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Council of Christian Churches in Germany

(281 words)

Author(s): Hüffmeier, Wilhelm
[German Version] (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Christlicher Kirchen; ACK). Founded in 1948 by, then, seven member churches (Evangelical Church in Germany [EKD], Old Catholic Church and five Protestant free churches), the ACK corresponds in function to national Christian councils or ecumenical councils in other countries. Legallly, it is a registered association. Its tasks include the promotion of information exchange, the cooperation of its members, and the representation of …

Union Evangelischer Kirchen

(286 words)

Author(s): Hüffmeier, Wilhelm
[German Version] The Union Evangelischer Kirchen in der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland (UEK), comprising the nine united regional churches (Unions, Church: I) of Anhalt, Baden, Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia, Bremen, Hesse and Nassau, in Middle Germany, Electoral Hesse-Waldeck, the Palatinate, in Rhineland, in Westphalia, the two Reformed churches (Evangelical-Reformed and Lippe), and the Lutheran Pommersche Evangelische Kirche is an outgrowth of the merger of the Evangelische Kirc…

Teaching Office

(4,708 words)

Author(s): Brosseder, Johannes | Hüffmeier, Wilhelm
1. Roman Catholic As it now exists, the Roman Catholic doctrine of the church teaching office is a mixture of early and medieval elements given a distinctive profile by Reformation controversies and influenced especially by modern secular absolutism. It can be regarded as neither free from contradictions nor as uncontested. 1.1. History In its doctrine of the teaching office, a dogmatic exposition of Scripture enables the Roman Catholic Church to appeal to specific NT passages (e.g., Matt. 16:16–17, 18–19; John 21:15–19), even though this exposition cannot stand up to moder…

People’s Church (Volkskirche)

(1,695 words)

Author(s): Hein, Martin | Hüffmeier, Wilhelm | Preul, Reiner
[German Version] I. Concept The concept of the people’s church ( Volkskirche) plays a prominent role in debate on ecclesial conceptions, notably in German Protestantism. It is first attested in the writings of F.D.E. Schleiermacher in 1822/1823 (cf. Die christliche Sitte, ed. L. Jonas, 1843, 569) – in demarcation from the state church (requiring membership), and from a voluntary church based on subjective choice. While the New Testament gave a transnational interpretation of the church in its talk of the people of God (1 Pet 2:9f.), the subsequent historical…