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Religionen

(5,647 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
1. Ausgangslage Die Behandlung des Themas ›Religion‹ (= R.) und ›Religionen‹ (= Rn.) hat zu bedenken, dass sich der heutige Gebrauch des Begriffs grundsätzlich von dem in der Nz. unterscheidet und sich erst seit der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jh.s durchgesetzt hat. In der Forschung wird von einer Neukonzeption ›in einer gravierenden Zäsur‹ [28. Bd. 4, 12] oder von einer ›monumentale[n] Transition‹ [33. 58] gesprochen. Über diese geschichtliche Konstellation besteht heute weitgehend Einigkeit. Deshalb wird im Folgenden gefragt, ob – und wenn ja, wie – sich chris…

Spiritism

(479 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] Spiritism (or spiritualism) denotes a movement whose adherents believe in the empirically demonstrable possibility of contact with the dead in the spirit world. It reached its peak in the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century. The roots of spiritism lie in the penumbra of Mesmerism (F.A. Mesmer, J. Kerner), especially Mesmer’s experiments in ascribing paranormal abilities like clairvoyance and automatic writing to “somnambulists.” Spiritism followed two parallel lines of development. In the United States, the mesmerist Andrew Jackson…

Ringeltaube, Wilhelm Tobias

(81 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] (1770, Scheidelwitz [Szydlowice], Poland – went missing in 1816). Missionary of the London Missionary Society in South India. From 1806 to 1816, Ringeltaube worked mainly in Mayiladi in the far south of Travancore (now Kanniyakumari district), sometimes living like a sannyāsin in order to support the missionary work started there by an Indian Christian, Vedamanickam, among Nadars (Shanars) in the service of the London Missionary Society. Michael Bergunder Bibliography H. Grafe, A History of Christianity, 1990.

Rhenius, Karl Theophil Ewald

(174 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] (1790, Graudenz [Grudziądz, Poland] – 1838, Palayamkottai, India). After attending J. Jänicke’s mission school in Berlin, Rhenius was ordained as a Lutheran and moved to England; in 1814 he traveled to Madras (Chennai) in service of the Church Missionary Society (CMS). In 1820 he moved to Palayamkottai, with responsibility for the Tirunelveli district. The CMS’s increasing church-centeredness (esp. after 1833) brought the Pietistic Lutheran missionary into conflict with episcopal …

Transformation

(282 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] Transformation, metamorphosis of a human being into an animal, a plant, a rock, or the like is a common motif in Greek and Latin mythology (II, 2, 3); it also appears in European fairy tales and legends (Tales and legends) as well as many non-European narrative forms. Religious notions also frequently include the motif of transformation and therefore have long attracted the attention of religious studies, which considered transformation a characteristic mark of a “primitive worldview,” in which there are no fixed boundaries between various objects in the ¶ world, so t…

Philaret

(225 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] (Filaret; Vasily M. Drozdov; Dec 26, 1782, Kolomna – Nov 19, 1867, Moscow), metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna, the most influential hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church in the 19th century. His authority greatly exceeded that of the Holy Synod (Synod, Holy), from which he kept a critical distance throughout his life. In the 60 years of his activity, first as teacher in the spiritual academies in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but especially as hierarch, his main concern was to pro…

Phenomenology of Religion

(1,708 words)

Author(s): Michaels, Axel | Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The phenomenology of religion is the study of manifestations of religious phenomena (Phenomenon, Phenomenology), or their comparative morphology. The prime task is the recording of elements constituting religion, for example sacred objects, sacred sites, sacred times, actions, holy scriptures or people and groups, and also forms of religiosity. But the phenomenology of religion was usually less interested in finding analogies and parallels than in “grasping the essence” ( Wesenserfassung, Lanczkowski) of religious phenomena. In the fi…

Personality Cult

(1,350 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Wermke, Michael
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The term personality cult probably became popular in February of 1956, when Nikita Khrushchev’s famous “secret speech” at the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union admitted numerous excesses during the Stalin period and ascribed them to the “cult of personality” (Russ. kult lichnosti) surrounding J. Stalin . Since that time, personality cult has been a political watchword denoting exaggerated importance attached to the role of personality in politics, society, or history. Because of its polit…

Pentecostalism/Charismatic Movements

(5,310 words)

Author(s): Frenschkowski, Marco | Robins, Roger G. | Gerloff, Roswith | Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] I. Church History 1. On Jan 2, 1901, the Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, headed by C.F. Parham, experienced pneumatic phenomena, which were interpreted as missionary preparation and “baptism in the Spirit” (as in Acts 2). From 1906 to 1913, the “Azusa Street Revival” in Los Angeles, led by Pastor W.J. Seymour, the son of a black slave, became the birthplace of the modern Pentecostal movement. “Pentecostal churches” sprang up almost overnight (see II, 1 below). In 2002 some 20% …

Merit

(4,227 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Avemarie, Friedrich | Heiligenthal, Roman | Huxel, Kirsten | Sattler, Dorothea
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. History of Dogma – V. Dogmatics – VI. Ethics – VII. Ecumenics I. Religious Studies In European Christian theology the doctrine of merit (Lat. meritum) became a controversial subject, by which (at least on the Protestant side) it was thought possible to demonstrate with particular clarity the basic difference between Catholicism and Lutheranism (see IV below). Discussion in religious studies has shown that the use of such a theologically loaded conc…

Saints/Veneration of the Saints

(4,185 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Köpf, Ulrich | Müller, Gerhard Ludwig | Ivanov, Vladimir | Barth, Hans-Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In comparative religious studies, veneration of saints generally refers to the posthumous cultic veneration of a holy person more or less identifiable as a historical individual; it is centered at the place that preserves the saint’s mortal remains, thought to have miraculous powers. Occasionally veneration of living individuals is subsumed under the same category, but this extension results in a dubious diminution of terminological precision, since to this day no one …

Secularization

(7,317 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Lehmann, Hartmut | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Mathisen, James A. | de Wall, Heinrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In the 1960s, religious studies began to discuss the continuing decline of religious commitment in Europe intensively. In particular the writings of Bryan Wilson ( Religion in a Secular Society, 1966) and Peter L. Berger ( The Sacred Canopy, 1967), drawing on the ideas of M. Weber, É. Durkheim, and others led to formulation of a so-called theory of secularization, where secularization denotes a natural aspect of the process of modernization, in which the traditional religious legitimation of the world has increasingly lost…

Jesus Christ

(19,624 words)

Author(s): Roloff, Jürgen | Pokorný, Petr | Köpf, Ulrich | Lathrop, Gordon W. | Krötke, Wolf | Et al.
[German Version] I. Name and Titles – II. Jesus Christ in the History of Christianity – III. Jesus Christ in Other Religions – IV. Jesus Christ in Jewish Perspective – V. Jesus Christ in Islamic Perspective – VI. Jesus Christ in Art I. Name and Titles 1. Jesus of Nazareth a. Terminology The appellation Jesus Christ signals a significant tension regarding the figure in question. Although generally understood as a double name, it originated as a fusion of two heterogeneous elements: the theophoric personal name Joshua/Jeshua (Heb. “the Lord help…