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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 …

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 Initially simply chosen from whatever household utensils were available, over the course of time they were gradually withdrawn from everyday use and came to be made of precious materials.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…

Typicon

(169 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] Until well into the 15th century, the term typicon, which in principle can mean any fixed order, was often used by founders of Orthodox monasteries to denote the structures and offices peculiar to their foundations. Since the 11th century, however, the term has been applied primarily to a collection of rubrics governing the course of worship throughout the year. Its beginnings can be traced back to the 7th century and the Sabas Monastery. From the 9th century on, the dominant typicon was …

Troparion

(295 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] Troparion, name of a special chant in Byzantine Orthodox worship; its origin and original meaning are disputed. Over the centuries, the characteristics of a troparion have been subject to considerable variation. As a hymnographic genre, a troparion is hard to distinguish formally from a sticheron and a kathisma. Originally a troparion appears to have been a short text serving as a refrain, framing and/or subdividing the recitation of a psalm. Such troparia have been preserved in c…

Theodore of Studios, Saint

(335 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] (759, Constantinople – Nov 11, 826, island of Prinkipo [modern Büyükada]) (feast day Nov 11), influential reformer of monastic and liturgical life, ecclesiastical politician, prolific writer and poet. His family moved in the highest social circles. Led by his uncle Platon, in 781 he along with his parents, siblings, and other family members turned the family estate of Sakkudion in Bithynia into a monastery; he was ordained to the priesthood in 787 and served as abbot after 794. In…

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…

Christmas

(7,716 words)

Author(s): Roll, Susan K. | Köhle-Hezinger, Christel | Plank, Peter | Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich | Hermelink, Jan | Et al.
[German Version] I. History – II. Christian Liturgy – III. Practical Theology – IV. Art History – V. Music I. History 1. Origins. “Christmas,” the nativity feast or birthday celebration of Christ on Dec 25, comes from Middle English Christmesse, Christ's Mass; cf. Dutch Kerstmis. The German Weihnachten, “holy nights,” refers to the twelve days between Dec 24 and Jan 6. The Lat. natalis, dies nativitatis, or nativitas domini nostri Jesu Christi is reflected in Span. navidad, Ital. natale. Gk ἡ γενέθλιος ἡμέρα τὰ γενέθλια, ἡ κατὰ σάρκα γέννησις τοῦ κυρίου/ hēgenéthlios h…

Theodore Graptos and Theophanes Graptos, Saints

(287 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] The two brothers were born in Palestine c. 775 as sons of a priest named Jonas. Like their father, they became monks in the Sabas Monastery. Probably while traveling in the service of Patriarch Thomas I of Jerusalem (807–820), they were detained in Constantinople and became involved in the turmoil of the Iconoclastic controversy (Veneration of images: VI), which had flared up against in 815 under Emperor Leo V (813–820); in the course of it, as declared iconodules, they were forced to have their foreheads branded (γραπτοί/ graptoí) with satirical verses. Theophanes …

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 …

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…
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