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Fasting

(4,168 words)

Author(s): Freiberger, Oliver | Podella, Thomas | Böcher, Otto | Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich | Troickij, Aleksandr | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. Christianity – IV. Ethics – V. Judaism – VI. Islam I. History of Religions “Fasting” is a universally attested cultural technique to produce an expansion of mental and social control, power, or awareness (Asceticism) by restricting the intake of food. Many different types of and reasons for fasting can be found in the history of religions, and they are combined in various ways. Several studies have been produced with regard to individual religions …

Glory of God

(2,368 words)

Author(s): Podella, Thomas | Lis, Hanna | Zumstein, Jean | Schoberth, Wolfgang
[German Version] I. Ancient Near East and Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics I. Ancient Near East and Old Testament The English expression glory of God derives from the Greek translation (δόξα κυρίου or τοῦ ϑεοῦ / dóxa kyriou or toú theoú) of the Hebrew phrase כְּבוֹד יהוה /kĕbôd YHWH. In ordinary usage, Heb. כָּבוֹד/ kābôd denotes a person's “weight” or “weightiness,” which is displayed outwardly to mark to his or her social status (Gen 31:1; 45:13). As a fundamental aesthetic concept, the glory of God can be understood …

Mourning Customs

(3,303 words)

Author(s): Heller, Birgit | Podella, Thomas | Triebel, Lothar | Goldberg, Sylvie-Anne | de Boer, Martinus C. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies As an element of burial rites and the cult of the dead (Dead, Cult of the), mourning customs serve not only the survivors but also the departed. Ritual support of the dead or protection against them is usually one of the functions of a mourning period, which often concludes with a change in the status of the departed (e.g. admission to the realm of the dead at the end of a jour…

Anthropomorphism

(2,629 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Gebhard | Podella, Thomas | Veltri, Giuseppe | Ess, Josef van | Körtner, Ulrich H.J. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Judaism – IV. Islam –V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Dogmatics – VII. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies Anthropomorphism denotes the conception of God or gods in human form. It derives from the personification of spiritual events (animatism), the idea of attributing a soul to stones, trees or places (Animism) or the idea of a power indwelling objects or persons (dyna-mism). In r…

Sanctification

(2,676 words)

Author(s): Podella, Thomas | Schnelle, Udo | Marquardt, Manfred
[German Version] I. Old Testament Sanctification, the “setting apart” of spaces, times, objects, and persons to make them sacred (cf. Lat. sacer) is represented in the Old Testament by the verb קדשׁ/ qdš piel and niphal, its antonyms חלל/ ḥll I piel and חל/ ḥl, and the antithesis “clean–unclean” טהר–טמא/ ṭhr–ṭmʾ (with reference to holiness: Lev 11:43ff.; 16:19; cf. Deut 14:3ff.; purity and impuraty). Since YHWH represents holiness per se (Isa 5:16, etc.), sanctification means translating the object in question into the immediate divine realm (cf. the regulati…

Asceticism

(6,235 words)

Author(s): Harich-Schwarzbauer, Henriette | Ries, Julien | Podella, Thomas | Niederwimmer, Kurt | Köpf, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Ethics – VI. Judaism – VII. Indian Religions I. Religious Studies 1. Greece and Rome. The term “asceticism,” the Western meaning of which was shaped by Christianity, derives from Gk ἄσκησις/ áskēsis, a noun denoting activity; ἄσκεῖν/ askeîn originally meant “to craft/to decorate.” In the 5th century bce, the primary meaning became “to train/to exercise.” The exercise was mostly physical (gymnastics, …

Dead, Cult of the

(2,817 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Podella, Thomas | Cancik-Lindemaier, Hildegard
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Classical Antiquity I. Religious Studies Nearly all societies view death as a transition from one mode of existence to another. To enable the departed or his or her soul to complete this transformational process successfully, the survivors must perform certain rituals, referred to collectively as the cult of the …

Ancestors, Cult of

(3,486 words)

Author(s): Balz, Heinrich | Harich-Schwarzbauer, Henriette | Podella, Thomas | Seiwert, Hubert | Michaels, Axel | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Greco-Roman Antiquity – III. Old Testament – IV. China – V. India – VI. Missiology I. Religious Studies All ancestors that are worshiped are dead, but not all dead people are ancestors, and not every mortuary ritual represents an ancestor cult. For an ancestor cult, there must be a consciousness of a familial and genealogical connection with the ancestors over one or more generations, …

Libanomanteia

(14 words)

Author(s): Podella, Thomas (Lübeck)
see Divination [German version] Libanos see Weihrauch see Incense Podella, Thomas (Lübeck)

Menetekel

(128 words)

Author(s): Podella, Thomas (Lübeck)
[German version] Properly Mene-tekel-ufarsin, a cryptic Aramaic inscription in the literary context of Dan 5:25-28 (within an Aramaic apocalypse in Dan 2-7), written by a supernatural hand on the wall of the palace during a banquet given by Belsazar, the heir to the Babylonian throne. The elements of this writing have been interpreted as cuneiform signs for weights (Neo-Babylonian manû‘mina’, šiqlu‘shekel’; mišlu/ zūzu‘half’/‘to share’), or as Aramaic terms in cuneiform script, in the order mina, shekel, half-shekel. Daniel interpreted the writing as a play on the words manû ‘to c…

Mabartha

(38 words)

Author(s): Podella, Thomas (Lübeck)
[German version] (Aramaic maʿbartā, ‘ford, passage’; Greek Μαβάρθα/ Mabártha; Latin Mamortha). Name of a place or landscape in Palestine between Ebal and Garizim, near Neapolis (Talmud: jTaan 4,68c,74-d,1; Jos. BI 4,449; Plin. HN 5,69). Podella, Thomas (Lübeck)

Sacrifice

(10,943 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Et al.
I. Religious studies [German version] A. General Sacrifice is one of the central concepts in describing ritual religion in ancient and modern cultures. In European Modernity, the term sacrifice (directly or indirectly influenced by Christian theology of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ to redeem mankind) also has an intimation towards individual self-giving ('sacrifice of self'). The range of nuances in the modern meaning stretches to include discourses that have lost their religious motif and hav…

Libanus

(275 words)

Author(s): Podella, Thomas (Lübeck)
[German version] (Λίβανος/ Líbanos, Lat. Libanus). Mountain range in northern Syria between the Mediterranean coast and the Antilibanos in the interior. The name (Hebrew lebānôn, Ugaritic Lbnm, Akkadian Labnāna, Arabic Lubnān) derives from the Semitic root * lbn ‘white’, i.e. the ‘white mountain’. The tale of L.' descent from a giant in Philo of Byblus (Euseb. Praep. evang. I,10,9) is mythological. The earliest information is found in OT and Assyrian sources. The Lebanon extends for about 160 km almost parallel to the coast. Its highest elevation with 3126 m is Ǧeb…

Mahanajim

(179 words)

Author(s): Podella, Thomas (Lübeck)
[German version] (Hebrew maḥanayim, literally ‘double camp’, cf. Ugarite mḥnm [3. 3,4] on the basis of the apparent dual form of maḥanæh; Gn 32:8; 11; 1 Kgs 2:8; cf. also Jos. Ant. Iud. 7,10; Euseb. On. 130,4); already attested in the list of defeated ‘Asians’ of the Egyptian king Shoshenk I (ANET 263, no. 22) as m-ḥ-n-m. This town east of the Jordan appears as the boundary point between the territories of the tribes Gad and Manasse on the Israelite-Aramaic border between Penuel and the mountain range Gilead; according to Jos. Ant. Iud. 21,38, a Levi…

King's Highway

(123 words)

Author(s): Podella, Thomas (Lübeck)
[German version] (Hebrew dæræk hammælæk, Akkadian girru šarri, Arab. darb/tarīq as-sulṭāni) is the name of the old trading route in Jordan which in ancient oriental and Roman antiquity connected Damascus to the Gulf of Aqaba and therefore, with the western via maris, formed the most important transport link on the Syrian-Palestinian north-south axis. The name KH comes from the OT (Nm 20:17; 21:22). The KH also served the eastern neighbouring peoples as a transport and trading route both in terms of military interests and trade with pro…

Midian

(128 words)

Author(s): Podella, Thomas (Lübeck)
[German version] [1] Son of Abraham and Keturah Son of Abraham and Keturah in the genealogy of Genesis (Gn 25,2). Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) [German version] [2] Locality south of Edom (Hebrew midyān, Arab madyān). In the OT, name of a region south of Edom and east of the Gulf of Aqaba. The region is presumably the homeland of the later Israelite national god Yahweh. Settlement, trade, pottery making and camel breeding are attested archaeologically since the 13th/12th cent BC. From the 8th cents. BC., the Midianites were also involved in Arabian trade along the Incense Road. Maesaimanes Pode…

Human sacrifices

(2,449 words)

Author(s): Cancik-Lindemaier, Hildegard (Tübingen) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Scheid, John (Paris)
I. History of the Concept and its Subsequent Influence [German version] A. Concept Human sacrifice (HS) is a form of killing considered lawful, similar to killing in pursuit of war, capital punishment, or a blood feud. It is, however, limited to the performance of offering rites that (a) are universally accepted in the respective religion and culture and (b) are conducted in a fashion similar to the sacrificial killing of other creatures. Killing in the context of other lawful rituals, such as the cult of the dead ( Gladiator) or the   devotio in battle, does …

Ritual

(8,221 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | von Lieven, Alexandra (Berlin) | Böck, Barbara (Madrid) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Et al.
[German version] I. Term Ritual refers to an elaborate sequence of individual rites which, following an established ritual syntax, are logically connected within a certain functional context. Rituals are not limited to religious contexts but exist in other cultural contexts, political as well as social. The significance of rituals for those who participate in them can be reduced neither to an integrative function (legitimation ritual) nor to a temporary disabling of the regular structure - the two e…

Religion

(13,714 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Assmann, Jan (Heidelberg) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Colpe, Carsten (Berlin) | Et al.
I. Introduction [German version] A. Definition of the concept 'Religion', the substantive for describing the religious, denotes a system of common practices, individual ideas about faith, codified norms and examples of theological exegesis whose validity is derived chiefly from an authoritative principle or being. For the academic study of religion, conversely, the word is a purely heuristic category in which those practices, ideas, norms and theological constructs are examined historically; however, the…

Moab, Moabitis

(652 words)

Author(s): Podella, Thomas (Lübeck)
[German version] (Hebrew môāb; Egyptian mb; Akkadian ma--a-ba, ma-a-ba, mu-a-ba; LXX Μωαβ/ Mōab; Jos. Ant. Iud. 1,205 Μώαβος/ Mṓabos; Ios. passim Μωαβῖται/ Mōabîtai). Term for a land, state and people to the east of the Dead Sea between Ammon [2] in the north and Edom in the south. The earliest evidence is found in Egyptian texts of Ramses II, in a relief with inscription at the Temple of  Luxor, and then primarily in the OT, in inscriptions of the Moabite king Meša (KAI 181) and in Neo-Assyrian sources. The etymology of the name is doubtful. Settlement has been proved as early as t…
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