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(1,403 words)

Author(s): Nanko, Ulrich
Current Situation 1. On the level of the individual human being, peace means harmony with oneself, one's fellow human beings, the environment, or with God—a harmony that can be attained by way of efforts like that of meditation, observance of divine directives, or reflection on the conditions of a nonviolent cohabitation. This peace is regarded as the prerequisite for outer peace. While Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religion surmise the cause of the lack of peace in a false or faulty relationship…


(1,007 words)

Author(s): Nanko, Ulrich
1. Atheism (‘godlessness’), linguistically derived from the Greek átheos, is so named only since the sixteenth century. Atheism means the denial of the existence of God or of the gods, as well as of a life after death. It is a radical form of criticism of religion, and depends on contingent historical and societal conceptualizations of God. Thus, a timelessly valid definition that would specify anything beyond the negation of the existence of God is impossible. Behind the imputation of atheism lurk confrontations concerning the religious tradition of a society. A prerequisite for ath…

Religious Contact

(1,671 words)

Author(s): Nanko, Ulrich
1. ‘Religious contact’ denotes the encounter of at least two religions. In the following, → religion is intentionally applied in the broad sense. The concept ranges, then, from systems of belief, to → ideologies, and to liturgy and cult. Thus, it can relate to societies with a high degree of differentiation (industrial societies with diverse denominations and Weltanschauung communities), as well as to societies with less division of labor, in which religion is an integral component of social consciousness and the social everyday (‘autochthonous ethnic communities’). Typology 2. Re…