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Hereafter

(323 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
A hereafter, in the raw sense of ‘the other side,’ necessarily corresponds to the fact that a boundary is traced when a dead person must be withdrawn from the world of the living, to be buried beyond a boundary, a stream, or a cemetery wall, in a special area. Here, in ambivalent reciprocity, are both the ‘disposal of’ the corpse, lest the living suffer the peril of contamination (→ Purification/Hygiene/Bodily Grooming), and the ‘provision for’ the departed in the life after death. But the conceptualization of a life after death als…

Enthusiasm

(183 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Even more than the ‘enthusiasm,’ as the word is used loosely, that ‘arises’ when a ‘spirit’ takes hold of an assembly or gathering, the Greek word enthousiasmos ( en-, ‘in,’ + theos, ‘god’) describes the moment at which a god ‘comes into a person.’ This phenomenon can be attributed to a ‘medium,’ as for instance in ancient prophecy; of a poet, who senses the Muse at work within; or of the God received as wine, who alters consciousness. It does not actually refer to → possession by a demon. (→ ‘Ecstasy,’ for its part, indicate…

Apologetics

(107 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
In order that theologians might be provided with arguments for the ‘defense’ of church teaching in discussions with ‘unbelievers,’ apologetics was taught as part of their education. First, in the debate with ‘scientific atheism,’ and then, in Germany, in that against National Socialism, apologetics experts gathered reports and distributed them to the pastoral clergy. Here it was, and is, necessary, first, to know the objections of opponents, and then the apposite responses to them. This process …

Humanism

(180 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
There are various nuances to the term ‘humanism’ which arise out of its diverse uses throughout European history. The Renaissance has often been characterized as the age of humanism because of its fascination with and idealization of human achievement in the literature, philosophy, and art of antiquity, which were then being re-discovered. As an ideological continuation of this trend, humanism came to signify a belief in the value and dignity of the human being and an optimistic image of humanit…

European History of Religion

(3,506 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
The Project 1. a) The project of a European history of religion is new. It is to be distinguished from two other perspectives on the same object. On the one hand, there is church history that finds religion, by definition, in the Church, with extra-ecclesial religion taken for heresy, paganism, and secularization. In such a view, any ‘religion’ is an illegitimacy. The counter-thesis presents Christianity as a late and foreign, Eastern, religion, which has suppressed “Europe's own religion” (Sigrid…

Archaism

(148 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
With the crisis of the belief in progress, in the 1880s, came a change in the models of history. Instead of an evaluation of the progress of the ages as a progress from primitive beginnings to ever loftier rungs on the ladder of humanity, one encounters a complete reversal of the conceptualization of this development. First, archaeologists came to understand that pre-classical art is more than a ‘not yet’—the incapability, so to speak, of presenting anything worthwhile at this early stage—which …

Cross/Crucifixion

(1,217 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
The ‘Crucifix Affair’ 1. In the folk schools of Bavaria, a crucifix hangs over the chalkboard—a ‘Cross with the Nailed One,’ the suffering Christ. In 1995, a parental couple insisted that children not be required to gaze upon this mute sign of Christian faith unless they shared the faith. In the Weimar Constitution, they argued, and in the German Basic Law, the state had obliged itself to ‘neutrality of Weltanschauung,’—neutrality when it came to a worldview—so that this display of the crucifix contradicted the basic rights of every citizen. True, unlike the case…

Middle Ages

(1,527 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
The understanding of the Middle Ages by later ages in Europe has passed through a number of phases. Even the term ‘Middle Ages’ is a modern convention. Enlightenment thinkers tended to use the expression ‘the dark ages’ to refer to this period, in order to set it up as a gloomy foil, making the light of the new era shine all the brighter. In the confrontation of the French Revolution of 1789, both the revolutionaries, on the one hand, and the nobility and the Church, on the other, laid claim to …

Cemetery

(606 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Surrounded by a wall, and near a church (or even partly within), and enjoying the latter's ‘immunity’ from assault lies the cemetery (Middle English cimiterie, from Lat., coemeterium, Greek koimētērion, and ultimately from koiman, ‘to put to sleep’; compare Ger., Frieden, denoting ‘peace’; cf. Friedhof, ‘cemetery’). Even fugitives seeking asylum could find safety here. The social prestige of the departed is reflected in the choice and form of the burial place. In the course of the nineteenth century, locations of burial were established …

Orthodoxy/Orthopraxis

(157 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Orthodoxy may refer primarily either to right faith or right behavior. When we consider religion as a social phenomenon, orthodoxy as right behavior is the more relevant understanding of this term. On this understanding orthodox persons are concerned to follow certain patterns of behavior such as giving alms, praying, fasting and appearing at religious services. Conformity with these patterns identifies certain individuals as parts of a given community, while failure to conform identifies others as other—heterodox, outsiders. Orthodoxy may also be understood as referring…

Government/Rule/Politics/State

(3,689 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Secular and Religious Power 1. a) As Jesus is interrogated before Pilate as to whether he has planned an overthrow of Roman rule, the Roman governor asks him: “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answers (in John 18:33–19:30): “My kingdom is not of this world.” The philosophically trained general presses the higher ruler of the world, as he has understood things, to defend himself; however, the latter does not see the meaning of his mission in the preservation of his life: “You would have no power …

Miracles

(1,626 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Miracles are a basically ambivalent element of religion, as they are both expected to occur or be believed in as a part of religious life and are also liable to arouse criticism and skepticism. Miracles occur outside the course of everyday existence, provoking both belief and unbelief. Miracle Narratives Narratives about miracles serve to substantiate the activity of an otherwise invisible God in the world, whom faith and piety require to be willing and able to intervene in a crisis or to demonstrate various divine attributes. Miracle narrativ…

Corinth

(402 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] The location at the large east-west connection of the Mediterranean Sea, where ships had to be drawn across a short stretch of land from one sea to the other (with the harbors Cenchrea and Lechaion), made Corinth a junction of cultural contact in antiquity. With its colonies, the city was a water bridge and a land bridge from east to west and north to south. It attracted merchants and artisans – along with their religions –, Egyptians, Carthaginians, Jews, and the tent-maker Paul`. As the center of opposition against the Romans, Corinth was destroyed in 146 bce, but it did n…

Zeus

(494 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[English Version] . Die Anrede des Z. als »Vater der Menschen und Götter« (πατη`ρ α᾿n̆δρω˜n̆ τε ϑεω˜n̆ τε/patē´r andrō´n te theō´n te: Hom.Il 1, 544; 4, 235 u. ö.) impliziert, daß Z. Schöpfer und Herrscher sei, der zentrale Gott des griech. Pantheons. Dies ist jedoch ein mythologischer, später auch theol. gefüllter Titel, der nicht der – geringen – Bedeutung dieses Gottes im Kult entspricht. Z.' Funktion ist eher die eines fernen Gottes, andere Götter sind den Menschen näher. Wie diese Formel gehören auch a…

Panathenäen

(310 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[English Version] . Das Jahresfest im Hochsommer in Athen, alle vier Jahre groß (seit 566 v.Chr.), sonst klein begangen, vereinigte die ganze Polis, die die Stadt und die ganze Region Attika umfaßte. Die Athener leiteten später das Fest der P. von der Eingemeindung der Siedlungen Attikas durch Theseus (Plut. Theseus 24) ab, also das Fest »ganz Athens«. Wenn sich die Prozession jedoch auf den zentralen Tempel der Stadtgöttin zubewegte, ist die ältere Bedeutung »das Zentralfest der Athene«. Jede Sie…

Organe/Teile des Körpers

(964 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[English Version] Organe/Teile des Körpers, religionswissenschaftlich. Rel. Traditionen kennen in unterschiedlicher Weise Entsprechungen zw. den O. des menschlichen Körpers und dem Kosmos, teilweise mythologisch dadurch begründet, daß die Welt aus den Teilen des Urmenschen geschaffen wurde; Haare können somit den Pflanzenwuchs symbolisieren, Augen (und andere Körperöffnungen) Seen oder die Wirbelsäule die Weltachse. Neben solchen Entsprechungen zw. Mikrokosmos (Mensch) und Makrokosmos (Welt) werden d…

Pausanias

(318 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[English Version] . In zehn Büchern Περιη´γησις τη˜ς ῾Ελλα´δος/Periē´gēsis tē´s Hella´dos hat P. eine Reise durch die Stätten des griech. Festlandes festgehalten: Er führt die Römer und die romanisierten Griechen durch ein imaginäres frühes Griechenland, seine Sprache ist Griech. Da er alles selbst gesehen und die ältesten Traditionen erfragt und erlesen hat (ca.155–180 n.Chr.), erhebt er den Anspruch, der wahre Kenner der urspr. griech. Rel. (Griechenland: I.,1.) zu sein; als Erklärer der Rel. ist e…

Ancient religions

(4,176 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
1. Renaissance and Reformation Ancient religions are of overwhelming importance in European history. It was in the early modern period that they became available for critics to deploy them as an authority against existing traditions. Antiquity became an experimental space within which scholars could challenge the norms of tradition under the banner of the Renaissance[25], and their criticism gave rise to programs of reform. Latin writings, now as renatae litterae (“reborn literature”), were retrieved from monastery archives that had acted as repositories of this k…
Date: 2019-10-14

Hermeticism

(1,496 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Hermeticism is a tradition of esoteric knowledge that manifested itself in the guise of Ancient Egyptian wisdom and flourished particularly in the first centuries of the early modern period. 1. The oldest religion as wisdom for the few Marsilio Ficino, the academic leader of the Florentine Platonic Academy, interrupted his translation of Plato in 1463 in order to present the wisdom of the Ancient Egyptians to Latin-speaking Europe in a translation from the Greek [3]. He and the intellectual elite believed that they had in their hands a document of the oldest, primal r…
Date: 2019-10-14

Antike Religionen

(3,766 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
1. Renaissance und ReformationDie A. R. sind für die europ. Geschichte von überragender Bedeutung. Gerade in der Nz. gewannen sie eine Position, in der sie als Autorität gegen bestehende Traditionen kritisch eingesetzt wurden. Unter dem Banner der Renaissance wurde die Antike zum Experimentierraum der Gebildeten, in dem sie sich mit der Tradition normativ auseinander setzen konnten [25]; aus Kritik erwuchsen die Programme der Reformen. Lat. Schriften wurden als renatae litterae (»wiedergeborene Literatur«) aus dem Archiv der klösterlichen Wissensspeicher herausg…
Date: 2019-11-19
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