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Theism

(2,174 words)

Author(s): Weßler, Heinz Werner | Nüssel, Friederike
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Developed during the European Enlightenment and in a Christian context, the concept of theism serves to characterize religious beliefs. While the concept of deism denies any lasting relationship between God and world, and atheism even denies the very existence of God, theism upholds the notion of an interaction between God and the world created by him, between the divine person and the individual human being. This expression, which is not only shaped by a Christi…

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 …

Theophany

(1,673 words)

Author(s): Weßler, Heinz Werner | Jeremias, Jörg | Scriba, Albrecht
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The term theophany (“appearance/manifestation of God”) stands between the poles of revelation and epiphany (“transfiguration, illumination”) or hierophany (“manifestation of the holy”), a term often used in 20th-century phenomenology of religion. In various monotheistic and polytheistic contexts and periods, we find narratives that recount the sudden overpowering advent of God and the resulting catastrophes or terror befalling the world. As a literary genre, theoph…