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Heaven

(1,244 words)

Author(s): Lang, Bernhard
1. Theocentric view Christianity describes heaven as a transcendental locale beyond the material world, the residence of God, the angels and saints, where the faithful are rewarded with eternal life (Afterlife). Christian piety and theology preserved throughout the early modern period the medieval view that offered a theocentric description of the nature of heaven. In heaven, the blessed were said to encounter God, beholding and praising him. The Protestants remained wedded to this view, John Calvi…
Date: 2019-03-20

Hell

(869 words)

Author(s): Lang, Bernhard
Hell is the subterranean world as imagined in Christianity and Islam (and, more equivocally, in Judaism, cf. [14]) in which the damned among the dead are punished for their sins (Afterlife). Until well into the early modern period, church teaching was still conditioned by the view of the Church Father Augustine: because of original sin weighing upon all people, eternal punishment in hell awaited most of the progeny of Adam and Eve after their earthly lives. Two measures could save the individual from this fate:…
Date: 2019-03-20

Angel

(1,628 words)

Author(s): Lang, Bernhard
1. Traditions The very ancient belief in the existence and work of (good or evil) angels (from Gk ángelos, “[divine] messenger”) is taken for granted in Christianity and Islam. On into the 18th century it took its lead from the biblical narratives of angels as divine messengers and interpreters; on divine instructions they give advice to human beings and protect them from adversarial powers. Individuals, but also communities and even entire peoples have their guardian angel. And God’s angels in particular lead th…
Date: 2019-03-20

Hölle

(1,016 words)

Author(s): Lang, Bernhard
Als H. ( gehenna) wird in Judentum, Christentum und Islam der unterirdische Ort bezeichnet, an dem die Verdammten unter den Toten für ihre Vergehen bestraft werden ( Jenseits). Die kirchliche Lehre war bis tief in die Nz. durch die Auffassung des Kirchenvaters Augustinus bestimmt: Bedingt durch die alle Menschen belastende Erbsünde warte nach dem irdischen Leben ewige H.-Strafe auf die Mehrzahl der Nachkommen Adams und Evas. Zwei Maßnahmen könnten vor diesem Schicksal retten: die kirchliche Mitgliedschaft stiftende Taufe (Sakrament) sowie die in der Beichte durch den Prieste…

Himmel

(1,246 words)

Author(s): Lang, Bernhard
1. Theozentrisches Himmelsbild Als H. wird im Christentum ein jenseits der irdischen Welt liegender, transzendenter Ort bezeichnet, der als Wohnstätte Gottes, der Engel, der Heiligen und der mit ewigem Leben belohnten Gläubigen gilt ( Jenseits). Während der gesamten Nz. blieb in der christl. Frömmigkeit (Frömmigkeitskulturen) und Theologie die ma. Ansicht erhalten, nach der sich das Wesen des H. theozentrisch beschreiben lässt: Im H. begegnen die Seligen Gott, den sie schauen und lobpreisen. Die Reformatoren blieben dieser Sicht verpflichtet; so Johannes Calvin: »Im Paradie…

Engel

(1,520 words)

Author(s): Lang, Bernhard
1. Traditionen Der sehr alte Glaube an Existenz und Wirken von (guten oder bösen) E. (von griech. ángelos, »[Gottes]Bote«) ist im Christentum und Islam selbstverständlich. Bis ins 18. Jh. orientierte er sich an den biblischen Erzählungen von E. als Boten und Dolmetschern Gottes; in Gottes Auftrag geben sie dem Menschen Rat und beschützen ihn vor feindlichen Mächten. So haben Einzelne, aber auch Gemeinden und sogar Völker ihren Schutz-E. Auch den in der Apokalyptik geschauten Endkampf gegen die von Gott abgefallenen E. mit dem Teufel an der Spitze führen v. a. die…

Proverb

(438 words)

Author(s): Lang, Bernhard
[German Version] Proverbs and proverbial expressions are found in all languages and cultures, and often represent international material. The traditional appreciation of proverbs is based on the observation that they preserve the ethos of “ordinary people,” whose values, informed by common sense, coalesce in a “simple morality” (Bollnow) of decency, industry, frugality, and respect for age and authority. In the Golden Rule this ethos has its measure, in proverbs its collective archives. The devil …

Riddle

(383 words)

Author(s): Lang, Bernhard
[German Version] ( in religious studies). The riddle is one of the oldest contrived formations of human speech. Most riddles are encrypted descriptions of persons, things or facts. As indirect communications they challenge the astuteness of the hearer or reader. Appreciation of riddles arises from the enjoyment of playful concealing, seeking, and finding of meaning, and also from the insight that no deeper knowledge can be acquired without striving to understand. Thus oracles can also take the form o…

Heaven

(3,990 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph | Houtman, Cornelis | Rowland, Christopher | Lang, Bernhard | Farrow, Douglas B. | Et al.
[German Version] Cosmology and Kingdom of God I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament –III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Dogmatics – VI. Contemporary Art I. Religious Studies 1. To a vision that has not been tamed by scientific theory, heaven is a realm of the beyond (Hereafter, Concepts of the). Like the netherworld, it invades the human world as air or earth and sea, but it is beyond the experience of mortals; it is concrete, but cannot be entered. Observation of the concrete phenomena confirms the symbol …

Elephantine

(262 words)

Author(s): Lang, Bernhard
[German Version] The small island situated near the modern Asswan in the Nile, called Elephantine by the Greeks, marks the southern boundary of ancient Egypt. Ezekiel 29:10 mentions it by the name Syene (Heb. seweneh). Today, two Nubian villages and an extended, partially excavated area with ancient Egyptian structures and an archeological museum, can be found on the island. It has been the site of German and French excavations (1906–1911), and German and Sw…

Hell

(5,978 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph | Houtman, Cornelis | Frankemölle, Hubert | Lang, Bernhard | Sparn, Walter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Dogmatics – VI. Judaism – VII. Islam – VIII. Buddhism – IX. Contemporary Art I. Religious Studies 1. Hell as a place of retribution in the afterlife for those who continually transgress the religiously sanctioned rules of their community is not specifically Christian or monotheistic. But it is also not an idea that springs automatically from the question of how the dead exist (Death). Although hell was long viewed as a…

Devil

(8,622 words)

Author(s): Felber, Annelies | Hutter, Manfred | Achenbach, Reinhard | Aune, David E. | Lang, Bernhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Names and Terms – II. Religious Studies – III. Ancient Near East and Old Testament – IV. New Testament – V. Church History – VI. Philosophy of Religion – VII. Fundamental Theology – VIII. Dogmatics – IX. Judaism – X. Islam – XI. History of Art and Literature I. Names and Terms 1. Devil The secular Greek noun διάβολος/ diabolos comes from one of the meanings of the verb διαβάλλω/ diaballō, “separate, sever,” which led to meanings such as “accuse, slander, deceive.” From the Greek noun came Latin diabolus, from which the English …

Processions

(986 words)

Author(s): Lang, Bernhard
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Processions (on the history of the term, see II below), structured and set apart from everyday life by specific rules, are among the most widespread religious rituals. They involve festive parades of groups of various sizes, usually on foot. They may be carried out in isolation or, more often, as part of larger cultic observances or festivals. Processions may be described as functional, theophoric, mimetic (Mimesis), or demonstrative, so that four pure types can…

Elephantine Documents

(1,630 words)

Author(s): Lang, Bernhard
[German Version] I. History of the Discovery – II. The Jewish Military Colony – III. Literary Texts On the island of Elephantine in the Nile a large number of ancient inscriptions and documents came to light. Of special importance among them are the Aramaic papyri dating from the 5th century bce that provide insight into the culture, religion, and fate of a Jewish community consisting of mercenaries in Persian service. The following will discuss only these Aramaic documents. I. History of the Discovery More than 50 papyri were found, and in addition several ostraca, some of…

Ethnology

(2,732 words)

Author(s): Hefner, Philip | Thiel, Josef Franz | Lang, Bernhard
[German Version] I. The Concept – II. Comparative Religion – III. Old Testament – IV. Ethnology and Theology I. The Concept The scholarly disciplines of ethnology, anthropology, social psychology, and cultural semiotics are closely related. The specific terminology employed in these disciplines differs at a number of important points in German- and English-speaking countries…

Rituals of Movement

(591 words)

Author(s): Lang, Bernhard
[German Version] may be divided into three types: dance, procession, and perambulation. The central feature of dance is movement of the human body, whereby the body may function as a single whole, or, as in Africa, different parts of the body may execute quasi-autonomous movements. Dance may carry a wide variety of religious meanings; they range from entertaining the Egyptian goddess Hathor and bacchantic frenzy to inducing ecstasy, which may lead to possession ¶ by non-human beings. Dance that induces possession by the spirit of Christ seems to be acknowledged by Pau…

Prozession

(841 words)

Author(s): Lang, Bernhard | Hoping, Helmut
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich Als geordnete und durch bestimmte Regeln vom Alltag geschiedene, in der Regel zu Fuß vollzogene Prachtaufzüge großer oder auch kleiner Menschengruppen gehören P. (zur Begriffsgesch. s.u. II.) zu den am weitesten verbreiteten Ritualen. Sie treten selbständig oder, häufiger, als Teile größerer Kulthandlungen oder Feste auf. P. lassen sich als funktional, theophor, mimetisch (Mimesis) und demonstrativ charakterisieren, so daß sich vier reine Typen sowie m…

Rätsel

(359 words)

Author(s): Lang, Bernhard
[English Version] Rätsel, religionsgeschichtlich. Das R. gehört zu den ältesten geformten Sprechweisen der Menschheit. Die meisten R. sind verschlüsselte Beschreibungen von Personen, Dingen oder Sachverhalten. Als indirekte Mitteilungen fordern sie den Scharfsinn des Hörers oder Lesers heraus. Die Wertschätzung des R. beruht auf der Freude am spielerischen Verstecken, Suchen und Finden von Sinn, aber auch auf der Einsicht, daß es kein tieferes Wissen ohne Mühe um Erkenntnis gibt. Deshalb können auc…

Teufel

(7,228 words)

Author(s): Felber, Anneliese | Hutter, Manfred | Achenbach, Reinhard | Aune, David E. | Lang, Bernhard | Et al.
[English Version] I. Namen und Begriffe 1.TeufelProfangriech. δια´βολος/diábolos, von διαβα´λλω/diabállō, »auseinanderbringen«, daher Bedeutungen wie »anklagen, verleumden, täuschen«, lat. diabolus, daraus dt. T. In der LXX wird hebr. שָׂטָן/śāṭān mit diábolos übers., was am besten mit »Widersacher« wiedergegeben wird. In den Apokryphen finden sich sowohl T. (3Bar 4,8; AssMos 10,1) wie Satan, weiters Beliar (zumeist TestXII), Mastema (Jub 10; 11), Samma'el (3Bar 4,8; bes. rabb. Schriften). Das NT kennt keinen inhaltlich…

Sprichwort

(427 words)

Author(s): Lang, Bernhard
[English Version] Sprichwort, religionsgeschichtlich. S. und sprichwörtliche Redensart sind in allen Sprachen und Kulturen bekannt und stellen oft internationales Gut dar. Die traditionelle Wertschätzung des S. beruht auf der Beobachtung, daß in ihm jenes Ethos der »kleinen Leute« lebt, dessen Werte, vom Alltagsverstand (»common sense«) geprägt, sich zur »einfachen Sittlichkeit« (Bollnow) von Anständigkeit, Fleiß, Sparsamkeit, Achtung von Alter und Obrigkeit zusammenschließen. In der Goldenen Regel…