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Metacriticism

(437 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Oswald
[German Version] The term “metacriticism” was coined (as Metakritik) by J.G. Hamann on Jul 7, 1782 in the context of discussing I. Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. On Sep 15, 1784, he sent his Metakritik über den Purismus der Vernunft [Metacriticism of the purism of reason] to J.G. Herder. Drawing on Hamann's text and modifying it, Herder subsequently published the two-part treatise Verstand und Erfahrung. Eine Metakritik zur Kritik der reinen Vernunft [Intellect and experience: a metacriticism of the “critique of pure reason”]. Hamann's own text was only published …

Bizer, Ernst

(216 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Oswald
[German Version] (Apr 29, 1904, Tailfingen – Feb 1, 1975, Bonn). After studying at Tübingen, Marburg, and Princeton, Bizer became a pastor in Tailfingen in 1934. He entered the army in 1942; as a prisoner of war, he served as director of the theological school in the prison camp at Montpellier. In 1947 he became professor of church history at Bonn (D. Theol. B…

Promise

(647 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Oswald
[German Version] I. Dogmatics According to the New Testament (see esp. 2 Cor 1:19f.), Jesus Christ is the bodily form and story through which God in the Holy Spirit reveals, conveys, and gives his promise – or more precisely reveals, conveys, and ¶ gives himself as promise, in, with, and under his name (Exod 3:14): “I a…

Seducibility/Seduction

(830 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Oswald
[German Version] Human seducibility comes with with human freedom of action (Gen 1:28; 2:15) and linguistic competence (Gen 2:19f.); misjudging its extent in the “vertigo” of possibilities (cf. Kierkegaard, 60), it flirts with the impossible (Gen 3:6). People allow themselves to be seduced when they seek to realize the impossible possibility of being like God (Gen 3:5), so that even the presupposition of creaturely trial and error that is part of freedom of action is called into question or allows…

Gift

(1,063 words)

Author(s): Mürmel, Heinz | Bayer, Oswald
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Systematic Theology I. Religious Studies In the religious studies context, gifts are usually not understood in terms of a present, and such an idea is ¶ based on a misunderstanding (M. Douglas, preface to Mauss, VII). Each gift is one part within a system of reciprocities between those giving and those receiving at the time. Participants in this system may belong to various levels: closer or more distant groups or individuals among the living of varying generations, the dead (ancestors), gods, or divine beings. In each case, the circulation of the most diverse gifts is meant to establish, strengthen or maintain relationships that are characterized by solidarity and so bring about community. Mauss states that in such a system of (exchange) relationships, symbolic assets necessarily circulate together with material ones: movable and immovable possessions, economically serviceable items, acts of courtesy, banquets, rituals, periods of military service, women, children, festivals, markets, and acts of obeisance. The potlatch, as a system of total obligation with an element of competition to the point of exhaustive giving, is described as the most striking form of gift in this sense. The ritual staging of this “institution” is public, ceremonial, regular (periodic), and mandatory for all who are eligible. The completion of the circle is ensured by three aspects: the duty to give, the duty to accept, and the duty to reciprocate. Sanctions are imposed where there is a refusal to meet one of these obligations. Such refusal can even lead to the severance of social relationships and the loss of participation in the community (of values), for the system of circulating gifts circumscribes the extent to which the binding norms are accepted. This concept, which has been …

Challenges to Faith

(1,179 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Oswald | Schröer, Henning
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Practical Theology I. Dogmatics A legal challenge involves retroactive nullification of a declared intent by means of a later declaration. Religious ¶ and theological usage preserves something of this sense, since a challenge to faith fundamentally challenges the word given in God's name (Exod 3), God's promise that establishes his presence, God's own nature as promise (Exod 20:2). Does God keep his promise? Can he keep it? Does he intend to keep it? There …

Intercession

(1,408 words)

Author(s): Wiggermann, Karl-Friedrich | Bayer, Oswald
[German Version] I. Basics – II. History – III. Systematic Theology I. Basics Liturgical or congregational intercession (Prayer) is one of the primary duties of the church and the congregation (Worship). Such intercession lives on even when the powerful forget themselves and the helpless are forgotten. It transcends all (pious) wishes. With short texts of its own, the congregation takes part in ektenia and litany. The topical nature of intercession is augmented by the concretion, which dispenses with the …

Other/Otherness

(2,191 words)

Author(s): Huizing, Klaas | Adriaanse, Hendrik J. | Bayer, Oswald
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Dogmatics – IV. Ethics I. Philosophy Until G.W.F. Hegel, otherness is a basic provision of finitude. The concept “otherness = the other” acquires a specially personal and anthropological significance for the predecessors of “I-thou” philosophy. In a letter of 1781 to J.C. Lavater, F.H. Jacobi discovers the meaning of the other, or “thou,” for the human development of the solitary “I” subject: “I open eye or ear, or I stretch out…

Mercy

(2,498 words)

Author(s): Scoralick, Ruth | Avemarie, Friedrich | Weder, Hans | Bayer, Oswald | Nagel, Tilman
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatic/Ethics – V. Islam I. Old Testament The direct statements of the Old Testament about mercy as a loving and helping approach to others who had fallen into need or guilt are crystallized in Hebrew around the root רחם ( rḥm). The situation is complicated by overlapping of content with the root חנן ( ḥnn, “to be gracious”; Grace: II). Moreover, the OT deals with mercy itself without using the roots חנן or רחר, for example, in the description of God in the primordial history (Gen 1–11). An etymologi…

Humility

(4,021 words)

Author(s): Jödicke, Ansgar | Mathys, Hans-Peter | Reeg, Gottfried | Wengst, Klaus | Köpf, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Church History – VI. Dogmatics and Ethics I. Religious Studies Humility is an attitude of conscious abasement (Humiliation) and su…

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 I. Religious Studies Lament has its roots in human experience; it gives voice to suffering and mourning, in ritual, poetic, or informal form. Its end is not theoretical, like theodicy, but practical: people react to the experience of situations perceived as mentally, physically or socially painful and process these experiences individually or collectively. The prototypical occasion for mourning is always the encounter with death. In many cultures, there have been (and still are) professional mourners, whose laments …

Divine Attributes

(4,975 words)

Author(s): Gantke, Wolfgang | Brümmer, Vincent | Schmidt, Werner H. | Klauck, Hans-Josef | Amir, Yehoyada | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Bible – IV. Judaism – V. Christianity – VI. Islam I. Religious Studies In the context of rational Christian metaphysics, the knowability of God is assumed and God-talk is substantiated in such a way that certain attributes, such as holiness (Sacred and profane: V), eternity, …

Freedom

(9,782 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Otto | Vollenweider, Samuel | Schwartz, Daniel R. | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Figal, Günter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Early Judaism – IV. Church History – V. Philosophy – VI. Philosophy of Religion – VII. Dogmatics – VIII. Ethics – IX. Sociology, Politics, and Law I. Old Testament 1. The concept of political freedom, which originated in the Greek polis (City cult), first appeared in Hellenistic Jewish historiography. The Stoics' concept of freedom, which contrasts inner freedom and outward con…

Suffering

(8,720 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Mürmel, Heinz | Halm, Heinz | Fabry, Heinz-Josef | Avemarie, Friedrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. General Suffering is a concept that needs to be approached constructively in comparative religious study as it takes fundamental negative human experiences to…

Repentance

(11,471 words)

Author(s): Gantke, Wolfgang | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Oppenheimer, Aharon | Dan, Joseph | Weder, Hans | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Examination of repentance from the perspective of religious studies must confront the problem that the term itself has no culturally neutral meaning. Many of the phenomena in other religions that Christians tend to call repentance appear in a different light when viewed in the context of different anthropological presuppositions, ¶ so that due weight must be given to the religious anthropology in question. Generally speaking, it is true to say that in almost all non-Christian religions the notion of repentance c…