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(953 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
1. Diaspora (Gk., ‘scattering’) in the context of its early Jewish origin denotes the Jewish communities in diverse places outside the ‘Land of Israel’ (Palestine), and far from Jerusalem. Since the sixteenth century, the term has been used to designate Protestant and Catholic minorities living in an environment of different Christian confessions. Over the last three decades, the concept of Diaspora has achieved a great popularity in social and cultural scientific research. It is often applied in…


(1,017 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
1. Migration, the spatial mobility of individuals and groups, represents, after deliberate extension (→ Mission), the most important factor in the spread of religions. Although we meet the nineteenth- and twentieth-century movement of individuals and population groups in hitherto unheard-of numbers, the fact must not be overlooked that, even in prehistoric times, human beings traversed land and wa…

Turner, Victor Witter

(156 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
[German Version] (May 28, 1920, Glasgow – Dec 18, 1983, Charlottesville, VA), British ethnologist. After doing fieldwork among the Ndembu in Africa in the 1950s, he turned his attention to pilgrims and pilgrimages. He developed a theory of comparative symbolism and an analysis of ritual processes (Rite and ritual: I; Cult/Worship: II, 4) and coined the term social drama (II, 1) to describe social and normative processes of negotiation. Turner used the analytic categories of liminality (Rites of passage) and communitas (Community and the individual) to interpret social processes of exclusion and inclusion of members of a society (II). Martin Baumann Bibliography Works include: The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure, 1969 From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play, 1982 On Turner: A. Wolanin, Rites, Ritual Symbols and their Interpretation in the Writings of Victor W. Turner, 1978 P.J. Bräunlein, “Victor Witter Turner,” in: A. Michaels, ed., Klassiker der Religionswissenschaft, 1997, 324–341.

Change of Religion

(333 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
[German Version] While the phenomenological approach in religious studies (Phenomenology of religion) placed the supposed “essence” and immutability of religion at the center of its considerations, contemporary systematic approaches to religion emphasize the transfo…


(8,661 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin | Hezser, Catherine | Liss, Hanna | Schröter, Jens | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious St…


(3,414 words)

Author(s): Britz, Gabriele | Baumann, Martin | Fleischmann-Bisten, Walter | Wendehorst, Stephan | Malik, Jamal
[German Version] I. Social Sciences – II. Religious Studies – III. Christianity – IV. Judaism – V. Islam I. Social Sciences Minorities are groups whose members perceive themselves or are perceived by others as a (related) portion of society distinct from the rest. The distinction is based on actual or supposed features divergent from the characteristics of the rest, often with negative connotations. Sometimes relative powerlessness in comparison to the dominant group, exclusion, and discrimination are considered constitutive. The term is used in different ways. (1) I…


(886 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin | Falkenburg, Brigitte | Rosenau, Hartmut
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy – III. Fundamental Theology I. Religious Studies The term “boundary” is used spatially, temporally, and metaphorically. Spatially, a boundary separates localities and territories, signaled by boundary markers (cf. OE mearc, “boundary, landmark”). In certain cases, boundaries must not be crossed; in sacred sites only certain persons (priests, Brahmins, etc.) are permitted access to the innermost sanctuary or shrine. Temporally, boundaries may be established by the celebration of annual festivals (I), preceded by special periods of fasting, self-denial, etc. Personal rites of passage from birth to death mark stages of life and membership in groups defined by age and status. Metaphorically, boundaries are drawn by membership in cultural, ethnic, or religious groups (see also discrimination). Self-identifications and ascriptions of identity by others both include and exclude. The establishment of boundaries by marks and symbols of identity, religiously based, reinforces group coherence, for example enabling survival of a diaspora group in the midst of an alien religion. In the Hellenistic period and later, refusal to participate in pagan cults, Sabbath observance, dietary laws, and circumcision demarcated Jews and Gentiles. Religious studies recognizes many examples of centripetal isolation with contextually established boundaries. Preservation and continuance of religious identity (I) has often been (and still is) accomplished by establishing and emphasizing …

World Society and Religion

(357 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
[German Version] The sociological concept of a world society constitutes the existence of a global social system, conceived of as a unity on the basis of a specific concept of society as an empirical object. The idea was put forward in the 1970s by Peter Meintz, John Meyer, Immanuel Wallerstein, and N. Luhmann, each on the basis of his own theoretical premises; its guiding notion is that there is a distinct global dynamic and global level of social interaction that represents the benchmark for oth…


(2,671 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin | Rajak, Tessa | Dan, Joseph | Fleischmann-Bisten, Walter | Gerloff, Roswith
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Jewish Diaspora – III. Christian Diaspora I. History of Religions The Greek noun διασπορά/ diasporá derives from the composite verb διασπείρω/ dia-speírō, translated “to disperse, scatter, be separated.” Epicurus, following Plutarch, used diasporá in the context of his philosophical doctrine of the atom in the sense of “dissolution down to the last units, to have become without context.” The Jewish tran…

Weltgesellschaft und Religion

(320 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
[English Version] Weltgesellschaft und Religion, religionswissenschaftlich. Das soziologische Konzept der Weltgesellschaft (W.) konstituiert die Existenz eines weltweiten sozialen Systems, als Einheit und auf der Grundlage eines spezifischen Gesellschaftsbegriffs (Gesellschaft) gedacht, als empirischen Gegenstand. Als Konzept in den 70er Jahren des 20.Jh. von Peter Heintz, John Meyer, Immanuel Wallerstein und N. Luhmann nach den je eigenen theoretischen Prämissen konturiert, ist es leitende Vorstellu…


(7,687 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin | Hezser, Catherine | Liss, Hanna | Schröter, Jens | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Et al.
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich Im allg. Sprachgebrauch ist »T.« (lat. transdare, »weiterreichen, übergeben, überliefern«) als ein Festhalten und Bewahren konnotiert; als ein konservierendes Weiterreichen von Sitten, Bräuchen, Normen, Regeln und Wissen verstanden. Im Vordergrund steht der Aspekt der Kontinuität von Hergebrachtem. Jan Assmann interpretiert T. als einen exemplarischen Fall des »kulturellen Gedächtnisses«, als eine auf Dauer gestellte kulturelle Konstruktion von Identit…


(146 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
[English Version] Turner, Victor Witter (28.5.1920 Glasgow – 18.12.1983 Charlottesville, VA, USA), brit. Ethnologe. Feldforschungen bei den Ndembu in Afrika in den 50er Jahren, später waren Pilgerschaft und Wallfahrt zentrale Forschungsthemen. T. entwickelte eine vergleichende Symboltheorie und prozessuale Ritualanalyse (Ritus/Ritual: I., Kult/Kultus: II.,4.). Er prägte den Begriff des »sozialen Drama« (Drama: II.,1.) zur Beschreibung sozialer und normativer Aushandlungsprozesse. Mit den analytische…


(282 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
[English Version] . Stellte die religionsphänomenologische Religionswiss. (Religionsphänomenologie) das vermeintliche »Wesen« und die Unwandelbarkeit von Rel. in den Mittelpunkt ihrer Überlegungen, so betonen gegenwärtige religionssyst. Ansätze die Veränderung und den Prozeßcharakter von Rel. und Religionen. Rel. Traditionen sind keine statischen Gebilde im ahist. Raum. Vielmehr unterliegen die Praktiken, Inhalte, Ausdrucksformen und Gemeinschaftsbildungen Einflüssen lokaler Kontexte sowie den akt…