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Incantation

(476 words)

Author(s): Alles, Gregory D.
[German Version] Incantations, as ritualized speech or writing, most closely resemble prayers. But whereas a prayer can be either spontaneous or formulaic, an incantation almost always uses traditional formulas. Prayers are addressed to personal powers such as gods, but incantations can also be addressed directly to natural forces. Normally prayers attempt to persuade a personal power through praise, whereas an incantation – also using words of praise and persuasion – attempts to coerce. If a prayer is unsuccess…

Contract

(1,461 words)

Author(s): Repgen, Tilman | Alles, Gregory D. | Pies, Ingo
[German Version] I. Law – II. Religious Studies – III. Sociology and Social Ethics I. Law Potential for development is of the essence of human personality. The legal instruments that promote …

Lament

(3,175 words)

Author(s): Alles, Gregory D. | Janowski, Bernd | Bayer, Oswald | Baldermann, Ingo | Kuhn, Peter
[German Version] Lament I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Systematic Theology – IV. Practical Theology – V. Judaism …

Signs

(2,878 words)

Author(s): Esterbauer, Reinhold | Alles, Gregory D. | Kober, Michael | Ochs, Peter | Linde, Gesche | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The term sign usually means something perceptible to the senses that signifies something else, which gives it its specific meaning. In theological and philosophical usage, it differs from the term symbol (Symbols), although the latter is sometimes used synonymously with sign in semiotics and mathematics as well as in logic. While Aristotle used the term σημεῖον/ sēmeíon in various contexts – including his theory of conclusions –,Augustine of Hippo associated the theory of signs more closely with the theory of language (Phi…

Prayer

(13,283 words)

Author(s): Alles, Gregory D. | Reventlow, Henning Graf | Gebauer, Roland | Förster, Niclas | Wallmann, Johannes | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Prayer is one of the most frequent and important religious acts in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It also appears in other religions – for example the indigenous religions of America. But it does not appear to be universal. Some Buddhist traditions, for example, are atheistic, and in them there is no prayer in the strict sense; these traditions often allow their adherents to pray to gods (e.g. Hindu gods), but they value the goals of such prayer less than enl…

Baptism

(22,186 words)

Author(s): Alles, Gregory D. | Avemarie, Friedrich | Wallraff, Martin | Grethlein, Christian | Koch, Günter | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. New Testament – III. Church History – IV. Dogmatics – V. Practical Theology – VI. History of Liturgy – VII. Law – VIII. Missions – IX. Art I. History of Religion From the standpoint of the history of religion, baptism is not a general type of rite (Rite and ritual) but a lustration ritual that is carried out not only in Christianity but also in historically related religions such as …