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Hagiography

(2,226 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Plank, Peter | Dan, Joseph
[German Version] I. Western Hagiography – II. Eastern Hagiography – III. Medieval and Modern Judaism I. Western Hagiography Western hagiography, as a literature that has no scholarly purpose but serves to venerate saints, first followed Greek examples. Its most important genre, the lives of the saints, is shaped less by the panegyric biography of the martyr bishop Cyprian of Carthage, written by the deacon Pontius (2nd half of 3rd cent. ce), than by the vitaes of the desert father Anthony of Padua, written by Athanasius (with two Latin translations), and of Martin …

Trinity/Doctrine of the Trinity

(11,509 words)

Author(s): Oberdorfer, Bernd | Theobald, Michael | Müller, Gerhard Ludwig | Plank, Peter | Küster, Volker | Et al.
[German Version] ¶ I. Terminology To an unusual degree, the theology of the Trinity is characterized by a strained combination of narrative biblical language and speculative philosophical language. The word trinitas was first used by Tertullian ( Prax. 2.1–4), as a translation of Greek τριάς/ triás (orig. “threeness”). To denote the divine unity (God: V, 1), the 4th-century debates showed that the term οὐσία/ ousí (“Essence”; see also Divine essence) borrowed from Greek philosophy was theologically legitimate. The term ὑπόστασις/ hypóstasis (Hypostasis) was sometimes used i…

Bishops, Consecration of

(532 words)

Author(s): Ratzmann, Wolfgang | Plank, Peter
[German Version] I. Practical Theology – II. Orthodox Church I. Practical Theology Episcopal ordination is the rite whereby a person chosen as bishop receives his office (the legal aspect) and is empowered to exercise this (the spiritual aspect). After Vatican II, episcopal ordination in the Roman Catholic church was given a structure parallel to the ordination rites of deacons and …

James, Liturgy of Saint

(281 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] James, Liturgy of Saint, is the indigenous eucharistic liturgy of the Holy Land, named after the Lord's brother, James, verifiable as the foundation for the fourth and fifth mystagogical catecheses of Cyril of Jerusalem or John of Jerusalem; passages are also already evident in Eusebius of Caesarea and in the eucharistic prayer in Origen. In terms of content, the sequence, formulated strictly in accordance with salvation history, of post-sanctus, words of institution, anamnesis, and epiclesis, and the extraordinary scope of the intercessions are n…

Russia, Theology in

(1,054 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] The pervasive social reform set in motion by Alexander II’s emancipation of the serfs in 1862 also created the conditions in Russia necessary for an Orthodox theology (Orthodox churches: IV) consistently using historical-critical methods. This new form of theology bore fruit consonant with the cultural level and the capacities of the country and its church, until the October Revolution in 1917 violently interrupted the entire life of the church, including its theological reflectio…

Chernivtsi

(383 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] (Rumanian Cernăuţi, Russian Černovcy). After the incorporation of Bukovina into the Habsburg Empire in 1775, Czernowitz became the seat of the Orthodox bishop of Radautz (Radauti); while its ancient title was retained, it was joined to the Serbian Habsburg metropolitan see of Karlowitz (Sremski Karlovci). In the spirit of Josephinism, the existing monasteries were suppressed and their assets transferred to a so-called religious endowment to the benefit …

Liturgical Implements

(799 words)

Author(s): Berger, Rupert | Plank, Peter
[German Version] I. Western Church – II. Eastern Church I. Western Church From the very outset, celebration of the Lord's Supper (Eucharist/Communion: IV) required a cup for the wine and a dish for the bread (II). Initially simply chosen from whatever household utensils were available, over the course of time they were gradually withdrawn from everyday use and came to be made of precious materials. Finally their particular requirements (ease of holding and passing) led to the chalice and paten (liturgical…

Church Year

(2,193 words)

Author(s): Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich | Grethlein, Christian | Richter, Klemens | Plank, Peter
[German Version] I. General Background and History – II. Practical Theology – III. Orthodox Church I. General Background and History The church year – like church art, architecture, etc. – is one of the great cultural products of the Christian faith. It attempts to give cultural form to the gospel by means of the human perception of time. It thus stands alongside other attempts to cultivate the experience and perception of time, and to structure it meaningfully. As a sign of salvation…

Easter

(5,925 words)

Author(s): Kraus, Georg | Kinzig, Wolfram | Schlemmer, Karl | Plank, Peter | Schwier, Helmut | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Church History – III. Liturgy – IV. Customs and Traditions – V. Homiletics and Education – VI. Art History I. Terminology Easter (cf. Ger. Ostern) is the English word for the feast of Jesus Christ's resurrection (II). The name in other Germanic and Romance languages derives instead from Gk πάσχα/ páscha (Aram. פַּסְחָא/ pascha' or פִּסְחָא/ pischa' for Heb. פֶּסַח/ pesah. [from פסח/ psh., “limp/go past”, etymology not entirely clear]; Lat. as pascha or passa), for example, Påske (Danish and Norwegian), Pasen (Dutch), Påsk (Swedish), Pasqua (…

Sabas Monastery

(298 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] The monastery was established between 483 and 490 by St. Sabas alongside the Kidron Valley nine km southeast of Jerusalem. It was founded as a laura, consisting of individual caves in the rock with a communal building as its center. Despite its deep involvement in the Origenist controversies, by the time of the Persian invasion in 614 it had already experienced an initial spiritual and intellectual flowering (Cyril of Scythopolis); it played an essential role in the development of…

Synodicon

(255 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] On the first Sunday in Lent in 843, after years of struggle, the population of Constantinople were solemnly informed that the heresy of iconoclasm had finally been condemned and defeated. In the Orthodox Church, this proclamation became the occasion of a permanent annual festival: the first Sunday in Lent, formerly dedicated to Moses and all the prophets, has been observed as the “Sunday of Orthodoxy” ever since. In all episcopal cathedrals, the Synodicon is recited on this day in a special rite: a lengthy doxology is followed by a renunciation of all…

Liturgy of the Hours

(3,593 words)

Author(s): Häußling, Angelus A. | Hofhansl, Ernst W. | Meßner, Reinhard | Plank, Peter | Kreuels, Matthias
[German Version] I. History – II. Liturgical Practice – III. Catholicism – IV. Orthodox Church – V. Protestantism – VI. Music I. History Praying “at all times” reflects belief in a God who is always present as Lord of every time and all time. The Early Church continued the practice of Israel, but soon enriched the anamnestic remembrance of God's saving work at certain times (deliverance in the morning, preservation of the creation in the evening) with the remembrance of experiences of salvation in the life of th…

Altar

(6,849 words)

Author(s): Sfameni Gasparro, Giulia | Fritz, Volkmar | Häußling, Angelus A. | Schmidt-Lauber, Hans-Christoph | Plank, Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Israel – III. Christianity I. Religious Studies The term comes from the Lat. “altare,” which is derived from “adolere,” “burn” (thus already Sextus Pompeius Festus, De verborum significatione, v. 14: “altaria sunt in quibus igne adoletur”). In addition to “altare/altaria”, the common term “ara” (from “areo,” “burn”) has the same meaning. Accordingly, the Roman altar could be defined as “place of fire” or “sacrificial hearth.” In Greek, there are a number of alternating terms. Of these θυμέλη/ thymélē and θυσιαστήριον/ thysiastḗrion (fr…

Nikon of the Black Mountain

(165 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] (c. 1025, Constantinople – after 1100, near Antioch), important encyclopedist and canonist of the Chalcedonian patriarchy of Antioch. After a military career in Byzantine service, Nikon was a monk on the “Black Mountain” near Antioch and a monastic teacher appointed by the patriarchate. In this role he gathered and critically evaluated in three works what seemed genuine and normative to him in legal, liturgical, and ascetic traditions (I: Explanations of the Commandments of the Lord [῾Ερμηνεῑαι τῶν ἐντολῶν τοῦ κυρίου], also called the Pandects; II: Little Book [Μικρ…

Ordination of Priests

(830 words)

Author(s): Meßner, Reinhard | Plank, Peter
[German Version] 1. Catholic understanding. In Roman Catholic usage, the expression ordination of priests (or presbyters; Ordination: V, 1) reflects a specific, sacerdotal understanding of ecclesiastical office (VI, 3). The Christian priesthood is associated in the first instance with baptism (IV, 1). Postbaptismal anointing is the ritual sign of inclusion in the priestly people of God through participation in the priestly office of Christ. In the Roman tradition in particular, this anointing has always been associated with…

Priesthood

(7,504 words)

Author(s): Friedli, Richard | Otto, Eckart | Dignas, Beate | Elm, Dorothee | Kraus, Georg | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Etymologically the term priest derives from Greek πρεσβύτερος/ presbýteros, “elder”; it denotes a religious functionary, especially an expert responsible for the cult. The Greek word did not originally have this meaning. A second semantic strand puts a priest (Gk ἱερεύς/ hiereús, Lat. sacerdos) in charge of things that are sacred (Sacred and profane). The characteristics that comparative religion usually associates with priesthood are often transferred globally from Christianity, especially Roman Cathol…

Marriage Ceremonies

(4,074 words)

Author(s): Idelberger, Petra | Grethlein, Christian | Hofhansl, Ernst W. | Steck, Wolfgang | Winter, Jörg | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Church History – III. Practical Theology – IV. Liturgics – V. Law – VI. Orthodox Church – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. History of Religion In Christendom marriage was considered a secular act until well into the Middle Ages, before it was declared a sacrament in 1184. Many religions view marriage as a religious duty, and nuptial rites (Rites of passage; see III below) often have sacral character, but civil marriages are also obligatory in certain countries. Regulations gover…

Jerusalem

(8,314 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Hezser, Catherine | Dan, Joseph | Küchler, Max | Bieberstein, Klaus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Early Church – V. Patriarchates – VI. Islam – VII. Religious and Political Situation Today – VIII. Archaeology I. Old Testament Jerusalem (ירושׁלם/ yerûšālēm, MT yerûšālayim) was founded c. 1800 bce as a fortified town in the central Palestinian uplands at a strategic point for transportation between northern and southern Palestine. Outside the Bible, the name appears from the 18th century on in the Egyptian execration texts and the Amarna letters (as Akkad. uruu-ru-sa-lim). It derives from the verb yrh I…

Bishop

(5,831 words)

Author(s): Schöllgen, Georg | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Rees, Wilhelm | Plank, Peter | de Wall, Heinrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics and Canon Law – IV. Missiology I. New Testament The NT contains no evidence of the episcopate in the traditional Catholic sense (a single bishop at the apex of a hierarchical clerical ministry functioning as head of a Christian community), but it does use the word ἐπίσκοπος ( epískopos; the etymological source of bishop) for functionaries and officials exercising oversight in the community (Acts 20:28; Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:1–7; Tit 1:7–9). For the primitive church, it is therefore better ¶ to speak of episkopoi rathe…

Psalms/Psalter

(13,915 words)

Author(s): Hartenstein, Friedhelm | Janowski , Bernd | Hartenstein , Friedhelm | Janowski, Bernd | Häußling, Angelus A. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology and Scope The book of Psalms is a unique collection of 150 poetic texts compiled to make a work sui generis. Its Hebrew title תְּהִלִּים(סֵפֶר) /( sēper) tĕhillîm, “(Book of) Praises,” is already found at Qumran (earliest instance: 4QMa [= 4Q491] 174, 1st cent. bce). As in the New Testament occurrences from about a century later (Luke 20:42; Acts 1:20: βίβλος ψαλμῶν/ bíblos psalmṓ n), it appears to be used primarily in the technical sense of a scroll containing psalms (cf. the frgm. 4QPs), but it might also denote a form of the Psalter. In 11QPsa, a collectio…
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