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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Gregory I

(946 words)

Author(s): Rusch, William G.
Pope Gregory I (ca. 540–604), known as Gregory the Great, was the last of the traditional Latin “Doctors of the Church.” Little is known of his life apart from a letter he attached to his work on the Book of Job (Magna moralia in Iob) and scattered references in his other letters and writings. Unlike some other figures of the patristic church, there is no contemporary biography. Most medieval accounts of his life are dependent upon the same sources available to modern scholarship. The son of a senator, Gregory in 573 occupied the highest civil position in Rome (praefectus urbi). Shortly after…

Gregory VII

(1,089 words)

Author(s): Rusch, William G.
Gregory VII (ca. 1018–85), whose baptized name was Hildebrand, was a pope and reformer of the church in the 11th century and one of the major figures in the struggle of that time between church and state. The exact date of Hildebrand’s birth is unknown. It was certainly before 1034, and a date around 1018 is probably quite accurate. He was born in Tuscany, probably in the vicinity of the modern city of Savona. Early in his life he went to Rome and was educated there, presumably in the monastery of St. Mary on the Aventine. By the year 1047 or 1049 he had taken his monastic vows. In 1046 Hildebrand w…


(872 words)

Author(s): Wagner-Rau, Ulrike
Grief is the reaction to a loss. It is caused especially by the death of a loved one, but also by divorce (Marriage and Divorce 4), moving, the loss of a job, sickness, the loss of cultural elements, destruction of the normal conditions of life, and so forth. Animals can also experience grief. 1. Symptoms Those who grieve experience a profound shattering of their understanding of themselves and of their world (Identity). Each type of grief has its own form. In many cases it involves preoccupation with a former loved one who has died and withdrawal f…

Group and Group Dynamics

(3,567 words)

Author(s): Fletcher, Wallace N.
1. Group A group is a number of individuals organized to fulfill a common purpose or purposes. Thus, as Wilfred Bion has commented, a crowd of sunbathers lying on a beach is not yet a group. If, though, they are aroused by the cries of a girl who is drowning and begin to cooperate in her rescue, they become a rudimentary group. All groups have purpose, structure, and dynamics. Their complexity lies in the variability and interaction of these aspects. A group’s purposes may be few or many. They may also be explicit or tacit, conscious or unconscious. Even a temporary, spontaneo…

Grundtvig, Nikolai Fredrik Severin

(1,178 words)

Author(s): Jørgensen, Theodor | Hjelm, Norman A.
Nikolai Fredrik Severin Grundtvig (1783–1872) was a Danish theologian, philosopher, historian, pedagogue, and writer. His accomplishments ranged from the development of a distinctive view of Christianity to ground-breaking studies in Anglo-Saxon poetry, the composition of more than 1,500 hymns (Hymnal 1.3), leadership in the establishment of the Danish system of parliamentary democracy, and the formation of a philosophy of education that has had global influence. Grundtvig grew up in an orthodox Lutheran, pietistic parsonage in Udby on southern Sjælland. Whil…


(1,973 words)

Author(s): Nikolitsch, Branko | Zipser, Ekkehard
1. The Land 1.1. Geography Among the eight nations in Central America, Guatemala is the fourth largest in area. It has a narrow access to the Caribbean and a long coastline along the Pacific. It is traversed by the Cordillera, a mountain chain that stretches from Alaska to Patagonia. Two-thirds of the country is mountainous. Along the Pacific coast there is a range of 33 partly active volcanoes. One of these, Tajumulco (4,220 m. / 13,845 ft.), is the highest mountain in Central America outside of Mexico. Several geological faults cause frequent earthquakes. To the nor…

Guest Workers

(6 words)

See Foreigners, Aliens


(1,581 words)

Author(s): Bron, Bernhard
1. Definition and Phenomenon Guilt is to be understood in relation to the violation of a fixed norm or ideal, or to the failure to live up to it. It presupposes some authority that calls us to account, such as God, reason, nature, or human law (Rights, Human and Civil). In content it is hard to distinguish among criminal, political, moral, metaphysical, and religious guilt. Today guilt is also felt in geoeconomic, ecological, social, and technological matters. 2. Theological Aspects In the Bible it is hard to differentiate guilt from sin (§§1, 2; see Luke 15:18; 18:13). Guilt stresses the …


(857 words)

Author(s): Mbiti, John
1. General Situation The Republic of Guinea, on the west coast of Africa, was a French colony from 1904 until it gained independence in 1958 under the leadership of the Parti Démocratique de Guinée, the Guinea branch of the Reassemblement Démocratique Africaine (Colonialism). The constitution of 1958 declared Guinea a secular state, with equal rights guaranteed to all citizens, regardless of religion (art. 39). The independence struggle was led by Sékou Touré, who in 1952 became the party’s secretary-general. Although a potentially rich country with abund…


(726 words)

Author(s): Pobee, John S.
1. General Situation Guinea-Bissau, a republic on the west coast of Africa, is bounded to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean, by Senegal to the north, and by Guinea to the east and south. This small country contains over 27 ethnic groups speaking 22 languages. The official language is Portuguese, and Creole is the language of trade. Guinea-Bissau’s first encounters with Europe came when Portuguese traders arrived in 1446 and Roman Catholic missionaries followed in 1462. More striking was the slave trade, which the Portuguese carried out in the 17t…

Guru Movement

(19 words)

See Ānanda Mārga; Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh; Divine Light Mission; Krishna Consciousness, International Society for; Transcendental Meditation


(1,905 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen | Persaud, Winston D.
1. History, Society, Economy, and State Guyana (officially The Co-operative Republic of Guyana), on the north coast of South America, is the only English-speaking country in the continent. Its capital is Georgetown, which in 1995 had an estimated population of 254,000. European settlement began in 1616–21 with the arrival of the Dutch West India Company. England took possession for the first time in 1796 but then returned the land to Holland in 1802. In 1814 it was partitioned among contending powers, with a commission awarding one par…
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