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Jealousy of God

(292 words)

Author(s): Jödicke, Ansgar
[German Version] Divine jealousy is especially evident in Greek mythology (ϕϑόνος ϑεῶν/ phthónos theōn) and is a psychological and anthropomorphic characterization of the gods who are anxious to preserve their privileges. The jealousy relates not only to the gods in their relationships to each other, but, in a narrower sense, primarily to human beings, especially the fortunate and thus arrogant humans. This ultimately leads to ¶ their punishment, for example to the destruction of a kingdom (Xerxes), to pacify the jealousy of the gods. The various interpretatio…

Alchemy

(1,700 words)

Author(s): Jödicke, Ansgar
[German Version] I. Alchemy denotes a particular craft knowledge used first of all for transforming metals; however, its goal was not only the perfecting of the material but also of the human being (e.g. healing or immortality). The origins of Western alchemy are found in Antiquity; in the earliest literary sources (3rd cent. ce) Greek philosophy of nature played as much a part as Hellenistic astrology, Gnosis and mythology. Reciprocal contacts and influences between comparable …

Biography

(1,913 words)

Author(s): Jödicke, Ansgar | Barbour, John D. | Schweitzer, Friedrich
[German Version] I.  History of Religion – II.  Biography and Religion – III.  Autobiography and Religion – IV.  Practical Theology and Education I. History of Religion The term biography denotes the life history of an individual, both in regard to its external course and in regard ¶ to spiritual and mental development. In a narrower sense biography is the narrative, whether oral or written, of curricula vitae. It is not always possible to separate it from the genre of legend of more episodic structure. I…

Elite

(1,367 words)

Author(s): Münch, Richard | Jödicke, Ansgar | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Sociology – II. Comparative Study of Religions – III. Ethics I. Sociology “Elite” – from Lat. eligere “to elect” – designates a select group of persons who stand out from the crowd by virtue of distinctive features such as consanguinity, age (Old age), power, wealth, knowledge, technical, organizational or artistic skills (Competence), …

Functionalism

(1,146 words)

Author(s): Jödicke, Ansgar | Stephan, Achim | Loder, James E.
[German Version] I. Science of Religion – II. Philosophy – III. Practical Theology I. Science of Religion A functional analysis describes the parts of a system on the basis of their function for the whole. Pioneered by É. Durkheim, functionalism was developed in Anglo-Saxon cultural anthropology by B. Malinowski and Alfred R. Radcliffe-Brown, primarily as a heuristic framework for ethnographic observation, to be distinguished from theory-driven evolutionism. In sociology, by contrast, it produced functionalis…

Humility

(4,021 words)

Author(s): Jödicke, Ansgar | Mathys, Hans-Peter | Reeg, Gottfried | Wengst, Klaus | Köpf, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Church History – VI. Dogmatics and Ethics I. Religious Studies Humility is an attitude of conscious abasement (Humiliation) and submission. Some modes of expressing humility, such as postures or gestures, can be traced to biological roots; others are conventional, for example a “humble glance” or foot washing. In many cases we encounter an inversion of what is culturally normal, for example nakedness in the poverty (IV) movements of the Middle Ages. Basically, a distinction must b…

Wrath of God

(3,658 words)

Author(s): Jödicke, Ansgar | Achenbach, Reinhard | Herzer, Jens | Volkmann, Stefan | Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich
[German Version] I. Religious Studies As with other divine attributes, the wrath of God (cf. Wrath/Anger) is an anthropomorphism that is encountered in iconography (I; e.g. of Thangkas [ tʾaṅ Ka] in Tibet), but especially in the mythology of many religions, where it leads to various entanglements within the plot. In Greek mythology, for instance, the enraged god Zeus sends Pandora’s box to humanity after having being deceived by Prometheus, thereby bringing evil into the world. Depending on the situation, the wrath of God can illustrate the capriciousness or predictabil…

Piety

(3,477 words)

Author(s): Jödicke, Ansgar | Sparn, Walter | Koch, Traugott | Seiferlein, Alfred | Weismayer, Josef | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Piety (recently often also “spirituality”) is understood, first, as the forms of expression of lived religiosity; research in this area is particularly the subject of folklore studies and church history for the idividual, secondly, piety has to do with particular qualities of feeling, such as reverence, with which the psychology of religion (Gruehn, Sundén) is concerned. Objective and subjective components are combined in various ways in the historical developme…