Religion Past and Present

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Predictive Prophecy/Divination
(1,842 words)

[German Version]

I. History of Religions

The phenomenon of predictive prophecy is often referred to by the related terms “promise” and “soothsaying,” which vary in content according to context. While soothsaying or divination belongs in the demonic sphere of an individual’s curiosity about his or her future, prophetic promise is invariably understood as the prediction of eschatological and collective salvation; calamity is merely “predicted,” not “promised.” The criteria offered by the Shepherd of Hermas (Herm. Mand. XI [43…

Cite this page
Böcher, Otto, “Predictive Prophecy/Divination”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 19 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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