Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

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

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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.

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Author(s): Zimmerli, Walther C. | Brown, Robert F.
1. Kant’s Philosophical Achievement The thought of Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) is central to modern philosophy in two respects. First, it is a definitive synthesis of rationalism and empiricism, the two main strands of early modern thought. Second, it became the basic position to which all subsequent philosophies were more or less explicitly related. Kant’s writings are customarily divided into two periods, precritical and critical. The second began in 1781 with publication of the first edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, which lays out the basic elements of his theoretica…


(518 words)

Author(s): von Brück, Michael
Karma (Skt. karma, act [noun]) denotes in the Vedic period a special sacrificial act, then, from the time of the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa and the early Upanishads, all the actions in life that carry directly in themselves their own material and moral effect. Karma is one of the basic ideas of all Indian religions (Buddhism; Hinduism; Jainism) but is variously interpreted. It signifies universal interdependence and thus transcends a causality that is merely material, subjecting also the psychological,…


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Author(s): Sawatsky, Walter
1. General Situation In the fifth century a.d. the territory now called Kazakhstan was part of Transoxiana, or the region north of the Oxus (modern Amu Dar’ya) River, an area north of the Himalayas along the middle of the famous Silk Road, which extended from the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea to China. The population changed several times as Asiatic tribes migrated westward. The Kazakhs are now traced to nomads who were part of a Turkic khanate in the sixth century. In the modern era Russian and Soviet policy sought to make the nomadic Kazakhs sedentary by fostering…


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Author(s): Gerber, Uwe
1. Background Kenosis (i.e., “emptying,” Phil. 2:5–11, esp. v. 7) is a concept used in elucidation of the relation of the earthly Jesus to the Logos as the second person of the Trinity during his earthly life. In the early church it was equated with the assuming of human nature by the Logos in the incarnation. There have been three interpretations in Protestant theology. 2. Reformation and Orthodoxy At the Reformation the Reformed extra calvinisticum could view the incarnation and humiliation as one and the same act of the Logos (Calvin’s Theology), but the …


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Author(s): Henschel C.S.SP., Johannes
1. General The Republic of Kenya, an East African nation on the Indian Ocean, is bordered by Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania. It includes a coastal region, the hinterland, and a highland region with the volcanic Rift Valley, which is very fertile. A ¶ prominent feature is Lake Victoria; there are deserts in the north and northeast. The population of Kenya consists of many ethnic groups, including Gikuyu (or Kikuyu, 22 percent), Luhya (14 percent), Luo (13 percent), Kalenjini (12 percent), Akamba (11 percent), Kisii (6 percent), and Meru …


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Author(s): Harnisch, Wolfgang | Reumann, John
1. NT Usage and Background The Gk. noun kērygma means “proclamation, what is heralded aloud.” There are eight occurrences in ¶ the NT, six of them in Paul (1 Cor. 1:21, preaching, the apostle’s priority; 2:4, Christ crucified; 15:14; Rom. 16:25; 2 Tim. 4:17; Titus 1:3) and two in the Synoptics, plus “the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation” in the shorter ending of Mark. Some scholars stress not just what is preached but the dynamic action of proclaiming (C. F. Evans; R. H. Mounce, Essential Nature, 64, “content in the act of being proclaimed”). The verb kēryssō, …

Keys, Power of the

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Author(s): Haendler, Gert
1. Systematic Introduction The power of the keys (Lat. potestas clavium) is the power to open or close entry to the kingdom of God, to bind or loose (Matt. 16:19; 18:18). It includes pastoral authority (Pastoral Care) to pronounce forgiveness of sin, or absolution (Penance), and gives validity to acts of binding, disciplining, and ordering in excommunication, the imposing of penalties or remedial measures, and church discipline (Indulgences). It underlies authoritative proclamation and doctrinal decisions (Teaching Office).…