OGHAM: See discussion under , above.

OLYMPIAN: Known as the "theoi," in Greek, the Olympian deities were those gods in Greco-Roman mythology who resided or frequently met on the top of Mount Olympus as part of Zeus' advisors and close family. They were traditionally numbered at twelve, though accounts varied slightly in which deities fell into this category. The Greeks saw the Olympian deities as contrasting with both the Twelve Titans (whom Zeus overthrew to establish his own reign) and with the older gods (i.e., the spirits of the dead, and fertility spirits of blood and vengeance associated the earth).

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Contrast this tendency with Rousseau's idea of the , which likewise over-simplifies and lumps together diverse groups as a means of contrasting one's own ethnic group as outsiders, but in this case tends to idealize or romanticize the Other as superior to one's own culture, seeing them as possessing innate virtues and qualities lacking in one's own group.


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Origenian doctrine is a type of . Origen based his idea on verses such as 1 John 2:2, which states that Christ took away the sins of the "whole" world, implying the mundus in toto, rather than the saints alone, and Timothy 2:4-2:6, which asserts God "wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth," and that Christ was a ransom or sacrifice for "all men." Origen argued that, since God is all powerful, his desires cannot be thwarted; therefore, it must come to pass eventually that every soul God creates will come to that salvation, as it makes no sense for a loving Father like God to punish his erring children forever rather than remedially and temporarily. Accordingly, Origen thought that after death, in some mysterious way, spirits could come to turn back to God after dying in sin. That might (depending on the particular heterodox theologian) come about through reincarnation (God giving the sinner a second chance to choose the right path) or alternatively, while Hell's fires are never quenched, God might remove the soul from those hellfires when it turned to sincere repentence. Saint Augustine of Hippo strongly opposed this doctrine, and the Fifth Ecumenical Council in 553 AD declared Origen's beliefs to be heretical.


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ONTOLOGY--The branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of existence: what things exist and in what ways they exist. This branch often contrasts with epistemology--the branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of knowledge--i.e., how we know something, in what ways we can know something, and what mental limitations prevent us from knowing certain things.

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ONEIROMANCY: The belief that dreams could predict the future, or the act of predicting the future by analyzing dreams. Elements of oneiromantic belief may have influenced the of medieval , especially Biblical passages regarding divine premonitions appearing in the form of dreams. Likewise, in Renaissance literature such as Shakespeare's plays, Shakespeare readily adapted oneiromantic beliefs into the dreams of his characters to create .

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OBELISK: Also called a dagger, this punctuation mark looks much like a Christian cross. Older texts used this mark to indicate a digression or extraneous text moved out of the main body of the essay and relocated at the bottom of the page as a sidenote. If more than one such section needed such relocation, the second passage was marked by a "double dagger" that looked like two crosses attached together along the vertical line of the crosses. The obelisk has fallen out of common use today, as most modern editors prefer using footnotes. The Uniform Code to create an obelisk on a PC is ALT + 0134.