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Local Church

(1,563 words)

Author(s): Roosen, Rudolf | zu Schlochtern, Josef Meyer | Ohme, Heinz | Küster, Volker
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Meaning – III. Missiology I. Terminology The term local church owes its theological rediscovery to Vatican II and must be understood against the background of the Roman Catholic understanding of the church (VIII, 2.b). There it denotes the church in a specific region, usually a diocese. From a systematic perspective, it refers to the middle level of ecclesiastical organization, between the Roman Catholic universal church and the Catholic parish. In German Protestantism deaneries (Dean/Deanery) or church districts (Church polity:…

Fellowship and Community

(382 words)

Author(s): Roosen, Rudolf
[German Version] With the phrase “communion of saints,” Christianity confesses a fellowship in faith that is homogeneous in creed and conduct and transcends place and time. As important as this notion of the faith is, it cannot be hidden in earthen vessels without resulting in fractures, tensions and material ¶ fatigue. As early as 1 Cor the degree to which strife, jealousy, and pagan indecency (1; 3; 5–8) dominated in the community of those “called to be saints” (1:2) is evident. Aware of this problem, Zwingli distinguished between the invisib…

Church Reform

(366 words)

Author(s): Roosen, Rudolf
[German Version] With the “communion of saints” (cf. 1 Cor 12; CA 7), Christianity confesses to a time and space-transcending community of faith with uniform beliefs, for which the notion of reform is completely alien. The more a Christian church describes even its worldly appearance ( ecclesia visibilis) in terms of this reality of faith, the more difficult it is for it even to consider the notion of reform as a reliable instrument for overcoming systemic and organizational crises. While the Protestant church is well aware …

Community and the Individual

(5,279 words)

Author(s): Williame, Jean-Paul | Görg, Manfred | Popkes, Wiard | Zenkert, Georg | Thomas, Günter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy – V. Dogmatics – VI. Sociology, Ethics – VII. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies In the context of their understanding of God and related obligations, human beings make connections of solidarity and feel, with more or less intensity, that they are members of the same community. Religion brings people closer together and creates social ties: the umma of the Muslims, Christian brotherhood and ecumeni…


(1,390 words)

Author(s): Roosen, Rudolf | zu Schlochtern, Josef Meyer | Ohme, Heinz | Küster, Volker
[English Version] I. Begriff und Abgrenzung Der Begriff O. verdankt seine theol. Wiederentdeckung dem Vaticanum II und ist vor dem Hintergrund des röm.-kath. Kirchenverständnisses (Kirche: VIII.,2., b) zu verstehen. Hier bez. er Kirche auf regionaler Ebene, insbes. die Diözesen. In systemtheoretischer Perspektive benennt er die mittleren kirchl. Organisationsebenen zw. der röm.-kath. Welt- bzw. Gesamtkirche einerseits und den kath. Pfarrgemeinden bzw. Pfarreien andererseits. Im ev. Raum gibt es zwar mit den Dekanaten oder Kirchenkreisen (Kirchenverfassu…