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Rigorism

(735 words)

Author(s): Dehn, Ulrich | Heesch, Matthias
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Rigorism is an ethical category used mostly in connection with perfectionist communities. It means unbending and rigid adherence to principles of conduct (and thought) and is in opposition to laxity as a carefree and casual moral attitude. When this approach is applied ¶ not only to oneself and one’s own community but also to others, it can lead to intolerance (Tolerance and intolerance), but it sees itself as providing impetus for reform in the face of an unresisting secularized religiosity that conforms…

Sects

(2,685 words)

Author(s): Dehn, Ulrich | Bochinger, Christoph | Thiede, Werner | Thiele, Christoph
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Both the etymology and the usage of the word sect are disputed. Derivation from Latin secare (“separate”) is possible, as is derivation from secta (from sectus, sequi, “school of thought”). English uses the word in the latter neutral sense, whereas the German equivalent Sekte is usually a pejorative exonym, corresponding to Eng. cult. M. Weber (see II below) distinguished between voluntary membership “of those who are religiously and morally qualified” in exclusive sects, in contrast to compulsory membership in the church as a Gnadenanstalt (“i…

Transmigration of Souls

(1,282 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter | Dehn, Ulrich | Dan, Joseph | Schmidtke, Sabine
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Terminology. Theories of transmigration, which go back to the pre-Socratics of the 6th and 5th centuries bce (Empedocles, Pythagoras, Orphism), presuppose a dualism of body and soul. They hold that a human birth is not a totally new creation but the reincarnation of a pre-existent soul. Repeated incarnations extend not only to human beings of all classes and stations but also to flora and fauna; their purpose is the eschatological purification of the soul from ritual and ethic…

Germany

(25,084 words)

Author(s): Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Brenner, Beatus | Dehn, Ulrich | Pollack, Detlef
[German Version] I. General – II. Church History and Denominations – III. Non-Christian Religions – IV. Society, Culture, Religion, and the Churches in the Present I. General 1. Name The term Germany ( Deutschland) has been shaped by the history of the area it denotes. From the beginnings until 1945 it was closely associated with the German or Holy Roman Empire, so that it underwent many transformations. Since 1949 it has referred primarily to the Federal Republic of Germany, which since the joining of the German Democratic…

Tolerance and Intolerance

(6,428 words)

Author(s): Dehn, Ulrich | Gertz, Jan Christian | Wischmeyer, Oda | Ohst, Martin | Kronauer, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Tolerance and intolerance must be defined in terms of their relationship to respect, coexistence, indifference, acceptance, and prejudice. In the public context, they ¶ correspond to the presence or absence of freedom of religion. They originate in the claim to exclusive religious truth or else collide with it. Tolerance requires insight into the human ability to err and into the limits of human cognition with regard to faith, whereas intolerance rejects this insight. Following Gerlitz,…