In culture

Religion Main article: Water and religion Water is considered a purifier in most religions. Major faiths that incorporate ritual washing (ablution) include Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Rastafari movement, Shinto, Taoism, and Wicca. Immersion (or aspersion or affusion) of a person in water is a central sacrament of Christianity (where it is called baptism); it is also a part of the practice of other religions, including Islam (Ghusl), Judaism (mikvah) and Sikhism (Amrit Sanskar). In addition, a ritual bath in pure water is performed for the dead in many religions including Islam and Judaism. In Islam, the five daily prayers can be done in most cases after completing washing certain parts of the body using clean water (wudu), unless water is unavailable (see Tayammum). In Shinto, water is used in almost all rituals to cleanse a person or an area (e.g., in the ritual of misogi). Water is mentioned numerous times in the Bible, for example: "The earth was formed out of water and by water" (NIV). In the Qur'an it is stated that "Living things are made of water" and it is often used to describe paradise. Philosophy The Ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles held that water is one of the four classical elements along with fire, earth and air, and was regarded as the ylem, r basic substance of the universe. Water was considered cold and moist. In the theory of the four bodily humors, water was associated with phlegm. The classical element of Water was also one of the five elements in traditional Chinese philosophy, along with earth, fire, wood, and metal. Water is also taken as a role model in some parts of traditional and popular Asian philosophy. James Legge's 1891 translation of the Dao De Jing states "The highest excellence is like (that of) water. The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying, without striving (to the contrary), the low place which all men dislike. Hence (its way) is near to (that of) the Tao" and "There is nothing in the world more soft and weak than water, and yet for attacking things that are firm and strong there is nothing that can take precedence of itЧfor there is nothing (so effectual) for which it can be changed."[68] Literature Water is used in literature as a symbol of purification. Examples include the critical importance of a river in As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner and the drowning of Ophelia in Hamlet. Sherlock Holmes held that "From a drop of water, a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other."