anathema(redirected from anathemas)
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anathema(ənă`thĭmə) [Gr.,=something set up; dedicated to a divinity as a votive offering], term that came to denote something devoted to a divinity for destruction. In the Bible, the term is herem. Anathema means "accursed" in the New Testament, where it clearly suggests separation from God as the penalty. In the early Church and in Judaism contemporaneous with it, it was a penalty conveyed by a decree of excommunicationexcommunication,
formal expulsion from a religious body, the most grave of all ecclesiastical censures. Where religious and social communities are nearly identical it is attended by social ostracism, as in the case of Baruch Spinoza, excommunicated by the Jews.
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a formal ecclesiastical curse of excommunication or a formal denunciation of a doctrine
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005