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(19,399 words)

Author(s): Wenz, Gunther | Davis, Derek | Grünschloß, Andreas | Grappe, Christian | Schäfer, Rolf | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Religious Studies – III. Early Christianity – IV. Early Church to the Reformation – V. Modern Era – VI. Orthodox Churches – VII. Asia, Africa, Latin America – VIII. Systematic Theology – IX. Ethics – X. Practical Theology – XI. Ecumenical Discussion – XII. Law I. Concept 1. Theology The loan-word, church, which in common parlance can mean both the Christian worship service and the building dedicated to its performance as well as the constituted social configuration of Christian faith in t…

Church and Confessionalism

(751 words)

Author(s): Wenz, Gunther
[German Version] The current use of the term confession to denote a particular ecclesiastical denomination first appeared in the early 19th century; since then it has replaced earlier terms such as religious or faith “party.” Its original context was probably the theological and political reaction to various union proposals (Unions, Church) (Reinhard, 165, n. 1), but the terminological development represents the objective consequence of the confessional fr…


(346 words)

Author(s): Wenz, Gunther
In church polemics all opponents of the dogma of the Trinity may be called anti-Trinitarians. Usually, however, the term applies only to those movements at the time of the Reformation that, in defense of monotheism (God), declared the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity to be contrary to Scripture and reason. Their grouping together in history should not cause us to overlook the fact that the 16th-century anti-Trinitarians belonged to various traditions. Along with the Anabaptists, we find especial…