nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

General words for religious buildings?

As far as I know, English doesn't have general words for religious buildings-- it's synagogue, church, mosque, and it will annoy or confuse people if you interchange them.

Temple or shul might substitute for synagogue (there's cultural variation on that one, of course), and Hindu temple is the only catchphrase I've got for any other religion.

Are there languages which do have general words for religious buildings? Is it a sign of being calmer on the subject if a culture has such words? Is there a legal term in English for religious buildings?

ETA: The idea I was trying to get was that if there were a common word or phrase that people used to refer to houses of worship, including the one they go to, it might indicate that they thought of all religions as being the same sort of thing.

For example, you might refer to your local supermarket by its trademark but there'd be nothing odd about saying that you're going to a supermarket, because there's no strong group loyalty which leads you to think that your preferred supermarket is qualitatively different from other sorts of supermarket.

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