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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(2,792 words)

Author(s): Watson, Duane F. | Otto, Gert
1. History of the Rhetoric and the Bible 1.1. History of Rhetoric Corax of Sicily is credited with having conceptualized and systematized rhetoric in 476 b.c. Its introduction to Greece is attributed to Tisias, a student of Corax. Gorgias, an ambassador from Sicily, is thought to have presented rhetoric to Athens in 427 b.c. and to have stayed and founded a school of rhetoric. Rhetoric was further systematized quickly in response to the judicial and political needs of democratic society in Greece. At this t…

Righteousness, Justice

(6,688 words)

Author(s): Dietrich, Walter | Reumann, John | Luz, Ulrich | Strohm, Theodor
1. OT 1.1. Term The Heb. root ṣdq is as comprehensive in meaning as the Eng. “right(eous),” Ger. (ge)recht, Gk. nomos, or Lat. ius (Law). It embraces, besides the narrower legal sense of justice, judgment, and standard for what is right (Ger. Gericht, Rechts-norm), the wider ethicosocial sphere of wholesome and salutary relationships. The masc. ṣedeq denotes a state of beneficently ordered relationships between people or between people and God; the fem. ṣĕdāqâ refers to conduct that corresponds to this state or promotes it; the verb ṣdq describes the related action…


(6,344 words)

Author(s): Witte Jr., John
1. Term and Distinctions The term “rights” today is so commonplace that it is in danger of becoming cliché. Rights talk has become a dominant mode of political, legal, and moral discourse in the West, and rights protections and violations have become increasingly important issues in international relations and diplomacy. Most nation-states now have detailed bills or recitations of rights in their constitutions, statutes, and cases. The United Nations and various other groups of nation-states have de…


(697 words)

Author(s): Söhnen-Thieme, Renate
The word “Rig-Veda” means literally “sacred knowledge in stanzas.” As the sacred text in many strands of Hinduism, the Rig-Veda is a collection of 1,028 poems, with 10,600 stanzas in all. It is written in ancient Sanskrit and divided into 10 cycles, of which 1 and 8–10 were added later to an older corpus (2–7). In the latter the hymns of a traditional family of poets are collected and arranged according to deities and an ascending number of stanzas. The first part of the first cycle and then the…


(1,912 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten | Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich
1. Religious History The term “rite” (Lat. ritus, orig. “what is correctly reckoned,” then “what is appropriate; usage, custom”) came into use in Roman religion for an ordered and solemn ceremony. The adjective ritualis thus means “that which relates to religious usage.” 1.1. Theology tends to use “rites,” and religious studies and social anthropology prefer “ritual,” for religious ceremonies or for sequences of such ceremonies. Ethnology recognizes that whole groups of human actions and animal modes of behavior have a set and standar…