This work with the ingenious title Sacred and Profane in Modern Greek and the clarifying subtitle “An Hermeneutic Dictionary of Religious Terminology” by Ioannis Stephanis, Professor Emeritus of Classical Philology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, is a “tool for the understanding and use of religious, irreligious and seemingly religious words of our contemporary language”, according to its author. Its over 15,000 entries include theological, religious and liturgical terms concerning every aspect of our old and modern religious life (e.g. Ααρών, Αβαδών, άβακας, αβάπτιστος, άβατος, αβ(β)αείο, etc.). And, of course, many of them (e.g. άγιος, ιερός, Παναγία, παπάς, Χριστός) are uniquely extensive, are analysed exhaustively and contain a large number of examples and references.
The author, Ioannis Stephanis, uniquely methodical and passionate, with an excellent knowledge of the field and rigorous scholarship, who humbly states that his work is “mostly addressed to university and school students and their teachers, linguists, journalists, translators, seminarians and young priests”, embodies in the book a 16 year-long effort and reaches out to all of us.
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