Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

Get access Subject: Religious Studies
Editors: Erwin Fahlbusch, Jan Milič Lochman, John Mbiti, Jaroslav Pelikan and Lukas Vischer

Help us improve our service

The Encyclopedia of Christianity Online describes modern-day Christian beliefs and communities in the context of 2000 years of apostolic tradition and Christian history. Based on the third, revised edition of the critically acclaimed German work Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon. The Encyclopedia of Christianity Online includes all 5 volumes of the print edition of 1999-2008 which has become a standard reference work for the study of Christianity past and present. Comprehensive, reflecting the highest standards in scholarship yet intended for a wide range of readers, the The Encyclopedia of Christianity Online also looks outward beyond Christianity, considering other world religions and philosophies as it paints the overall religious and socio-cultural picture in which the Christianity finds itself.

Subscriptions: see brill.com

Ecumenical Mission

(1,115 words)

Author(s): Raiser, Konrad
1. The term “ecumenical mission” denotes an understanding of Christian mission according to which witness to the one gospel is the comprehensive task of the worldwide church. Ecumenical mission views itself against the background of the divine sending to the whole world ( missio Dei; Missiology) and is oriented to the ultimate unifying of all things under the rule of God (Eschatology). 2. This understanding brings together insights from almost a century of ecumenical missionary discussion. Between the Edinburgh Missionary Conference (1910) and the end of Wo…

Ecumenical Patriarchate

(1,516 words)

Author(s): FitzGerald, Thomas
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is the ranking church within the communion of the 14 autocephalous and 2 autonomous churches that presently compose Orthodox Christianity (Orthodox Church). The patriarch of Constantinople, present-day Istanbul, is regarded as the “first among equals” within the hierarchy of Orthodox bishops. His full title is “Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch.” The patriarchate includes episcopal sees—metropolitanates, archdioceses, and…

Ecumenical Symbols

(407 words)

Author(s): Schnitker, Thaddeus A. | Campbell, Ted A.
The term “ecumenical symbols” is sometimes used to describe Christian confessions of faith that have been affirmed across the boundaries of confessional traditions. Most specifically, the term refers to the use of the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene (or Niceno-Constantinopolitan) Creed, and less commonly to the Athanasian Creed (or, from its opening words, the Quicunque Vult), the three creeds affirmed in the Lutheran Book of Concord and the Anglican Articles of Religion. Although these creeds were affirmed in both Roman Catholic and Protestant bodie…

Ecumenical Theology

(2,270 words)

Author(s): Geense, Adriaan | Campbell, Ted A.
1. Term and Agencies 1.1. The practice of ecumenical theology is much older than the term itself. It began with Paul’s arguments concerning the unity of churches of Jews and Gentiles (Jewish Christians; Judaism) and their many groups and charismata and continued as theology developed with a common concern for truth. It prepared the way for the decisions of the ecumenical councils and accompanied ¶ the reception of these rulings. In a paradoxical way it was also the driving force behind the polemical writings of the Reformers, whose aim was to reform the one church, not to split it. 1.2. As an …


(5 words)

See Local Ecumenism

Ecumenism, Ecumenical Movement

(10,929 words)

Author(s): Rusch, William G.
The concept “ecumenism” has had different meanings over the history of the church. It has become firmly attached now to the modern movement, begun in 1910 in Edinburgh, concerned with the unity of Christians for the sake of the mission of the church to the world. At the turn of the 21st century, both “ecumenism” and “ecumenical movement” refer primarily to the multidimensional movement of churches and Christians whose goal is both the visible unity of the churches and an integration of mission, service, and renewal. 1. Concept 1.1. Early and Biblical Usage The root of “ecumenism” derive…


(607 words)

Author(s): Hafner, Hermann
1. Biblical In the OT we find God’s promised work of salvation, and the prophetic proclamation that addresses it, described metaphorically as a “building” of the “house of Israel” (Jer. 1:10; 18:9; 24:6; 31:28; 42:10; 45:4; Ezek. 36:36; Ps. 28:5). This is the root of the NT use of the concept, which is developed especially in Paul and his circle. We find five essential variations or components. 1.1. Edification is the apostolic work (Apostle, Apostolate) of founding and directing the congregation (1 Cor. 3:10–15; 2 Cor. 12:19; Eph. 2:20–22). As in the OT, its opposite is “tearing down” (2 …


(5,155 words)

Author(s): Groothoff, Hans-Hermann | Krenzer, Richard P. | Radtke, Muriel M. | Zeil-Fahlbusch, Elisabeth
1. Europe 1.1. Definition The popular term “education”—as also, from the 18th century, “culture”—defies comprehensive definition. It receives its concrete sense from the context in which it is used. Historically it derives from educatio, and there is a relation also to eruditio. It thus has an underlying sense that becomes clear when we relate it to other cultures. As a “function of society” (W. Dilthey), education cannot be abstracted from social development and treated in isolation. Thus in libera…

Edwards, Jonathan

(2,168 words)

Author(s): Guelzo, Allen C.
Jonathan Edwards (1703–58) was the most influential American-born theologian of the 18th century, and his writings continued to exert significant influence in English-speaking evangelical Protestant circles through much of the 19th century. Edwards’s popularity waned in the early part of the 20th century, as his theology was condemned by Progressive intellectuals and historians as antimodern and redolent of the fundamentalism they bitterly criticized as repressive and irrational. However, Edward…

Ego Psychology

(783 words)

Author(s): Browning, Don S.
Ego psychology is a movement within psychoanalytic psychology. It is associated with the names of Anna Freud (1895–1982), Heinz Hartmann, David Rapaport, Robert White, and Erik Erikson. The common feature of this school is its increased emphasis, in contrast to Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), upon the ego as the central organizing agency of the personality. This school saw the ego as somewhat more independent of the id than did Freud. In addition, it saw the ego as crucial for mental health, treating…


(2,787 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten | Swanson, Mark N.
1. Data Egypt is the most populous Arab country, even though the Nile makes only 4 percent of its land mass suitable for habitation and cultivation. The foundation of the modern Arab Republic of Egypt (Jumhūrīyat Miṣr al-ʿArabīyah), as it has been called since 1971, was laid in July 1952, when the reforming Free Officers under Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918–70) seized power. Egypt had previously been a constitutional monarchy, set up in 1923 after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World Wa…

Egyptian Religion

(2,052 words)

Author(s): Assmann, Jan
1. The Gods and Mythology 1.1. Names and Forms In Egyptian religion the combination of a theistic idea of God with a theriomorphic form (also with mixed forms) is typical. In the construction of the divine identity, there is thus a multiplicity that comes to expression in many names and forms. Splitting the major gods into local forms and fusing the gods together (Syncretism) are contradictory tendencies. Alongside 25–30 major deities, among whom the sun god and the equally ranked state god Amon-Re are always chief, there are a large but indefinite number of le…
▲   Back to top   ▲