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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(1,201 words)

Author(s): Pobee, John S.
1. Political Situation Ghana, known until 1957 as the Gold Coast, is a West African nation being welded out of congeries of loosely knit tribes. Ethnic pluralism and its encirclement by francophone Africa cause tensions for this former British colony, raising issues of national unity and security that have preoccupied successive governments. Its religions include African traditional religions (Guinea 2), Christianity, and Islam (mostly the school of the Malikites and the Aḥmadı̄yah sect). Since independence from British colonial rule in 1957, Ghana has had five civi…


(954 words)

Author(s): van Arkel, Dirk
“Ghetto” was the name of a quarter of the city of Venice that in 1516 was set aside exclusively for Jews. It lay on the site of a former cannon foundry, from which it derived its name (It. getto means “throwing” or “casting [bronze or iron]”). The segregation was decreed out of a desire to avert the wrath of God, which seemed to hang over the city because of lack of success in the war against the League of Cambrai. The thinking was that God’s anger had been kindled because thus far, in defiance of canonical rulings, Jews had been al…


(688 words)

Author(s): Lochman, Jan Milič
1. The Hebrew term for “glory” ( kābôd, also “weight”) has its basis in secular usage. Human glory consists of the “weight” carried in a community; that is, regard. Yahweh’s glory expresses power, loftiness, and beauty. It accompanies his revelation (Exod. 24:16; Isaiah 6; Ezekiel 1), indicating both proximity and inaccessibility (God; Revelation). It seals the faithfulness manifested in the covenant between God and humankind. Thus the concluding of the covenant at Sinai is crowned by the revelation of God’s glory (Exod. 24:15–17). Eschatologically this glory is manifested …


(2,806 words)

Author(s): Johns, Cheryl Bridges | Macchia, Frank
1. Definition and Terminology Glossolalia, or “speaking in tongues” (or simply “tongues”), refers to the religious phenomenon of persons speaking languages not known to them. The term “glossolalia” derives from glōssais lalō, a Greek phrase used in the NT meaning “speak in, with, or by tongues [i.e., other languages].” The related term “xenolalia” is used to describe glossolalia when the language being spoken is an identifiable language never learned by the speaker. 2. Glossolalia in the NT Glossolalia in the NT, generally considered to be a language miracle, played a…


(709 words)

Author(s): Kjeldgaard-Pedersen, Steffen
1. Term In the history of dogma (Dogma, History of), “Gnesio-Lutherans” (or “authentic Lutherans”) refers to a group of theologians who, in the internal Protestant debates between the Augsburg Interim (1548) and the Formula of Concord (1577; Confessions and Creeds), argued against Philippism that they were the true guardians of the heritage of Martin Luther (1483–1546; Luther’s Theology) and who thus described themselves as (true) Lutherans. The center of this strongly Lutheran movement was first …

Gnosis, Gnosticism

(2,452 words)

Author(s): Nagel, Peter
1. Term, History, and Definition The Gk. noun gnōsis originally meant knowledge of things and objects that the knower could apprehend ¶ by understanding (nous) and reason (logos)—that is, rationally (Epistemology). Along with the basic epistemological sense a qualitatively new meaning developed from the first century b.c. that separated the object and act of knowledge from rational experience and transferred it to the religious level. “Gnosis” now came to mean knowledge of divine mysteries, this knowledge being reserved for a select circl…