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(2,359 words)

Author(s): Gassmann, Günther
1. Society and Religion From about 1960, tradition has been a much-discussed theme in theology, in the church, and in the humanities and social sciences. Its usual definition as the acts and process of handing down (traditio), as well as what is handed down (traditum), has developed in quite varied ways. Against a frequently narrow and negative understanding of the term, it is now emphasized that both individual life and social life always stand in a given tradition that maintains its identity and continuity. Human historicity implies tra…


(2,696 words)

Author(s): Gassmann, Günther
On the basis of the biblical witness, and with the early creeds, Christianity confesses one church. From the beginning of the church, theological reflection has been concerned about the church’s unity, and ecclesiastical and theological history has sought to maintain or regain it. With the rise of the ecumenical movement, the struggle for unity became a dominant feature of church history in the 20th century, and it will continue to be an urgent task in the 21st century. 1. Terminology This new and intensive attention to one of the essential marks of the church, which embrac…