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(3,767 words)

Author(s): Meyer, Michael A.
Proceeding from the aim of modernizing the faith and religious practice of all Jews, the Reform movement gradually developed into a religious trend within Judaism, referred to as Reform Judaism, liberal or progressive Judaism. The Reform movement had its origins in Germany, spread to other European countries, and finally achieved its greatest influence in the United States, where today it is followed by the majority of practicing Jews. Conceived as a contemporary response to the experience of re…
Date: 2022-09-30


(3,600 words)

Author(s): Meyer, Michael A.
Ausgehend von dem Ziel, den Glauben und die religiöse Praxis aller Juden zu modernisieren, entwickelte sich die Reformbewegung allmählich zu einer religiösen Richtung innerhalb des Judentums, die als Reformjudentum, liberales oder progressives Judentum bezeichnet wird. Die Reformbewegung hatte ihren Ursprung in Deutschland, breitete sich auf andere europäische Länder aus und erreichte ihre größte Wirkung schließlich in den Vereinigten Staaten, wo sich heute die Mehrzahl aller religiösen Juden zu…

Reform Judaism

(575 words)

Author(s): Meyer, Michael A.
[German Version] The Reform movement in Judaism (III) emerged as a religious response to the increasing intellectual, social, and political integration of Jews in Central Europe, especially Germany, during the first decades of the 19th century. The debate with the Enlightenment had raised questions as to the viability of traditional Judaism in the modern world and evoked a clearly perceptible need to adapt Judaism to the new conditions of Jewish life outside the medieval ghetto. Reforms were introduced in worship, including greater emphasis on external norms of conduct…


(9,291 words)

Author(s): Schwartz, Seth | Gotzmann, Andreas | Meyer, Michael A.
[German Version] I. From the Exile to the Arab Conquest – II. To 1800 – III. 1800 to the Present I. From the Exile to the Arab Conquest In 539 bce, the Persian ruler Cyrus conquered the kingdom of Babylonia. He is reputed to have permitted a group of Judahites deported to Mesopotamia to return to their homeland (“Babylonian Exile”). It would have been consonant with the restorative policies of Cyrus to present himself as the liberator of various nations, reestablishing their gods and cults destroyed by the Babylonians, bu…

Judaism and Christianity

(5,219 words)

Author(s): Schaller, Berndt | Lindemann, Andreas | Meyer, Michael A. | Beintker, Michael
[German Version] I. Problems of Terminology – II. Early Judaism – III. New Testament and Primitive Christianity – IV. Early Church – V. Middle Ages to the Present – VI. The Church and Judaism Today I. Problems of Terminology The terminological distinction between Judaism and Christianity (Ἰουδαϊσμός – Χριστιανισμός) made its first appearance at the beginning of the 2nd century, initially in the Ignatian Epistles (Ign. Magn. 10.3; Phld. 6.1). It was a product of Christian usage, borrowed from the contrast between Judaism and Hellenism (Ἑλληνισμός) current in Jewish circles;…


(2,048 words)

Author(s): Schieder, Rolf | Meyer, Michael A. | Lienemann-Perrin, Christine
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Emancipation as a Socio-historical Process – III. The Significance of Emancipation in Judaism – IV. Emancipation of Women – V. Practical Theology and Education Theory I. Terminology The etymological meaning of emancipate is “to deliver from mancipium”; in Roman law, mancipium meant the solemn act of taking ownership through imposition of hands. As a technical term, emancipation meant the act of freeing a child from the authority of the pater familias, initially through performance of a ritual, later simply by a legal action. In the 17th and…


(6,607 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Kippenberg, Hans G. | Thiel, Winfried | Wehr, Lothar | Münch, Richard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The word society ( societas, société) has changed from a term denoting particular forms and modes of human coexistence to a term (in both sg. and pl.) denoting the totality of human coexistence; it has thus become the basic term of the theoretical sciences that deal with human coexistence. The German equivalent, Gesellschaft (from OHG sal, “room,” and selida, “dwelling place”), suggests ties that arise from sharing the same room (cf. Geselle, “apprentice,” etymologically “someone ¶ sharing accommodations” with a master) or belonging to the sa…