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Pastoral Skills

(369 words)

Author(s): Schmidt-Rost, Reinhard
[German Version] The term pastoral skills here denotes the personal acumen required of clergy that enables ¶ them to act appropriately in the numerous unpredictable situations of pastoral ministry. The German term Pastoralklugheit was in everyday use primarily in the 18th and 19th centuries (e.g. by M. Claudius). Development of such acumen is fostered by collections of rules of thumb (Nitsch) and advice in unclear situations. The concept was pioneered by the Regula pastoralis (591) of Gregory the Great, which expressed it as a verb and presented a collection of rules…

Bovet, Theodor

(110 words)

Author(s): Schmidt-Rost, Reinhard
[German Version] (May 28, 1900, Rome – Mar 6, 1976, Zürich), a psychiatrist, founded the Protestant marriage counseling service in Zürich in 1949, and the Christian Institute for Marital and Family Studies in Basel in 1959; he was co-publisher of Wege zum Menschen (1957–1975). Influenced by psychoanalysis (Alphonse Maeder, 1882–1971) and Christian theology (J.C. Blumhardt, K. Barth), he was interested in mental health care (pastoral care for the laity by the laity), and especially in a Christian understanding of (homo-) sexuality and marriage appropriate for the times. Reinhard Sc…

Pastoral Care

(4,842 words)

Author(s): Ziemer, Jürgen | Pohl-Patalong, Uta | Schmidt-Rost, Reinhard | Henkys, Jürgen
[German Version] I. The Term Linguistic usage is not uniform. The English expression pastoral care comes from Lat. pastor (Pastor), while the corresponding German term, Seelsorge, is literally “soul care.” Both terms have a secular origin. The concept is first found in Plato, that is, in a “philosophy that understands itself as pastoral care” (Bonhoeffer, 9). Plato has Socrates call on his fellow-citizens to show ἐπιμέλεια τῆς ψυχῆς/ epiméleia tḗs psychḗs. They should care not only for riches and honor, but also for their souls ( Apol. 29 e 2); for the soul, unlike the body (Body…

Frommel, Emil

(147 words)

Author(s): Schmidt-Rost, Reinhard
[German Version] (Jan 5, 1828, Karlsruhe – Nov 9, 1896, Plön), a Protestant theologian, was pastor in Karlsruhe and Barmen, and, from 1867, military chaplain in Berlin; in this function, he earned a high reputation for his pastoral care of the Hohenzollern after the foundation of the empire (he received the title of court preacher) and in the city of Berlin, where he was equally respected by all social groups. He kept his distance from the theological orientation disputes of his time. Frommel is r…


(4,323 words)

Author(s): Wilke, Jürgen | Haberer, Johanna | Bohrmann, Thomas | Schmidt-Rost, Reinhard | Ries, Markus
[German Version] I. Sociology The press was the earliest of the modern mass media, the technical means of mass communication by which information can be duplicated and distributed to a large number of people (a dispersed public). The term goes back to the printing press, developed in the mid-15th century by J. Gutenberg. For a long time it covered all kinds of printed works, including books, but since the 19th century it has been narrowed to the periodicals press. This is justified insofar as regul…

Thurneysen, Eduard

(183 words)

Author(s): Schmidt-Rost, Reinhard
[German Version] ( Jul 10, 1888, Wallenstadt, St. Gall – Aug 21, 1974, Basel), Protestant theologian. From 1913 to 1920 he was a pastor in Leutwil- Dürrenäsch and a neighbor of K. Barth, with whom he and G. Merz founded the periodical Zwischen den Zeiten. From 1927 to 1959 he served as a pastor in Basel, where he also lectured on practical theology. His significance for practical theology includes his participation in the opposition of the theologians associated with dialectical theology to a culturally adaptive Protestant theology in th…

Autogenic Training

(241 words)

Author(s): Schmidt-Rost, Reinhard
[German Version] is an exercise developed by the neurologist Johannes Heinrich Schultz based on the experiences of hypnosis utilized in psychotherapy, in individual as well as group therapy. It was first presented scientifically and comprehensively in 1932. By nature, autogenic training, also called concentrative self-relaxation, is self-hypnosis. …

Ars moriendi

(634 words)

Author(s): Mennecke-Haustein, Ute | Schmidt-Rost, Reinhard
[German Version] I. History – II. Practical Theology I. History The literature on the “art of dying” arose in the late Middle Ages out of the need for lay catechesis: clerics and lay people assisting the dying needed handbooks to guide a meritorious death that would guarantee the salvation of the dying person's soul (J. Gerson, De arte moriendi, 1403). The ars moriendi coalesced with other literary forms (legends, memento mori, imitatio Christi, etc.) and graphic representations (“ Ars in pictures,” c. 1450) to produce edifying readings that of…


(20,501 words)

Author(s): Feil, Ernst | Antes, Peter | Schwöbel, Christoph | Herms, Eilert | Küster, Volker | Et al.
[German Version] I. The Concept 1. History. As a sign of modern reflection on religion from an anthropo-philosophical perspective, we may take the emergence of philosophical anthropology (Human beings) c. 1600 (Odo Marquard) and the philosophy of religion c. 1770. However these two disciplines are defined – whether as (sub)disciplines of philosophy or simply as philosophy –, they are related to the problems raised by the various positions taken in modern debates over (Christian) religious belief (Faith…