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Indulgence

(1,315 words)

Author(s): Ohst, Martin | Müller, Gerhard L.
[German Version] I. History – II. Modern Catholicism I. History Indulgences ( indulgentia as a fixed technical term since the early 13th cent.; previously also remissio, relaxatio, or absolutio generalis) are rooted in the early medieval system of scheduled penances (Repentance: IV), which allowed fixed forms of satisfaction to be replaced by other acts (“commutation”) or payment of a monetary sum (“redemption”), all meant to be equivalent. The new element in indulgences was the discontinuation of this required equivalenc…

Beichte

(2,324 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Ohst, Martin | Ivanov, Vladimir
1. Definition und BedeutungDie B. (von mhdt. bigiht, zusammengezogen bīht[e]: Aussage, Bekenntnis; Übersetzung von lat. confessio) ist die vom frühen MA bis teilweise in die Gegenwart gebräuchlichste Form des kirchlichen Bußverfahrens. Der Streit um die Frage, ob der B. der Charakter eines Sakraments zuzuerkennen und wie ihre kirchenamtliche Regulierung und ihre Ausübung in der Religionspraxis zu gestalten sei, ist zu einem wesentlichen Differenzierungsfaktor zwischen den drei großen christl. Konfessionen gewo…
Date: 2019-11-19

Confession

(2,565 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Ohst, Martin | Ivanov, Vladimir
1. Definition and meaningConfession (from Latin  confessio) has been the most common form of the church’s penitential discipline from the early Middle Ages until (to some extent) the present. The German equivalent is  Beichte, from MHG  bigiht, contracted  bīht[e]: “declaration, avowal”. The debate over whether it should be recognized as a sacrament and how it should be formally regulated and practiced by the church became a major bone of contention among the three main Christian religious groups. These differences have had not only…
Date: 2019-10-14

Banishment

(2,105 words)

Author(s): Schulz, Hermann | Schäfer-Lichtenberger, Christa | Pearson, Birger A. | Ohst, Martin
[German Version] I. Comparative Religion – II. Biblical – III. Church History I. Comparative Religion The terminology and conception of banishment develop primarily in the context of legal language. Commandments and prohibitions require sanctioning, must become authoritative, and are thus connected with magical incantations (Magi). In popular culture, the verbs “to ban” and “to arrest” …

Church Polity

(28,214 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich | Dingel, Irene | Ohst, Martin | Weitlauff, Manfred | Pirson, Dietrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Early Church – II. Middle Ages – III. Reformation – IV. Modern Period – V. Present – VI. Practical Theology I. Early Church The church polity projected and in part realized in early Christianity is one of the most significant institutional inventions of Late Antiquity. Since it has survived into the present, with many modifications and variations, it also represents an element of continuity between the ancient world and the modern world. Church polity as used here means all the institutions affecting the external organization of early Ch…

Freedom of Religion

(3,650 words)

Author(s): Schlenke, Dorothee | Kronauer, Ulrich | Link, Christoph | Ohst, Martin | Witte, John | Et al.
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics – III. Philisophy – V. History – VI. Mission I. Dogmatics Freedom of religion, as generally understood, combines freedom of belief, of conscience, and creed, as well as freedom to practice one's religion (cf. German Basic Law, art. 4, §§1, 2), in one fundamental right. Dogmatics needs to clarify the relationship between religious certainty and freedom. A statement consonant with Reformation belief would run as follows: If Christian certainty, as certainty about the …

Religionsfreiheit

(3,276 words)

Author(s): Schlenke, Dorothee | Kronauer, Ulrich | Link, Christoph | Ohst, Martin | Witte, John | Et al.
[English Version] I. Dogmatisch Unter R. werden nach herrschender Auslegung Glaubens-, Gewissens- und Bekenntnisfreiheit sowie die Freiheit der Religionsausübung (Art.4 Abs.1 und 2 GG) zu einem Grundrecht zusammengezogen. Der somit dogmatisch zu klärende Zusammenhang von rel. Gewißheit und Freiheit stellt sich nach reformatorischer Überzeugung folgendermaßen dar: Wird christl. Gewißheit als Gewißheit der Wahrheit des Evangeliums von Jesus Christus durch die freie, geistgewirkte Selbstvergegenwärtig…

Toleranz/Intoleranz

(5,239 words)

Author(s): Dehn, Ulrich | Gertz, Jan Christian | Wischmeyer, Oda | Ohst, Martin | Kronauer, Ulrich | Et al.
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich T./I. müssen im Gegenüber zu u.a. Respekt, Koexistenz, Indifferenz, Akzeptanz und Vorurteil profiliert werden und korrespondieren im öfftl. Raum mit dem Vorhandensein bzw. Nichtvorhandensein der Religionsfreiheit. Sie entspringen dem Anspruch exklusiver rel. Wahrheit bzw. kollidieren mit ihm. T. bedarf der Einsicht in die Irrtumsfähigkeit und Grenze menschlicher (Glaubens-)Erkenntnis, I. verweigert diese Einsicht. Unterschieden werden können (nach Gerl…

Confession

(2,836 words)

Author(s): Gerlitz, Peter | Ohst, Martin | Sattler, Dorothea | Root, Michael | Ivanov, Vladimir | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics – IV. Practical Theology – V. Missiology I. Religious Studies Confession and absolution, expressive of the substantiality of guilt (I) and the impact of the spoken word with its magico-ritual power, are among the “most widespread means of structured confrontation of the ego with itself” (Hahn & Knapp, 7). They appear already in tribal societies (Kikuyu, Nuer, Acholi in East Africa) as part of purificati…

Tolerance and Intolerance

(6,428 words)

Author(s): Dehn, Ulrich | Gertz, Jan Christian | Wischmeyer, Oda | Ohst, Martin | Kronauer, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Tolerance and intolerance must be defined in terms of their relationship to respect, coexistence, indifference, acceptance, and prejudice. In the public context, they ¶ correspond to the presence or absence of freedom of religion. They originate in the claim to exclusive religious truth or else collide with it. Tolerance requires insight into the human ability to err and into the limits of human cognition with regard to faith, whereas intolerance rejects this insight. Following Gerlitz,…

Repentance

(11,471 words)

Author(s): Gantke, Wolfgang | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Oppenheimer, Aharon | Dan, Joseph | Weder, Hans | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Examination of repentance from the perspective of religious studies must confront the problem that the term itself has no culturally neutral meaning. Many of the phenomena in other religions that Christians tend to call repentance appear in a different light when viewed in the context of different anthropological presuppositions, ¶ so that due weight must be given to the religious anthropology in question. Generally speaking, it is true to say that in almost all non-Christian religions the notion of repentance c…

Confession (of Faith)

(12,201 words)

Author(s): Bochinger, Christoph | Kreuzer, Siegfried | Reumann, John | Staats, Reinhart | Holze, Heinrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Bible – III. Church History – IV. Systematics – V. Practical Theology – VI. Law – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. History of Religions The term confession refers to various phenomena, including the confession of faith and of sin. A confession of faith can be understood as an officially sanctioned, formulaic summary of the central doctrines of a religious or a confessional community (“denomination”). Recited in cultic procedures and/or in everyday piety, i…
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