Ektheize

(ECK-thee-eyes) A verb, meaning to incorporate into a religion, to make a matter of religion. Derived from the Greek word ἐκθειάζω, meaning “to make a god of, regard as supernatural.”

Ektheizing is different from deifying: whereas deifying makes something or someone into a god, and therefore into the central focus, ektheizing adds something to an existing corpus of beliefs. Many modern Christians have ektheized prosperity, believing that God wants material prosperity for all of us and we have simply to claim it. The phrase “cleanliness is next to godliness” is ektheizory, as it gives cleanliness a religious importance.

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