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God the Son

(430 words)

Author(s): Gunton, Colin
[German Version] The biblical basis of the doctrine of the Son's particular divine personhood (Christology) is to be found in New Testament confessions (II), placing Jesus Christ alongside the Father and the Spirit (God the Father, God the Holy Spirit) and attributing to him creating and saving action. It is also to be found in the grounding of this in Old Testament portrayals of God's self-differentiating action in the world (Divine action). Explicit distinction of the second person of the Trinit…

God the Holy Spirit

(452 words)

Author(s): Gunton, Colin
[German Version] For Irenaeus the Holy Spirit (Spirit/Holy Spirit) is fully divine as mediator of the Fathers creating and redemptive action (God the Father), but the tendency after him was to conceive the Spirit as subordinate, even sometimes the highest of the creatures. Against this, Athanasius and the Cappadocians (Cappadocian theology), while conceding that Scripture does not ambiguously teach the Spirit's full divinity, argued that as the sanctifier the Spirit was to be worshiped together wi…

Incarnation

(1,365 words)

Author(s): Burger, Maya | Gunton, Colin
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. History of Dogma and Dogmatics I. Religious Studies Until very recently, the use of the term incarnation in religious studies was borrowed from ideas current in Christianity. From the perspective of systematics, incarnation or “enfleshment” goes hand in hand with a body and soul polarity, implying a particular conceptualization ¶ of the relationship between God and the world as well as with the concept of the individual and person, and with religious legitimation of authority (rev…

Atonement

(3,742 words)

Author(s): Janowski, Bernd | Stuhlmacher, Peter | Gunton, Colin E.
1. OT and Judaism 1.1. Atonement is a central concept in biblical theology. Along with the traditional misunderstanding of appeasing an angry deity, the penal definition of making good an offense and the viewing of the cultus as a human work have impeded a more relevant approach. In the OT, atonement breaks the nexus of sin and its evil consequences by “channeling ¶ the baneful influence of the evil into an animal that died vicariously for the man (or for the cultic object). Expiation was thus not a penalty, but a saving event” (G. von Rad, 271). The basis …

Monotheism and Polytheism

(5,621 words)

Author(s): Ahn, Gregor | Müller, Hans-Peter | Hübner, Hans | Gunton, Colin
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament. – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy of Religion – V. Dogmatics I. Religious Studies Monotheistic ideas of God, which take as their starting point the existence and activity of a single God, have long dominated the understanding of religion in historically Christian Europe. The term monotheism itself is a modern coinage, first appearing in 1660 in the work of the English philosopher Henry More. As a contrast ¶ to the term polytheism, which goes back originally to Philo of Alexandria and was rediscovered for the…

Redemption/Soteriology

(10,262 words)

Author(s): Gunton, Colin | Filoramo, Giovanni | Spieckermann, Hermann | Popkes, Wiard | Hübner, Michael | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology All the major concepts in soteriology have biblical roots. Of central importance today is the notion of reconciliation (II), which bridges the theological and secular realms. The original Greek word καταλλαγή/ katallagḗ involves the notion of exchange, which was early taken to imply that Christ takes the place of the sinner before God, so realizing atonement (at-one-ment) and making expiation. Associated ideas include substitution and representation, which conceive Christ as standing in for the sinner before God. Particular theolo…

Christology

(26,944 words)

Author(s): Karrer, Martin | Williams, Rowan D. | Hauschild, Wolf Dieter | Flogaus, Reinhard | Gunton, Colin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Primitive Christianity – II. History of Doctrine – III. Dogmatics – IV. Forms of Extra-ecclesial Christology I. Primitive Christianity 1. History of research and preliminary questions a.  The term Christology, which originated in the early 17th century, was coined for systematic reflection concerning Jesus Christ. Initially, conceptions and Christologies dealing with the salvation history of the whole Bible beginning with the Old Testament were as highly valued as the New Testament (cf. e.g. G.F. Händel's Messiah). NT Christology went its own way…

Creation

(11,110 words)

Author(s): Friedli, Richard | Janowski, Bernd | Herrmann, Klaus | Wischmeyer, Oda | Gunton, Colin E. | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. History of Theology – VI. Creation and Preservation – VII. Religious Education – VIII. Islam – IX. Science – X. Art History I. History of Religion 1. Fundamentals Life, nature, the environment, the passage of time – these are everyday experiences for any society. But reality also includes the danger that this world may be imperiled or perilous. Chaos and death are part …