23] However, as of April 2014, the State of Texas
took physical and legal possession of the property.[24][25] as it was used to "commit or facilitate certain criminal conduct."[24][25] A pyramid-shaped temple near Modena, Utah
Modena, Utah
was built by the Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[21]

Masonic temples[edit]

A Typical Masonic Lodge

is a fraternal organization with its origins in the eighteenth century whose membership is held together by a shared set of moral and metaphysical ideals. Freemasons meet as a Lodge. Lodges meet in a Masonic Temple, Masonic Center or a Masonic Hall, such as Freemasons' Hall, London. Some confusion exists as Masons usually refer to a Lodge meeting as being in Lodge. Others[edit]

Göbekli Tepe, located in southern Turkey, was built in 8th millennium BCE - 10th millennium BCE. Temples of Sheikh, ancient temples in Sheikh, Somalia Temple
of Yeha, the oldest standing structure in Yeha, Ethiopia; built around 700 BCE Wolmyeongdong
Natural Temple, located in South Korea, was developed beginning in 1990 and continues to this day.

Convention allows the use of temple in the following cases:

Bahá'í temple (Mashriqu'l-Adhkárs or ‘Houses of Worship’). Mankhim, the temple of the ethnic group the Rai, located at Aritar, Sikkim. Confucian temple
Confucian temple
or Temple
of Confucius. Shintoist
jinja are normally called shrines in English in order to distinguish them from Buddhist
temples (-tera, -dera). Taoist temples and monasteries are called guan or daoguan (道观, literally "place of contemplation of the Tao") in Chinese, guan being the shortened version of daoguan. Shrines of the traditional Chinese Ethnic Shenism are called miao, or ancestral hall in English. Joss house
Joss house
is an obsolete American term for such kind of places of worship.

See also[edit]

Chinese pagoda Dravidian architecture List of temples of Tamil Nadu Mosque National Temple
of Divine Providence Place of worship Chinese temple


^ Latin
Dictionary and Grammar Aid. University of Notre Dame. 26 May 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2009.  ^ ALAYAM : The Hindu Temple;An Epitome of Hindu Culture; G.Venkataramana Reddy; Published by Adhyaksha; Sri Ramakrishna Math; ISBN 978-81-7823-542-4 ; Page 1 ^ "New York Buddhist
for World Peace". Kadampanewyork.org. 1997-08-01. Retrieved 2012-06-20.  ^ Babb, Lawrence, A (1996). Absent lord: ascetics and kings in a Jain ritual culture. Published University of California Press. p. 66.  ^ Spencer 1984, p. 22, 44; Snape 1996, p. 9 ^ Dunand and Zivie-Coche 2005, pp. 89–91 ^ Assmann 2001, p. 4 ^ Shafer, Byron E., "Temples, Priests, and Rituals: An Overview", in Shafer 1997, pp. 1–2 ^ André Dollinger. The Ancient Egyptian Economy. pp. 5 [1] Retrieved June 19, 2012 ^ "The Gurdwara". bbc.co.uk. BBC. Retrieved 18 March 2013.  ^ " Gurdwara
Requirements". worldgurudwaras.com. Retrieved 18 March 2013.  ^ Koontz, Rex (2013). Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs. New York, New York: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 9780500290767.  ^ Michael A. Meyer, Response to Modernity: A History of the Reform Movement in Judaism, Wayne State University Press, 1995. p. 42. ^ Baldayac, Rafael. "Iglesia y templo: diferencia". La Informacion. Retrieved 23 January 2018.  ^ "The Second Book of Nephi Chapter 5 - 5:16". Lds.org. 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2012-06-20.  ^ "Temples". Achoiceland.com. 2010-10-01. Retrieved 2012-06-20.  ^ "List of Temples".  ^ "Frequently Asked Questions".  ^ Utah
Attorney General’s Office and Arizona Attorney General’s Office. The Primer, Helping Victims of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in Polygamous Communities. Updated June 2006. Page 23. ^ Johnson, Melvin C. (2006). Polygamy on the Pedernales:Lyman Wight's Mormon
Villages in Antebellum Texas, 1845-1858. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press. p. 125. Retrieved 6 February 2015.  ^ a b Andrea Moore-Emmett. God's Brothel. Pince-Nez Press: June 1, 2004. ISBN 1-930074-13-1 ^ "Jeffs dedicates FLDS temple site at YFZ
Ranch". The Eldorado Success. January 11, 2005. Archived from the original on March 7, 2005. Retrieved April 6, 2008.  ^ "FLDS temple nearly complete". Provo Daily Herald (AP). 31 January 2006.  ^ a b " Texas
Seizes Polygamist Warren Jeffs' Ranch". NBC News. Associated Press. April 17, 2014. Retrieved April 18, 2014.  ^ a b Carlisle, Nate (April 17, 2014). " Texas
takes possession of polygamous ranch". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

Hani, Jean, Le symbolisme du temple chrétien, G. Trédaniel (editor); [2. éd.] edition (1978), 207 p., ISBN 2-85707-030-6

External links[edit]

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Look up temple in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

online – distinct for the religious and anatomical terms Comparison between Egyptian and Greek temples

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