Religious Concepts of Water

Water has a central place in the practices and beliefs of many religions for two main reasons. Firstly, water cleanses. Water washes away impurities and pollutants, it can make an object look as good as new and wipe away any signs of previous defilement. Water not only purifies objects for ritual use, but can make a person clean, externally or spiritually, ready to come into the presence of his/her focus of worship. Secondly, water is a primary building block of life. Without water there is no life, yet water has the power to destroy as well as to create. We are at the mercy of water just as we are at the mercy of our God or goddess. The significance of water manifests itself differently in different religions and beliefs but it is these two qualities of water that underlie its place in our cultures and faiths.


For Buddhists symbolism and ritual is pointless because they seek spiritual enlightenment that comes from seeing the reality of unreality…

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Almost all Christian churches or sects have an initiation ritual involving the use of water.  Baptism has its origins in the symbolism…

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Water in Hinduism has a special place because it is believed to have spiritually cleansing powers.  To Hindus all water is sacred…

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In Islam water is important for cleansing and purifying. Muslims must be ritually pure before approaching God in prayer….

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In Judaism ritual washing is intended to restore or maintain a state of ritual purity and its origins can be found in the Torah…

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