The etymology of anathema takes us to a word of the language Greek that can be translated as "damn" or "offering", according to the context. The term, in this way, has several uses.
The first meaning mentioned by the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE ) in your dictionary refers to the excommunication : the act that consists in removing a person from a community of the faithful, preventing him from accessing the sacraments.
The anathema, in this sense, is associated with a sentence : the subject is separated or isolated from the group to which he belonged, by way of punishment. In ancient times, anathema not only included the excommunication of the heretic, but the person It was also sent to exile and was subject to a curse.
To whom the anathema was applied was a life sentence. The anathematized subject, in the Old Testament , was condemned to extermination since it was considered as the object of a curse of God .
In the context of Christianity, the term anathema must be understood as someone who is "cursed", and who must remain "outside the Church." This form of sentence It is the highest that a sinner can receive, since it is not only excluded from the sacraments but the penalty lasts forever, as mentioned in the previous paragraph.
That which drags the moral reprobation It is also mentioned as anathema. He fascism , for example, can be considered as anathema today. This ideology developed by the Italian Benito Mussolini in the first half of twentieth century It was based on a totalitarian state, with a strong nationalist component and the exercise of violence against opponents.
The application of fascism caused thousands of deaths: that is why today is anathema. If a person defines himself as a fascist, he will soon receive criticism for his position and could even be denounced to the Justice if you understand that with your conduct , incites some type of crime.
As indicated at the beginning of the article, this term has several meanings, and not all of them have negative connotations. In recent times, the language has re-linked it with benevolent issues, and this leads us to its definition as "offering for the gods ", the meaning that he supposedly received at first according to the studies of Ancient Greece.
The deviation of the meaning of this word began when it was used to translate herem, a term of Hebrew origin that means "out of bounds, forgotten, cursed, taboo." This happened throughout the making of the Septuagint Bible, a translation of the oldest Aramaic and Hebrew texts. In this context, it was used herem to describe offerings to God or objects that were separated from religion, and confusion arose from using anathema in both cases.
If we place ourselves in Ancient Greece, anathema was any practice or object that is reserved to honor the gods in a temple , or enjoy character sacred . In this way we can find the term as a synonym for "gifts to the Lord" and "votive offerings" in some ancient texts.
Since the word herem It has in its meaning the duality of "consecrate or deliver with fervor and affection" and "exterminate", over time adopted the idea of "exterminating the idolaters", and this wide range of nuances, some of them contradictory, went on to the definition of anathema. In this way, the term began to be used to describe objects and people that undoubtedly gave themselves up to mundane and that, therefore, they should be destroyed.