Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

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

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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(2,619 words)

Author(s): Blessing, Werner K.
1. Term and Concept The term “restoration” comes from Lat. restauro, “restore, rebuild, renew.” In the early modern period in Europe, “restoration” was normally used, as in classical Latin, for external reparation in the sense of keeping in repair or improving, especially buildings. But occasionally even in the 17th century, and then increasingly in the 19th, it took on the sense of cultural, intellectual, or religious renewal or restoration. England in the 17th century also gave the term political significance. Around 1800 “restoration” underwent significant expansion of …

Restoration Movements

(3,377 words)

Author(s): Toulouse, Mark G.
1. In Great Britain In the days since the Protestant Reformation began in Europe, many individuals and groups have laid claim to capturing the essence of primitive Christianity. This emphasis on the primitive church, sometimes called primitivism, sometimes called the desire for restitution, but mostly referred to in literature as the hope for a “restoration” of ancient Christianity, took root in emerging Protestant soil. Michael Servetus (ca. 1511–53), for example, put to death by John Calvin, published a book on the need to restore Christianity because of it…


(6,428 words)

Author(s): Alsup, John E. | Rigby, Cynthia L.
1. NT The NT documents agree in affirming Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. They announce not the extension of his earthly life ( Wiederbelebung, resuscitation) but his entry upon a new, glorified existence, a new creation (1 Cor. 15:12–58; Phil. 3:21, et al.). In one sense, this affirmation was not any easier to accept and to proclaim then than it is today. And yet it was and remains at the heart of the Christian faith theologically and at the beginning of the church’s emergence historically (see L. Goppelt, Theology). The earliest of our extant writings literarily (ca. a.d. 50), 1 The…


(4,172 words)

Author(s): Antes, Peter | Sykes, Stephen W.
1. Religious Aspects 1.1. Judeo-Christian Source As a technical term in religious usage, “revelation” comes from the Judeo-Christian tradition, more narrowly, from Christian theology. Its adoption as an academic term has brought with it a material expansion of meaning, the aim being to discover and systematically describe essential elements of biblical religion as they might appear in nonbiblical religious traditions. The legitimacy of this procedure has been variously evaluated according to the defin…

Revelation, Book of

(1,550 words)

Author(s): Karrer, Martin
1. Genre and Place in Religious History As the Book of Revelation itself says in 1:1–2, 9–11, it is a “revelation” (apokalypsis) of Jesus Christ that is meant for Christians and is given through “John.” Though being an epistolary work in dialogue with the churches of Asia Minor (1:4, 11), it has predominantly the features of ancient apocalyptic. The early church used the term “apocalypse” for other Christian texts and for Jewish texts that were received by Christians, for example, the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch. Finally, the Book of Revelation appeared as the primary represent…


(815 words)

Author(s): Maurer, Bernhard
In Gk. aidōs and Lat. reverentia, reverence is regard, respect, veneration, awe. It signifies being gripped by the revered object and restrained by awe. The original idea is that of astonishment and stillness in the presence of the divine. It is a basic religious experience, the substratum of all such experience (F. Heiler). It is also the basis of the moral consciousness (E. Brunner). It rests on direct feeling (not a natural disposition) but is also a historically conditioned attitude. It forms …


(3,289 words)

Author(s): Gäbler, Ulrich
1. Definition The term “revivals” is a general one used to describe the movements of awakening that covered all the Protestant territories of Europe and North America in the 18th and 19th centuries. The term remains popular, especially in those parts of the Protestant world under American influence. Revivals are seen as counteracting Christian decline, both spiritual and social, and, by special evangelistic and organizational means (Evangelism), as renewing church and society on a biblical and reformative basis. To portray revivals as a whole is very difficult. Quite apar…


(3,076 words)

Author(s): Jaeggi, Urs | Jaeggi, Rahel
1. Term “Revolution” refers to basic upheaval, radical break, profound change, and new beginning. We must differentiate between a narrower and a broader use. “Revolution” might signify a rapid overthrow by force, a revolt after the manner of civil war, the overturning of social, economic, and political relations. Or it might denote a longer process of structural change or development as in the case of the industrial or technological revolution. As an overextended slogan (boldly employed even in co…
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