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(754 words)

Author(s): Schwarz, Karl
1. Term Very much like an oath, a vow is a solemn promise to do or not to do something. In the history of religion it had its origin in the do-ut-des concept of sacrifice (i.e., reciprocity): it was made in order to make the deity kindly disposed or to secure divine help in an emergency. To be distinguished from a vow that is conditioned on a reciprocal act on the part of the deity is the unconditional vow; when such a vow is valid for all time, it is called eternal. 2. Biblical Aspects In Israel the place of the vow was between sacrifice and prayer. It frequently occurs in the OT, almost…

May, Gerhard

(212 words)

Author(s): Schwarz, Karl
[German Version] (Feb 13, 1898, Graz – Feb 25, 1980, Vienna), Protestant theologian. The son of the Reformed pastor of Cilli/Celje, May grew up in the ethnically mixed Lower Styria (today Slovenia), which was ceded to Yugoslavia by the Treaty of St. Germain. He studied theology in Vienna, Halle, and Basel, and established ecumenical contacts for his home church. As pastor in Cilli/Celje (1925), he played a large part in the integration of the communities of Danube-Swabian, Hungarian, and old Austr…

Haase, Theodor Karl

(191 words)

Author(s): Schwarz, Karl
[German Version] (Jul 14, 1834, Lviv [Ger. Lemberg], Ukraine – Mar 27, 1909, Cieszyn/Český Těšín [Ger. Teschen], Poland/Czech Republic), Protestant theologian. After studying theology and philosophy in Vienna, Göttingen, Rostock (Dr.phil. 1856) and Berlin, he pastored in Bielitz (1859–1876) and Teschen (1876–1909). He was Senior (from 1865) and superintendent (from 1882), and a member of the General Synods (1871–1902), sometimes serving as their president. As a member of the synodal committee, he participated in the administration of the …