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Augsburg Confession

(1,584 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
1.1. The Augsburg Confession arose out of the political and ecclesiastical situation of the years 1529 and 1530. After making peace with Pope Clement VII (1523–34) and King Francis I of France (1515–47), Emperor Charles V (1519–56), who had left the empire in 1521 for a long sojourn in Spain, could again turn his attention to its affairs. In the interest of his other international political goals, he was looking for a solution to the theological disputes. He was ready for a tactical arrangement …

Athanasian Creed

(318 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
This creed, which is known as the Quicunque vult, from its opening words, is a pregnant summary of the doctrine of the Trinity and Christology. Written in Latin, it does not come from Athanasius (ca. 297–373) but originated instead in southern Gaul or Spain at the end of the fifth century or beginning of the sixth. Works from the fifth to the seventh centuries contain echoes of it. Perhaps Caesarius of Arles (d. 542) knew it in his time. Around the time of the Council of Autun (670) it is plainly attested as the creed of St. Athanasius. The first part of the statement presents a simplifie…

Augsburg, Peace of

(399 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
The Peace of Augsburg, promulgated on September 25, 1555, regulated the coexistence of confessions in the German Empire and gave Protestants who followed the Augsburg Confession (i.e., Lutherans) permanent legal security. It was arranged at the Augsburg Diet among the various states in agreement with King Ferdinand. The emperor, Charles V (1519–56), remained aloof for reasons of conscience. It was meant as a temporary political settlement until religious agreement could be reached, although no time limit was set. In eff…


(596 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
1. Marcion Marcion (d. ca. a.d. 160) was a shipowner from Pontus in Asia Minor (from ancient Sinope?). Under Emperor Antoninus Pius (138–61) he tried to win over the Roman church to his understanding of the Christian message. When he failed, he founded his own church (in 144?). His followers called themselves Marcionites. 2. Doctrines Marcion taught that there are two gods. The anthropomorphic god of the OT is the creator (demiurge) of the world and humanity, with all their faults (Creation). As the lawgiver, he is the Just One. The true and esse…

Literature, Biblical and Early Christian

(9,082 words)

Author(s): Schmitt, Hans-Christoph | Paulsen, Henning | May, Gerhard
1. OT 1.1. Task Viewing the OT as literature means engaging in critical literary analysis (Exegesis, Biblical) of the individual books. There is then an attempt to achieve ¶ a synthetic picture of the development of the entire literature of Israel from its early beginnings to the age of the Maccabees. This study will also take account of Israel’s life settings. First, however, this endeavor must survey the forms and genres of the preliterary tradition. 1.2. History of Research H. Gunkel (1862–1932) initiated this kind of study, at least in outline (Die israelitische Litera…