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Law and Legislation

(7,555 words)

Author(s): Michaels, Axel | Otto, Eckart | Räisänen, Heikki | Sparn, Walter | Starck, Christian
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics and Ethics – V. Politics and Jurisprudence I. History of Religion Laws are generally regarded as formulated, i.e. sentential and often codified rules of life and coexistence; this ¶ refers especially to principles of nature (Law/Natural law) and norms of action (Commandment, Ethics). For the modern age, the validity of natural laws arises from hypothetical laws that have been verified through observation and experiments, and have thereby been proven or j…

Superstition

(3,603 words)

Author(s): Küenzlen, Gottfried | Sparn, Walter | Stolz, Fritz | Hollenweger, Walter J.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Terminology. Like the equivalent German term Aberglaube, the word superstition is pejorative in tone and so is inherently critical and polemical: to speak of superstition as a perverted belief implies that the speaker is doing so from the perspective of correct belief or knowledge. 2. Semantic history. The normative, judgmental character of the term shaped its semantic history. In ancient Rome, superstitio was used to describe an exaggerated religious anxiety, just as Greek δεισιδαιμονία/ deisidaimonía meant anxious servility toward …

Sensuality

(1,613 words)

Author(s): Fricke, Christel | Rosenau, Hartmut | Sparn, Walter | Stock, Konrad
[German Version] I. Philosophy Sensuality is a collective term for various human faculties that mediate sensations. Sensations are mental states. In contrast to abstract thoughts, memories, and fantasies, sensations are qualitatively dependent on the present state of the sensate person. It is traditional to distinguish between perceptual sensations and affective sensations. Sensations function as information, making it possible for us to react appropriately to our environment, have an idea of it, an…

Friendship

(3,210 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Berges, Ulrich | Fitzgerald, John T. | Gandler, Hans-Helmuth | Vowinckel, Gerhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy – V. Social Sciences – VI. Systematic Theology I. Religious Studies Religious studies have paid little attention to friendship, since it appears initially not to be a phenomenon of primary relevance to religion but to denote simply a personal relationship between individuals, culturally conditioned and codified, that represents a form of identityforming social life. As a result, very different understandings of friendship…

Piety

(3,477 words)

Author(s): Jödicke, Ansgar | Sparn, Walter | Koch, Traugott | Seiferlein, Alfred | Weismayer, Josef | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Piety (recently often also “spirituality”) is understood, first, as the forms of expression of lived religiosity; research in this area is particularly the subject of folklore studies and church history for the idividual, secondly, piety has to do with particular qualities of feeling, such as reverence, with which the psychology of religion (Gruehn, Sundén) is concerned. Objective and subjective components are combined in various ways in the historical developme…

Baroque

(6,748 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter | Hüttel, Richard | Mikuda-Hüttel, Barbara | Kühlmann, Wilhelm | Hagel, Doris
[German Version] I. Use and History of the Term – II. Architecture and Landscaping – III. Painting and Sculpture – IV. Literature – V. Music I. Use and History of the Term Initially a pejorative designation for irregular and un-natural elements of architecture following the Renaissance, the term “Baroque” has, since J. Burckhardt (1855) and Heinrich Wölfflin (1888), been revaluated into a term describing an artistic,…

Life

(7,317 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Liess, Kathrin | Zumstein, Jean | Sparn, Walter | Gander, Hans-Helmuth | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Fundamental Theology and Dogmatics – IV. Philosophy – V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Natural Sciences – VII. Ethics I. Religious Studies Religious ideas and rituals focus fundamentally on life in this world and the next (Here and now, and the hereafter), i.e., coping with life and death (I). Through an immense range of variations, certain returning elements are discernible. Because of its numinous origin (Creation), life is usually felt to be “owed,” but because …

Calling

(3,654 words)

Author(s): Hjelde, Sigurd | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Wilhelm Horn, Friedrich | Sparn, Walter | Martin Müller, Hans
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics – V. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies The term calling or “call” refers to a person's experience of being grasped by a divine or other superhuman power and being taken into its service. The concept thus relates closely to that of election; at the same time, a calling can be seen as a kind of initiation that can precede or follow a longer period of instruction and maturation. The early…

Hell

(5,978 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph | Houtman, Cornelis | Frankemölle, Hubert | Lang, Bernhard | Sparn, Walter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Dogmatics – VI. Judaism – VII. Islam – VIII. Buddhism – IX. Contemporary Art I. Religious Studies 1. Hell as a place of retribution in the afterlife for those who continually transgress the religiously sanctioned rules of their community is not specifically Christian or monotheistic. But it is also not an idea that springs automatically from the question of how the dead exist (Death). Although hell was long viewed as a…

Angels

(5,988 words)

Author(s): Woschitz, Karl M. | Görg, Manfred | Wischmeyer, Oda | Sparn, Walter | Lohberg, Gabriele | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament– IV. Church History – V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Dogmatics – VII. Art History – VIII. Practical Theology – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. Religious Studies Religious conceptions include numinous intermediary beings of the most varied types and origins that mediate between the divine sphere and humanity and also serve higher powers. These are sometimes …

Theodicy

(8,171 words)

Author(s): Weßler, Heinz Werner | Barton, John | Klaiber, Walter | Sarot, Marcel | Sparn, Walter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In archaic cultures, the wellbeing of the community is determined by a fatal power that can be influenced by religious rituals but is ultimately incalculable. In the context of advanced early urban cultures, however, there emerged religious worldviews in which universal concepts of order played a central role. In this historical context, a “functioning world order” (Klimkeit) became the structural principle for models explaining the world. The connection between …

Theodizee

(7,284 words)

Author(s): Weßler, Heinz Werner | Barton, John | Klaiber, Walter | Sarot, Marcel | Sparn, Walter | Et al.
[English Version] I. ReligionswissenschaftlichAnders als in archaischen Kulturen, in denen das Wohlergehen der Gemeinschaft aus rel. Sicht durch rituell beeinflußbare, aber letztlich unkalkulierbare Schicksalsmächte bestimmt ist, entwickeln sich im Kontext der frühen städtischen Hochkulturen rel. Weltbilder, in denen universale Ordnungsbegriffe eine zentrale Rolle spielen. Die »funktionierende Weltordnung« (Klimkeit) wird in diesem religionsgesch. Kontext zum Strukturprinzip von Welterklärungsmode…

Teufel

(7,228 words)

Author(s): Felber, Anneliese | Hutter, Manfred | Achenbach, Reinhard | Aune, David E. | Lang, Bernhard | Et al.
[English Version] I. Namen und Begriffe 1.TeufelProfangriech. δια´βολος/diábolos, von διαβα´λλω/diabállō, »auseinanderbringen«, daher Bedeutungen wie »anklagen, verleumden, täuschen«, lat. diabolus, daraus dt. T. In der LXX wird hebr. שָׂטָן/śāṭān mit diábolos übers., was am besten mit »Widersacher« wiedergegeben wird. In den Apokryphen finden sich sowohl T. (3Bar 4,8; AssMos 10,1) wie Satan, weiters Beliar (zumeist TestXII), Mastema (Jub 10; 11), Samma'el (3Bar 4,8; bes. rabb. Schriften). Das NT kennt keinen inhaltlich…

Human Beings

(18,165 words)

Author(s): Gregersen, Niels H. | Grünschloß, Andreas | Figal, Günter | Janowski, Bernd | Lichtenberger, Hermann | Et al.
[German Version] I. Natural Sciences and Psychology – II. Religious Studies – III. Philosophy – IV. Old Testament – V. New Testament – VI. Church History – VII. Dogmatics and Ethics – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. Natural Sciences and Psychology 1. Evolution From the perspective of the natural sciences, the theory of evolution offers the most comprehensive framework for understanding human beings. It views the human species as a late product of a biogenetic process that began with the origin of life (VI) on earth some 3.8 billion …

Devil

(8,622 words)

Author(s): Felber, Annelies | Hutter, Manfred | Achenbach, Reinhard | Aune, David E. | Lang, Bernhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Names and Terms – II. Religious Studies – III. Ancient Near East and Old Testament – IV. New Testament – V. Church History – VI. Philosophy of Religion – VII. Fundamental Theology – VIII. Dogmatics – IX. Judaism – X. Islam – XI. History of Art and Literature I. Names and Terms 1. Devil The secular Greek noun διάβολος/ diabolos comes from one of the meanings of the verb διαβάλλω/ diaballō, “separate, sever,” which led to meanings such as “accuse, slander, deceive.” From the Greek noun came Latin diabolus, from which the English …
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