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Group Formation, Congregational

(317 words)

Author(s): Steinkamp, Hermann
[German Version] Groups of every kind (Bible-study groups, youth clubs, home groups, one-world groups, etc.) are a feature of traditional congregations. Some of them understand themselves exclusively as sub-systems of the parish, others are organized as “base groups” of trans-regional alliances, networks and movements as well as in local congregations. Variety, years of tradition, activity, stable membership numbers, etc. are generally considered to be positive ¶ characteristics of such groups. Since the late 1970s, the type, originating in the countries of th…


(551 words)

Author(s): Steinkamp, Hermann
Legally, psychologically, philosophically, and theologically, “adulthood” is the term for those who have reached a stage or time in the development of the subjectivity of the human person. In law adulthood confers such rights as the right to vote or to enter into contracts, but it also exposes one to penalties, since coming of age carries with it responsibility and expectation of a certain type of conduct. Basic here is the psychological premise and observation that in the process of socialization, we become increasingly c…

Base Community

(683 words)

Author(s): Steinkamp, Hermann
The phrase “base community,” used especially in the Roman Catholic Church and its theology, has become a programmatic term in theological and ecclesiastical controversies about congregational and church reform. It also denotes a church community defined empirically that, for all the individual differences—local, national, and spiritual—shares such features as self-organization, emphasis on koinonia, the active participation of all members in the congregational process, and the relating of the ch…