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(3,584 words)

Author(s): Tepper, Leo
Christian Model of the Family 1. a) The traditional model of the family is in the process of dissolution. The churches, and religious traditions, were once transmitted through the celebration of the feasts of the course of life; both are now crumbling away. The family model of European history of religion, however, is not ‘normal,’ but formed by the Christian religion. In late antiquity, as Christianity became the prevailing religion, basic changes occurred as to who might found a family with whom. O…


(943 words)

Author(s): Tepper, Leo
A Piece of Me 1. Unlike that of ‘child,’ the concepts ‘son’ and ‘daughter’ have a special value in terms of parents' feelings. They are a piece of the parent that receives the opportunity to live life over again, and better—to continue life and work ‘a step ahead’ of the parent. When the corporeal daughter and son shake off these bonds to seek their own life, the parent's projection of self can transfer to other young persons: the junior partner in the business, the daughter-in-law. And then the con…


(1,347 words)

Author(s): Tepper, Leo
Private Domain 1. a) Doubtless there is no society, however simple it be, without some kind of ‘housing.’ The form of the house is dependent on such factors as climate, environment, societal form (nomadic or sedentary), and social position. In Western societies, the house is the place at which many spend most of the day. The house is the territory of the individual's or family's private sphere. Other rules can prevail there than in public. The erection of the house is a copy of one's own self, and any changes or additions will suit the taste of the people livi…


(1,790 words)

Author(s): Tepper, Leo
1. In Western society, sexuality is considered an important component of being human. In most cultures, one's own procreation in one's children is fully as basic a need as a perspective on one's life. When the Catholic Church demands of its priests the unmarried state as a charisma specific to their office, it stands in stark contrast to the values of modernity. The Catholic Church theologically grounds a compelled renunciation of sexuality and family in the unmarried state of Jesus himself. W…

Family Cult (Greek and Roman)

(311 words)

Author(s): Tepper, Leo
A family cult stands in a special relationship with a unit of kinship (Lat., gens). In practicing the cult, the kinship group presents itself as a unit, both to those within and those without. The concept comes from early Roman religion, where it stood for two kinds of cult: (1) a family can be responsible for the maintenance of a particular cult of general interest ( sacra publica; Lat., ‘popular rite’). Thus, in Rome, the cult of the Sol (sun) was in the hands of the gens Aurelia. When this gens died out, the state took responsibility for the cult. Later, almost all such family cul…

Child/Childhood II: Ritual

(878 words)

Author(s): Tepper, Leo | Pilger-Strohl, Matthias
Rituals of Acceptance 1. In every culture, the child is the vessel of the future community; thus, the social order of a society is reflected in the manner in which the child is dealt with and reared. This begins with the very concept of child, whose content is different in different cultures. The biological beginning of the person/child is birth, which, previously—owing to the manifold dangers for mother and/or child—was surrounded with many religious usages. But a child is not only a biological being, she or he is also a social being. In this respect as well, certain rituals have oft…