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Temple & Webster
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  • A temple is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice

 Temple & Webster facts

  • 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
  • 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 Ancient Roman religion, the word has now become quite widely used to describe a house of worship for any number of religions and is even used for time periods prior to the Romans

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