在罗马天主教、正教、及盎格鲁天主教（Anglo-Catholicism）神学中，敬奉是不同于仅属于上帝的崇拜（adoration）的一种尊敬。根据来自斯丢本维尔方济各会大学（Franciscan University of Steubenville）的执事（Deacon）马克·米拉维里博士（Dr. Mark Miravelle）的研究，英文单词"worship"与veneration和adoration都相关（以下引述马克·米拉维里博士的英文原文）：
Adoration, which is known as latria in classical theology, is the worship and homage that is rightly offered to God alone. It is the acknowledgement of excellence and perfection of an uncreated, divine person. It is the worship of the Creator that God alone deserves.
Veneration, known as dulia in classical theology, is the honor due to the excellence of a created person. This refers to the excellence exhibited by the created being who likewise deserves recognition and honor. We see a general example of veneration in events like the awarding of academic awards for excellence in school, or the awarding of the Olympic medals for excellence in sports. There is nothing contrary to the proper adoration of God when we offer the appropriate honor and recognition that created persons deserve based on achievement in excellence.
Here a further clarification should be made regarding the use of the term "worship" in relation to the categories of adoration and veneration. Some schools of theology use the term "worship" to introduce both adoration and veneration. They would distinguish between "worship of adoration" and "worship of veneration." The word "worship" (in the same way the theological term "cult" is traditionally used) in these classical definitions was not at all synonymous with adoration, but could be used to introduce either adoration or veneration. Hence Catholic writers will sometimes use the term "worship" not to indicate adoration, but only the worship of veneration given to Mary and the saints.
教会神学家们长期使用拉丁文名词latria以指仅归上帝的崇拜类型，而用dulia指对圣人和圣像画（icons）的敬奉（veneration）。天主教神学也将专指天主教传统中对圣母玛利亚的敬礼类型的名词hyperdulia包括在敬奉中。此区别在第七届大公会议（Seventh Ecumenical Council）（787年）的教义（dogma）结论中便被阐明，该大公会议也颁布教令称圣像破坏主义（iconoclasm）（禁止圣像和其敬奉）是异端，等于否定了耶稣的道成肉身（incarnation）。
And they told the king saying, "Behold, Nathan the prophet." And he came in before the king and he prostrated himself unto the king upon his face, to the ground.
该词亦可见于Genesis 23:7, 27:29, 33:3, 2 Kings 2:15, 1 Samuel 25:41以指通过向其鞠躬或拜倒以表示的对人的尊敬。
And he said, "Nay, but as captain of the host of the LORD have I now come." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said unto him, "What saith my lord unto his servant?" (21st Century KJV)
在基督新教中，如同其他一神教如伊斯兰教和犹太教一样，敬奉有时被视为等于偶像崇拜的异端，而与列圣有关的活动等于神化的异端。新教神學通常否認敬奉（veneration）和崇拜之間可以有任何實在的區別，並且宣稱敬奉活動將基督徒的靈魂从真正的对象——对上帝的崇拜处分散開。在其基督教要义（Institutes of the Christian Religion），约翰·加尔文写道，"(t)he distinction of what is called dulia and latria was invented for the very purpose of permitting divine honours to be paid to angels and dead men with apparent impunity."与此类似，伊斯兰教也谴责任何对圣像画的敬奉。印度教尊敬圣像画和穆谛（Murti），经常被视为偶像崇拜，可能也被看作是敬奉的一种。
- ^ Mark Miravalle, S.T.D, What is Devotion to Mary?
- ^ Mariology Society of America http://mariologicalsocietyofamerica.us
- ^ Centers of Marian Study http://www.servidimaria.org/en/attualita/promotori2/promotori2.htm
- ^ Publisher’s Notice in the Second Italian Edition (1986), reprinted in English Edition, Gabriel Roschini, O.S.M. (1989). The Virgin Mary in the Writings of Maria Valtorta (English Edition). Kolbe's Publication Inc. ISBN 2-920285-08-4
- ^ שָׁחָה (shâchâh)-- A primitive root; to depress, that is, prostrate (especially reflexively in homage to royalty or God): - bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.Hebrew Lexicon on Shachah
- ^ Now, this was Michael, as it is said: “Michael your prince.”Rashi's commentary on Joshua 5:15
- ON THE INVOCATION, VENERATION, AND RELICS, OF SAlNTS, AND ON SACRED IMAGES. Roman Catholic teaching from the Council of Trent (1545–63)
- "Dulia" from the Catholic Encyclopedia (1911)
- a Catholic defense of Latria and Duliaa defense of the Catholic teachings of Latria and Dulia by Catholic apologist William Albrecht who covers the Biblical terms in their religious usage in the Bible
- 基督教偶像崇拜(idolatry in Christianity)
- 童贞荣福玛利亚(Blessed Virgin Mary)