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Theology

(25,967 words)

Author(s): Schwöbel, Christoph
[German Version] I. Terminology 1. History of the concept. Today the term theology (ϑεολογία/ theología) is usually used in the sense established in Christianity over a long history: it denotes systematic reflection on and explication of the fundamental content of the Christian faith (see II below), as practiced in the context of academic institutions in the various theological disciplines (see IV below) and in relationship to the Christian community of faith in the various churches. This usage is specific to…

Koinonia

(1,291 words)

Author(s): Schwöbel, Christoph
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics I. Dogmatics In 20th century theological discussion, the concept of koinonia was used in a programmatic way to characterize the fellowship of the church, but also as a term for the ecumenical communion of churches, and to justify this communion with the nature and work of the Triune God. The foundation of this understanding lies in its correlation with the New Testament's and especially the Pauline understanding of κοινωνία, in which an ¶ already existing understanding of koinonia in early Christianity's Hellenistic environment, i.e.…

Consensus

(1,749 words)

Author(s): Schwöbel, Christoph
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology – II. Dogmatic Theology – III. Ethics I. Fundamental Theology Both in fundamental theology and in philosophy, there is considerable dissent as to the justification, significance, and function of consensus (from Lat. consensus, “agreement, unanimity”). In the philosophical context, the recourse to universal consensus, or to the consensus of all rational people, with respect to controversial claims of truth and validity is found as early as Plato ( Gorg. 487e) and Aristotle ( Top. A1, 100b21–22). Cicero ( Div. I 1; Tusc. I 36) invokes it …

Brunner, Emil

(624 words)

Author(s): Schwöbel, Christoph
[German Version] (Dec 23, 1889, Winterthur – Apr 6, 1966, Zürich) encountered early on the influence of the Religious Socialism movement in the person of H. Kutter, who prepared him for confirmation and later served as his pastoral mentor. He studied theology in Zürich and Berlin (under A. v. Harnack et al.) and took his Lic. theol. in theology with his dissertation “Das Symbolische in der religiösen Erkenntnis.” After serving as a teacher in England, curate, and pastor, he received a grant to study in America at Princeton. ¶ Following his habilitation he …

Systematic Theology

(3,850 words)

Author(s): Schwöbel, Christoph
[German Version] I. The Concept in Relation to Other Theological Disciplines The task of systematic theology is organized exposition of how the Christian faith interprets reality, with reference to its inherent certainty of its truth (Truth: V; Certainty: III), and the closely associated guidance for action. The word theology makes it clear that the Christian faith’s (IV) interpretation of reality can be expounded appropriately only on the basis of God’s relationship to the world and to human beings, as disclosed by God for the Christian faith; the addition of systematic makes it cl…

Law and Gospel

(2,755 words)

Author(s): Schwöbel, Christoph
[German Version] The distinction between law and gospel has its theological setting in Luther's discovery at the dawn of the Reformation; from that beginning, it informed the debates within Lutheranism during the Reformation, the attempt to resolve them in the Lutheran articles of faith (I), and the deliberations of Reformed theology. Only in the context of the theological confessionalization in the 19th century and even more in the theological, ecclesiastical, and political debates of the 20th ce…

Creatureliness

(757 words)

Author(s): Schwöbel, Christoph
[German Version] Insight into the createdness of the world and human beings is rooted in the Christian belief in the triune God as Creator of the world (Creation). The confession of God as Creator must thus be formulated as a statement about one's own creatureliness: “I would believe that God has created me together with all creatures” (Luther, Short Catechism, art. 1, BSLK 510). Human experience of oneself and of the world is interpreted entirely in the horizon of one's relationship to God. Thus the structures of the experience of life ar…

Rade, Martin

(554 words)

Author(s): Schwöbel, Christoph
[German Version] (Apr 4, 1857, Rennersdorf, Oberlausitz – Apr 8, 1940, Frankfurt am Main), theologian, publicist, and politician, representing liberal-social Protestantism. After attending school in Zittau, Rade studied in Leipzig, where he found a teacher and lifelong friend inA. v. Harnack, then a Privatdozent. In 1881 he gained his doctorate with a dissertation on Pope Damasus, in 1882 he became minister in Schönbach, and in 1889 he married Dora Naumann, sister of F. Naumann. Rade was the author of a popular biography of Luther that a…

Genuineness/Authenticity/Truthfulness

(1,792 words)

Author(s): Jüngel, Eberhard | Schwöbel, Christoph
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology – II. Ethics I. Fundamental Theology 1. Authenticity, or genuineness, or truthfulness (Ger. Wahrhaftigkeit), is regarded as being an existential attitude that a person has toward others, toward himself or herself and toward God. Essentially close to understanding truth as a consistency (of intellectus and res), authenticity is considered to be the consistency between a person's statements in life and that which is true, or which he regards as true – irrespective of the possibility that what he regards …

Ecumene

(3,308 words)

Author(s): Kleinschwärzer-Meister, Birgitta | Ivanov, Vladimir | Schwöbel, Christoph | Baier, Klaus A.
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics – III. Practical Theology I. Dogmatics 1. The Catholic Understanding The term “ecumene,” from the present passive participle of the Greek verb οἰκεῖν/ oikeín, “to dwell,” originally denoted the inhabited earth. The use of the term in Scripture is ambiguous: the OT (apolitically) in the sense of “world,” the NT, in addition to that, of the “earth” as the …

Kingdom of God

(8,569 words)

Author(s): Koch, Klaus | Avemarie, Friedrich | Schröter, Jens | Schwöbel, Christoph
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Early Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Historical Theology and Dogmatics – V. Social Ethics I. Old Testament Although English Bibles have generally used kingdom of God to render Heb. מַלְכּוּת/ malkût and Gk βασιλεία/ basileía with a divine subject (genitive), some modern translators prefer instead a purely functional term such as kingship, without spatial or geographical connotations. Such connotations were definitely implicit in the Hebrew expression, which furthermore is used only in the singular for king…

Theology of Religions

(3,029 words)

Author(s): Vroom, Henk M. | Schwöbel, Christoph | May, John D’Arcy
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion The theology of religions is dedicated to philosophical or theological reflection on the relationships between religions and worldviews (Weltanschauung). Recently three fundamental types of such theology have been distinguished: exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism, which understands all religions as responses, in principle on an equal footing, to the experience of (the one?) transcendence (Uniqueness of Christianity, Dialogue: II). It is questionable whet…

Religion

(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…

Christianity

(28,993 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Markschies, Christoph | Koschorke, Klaus | Neuner, Peter | Felmy, Karl Christian | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Church History – III. Survey of the Christian Confessions – IV. Systematic Theology I. Religious Studies For an overview of Christianity at the end of the second millennium of its development, it is reasonable to give a comparative presentation against the background of the world of religion. It must be remembered, however, that “religion” is not an immutable, ahistorical quantity: it is variable and controversial. The modern concept of religion is …

Resurrection

(8,280 words)

Author(s): Ahn, Gregor | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Stemberger, Günter | Sellin, Gerhard | Schwöbel, Christoph | Et al.
[German Version] I. Resurrection of the Dead 1. History of religions a. Resurrection as a religious category. The concept of resurrection has been shaped extensively by connotations drawn from the tradition of Christian theology. In this sense, it is understood as a unique event that takes the body and soul of a human being, separated at death, and reunites them for a new, eternal life in the next world. Here it serves to mark a distinction from other notions of a postmortal existence (e.g. reincarnation, metempsyc…

Revelation

(13,059 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann | Schwöbel, Christoph | Kaiser, Otto | Bockmuehl, Markus | Werbick, Jürgen | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Concept. The word revelation echoes the Greek ἀποκάλυψις/ apokálypsis (“uncovering”), which was translated into Latin as revelatio and then borrowed into most European languages. The literal meaning already indicates that revelation involves a reality, content, more specifically a message hidden from mortals. Revelation is important: it is relevant religious knowledge necessary for salvation, for finding meaning, and for dealing with everyday life. It is knowledge that peo-¶ ple do not already possess by nature, and their reli…

God

(23,549 words)

Author(s): Zinser, Hartmut | Kaiser, Otto | Lindemann, Andreas | Brümmer, Vincent | Schwöbel, Christoph | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy of Religion – V. Dogmatics – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Missiology – VIII. Art – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. Religious Studies 1. It is fundamentally true that God is not an object of religious studies, since God – as theology teaches – cannot be made an object of empirical scientific study. Religious studies can only address the concepts that human beings have expressed concerning their God (or gods: God, Representations and sym…

Bible

(23,143 words)

Author(s): Schnelle, Udo | Fischer, Georg | Becker, Hans-Jürgen | Fischer Georg | Müller, Hans-Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics – V. Practical Theology – VI. Missiology – VII. Judaism – VIII. Cultural History I.  Concept “Bible” is the predominant designation in church, theology, and society for the collection of OT and NT scriptures recognized by the church. The word “Bible” and its close equivalents in other European languages derive from the middle Latin “biblia.” This Latin feminine derives from the Greek neuter plural τὰ βιβλία/ tá biblía. Grammatically, the sg. βιβλίον/ biblíon is a diminu¶ tive form of ἡ βίβλος/ hē b…