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Baptism

(9,795 words)

Author(s): Fahlbusch, Erwin | Schnelle, Udo | Wainwright, Geoffrey | Leonard, Bill J. | Grethlein, Christian | Et al.
Overview In Christianity, baptism—either by plunging in water or by sprinkling with it—represents the first act of incorporation “into Christ” and into the fellowship of the church. Further acts of incorporation are confirmation (Initiation Rites 2) and the Eucharist. Other religious societies have similar rites (Initiation Rites 1). Jewish proselyte baptism incorporates the baptized not only into the religious fellowship but also into God’s covenant people. This matter is relevant in the dialogu…

Newbigin, J. E. Lesslie

(983 words)

Author(s): Wainwright, Geoffrey
By his personal stature and the range of his activities, Lesslie Newbigin (1909–98) stands out as a father of the ecumenical church in the 20th century. Raised an English Presbyterian, he was ordained by the Church of Scotland in 1936 for missionary service in India, where he represented his denomination in the final rounds of negotiation toward the organic union of Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists, ¶ and Congregationalists in the Church of South India (1947). Consecrated as one of the first bishops in the CSI, Newbigin presided over the Diocese of Madura…

Eucharist

(12,466 words)

Author(s): Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich | Roloff, Jürgen | Schnurr, Günther | Wainwright, Geoffrey
Overview The Eucharist (or Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper) has had from the very beginning a place of special importance in the life of Christianity. The eating and drinking of bread and wine in obedience to the command of Jesus at his Last Supper with his disciples is a sensory representation of the spiritual reality of the Christ whom Christians believe in and confess. The celebration of the Eucharist shows clearly, and makes known, that which Christian life in praise and thanksgiving atte…

Spirituality

(13,743 words)

Author(s): Dahill, Lisa E. | Wainwright, Geoffrey | Asamoah-Gyadu, J. Kwabena | Álvarez, Carmelo E. | Hessel-Robinson, Timothy | Et al.
Overview Since the latter decades of the 20th century, the term “spirituality” has taken on increasing prominence within North American Christianity and popular culture. While a large majority of adults in the United States professes belief in God, how such belief is expressed and lived has shifted dramatically in these decades, and “spirituality” is a catchword for such change; being “spiritual but not religious” defines large numbers of Americans, particularly in younger generations. And people…

Methodism

(2,368 words)

Author(s): Wainwright, Geoffrey
1. Origins and Spread Having its origins in Anglicanism (Anglican Communion), Methodism ranks among the most recent of the larger ecclesial communities; in 2000 it numbered some 70 million members and adherents worldwide. Through its own pneumatological emphases it contributed—at least indirectly—to the rise of the even younger family of Pentecostal churches. The beginnings of Methodism lie in the movements for revival and renewal within the Church of England in the 18th century, especially in the evangelistic work of the Wesley brothers, John (1…

Lux Mundi

(807 words)

Author(s): Wainwright, Geoffrey
Lux Mundi belongs to a series of essay volumes that have punctuated the theological history of the Church of England for the past 150 years: Essays and Reviews (1860), Lux Mundi (1889), Foundations (1912), Essays Catholic and Critical (1926), Soundings (1962), and Radical Orthodoxy (1999). Lux Mundi is probably the most significant volume among them. A. M. Ramsey considered that this book inaugurated “an era in Anglican theology” that lasted 50 years. It also represented what might perhaps be called the most characteristic tendency within th…

Spirit and Spiritual Gifts

(2,816 words)

Author(s): Lewis, Ioan M. | Oeming, Manfred | Dunn, James D.G. | Wainwright, Geoffrey
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Wherever notions of “supernatural” anthropomorphic powers arise, so does the notion of spirit possession. A spirit can enter into a person’s body and sometimes supplant the spirit or soul (considered the same in many cultures) of the host’s body; often the spirit settles in the host’s head or on his or her shoulders. It is then described as being “in the saddle” and “riding” its human means of transportation. If a relationship develops between the spirit and the …

Bible Christians

(134 words)

Author(s): Wainwright, Geoffrey
[German Version] The Bible Christians are a small denomination that emerged in 1815 from Wesleyan Methodism in the wake of William O'Bryan (1778–1868), a lay evangelist who refused to accept the discipline of preaching appointments in WesleyanMethodism. Their theology (Arminians: II) and organization remained Methodist in the Wesleyan (J. Wesley) sense. The Bi…

Spirit/Holy Spirit

(8,121 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Oeming, Manfred | Dunn, James D.G. | Ritter, Adolf Martin | Leppin, Volker | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies and History of Philosophy The dogmatic definition of the Holy Spirit as a person within the one divine substance (Trinity/Doctrine of the Trinity) presupposes not only a particular philosophical context but also a religio-historical horizon. A formative influence on the conceptualization of the Holy Spirit was exercised by the various anthropomorphic interpretations of elemental anthropological or normative qualities in the context of polytheistic interpretations of …

Worship

(20,376 words)

Author(s): Dondelinger, Patrick | Auffarth, Christoph | Braulik, Georg | Reif, Stefan C. | Johnson, Luke T. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The German word Gottesdienst (“worship,” lit. “service of God”) is attested since the 13th/14th century as a German translation of Latin cultus (Cult/Worship). It came into common use in the 16th century, especially in Luther’s works. Starting with an ethical understanding of the word, Luther himself used it as a technical term for the common celebration of the Word of God, as it evolved from the evangelical reform of the Catholic sacrifice (IV) of the mass. For centuries the term Gottesdienst remained limited to this specific form of worship of …

Creator Spiritus

(356 words)

Author(s): Wainwright, Geoffrey
[German Version] designates the third person of the Holy Trinity in his capacity as “Creator Spirit.” In the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed the Holy Spirit (Spirit/Holy Spirit) is confessed as “sovereign, life- giving.” Traditional Christian theology sees an OT witness to the presence and operation of the Spirit at the beginning of creation (Gen 1:2; cf. Ps 33:6, “by the breath of his mouth”), and in the renewal of “the face of the earth” (Ps 104:29–30) and of “the house of Israel” (Ezek 37:1–14). In the NT the Holy Spirit is the …

Doxology

(1,658 words)

Author(s): Seybold, Klaus | Vollenweider, Samuel | Wainwright, Geoffrey | Flynn, William
[German Version] I. Form Criticism – II. Theology – III. Liturgy – IV. Music I. Form Criticism 1. Old Testament Derived from the expression δόξαν λέγειν ( dóxan légein; cf. Ps 28:9 LXX), in the OT doxology denotes the liturgical act of paying homage to the deity, which in turn has its roots in the ceremonial of the royal court. Words and gestures express veneration, glorification, and exaltation of the addressee together …

Faith and Order

(1,234 words)

Author(s): Wainwright, Geoffrey
[German Version] Faith and Order is one of the principal streams contributing to the modern ecumenical movement. Springing from the World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh in 1910, it followed its own course until 1948, when it joined with Life and Work to form the World Council of Churches, where its constitutional function is “to call the churches to the goal of visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship, expressed in worship and in common life in Christ, in order that the world may believe.” While practical cooperation for the purposes of evangelization may hav…

Lima Declaration

(824 words)

Author(s): Wainwright, Geoffrey
[German Version] In 1982, following a 55-year period of reflection on these issues by the Faith and Order movement, the Commission for Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches completed the convergence paper Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry in Lima (Peru). The definitive text was submitted to the churches with a request for “an official response at the highest appropriate level of authority.” The text was soon translated into at least 30 languages. The nearly 200 responses were analyzed and outlined in the booklet Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry 1982–1990. Report on the…