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Archimandrite

(149 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
“Archimandrite” (from Greek roots meaning “head of a sheepfold [ mandra]”) refers to a dignitary ranking below a bishop. It was used from the 4th century for certain heads of monasteries (Orthodox or united with Rome). After the 6th century it was reserved for leaders of groups of monasteries and at first restricted to certain abbots. Since the 18th century the title has been conferred on other monks or unmarried priests only loosely connected to the monastic state (as a rhasophore, or novice), either in an honorary way or as a promotion on the way to the episcopal office. See Orthodox Church Pe…

Patriarch, Patriarchate

(1,573 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
1. Biblical Usage The LXX coined the Gk. word patriarchēs, which derives from patria (family, tribe). In the OT it may be used for any group leaders, but in the NT it refers specifically to Abraham (Heb. 7:4), the 12 sons of Jacob (Acts 7:8–9), and David (2:29). 2. Jewish History From the third century to the fifth, the nasi (prince), the head of the Tiberias Sanhedrin, was called patriarchēs in Greek documents. The office, which was a hereditary one in the family of the editor of the Mishnah, Judah ha-Nasi (d. ca. 220), lasted until after 415 and was recognized and supported by t…

Catholicos

(202 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
Of Antiochian origin, “catholicos” is the title of some Orthodox or ancient Eastern archbishops (Bishop, Episcopate) who have supervision over scattered and relatively independent areas. Among the Jacobites in Persia, the term “maphrian” is also found. Where full autonomy is achieved or claimed, the title is associated with that of patriarch in the Orthodox Church of Georgia and the Assyrian Church of the East. It is used alone for the leaders of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Among the …

Acathistus

(161 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
The Acathistus (from Greek, meaning “not [sung] sitting”), a Byzantine hymn to the Virgin Mary sung while standing, takes the form of an alphabetic acrostic and is thought to have been first composed by Romanus Melodus (6th cent.). The original served as a model for many similar hymns, especially in Russia. At times having considerable influence in the West, the Acathistus has been illustrated in picture-cycles since the 14th century. See Mariology; Mary, Devotion to Peter PlankBibliography A. Chadzinikolau, “Akathistos Hymnos,” RBK  1.94–96 G. Dévai, “Akathistos–Prooemia in …

Synaxarion

(335 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
From the word synagō, “collect,” the synaxarion is a collection for the church year of short lives and notices of the saints (§5.1) that, in the Eastern churches, can be used either in public worship or privately (Orthodox Christianity; Orthodox Church). From the 9th century onward, the literary genus of the synaxarion has merged into that of church calendars and martyrologies (Martyrs; Martyrs, Acts of the). There are examples in Byzantium and Italy and Greece, and also in the Near East, though usually in translation from the Greek. Modern Greek usage has added the texts to the li…

Pentarchy

(304 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
“Pentarchy” (lit. “the rule of five”) denotes the widespread theory in the Greek East that the five patriarchs of Rome, Constantinople (Byzantium), Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem are jointly responsible for oversight of the church (Church Government). These patriarchs occupy the seats that were given a special preeminence by the ecumenical councils of the fourth and fifth centuries. The theory is first found in the laws of Emperor Justinian (527–65). It was given fuller theological development by the theologians of the eighth and ninth centuries …

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…

Relics

(5,513 words)

Author(s): Felber, Anneliese | Köpf, Ulrich | Plank, Peter | Hafner, Johann Ev. | Mohr, Hubert
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Relics are the remains (Lat. reliquiae) of individuals endowed with power, such as warriors, chiefs, sorcerers, heroes, prophets, martyrs, and saints – their bodies, their clothing, or objects they have used. Veneration of relics reflects the belief that these forces continue beyond the grave; the intent is to benefit from this power or blessing by erecting structures over the grave, lighting candles or leaving flowers, processions, touching or kissing, or burial near…

Liturgical Languages

(1,039 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] In principle any language capable of supporting a literature is suitable as a liturgical language. All languages in which liturgy has been recorded in writing turn out to be potential literary languages or have become such through the translation of biblical and liturgical texts. Not unlike liturgical vestments, liturgical languages that differ significantly from languages in daily use, spoken or written, have arisen through the exclusion of the liturgical domain from processes of change and development, as well as from potential replacement of spoken idioms. The …

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…

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…

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 …

Nikolai Kasatkin, Saint

(163 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] (Aug 1, 1836, Berezovskij, district Bel’sk – Feb 3, 1912, Tokyo), founder and first archbishop of the Orthodox Church of Japan. In 1860 he graduated from the seminary in St. Petersburg (II); he worked in Japan from 1861, first as priest of the Russian consulate in Hakodate and, after the granting of religious tolerance in 1873, as missionary; from 1880, as bishop. He achieved an exemplary inculturation of the Orthodox Church in Japanese language and mentality. A minority church wa…

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…

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…

Unleavened Bread Controversy

(173 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] Originally ordinary leavened bread (enzyma) was used in celebrations of the Eucharist (III, 3) throughout Christendom. In the mid-11th century, its replacement by unleavened bread (azyma) – attested in the Armenian Church since the 6th century and in the Latin Church since the 9th century – provoked a fierce controversy between Byzantium and Rome; in 1054 it occasioned the schism between East and West. Since the introduction of unleavened bread was obviously modeled after the Isra…

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 …

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…

Vestments, Liturgical

(306 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] Basically, liturgical vestments derive from the festal and official garb of antiquity; as secular fashions changed, they became the distinctive liturgical attire of the clergy and identified their various ranks (Clothing and vestments: II). All clergy wear an alb (sticharion), a full-length garment with sleeves. The stole (stola) serves as a mark of ordination; it is a strip of cloth worn over the left shoulder by deacons (orarion), over both shoulders by priests and bishops (epit…
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