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Extra resources for A Dictionary for Believers and Nonbelievers
ASTARTE, a goddess of fertility, love and motherhood worshipped by the Phoenicians. She was usually represented in the form of a naked woman with ram's horns. ASTRAL CULTS (from the Greek "astron'� meaning "star"), the relig ious worship of heavenly luminaries and phenomena and religious or magic rituals connected with such worship, that have been found on va rying scales in the history of all peo ples. Astral cults were particularly widespread in Ancient Mesopota mia, Egypt and India, where temples served simultaneously as observa tories, since irrigation agriculture practised in those regions demanded close observation of heavenly bodies, on whose movements the overflow of rivers was chronologi cally dependent.
Over a long historical period art has de veloped hand in hand with religion and has even been incorporated by the Church into the overall pattern of religious worship. Yet on the strength of its humanist nature art inevitably came into conflict with religion. The Christian Church, for example, · found unacceptable life affirming, optimistic trends in art. It always opposed everything that was linked with a critical attitude to wards reality, which is why popular art was frequently condemned by the Church.
ARCllIMANDRITE, the highest title for monks in the Orthodox Church or an honorary title con ferred upon the heads of large mon asteries. It can also be used as the honorary title for the principals of seminaries, and those in charge of theological missions. ARCHONTICS, one of the trends to be found in Gnosticism. e. forefa thers, ancestors. The supreme ar chont was identified with Christ and the others with powers, principles and angels who created a multitude of heavens. , as pagan and excessively alle gorical.
A Dictionary for Believers and Nonbelievers by Progress Publishers