Standard Article

Devotionalism and Devotional Literature

  1. Michael Pasquier

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0417

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Pasquier, M. 2011. Devotionalism and Devotional Literature. The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Devotionalism refers to formal and informal relationships between human beings and sacred figures, involving an assortment of prayers, rituals, and worship practices. Devotional literature is a common feature of devotionalism inasmuch as devotees imagine and describe their contact with gods, ancestors, spirits, saints, and other holy persons in written form. Such religious activities have proven essential to the development of religions throughout human history. World religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam direct their adherents to devote themselves to a variety of sacred entities, places, causes, and ideas. In all of these traditions, devotees seek to apply their knowledge of the sacred to their daily lives.


  • devotionalism and devotional literature;
  • formal and informal, human beings and sacred figures;
  • devotional literature of devotionalism, in as much as devotees imagine;
  • devotees, applying knowledge of the sacred to their daily lives;
  • khristianos, in acts 11:26 of disciples, followers of Jesus Christ;
  • ascetic practices with Christian devotion;
  • veneration of images of Christ, commonplace;
  • Augustine's confessions and the city of God;
  • medieval Christians, sacraments and cult of the saints;
  • cult of the Virgin Mary, devotionalism in Roman Catholic