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United Evangelical Mission (Vereinigte Evangelische [Rheinische] Mission)

(204 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] From 1971 to 1996, the Vereinigte Evangelische (Rheinische) Mission was a missionary society with its headquarters in Wuppertal, the result of a merger of the Rheinische Mission (founded in 1828 as a union of missionary societies in Barmen, Elberfeld, and Cologne) and the Bethel Mission (founded in 1886). The Zaire Mission joined in 1978. In 1996 the United Evangelical Mission was restructured as a “fellowship of churches in three continents,” under the name United Evangelical Mis…

Numinous

(583 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] The adjective numinous and its nominalized form the numinous were introduced into the phenomenology of religion by R. Otto in his book Das Heilige. It is derived from Latin numen (“divine will/activity/being”), translated by Otto himself as “supernatural being without a more precise concept”). In subsequent literature based on Otto’s work, the Latinized form numinosum came into widespread use, but Otto himself never used it. In Otto’s work, the concept of the numinous functions as a qualifier of the holy, to distinguish it from the use of holy in liberal theology. I…

Richter, Julius

(314 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] (Feb 19, 1862, Grossballerstedt near Osterburg – Mar 28, 1940, Berlin), received his schooling in the Francke Foundations in Halle. He studied theology in Leipzig and Berlin. From 1887 to 1912 he was pastor in Pröttlin near Lenzen, Rheinsberg, and Schwanebeck near Belzig. During this period, he began his extensive writings in the area of missiology. He received honorary doctorates in 1908 from the Berlin faculty of theology, and in 1910 from the Edinburgh faculty of divinity. In 1913 he gained his Habilitation. In 1913 he became an assistant professor and in 19…

Mysterium tremendum et fascinans

(325 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] The expression mysterium tremendum was introduced by R. Otto as a basic concept in phenomenology of religion; the author translated it as schauervolles Geheimnis, “terrible mystery.” The concept forms part of a description of how the numinous can be experienced by the religious feeling of the human subject. Otto presupposed that religion (with F.D.E. Schleiermacher essentially defined as feeling) can be described not only within human subjectivity, but also in relation to an “object outside myself,” fro…

Co-existence, Religious,

(308 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] also known as “convivence,” which is derived from Span. convivencia and Port. convivência (“living together”). In medieval Spain, the latter denoted the peaceful coexistence of Jews, Christians, and Muslims; in Latin-American liberation theology (I), it refers to the communal life and solidarity of the poor which arises from bonds of kinship or neighborly relations and which the base communities have adopted as a structure of ecclesial life (Freire). The equivalent German term Konvivenz was introduced in German-speaking theology by Th. Sunderme…

Warneck

(545 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] 1. Gustav (Mar 6, 1834, Naumburg – Dec 26, 1910, Halle). As the first occupant of a chair of missiology, Warneck gave the discipline its fundamental profile. At the turn of the 20th century, the work of Protestant mission societies in Africa and Asia was at its highpoint, but these societies were still controversial in Germany, both ecclesiastically and politically; Warneck played a decisive role in giving academic study of missions a recognized place within theological faculties. H…

Erudition

(410 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] Historically, erudition became obvious with the first systems of writing (Paleography: I; II, 3) in Mesopotamia and Egypt (late 4th mill. bce). Writing systems made it possible to identify a particular learned class that, for its part, was basic to the development of high cultures. Erudition was cultivated in temple schools and applied by priests and royal officials (Library: I), resulting in an overlap of religious and secular interests. The erudition of the 3rd millennium bce mainly involved listing individual facts and putting …

Contextuality

(730 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas | Miege, Frank
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology – II. Ethics and Practical Theology I. Fundamental Theology “Contextuality” denotes a set of circumstances that became a theological issue in the wake of contextual theology, though it is of fundamental relevance to any theology. The concept arose from the fact that Christian theology is not only shaped by the biblical text but also by its own distinct context. This context, furthermore, does not simply consist of other texts in the litera…

Stranger/Otherness

(2,942 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Bultmann, Christoph | Feldmeier, Reinhard | Feldtkeller, Andreas | Grözinger, Albrecht
[German Version] I. Religious Studies From the outset, religions are involved in processes of exchange with their (religious) environment. This structural relationship to the surrounding world finds expression in internal representations of what is “strange/alien/foreign” or “other” and is part of the self-reference of religious systems. Because other religions are often experienced as competing entities, in most traditions they represent a great challenge to the adherents’ own identity. Therefore re…

Primordial History

(2,632 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas | Arneth, Martin | Cancik, Hubert | Strutwolf, Holger
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The concept of a primeval or primordial history (Ger. Urgeschichte), as used in scholarly discourse, starts with the biblical text of Gen 1–11, but may be transferred to other contexts in religious studies. However, this makes sense only where identity-forming narratives proceed on a chronological basis (History/Concepts of history) in their notions of time, and where they are guided by the idea of a special quality in the origin of the world and/or their own society and…

Pietism

(6,563 words)

Author(s): Wallmann, Johannes | O’Malley, Steven | Winkler, Eberhard | Sträter, Udo | Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] I. Church History 1. Germany and Europe a. Definition. Pietism was a religious revival movement in late 17th- and 18th-century Protestantism (I, 1), alongside Anglo-Saxon Puritanism (Puritans) the most significant post-Reformation religious movement. Emerging within both the Lutheran and the Reformed churches, Pietism broke with orthodox Protestantism regulated by the authorities, which it perceived as a moribund Christianity of habit, pressed for an individualized and spiritualized rel…

Syria

(8,420 words)

Author(s): Schwemer, Daniel | Feldtkeller, Andreas | Fitschen, Klaus | Tamcke, Martin | Kaufhold, Hubert | Et al.
[German Version] I. Geography Greek Συρία/ Syría is an abbreviated form of ’Ασσυρία/ Assyría (“Assyria”); Greek and Latin manuscripts often use the two terms indiscriminately. Initially Syría, corresponding to the Persian satrapy of ʿEbar-naharā, denoted the region between Egypt and Asia Minor, including the area east of the Euphrates, which was called Mesopotamia after Alexander’s campaign. After the time of the Seleucids, Syria, with the Euphrates now marking its eastern border, was divided into northern Syria Coele and southern Syria Phoenice (Phoenicia), bordering on Pa…

Syncretism

(5,112 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Hutter, Manfred | Auffarth, Christoph | Leicht, Reimund | Roxborogh, John | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The word syncretism in its broadest sense denotes any blend or combination of diverse cultural phenomena. This usage derives from an apparently reasonable but false etymology: syncretism is commonly derived from the Greek verb συνκεράννυμι/ synkeránnymi, “mix.” In fact, however, it is a neologism coined by Plutarch ( Mor. 490b), who called the way Cretans came together in the face of external enemies synkretismos. Erasmus of Rotterdam than borrowed the term and introduced it into the language of Christian theology. In theology th…

Heresy

(7,453 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas | Mell, Ulrich | le Boulluec, Alain | Jorissen, Hans | Schuck, Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Philosophy and Religious Studies – II. Christianity – III. Practical Theology – IV. Church Law – V. Judaism – VI. Islam I. Philosophy and Religious Studies The word “heresy” derives from Gk αἵρεσις/ haíresis (“act of choice,” “decision”). In the Hellenistic period, when a plurality of philosophical schools had developed, the word was used to express the need of budding philosophers to choose between these schools. Hence it came to be used to denote both a philosophical school and the school's teaching; in…

Mission

(13,709 words)

Author(s): Sundermeier, Theo | Frankemölle, Hubert | Feldtkeller, Andreas | Collet, Giancarlo | George, Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Christianity – III. Judaism – IV. Buddhism – V. Islam I. Religious Studies 1. Overview. Mission is not a fundamentally universal phenomenon in the history of religions; neither is every form in which religion is passed on eo ipso mission. “Primary,” tribal religions are not missionary religions. Their domain is coterminous with their society and its way of life; they are handed down from one generation to the next in the course of natural life. The question of truth does not arise. An indivi…