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Dominium terrae

(255 words)

Author(s): Honecker, Martin
[German Version] is shorthand for a human approach toward nature in which non-human nature is made over to human subjection and exploitation, and the biblical notion of creation and Christian anthropocentricity are considered causes of the ecological crisis (e.g. L. White, Jr., Medieval Religion and Technology, 1986; Amery). Gen 1:26–29 serves as prooftext. The biblical statements concerning the imago dei (Image of God) and dominion over nature should, however, be understood as a commission to care for and …

Community of Goods

(1,409 words)

Author(s): Marguerat, Daniel | Schöllgen, Georg | Honecker, Martin
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. History – III. Ethics I. New Testament The summary descriptions in Acts paint a picture of the first Christian community in Jerusalem in which the ¶ unanimity of the believers finds expression in the community of goods (2:44f.; 4:32–35). This community is depicted as free, not forced (5:4), and not egalitarian: The goods offered to the community were divided according to the needs of each individual (2:45; 4:35). The community of goods is only an element of the koinōnía of worship, prayer and Eucharist that charact…


(1,008 words)

Author(s): Honecker, Martin
[German Version] I. Concept – II. History – III. Differentiations – IV. Evaluation I. Concept The expression “life-not-worth-living” is synonymous with “mercy killing” and refers, primarily, to the programs of euthanasia carried out in the so-called Third Reich (National Socialism). In these programs of euthanasia, people capable and willing to live were killed with the justification that their lives were not worth living, not useful to society and nation. From the outset, the qualifier “worth” signifies “…


(6,503 words)

Author(s): Elwert, Georg | Frick, Frank S. | Meggitt, Justin J. | Honecker, Martin | Hezser, Catherine | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Property ownership is a social convention that allows and restricts access to physical or socially constructed objects and links that access with certain obligations. In many societies, the obligations of and restrictions on use, especially in connection with land, are managed by a separate supervisory office. Such an office can be vested in a priest, as in the Tobriand Islands or the West African institution of the “landlord.” There are many things that can be …

Three Estates Doctrine

(269 words)

Author(s): Honecker, Martin
[German Version] The three estates doctrine is a schema used by Luther in several important passages to describe the status of Christians living in the world (e.g. Vom Abendmahl Christi, Bekenntnis, 1528, WA 26, 262–509). God ordained three estates, the status oeconomicus, politicus, and ecclesiasticus, to preserve and maintain the world. Instead of “estates,” Luther also speaks of “orders,” “institutions,” or “hierarchy,” in polemic against the Roman view of hierarchy and estate with its distinction between clergy and laity. What was fun…


(1,164 words)

Author(s): dos Santos-Stubbe, Chirly | Honecker, Martin
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Systematic Theology I. Religious Studies Honor, a dignity accorded all human beings, has profound sociocultural and religious significance. It constitutes the recognition of personal or group integrity and is expressed not quantitatively but qualitatively. Ambition, vanity, and pride are attitudes that can disrupt the relationship of individuals to their honor. In social and religious groups, the honor code plays a major role in the integration, control, and del…

Right, Autonomous

(1,082 words)

Author(s): Honecker, Martin
[German Version] I. The Term Eigengesetzlichkeit (autonomous right) is a linguistic neologism formed in German at the beginning of the 20th century. The understanding of law/right in exact scientific thinking of the 19th century, particularly in natural science, is then taken up either polemically or affirmatively. In 1914, L. Ragaz attacked Lutheranism – which abandons the world to its own autonomy – from the position of Religious Socialism. In 1922, K. Barth raised the same objection against P. Alt…


(2,129 words)

Author(s): Honecker, Martin
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Differentiation – III. Historical Survey – IV. The Ethics of Assisted Dying – V. Current Challenges I. Concept The word euthanasia is ambiguous. It derives from Greek and etymologically refers to dying a “good death” ( felici vel honesta morte mori). But it has become a source of confusion, taking on connotations that were not present in its antique usage. Now it is ambivalent, sometimes denoting assistance at death intended to enable an easy, painless death and sometimes active termination of “life that is not worth living.” Ars moriendi


(4,006 words)

Author(s): Hoheisel, Karl | Kuhlemann, Frank-Michael | Kuhn, Thomas K. | Aebischer-Crettol, Ebo | Honecker, Martin
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Suicide is the violent taking of one’s own life by one’s own hand; it also includes voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide. Cultural traditions vary greatly regarding the admissibility of suicide. In tribal cultures, the aged and infirm in the Kalahari or other extremely arid regions ask their relatives for death. Kings and chiefs in African tribal cultures must kill themselves when the fortunes of war turn against them or they grow frail. To avoid dying in bed…


(542 words)

Author(s): Honecker, Martin
[English Version] I. Zum Begriff In der Alltagssprache wird S. im Sinne von Euthanasie und Sterbebegleitung nicht klar unterschieden. Das engl. euthanasia bedeutet beides: Tötung wie Beistand im Sterben. S. im Sinne von Sterbebegleitung stellt kein ethisches und theol. Problem dar, sondern ist menschliche und insbes. christl. Verpflichtung. S. als Hilfe zum Sterben ist hingegen ein gesellschaftlich wie ethisch strittiges Phänomen. – Hier wird zum einen unterschieden zw. aktiver (bewußte Tötung) und …


(3,540 words)

Author(s): Hoheisel, Karl | Kuhlemann, Frank-Michael | Kuhn, Thomas K. | Aebischer-Crettol, Ebo | Honecker, Martin
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich S. meint die gewaltsame Vernichtung des eigenen Lebens durch eigene Hand, wozu auch Tötung auf Verlangen gehört. Bez. wie »Selbstmord« oder »Freitod« sind obsolet. Kulturelle Traditionen regeln die Zulässigkeit von S. unterschiedlich. In Stammeskulturen bitten Alte und Kranke in der Kalahari oder anderen extrem ariden Regionen Angehörige um den Tod. Könige und Häuptlinge afrikanischer Stammeskulturen müssen, lassen Kriegsglück oder Körperkräfte nach, s…