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(1,219 words)

Author(s): Rademacher, Stefan
Monastic Life 1. Monks (from Gk., monachos, ‘one who lives alone’ or ‘lives unusually’) and nuns (from Lat., nonna, ‘nun,’ originally from ‘baby talk’ for a child's nurse) are religious → specialists in the framework of a social environment that belongs to the same religion. They usually cultivate a community life in poverty, obedience, and sexual abstinence. Monks and nuns live their religion radically, and are highly regarded for this lifestyle by society, which often contributes to their material maintenance. This last is true especially for hermits (from Greek, eremos, ‘solitary…

Demise of a Religion

(1,054 words)

Author(s): Rademacher, Stefan
1. The demise of a religion is nearly always tied to the simultaneous rise of new religions or ideologies. The better term, then, would be ‘supersession’ of religions, since no empty psychosocial cultural and philosophical space remains. Often this process is bound up with an official division of a religious community into groups. The narrower concept of ‘demise’ or ‘disintegration’ may be applicable at best in the case of this kind of fragmentation of a comprehensive religious system. Elements …