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Sri Lanka

(1,137 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[German Version] Christianity in Sri Lanka can look back over a remarkably long history. After a sporadic presence on the island since the 6th century and a continuous presence since the early 16th, it subsequently went through a development that was sometimes in step with the various stages of European colonial rule and at other times took a significantly different course. The earliest reliable evidence for the existence of Christian communities in Sri Lanka is a comment in the ¶ Christian Topography of the Nestorian merchant and writer Casmas Indicopleustes around the year…

Yak-jong, Chóng

(165 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[German Version] (also called Augustine Chong; 1760, Korea – 1801, Korea), Korean theologian and martyr. Yak-jong belonged to the pioneer generation of Confucian scholars around P.I.S. Hun who – long before the first European missionary entered Korea in 1836 – accepted Christianity and established an enduring Christian presence in Korea, then hermetically isolated. They knew of “Western teaching” through Jesuit tracts in Chinese published by M. Ricci and his successors in Beijing. Despite the pers…

Revival, non-Christian

(947 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[German Version] Non-Christian religions have experienced repeated revivals, particularly after encounters with Christianity. The classic paradigm in the Early Church was the attempt of Julian the Apostate to restore pagan religiosity – an experiment that failed but was noteworthy because in many respects the revived spirit of “Hellenism” was unmistakably modeled on the example of the Christian church Julian opposed – moves to centralize the priesthood, liturgical regulation, and institutionalization of social welfare. In the context of the history of Christianity ou…

National Church of India

(299 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[German Version] (Madras). From the mid-19th century, there were repeated calls in Protestant India for a national church to which all Indian Christians would belong, irrespective of their confessional identity. Such efforts led, especially in Bengal and South India, to various experiments; the most important was the founding of the National Church of India in Madras in 1886. It sought to bring together Indian Christians in a self-governing and self-supporting church. Western confessional differen…


(983 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[German Version] The modern Western missionary movement led to an encounter with a multitude of non-European societies as well as different models for the resulting cultural contact. These have ranged from the various versions of a tabula rasa theory – which denied non-Christian cultures any intrinsic religious value – to understanding of the need for a culturally authentic interpretation of Christianity. Conceptions such as accommodation (II), indigenization, and contextualization (contextuality: I) display many similarities, but …

Fraser, Alexander Gordon

(318 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[German Version] (Oct 6, 1873, Tillicoultry, Scotland – Jan 27, 1962, London), Scottish educationist, missionary, and ecumenist in southern Asia and western Africa. Fraser was born in India, where his father was a high-ranking colonial official. From 1904 to 1924, he was in the service of the Anglican Church Missionary Society in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) as Principal of Trinity College Kandy, and from 1924 to 1935 in Ghana as the founding rector of Achimota College, where, among others, Kwame Nkrumah wa…

Vaz, Joseph

(204 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[German Version] (Apr 21, 1651, Sancoale, India – Jan 16, 1711, Kandy, Sri Lanka), Christian Brahmin, Goan priest and Oratorian. The spectacular resurgence of Catholicism in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) at the end of the ¶ 17th century is associated with Vaz. Catholicism had practically vanished from the island with the end of Portuguese colonial rule in 1658. Despite strict restrictions by the new Dutch authorities, Vaz made it to Ceylon in 1687. Disguised as a beggar, he initially visited the north (Mannar, Jaffna), then the west (Negomb…

Azariah, Vedanayakam Samuel

(283 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[German Version] (Aug 17, 1874, Vellalanvilai, South India – Jan 1, 1945, Dornakal), Indian church leader and one of the most distinguished representatives of the early Asian mission and ecumenical movements. The son of a village pastor, he came into contact with diverse Christian groups as the traveling secretary of the YMCA (Young Men's …

National Church of India

(268 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[English Version] (Madras). Seit Mitte des 19.Jh. wurde im prot. Indien wiederholt die Gründung einer Nationalkirche gefordert, der alle indischen Christen ungeachtet ihrer Konfessionszugehörigkeit angehören sollten. Derartige Bestrebungen führten v.a. in Bengalen und Südindien zu unterschiedlichen Experimenten, unter denen die 1886 in Madras gegründete N. das wichtigste ist. Sie suchte die indischen Christen in einer – sich selbst verwaltenden und unterhaltenden – Kirche zusammenzuführen. Westlic…

Sri Lanka

(1,040 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[English Version] . Das Christentum in S.L. kann auf eine bemerkenswert lange Gesch. zurückblicken. Sporadisch seit dem 6.Jh. und kontinuierlich seit dem frühen 16.Jh. auf der Insel präsent, hat es in der Folgezeit eine Entwicklung durchlaufen, die den unterschiedlichen Etappen eur. Kolonialherrschaft im Land teils parallel ging, teils einen signifikant unterschiedlichen Verlauf nahm. Das früheste gesicherte Zeugnis für die Existenz christl. Gemeinden in S.L. ist eine Notiz in der »Christl. Topogr…


(172 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[English Version] Yak-jong, Augustin Chóng (1760 Korea – 1801 ebd.), koreanischer Theologe und Märtyrer. Y. gehörte zu jener Pioniergeneration konfuzianischer Gelehrter um P.S. H. I, die von sich aus – lange bevor der erste eur. Missionar 1836 das Land betrat – um 1784 den Schritt zum Christentum taten und im hermetisch abgeschlossenen Korea eine dauerhafte christl. Präsenz begründeten. Kenntnis der »westlichen Lehre« hatten sie durch jesuitische Traktate in chinesischer Sprache, die auf M. Ricci un…


(197 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[English Version] Vaz, Joseph (21.4.1651 Sancoale, Indien – 16.1.1711 Kandy, Sri Lanka), christl. Brahmane, goanesischer Priester und Oratorianer. Mit dem Namen V. verbindet sich der spektakuläre Wiederaufstieg des Katholizismus in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Ende des 17.Jh. Dieser war mit dem Ende der port. Kolonialherrschaft 1658 de facto von der Insel verschwunden. Trotz strikter Kontrollen durch die neuen niederländischen Herren gelangte V. 1687 nach Ceylon. Verkleidet als Bettler reiste V. zunächst dur…


(899 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[English Version] Revival, außerchristlich. R. nicht-christl. Rel. hat es immer wieder gegeben, gerade auch als Folge der Begegnung mit dem Christentum. Das klassische Paradigma in der Alten Kirche stellt der Versuch einer Restauration paganer Religiosität unter Julian Apostata dar – ein Experiment, das zwar scheiterte, aber schon deshalb bemerkenswert ist, da sich der zu neuem Leben erweckte »Hellenismos« in vielen Merkmalen – wie den Ansätzen zur Zentralisierung der Priesterschaft, liturgischer R…

Disputations, Religious

(2,700 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard | Koschorke, Klaus
[German Version] I. Europe – II. Asia, Africa, Latin America I. Europe 1. Concept The term “religious disputations” (or “[inter-]-religious conversations,” Ger.: Religionsgespräche) encompasses discussions concerning religion, in particular Christianity, both between representatives of different religions and between Christians of different confessions (see also dialogue). They may involve the …

Christianity, Expansion of

(3,867 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus | Meier, Johannes
[German Version] I. Early Church – II. Middle Ages (to 1450) – III. 1450–1600 – IV. 1600–1800 – V. 1800–1890 – VI. 1890–1945 – VII. 1945– I. Early Church Christianity spread throughout the ancient world with remarkable speed. As early as 110, the Roman legate Pliny the Younger reported the presence in Bithynia in Asia Minor of a great number of Christians “of every age and class, and of both sexes,” both “in the cities” and “throughout the rural areas.” Toward the middle of the 3rd centur…

Colonialism and Mission

(4,130 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus | Kamphausen, Erhard
[German Version] I. History – II. Missiology I. History 1. Preliminary remarks As never before in its history, Christianity has become a “world religion.” Since the middle of the 1980s, the majority of the Christian population of the world no longer lives in the northern, but in the southern hemisphere. This development is the consequence of significant demographic shifts and of the differing growth dynamics of the churches of the North and the South. At the same time, most…

World War II

(1,841 words)

Author(s): Leonhard, Jörn | Koschorke, Klaus
[German Version] I. Church History The policy of the state toward the church in National Socialist Germany had met with resistance since 1933, on the part of both Protestants and Catholics. As already demonstrated by the founding of the Pastors’ Emergency League in Berlin (by M. Niemöller), by the opposition to the National Socialist Deutsche Christen at the confessing synods of Barmen and Dahlem, and by the open criticism of the resolute faction within the Confessing Church (voiced in the position paper of the Second Provisional Church Directory fr…

Independent Church Movements

(1,500 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus | Ludwig, Frieder
[German Version] I. History – II. Missiology I. History Independent local forms of Christianity and the aspiration to be emancipated from the control of European missionaries appeared early on in the history of the emerging churches of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Examples include the movement initiated by the female African prophet D.B. Kimpa Vita in the Congo during the early 18th century, which temporarily threatened Portuguese rule in the region. Independent church movements became a widespread…


(2,396 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard | Koschorke, Klaus
[English Version] I. Europa 1.Zum Begriff Mit dem Begriff R. werden sowohl Diskussionen zw. Vertretern verschiedener Rel. als auch zw. Christen unterschiedlicher Konfessionen über die Rel., nämlich das Christentum, zusammengefaßt (s.a. Dialog). Dabei kann es um den Versuch gehen, die Menschen, die andere Überzeugungen vertreten, für die eigene Auffassung zu gewinnen; aber es kann auch die Bemühung vorherrschen, das Fremde zu verstehen und die allen gemeinsame Wahrheit herauszufinden. Neben ungezählt…

Weltkrieg, Zweiter

(1,529 words)

Author(s): Leonhard, Jörn | Koschorke, Klaus
[English Version] I. Kirchengeschichtlich Die staatl. Kirchenpolitik des nationalsozialistischen Deutschland hatte seit 1933 sowohl im Protestantismus als auch im Katholizismus Widerstände provoziert. Wie bereits die Gründung des Pfarrernotbundes in Berlin durch M. Niemöller und die gegen die nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Christen (DC) gewandten Reichsbekenntnissynoden von Barmen und Dahlem und schließlich die offene Kritik des entschiedenen Flügels der Bekennenden Kirche (BK) in der Denkschrif…
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