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Worship ( Latin adoratio ) means praying worship of a god. As worship (Latin devotio , also theolatry ) it is expressed in worship (cultus) . Often there are special gestures associated with worship, e.g. B. kneeling down, certain arm and hand positions, looking upwards, or special forms of expression such as singing worship songs .

Moses and the Burning Bush, Dieric Bouts d. Ä. attributed (around 1465–1470)

Animism and polytheism

The concrete thinking of the peoples since the primitive societies tied the worship in animistic and polytheistic ideas often to sacred places (trees, springs, temples, graves) or objects ( amulets , images of gods), which has continued as a custom in monotheistic religions. Representations of the Adoration can be found z. B. on rock carvings from the Bronze Age or rune stones ( Krogstastenen ).


The Judaism , starting religion of the Abrahamic religions , knows the meaning of worship in prayer to the one invisible God , the transcendent world of multiplicity and the things facing. In some psalms it becomes clear that worship can be associated with singing and instruments as part of Jewish life.

The following applies in Judaism :

  • No other god should be worshiped:
There is no other god for you. You should not worship a strange god. Ps 81.10  EU
  • Idols and the work of the hands are not to be worshiped:
I destroy your images of gods and your consecrated stone marks and you will no longer prostrate yourself to the work of your hands Mi 5.12  EU

Christians often worship God as the Triune God , God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The prayers addressed to Jesus Christ in the Revelation of John sound similar to those addressed to God ( Rev 4.11  EU , Rev 5.12  EU ).

In Catholic and Orthodox theology , worship or latreia , which is only due to the Triune God , is strictly distinguished from worship or dulia , which can also be dedicated to saints and icons . Eucharistic worship is a special form of worship in the Roman Catholic Church .

The Tawheed of Islam declares God (Arabic: Allah) as the one besides whom there are no other gods and who was neither conceived nor created.

In the fine arts

Alessandro Botticelli : Adoration of the Magi , 1475, tempera on wood. The baby Jesus is adored by the three kings .

Traditional motifs of Christian iconography are the adoration of the baby Jesus by the three wise men or the adoration by the shepherds or the adoration at the crucifixion of Christ . In connection with the apocryphal Gospel of James , St. Joachim making a sacrifice to God.

The dance around the golden calf , on the other hand, represents the worship of an idol.

See also

Web links

Wikiquote: Worship  - Quotes
Wiktionary: worship  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Further references from Franz Graf-Stuhlhofer : Jesus Christ - God's Son . 3. Edition. Leun 2012, ISBN 3-88936-140-4 , pp. 35-39.
  2. See the comprehensive description in Thomas Marschler : Small Theology of Adoration. In: Forum Catholic Theologie 28 (2012), pp. 1–32.