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Controversial Theology

(1,053 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] is a branch of theology that judges differences between various Christian Churches from a polemical and argumentative point of view rather than analyzing them from a historically critical perspective. The “controversy” involved relates both to the object and the method of this discipline. Theological positions are discussed when they become significant in disturbing or dividing the church community, and not so much as contributions to an open scholarly debate. I. Although the term controversial theology did not become common until the 20th century, …

Conventuals

(331 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] 1. Those who belong to a convent (Lat. conventus), i.e. all the full members of a religious community at a specific location. 2. In the context of a particular monastic way of life, and especially among the mendicant orders, “conventuals” refers to that group or tendency within the order which continues to follow the “old observance” (usually in a previously mitigated form) in the midst of internal disputes over the proper observance of the rule, and which accordingly …

John of Fécamp

(176 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (after 990, near Ravenna – 1078, Fécamp). In 1017, John was sent from St. Bénigne in Dijon to be prior (from 1028 onward, abbot) in the La Trinité monastery in Fécamp and there became the most important proponent of Norman reform monasticism in the 11th century. His major works were Confessio theologica, Confessio fidei, Libellus de scripturis et verbis patrum collectus. Although John drew broadly on the tradition (esp. Augustine of Hippo and Gregory the Great) and did not yet make scholastic arguments, his markedly meditative theology had…

Devotion (Concept)

(255 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] In German, especially in Protestantism, this term (from Lat. devotio) is still used today only in connection with the Roman ritual of devotio and the late medieval devotio moderna movement. In pre-Christian usage, devotio referred to the dedication of the will to the gods, humans, and laws. In Christian usage, its meaning was restricted to the dedication to God associated with obedience and humility. Thomas Aquinas treated devotion along with prayer as interior actus religionis, from which external actions proceed ( Summa Theologiae 2–2 q. 82). In modern usage,…

Tübingen

(1,971 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. University 1. The University of Tübingen was founded in 1477 by count Eberhard the Bearded, during what is known as the “second foundation wave” of German universities. It was the university of the southern part of Württemberg, at that time divided into two. It received the papal privilege in 1476, and imperial confirmation in 1484. For the material support of the professorial chairs, the count devoted eight of the ten regular canonries, and two-thirds of the income of the Sindel…

Ambrosians

(128 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The Ambrosians are a religious community first mentioned in 1375 in a bull of Gregory XI; they are traced to three nobles from Milan. The monasteries they established lived independently according to the Augustinian rule (Augustine, Rule of) and followed the Ambrosian rite in worship; they were united by Eugene IV with other groups as the Congregatio fratrum S. Ambrosii ad nemus Mediolanensis in 1441. After varying fortunes – especially in the schism of monasteries which adopted the Roman rite, which associated in 1496 with the Apostolic Brothers as the Congregatio S. …

Quaestio

(422 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] A true (as opposed to “rhetorical”) question (Gk ζήτημα/ zḗtēma, πρόβλημα/ próblēma, ἀπορία/ aporía, Lat. quaestio), seeking an answer that will solve a problem, is a fundamental tool for rational argumentation. It was used already by the ancient Greeks (beginning with the questions of Socrates in the dialogues of Plato) and rabbinic Judaism (in give and take between teacher and student). Formulation of questions became common early on in the theology of the Early Church (reaching a high point in Augustine, e.g. De diversis quaestionibus ad Simplicianum; Quaestione…

Ficino, Marsilio

(391 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Oct 19, 1433, Figline Valdarno, Italy – Oct 1, 1499, Careggi, Italy). Ficino was the son of the personal physician of Cosimo de' Medici; the latter supported Ficino and prompted him to change his course of studies from medicine to philosophy. He acquired an extremely thorough knowledge of Greek and produced annotated translations of esp. Plato (1463–1469), Plotinus (1484–1486), and a series of other neo-Platonic authors. In Florence he founded a Platonic Academy (I, 5) in which h…

Lay Abbot

(106 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] A lay abbot in the narrow sense, is a layman who is entrusted with the conduct and use of a monastery without being a member of its convent or even a monk. In the Frankish Empire of the 9th and 10th centuries and its successor states, members of the nobility were particularly frequently vested with this function. In a secondary meaning, lay abbot also designates the clerical holder of a commendam, who does not have the status of a monk (frequent from the High Middle Ages to the early modern period). Ulrich Köpf Bibliography F.J. Felten, Äbte und Laienäbte im Frankenreich, 1980.

Assisi

(184 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] is an Umbrian city on the western foothills of Monte Subasio. It was a Roman municipium and the home of the poet Propertius. Since the early 4th century it has been the seat of a bishopric (city patron: the martyred bishop Rufinus). In the early Middle Ages it belonged to the Lombard Duchy of Spoleto, was under Hohenstaufen dominion from 1172/…

Middle Ages

(4,250 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. The Term – II. Assessment and Study – III. Definition – IV. Characteristics – V. Early, High, and Late Middle Ages I. The Term French moyen âge has been used for a historical period since 1572, English Middle Age(s) since 1611 and Middle Time(s) since 1612. The German word Mittelalter had already been used by the Swiss historian Aegidius Tschudi ( mittel alters) in 1538, but it did not reappear in this sense (in contrast to “middle age”) until 1786; at the beginning of the 19th century, it finally prevailed over the more common 18th-century expressions mittlere Zeit(e…

Patrocinia

(1,075 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] Latin patrocinium denotes a proprietary relationship, usually established by consecration, and the consequent protective function of a patron (usually a saint) with respect to a church or altar, a country, a city or bishopric, a group (social class, noble family, profession, guild, confraternity, university, monastery, religious congregation, or the like), or an individual. In return for protection, the patron is honored by the faithful in a wide variety of liturgical and paraliturgical forms. ¶ The ancient Roman term patronus first appears as a term for a …

Cles, Bernard of

(209 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Mar 11, 1485, Cles – Jul 30, 1539, Brixen). After studies in Verona and Bologna, he received the Dr. utriusque iuris in 1511; he became canon of the Cathedral in Trent in 1512, and bishop there in 1514/15. From 1514, as adviser to Maximilian I, he mediated between the emperor and the regime in Innsbruck and upper Italy. After collaborating in the election of Charles V in 1519, he became an adviser to Ferdinand I, in 1522 his chancellor and repre…

Piety, History of

(1,577 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Early Research At the dawn of the 21st century, a history of piety is more a desideratum than a reality, especially in Protestantism. In the 19th century, the notion of piety as defined in its modern sense by Pietism, J.W. v. Goethe, and Romanticism and grounded theologically by F.D.E. Schleiermacher did not lead to academic study of the history of piety. To this day, religious scholarship avoids the term; there is no lemma Frömmigkeit in HRWG II, 1990. Not until the end of the 19th century did church history deal with the history of piety, primarily …

Robert of Arbrissel

(180 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (c. 1045, Arbrissel near Rennes – Feb 25, 1116, Priory of Orsan-en-Berry), son of a hereditary priest of Arbrissel. After studies in Paris, Robert entered the service of Bishop Silvester of Rennes as a clerk. After further studies in Angers (from 1078) he experienced a conversion to ascetic life, and withdrew as a hermit to the Forest of Craon (Anjou), where he founded a collegiate establishment in 1095, leaving it in order to travel through the countryside preaching repentance (f…

Luther's Works, Editions of

(996 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] A first, widely disseminated collection of the Reformer's Latin works was published in Basel in 1518 by Johannes Froben; a first edition of his German works was published in Basel in 1520 by Andreas Cratander. Luther's literary productivity persuaded Cratander and then Adam Petri to publish two more Latin editions – each expanded – in March and again in July of 1520. The first complete edition of Luther's works, the Wittenberg edition, was published between 1539 and 1559 in two series of folio volumes, 12 in German and seven in Latin; the ed…

Cistercians

(2,189 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Early History – II. Character – III. Growth – IV. Development and Influence in the Middle Ages – V. The 15th Century and Afterwards I. Early History The first religious order in the history of Christian monasticism (III, 3) came into being when the Benedictine (Benedictines) abbey Novum Monasterium (from 1119: Cistercium, Fr. Cîteaux, hence the self-designation Cistercienses) in Burgundy established four daughter houses in the space of a few years (“primary abbeys”: La Ferté, 1113; Pontigny, 1114; Clairvaux and Mori…

Lay Brothers

(426 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] ( conversi) are, in the narrower sense, members of a religious community who are not ordained. In the course of history, however, the name fratres laici or conversi has designated various groups of persons. In the early medieval period, conversi were monks who, in contrast to ( pueri) oblati (Oblates: I) who were consigned to a monastery already as children, entered the monastery only as adults. In addition to this so-called “older institution of conversi,” a “younger institution of conversi” arose in the 11th century. It included members of the monastic familia who wer…

Antonites

(128 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Hospitallers), a lay brotherhood founded at the end of the 11th century in connection with the church of La-Motte-aux-Bois (since the 14th cent.: St.-Antoine-en-Viennois), which possessed the relics of the desert father Antonius. They cared for those ill with St. Anthony's fire (holy fire, ergot). The Antonites spread rapidly and were transformed in …

Wilhelmites

(290 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The Wilhelmite order goes back to a hermitage (Monasticism: III) founded in Tuscany in the mid-12th century. Its founder is said to have been a French noble named Wilhelm, a former soldier who settled near Pisa in 1145 after several pilgrimages; later he moved to the mountain valley of Malavalle, near Siena, where he lived a strictly ascetic life as a hermit with a single companion (later joined by a second). After his death on Feb 10, 1157, a hermitage grew up at his burial site;…
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