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Probabilism

(675 words)

Author(s): Frey, Christofer
Probabilism is the casuistic view that, in disputed moral issues, any course may be followed that is “solidly” probable. It is an attempt to answer a question of normative ethics, namely, should a moral norm that is of dubious validity to reason be binding on those to whom it is given? Roman Catholic moral theology debated this question in the early modern period. The context of the battle of contending schools as to the right answer was penitential casuistry, as well as spiritual direction. At issue was the individual moral conviction that takes a norm seriously in a given situation. Moral th…

Creation

(7,608 words)

Author(s): Elsas, Christoph | Crenshaw, James L. | Horn, Friedrich Wilhelm | Editors, The | Frey, Christofer
1. In the History of Religion 1.1. Perspectives on Creation Philosophy and natural science trace the origin of the world and humanity back to impersonal, law-governed causes. Religion, however, finds a suprahuman plan behind life and its foundations. In addition to the elementary language of confession (Confession of Faith), reflection on creation also can draw on philosophical and scientific argumentation, which makes use of elements and general concepts familiar from the world around us. It may also use the language of myth, which presents creation ¶ in the story of a one-time,…

Quietism

(390 words)

Author(s): Frey, Christofer
“Quietism” is the term used for a mystically oriented, transdenominational movement in the 17th and 18th centuries (Mysticism 2). Two of its main features find expression in 18th-century Protestant poetry (Devotional Literature), namely, silence and simplicity, as in G. Tersteegen’s “Gott ist gegenwärtig … alles in uns schweige” (God is present, [let] everything in us be silent) and M. Claudius’s “Laß uns einfältig werden” (Let us become simple). From the standpoint of social history quietism ma…

Humanity

(1,515 words)

Author(s): Frey, Christofer
1. The term “humanity” is used in different ways: (1) in distinction from animality, (2) as a collective term for the human race (humankind), and (3) as a norm of human existence—for example, in distinguishing the person from the animals, as in (1), or relating the individual to humankind, as in (2). In the third sense it relates both to everyday activities and to ethical reflection on human enterprises. Such things change, which makes it always necessary to test them against Christian belief. 2. Humanitas was a fixed term in the Ciceronian rhetorical tradition. Rhetoricians ref…

Asylum

(2,217 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph | Derlien, Jochen | Schenker, Adrian | Wall, Heinrich de | Frey, Christofer
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Greco-Roman Antiquity – III. Biblical – IV. Law – V. Ethics I. History of Religions It was not until after the Second World War, in the course of which whole peoples had been murdered and critics persecuted, that in 1948 the UN proclaimed asylum to be a human right; not however in terms of the right of every persecuted human being to seek protection from others,…

Anti-Semitism/Anti-Judaism

(9,075 words)

Author(s): Dan, Joseph | Schäfer, Peter | Schaller, Berndt | Thierfelder, Jörg | Frey, Christofer
[German Version] I. Definitions and Problems - II. Greco-Roman Antiquity- III. New Testament (Primitive and Early Christianity) - IV. Christian Antiquity to the Beginning of the MiddleAges - V. The Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period - VI. German Anti-Semitism in Recent History - VII. Systematic Theology I. Definitions and Problems The term “anti-Semitism” in its narrowest sense relates to a racist ideology that emerged in France and Germany in the last decades of the 19th century and de…

Community and the Individual

(5,279 words)

Author(s): Williame, Jean-Paul | Görg, Manfred | Popkes, Wiard | Zenkert, Georg | Thomas, Günter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy – V. Dogmatics – VI. Sociology, Ethics – VII. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies In the context of their understanding of God and related obligations, human beings make connections of solidarity and feel, with more or less intensity, that they are members of the same community. Religion brings people closer together and creates social ties: the umma of the Muslims, Christian brotherhood and ecumeni…