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(604 words)

Author(s): Thiede, Werner
1. Concept The term “parapsychology,” which M. Dessoir (1867–1947) suggested in 1889, takes as the object of psychology or its related disciplines certain phenomena that deviate from the normal life of the soul. Alternative terms such as “scientific occultism” or “metapsychology” have been proposed, but “parapsychology” ultimately came into common use (supported by H. Driesch). The subjects of parapsychology include occult phenomena and other supersensory experiences. Comparative studies of tradit…

Church of Scientology

(1,148 words)

Author(s): Thiede, Werner
1. Origins The term “scientology,” meaning “the science of science,” was used as early as 1934 for the title of a book by the philosopher A. Nordenholz. It is uncertain whether the American writer L. Ronald Hubbard (1911–86), the founder of Scientology, knew this work. In Scientology, which Hubbard viewed as a kind of superscience, he aimed to liberate the human spirit by…


(2,685 words)

Author(s): Dehn, Ulrich | Bochinger, Christoph | Thiede, Werner | Thiele, Christoph
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Both the etymology and the usage of the word sect are disputed. Derivation from Latin secare (“separate”) is possible, as is derivation from


(3,692 words)

Author(s): Friedli, Richard | Zachhuber, Johannes | Heiligenthal, Roman | Hartmut Rosenau | Thiede, Werner | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Christianity – IV. Taoism I. Religious Studies It is inherent in the conditio humana that we are forced to master everyday situations and withstand critical moments. To do so, members of every society need handy codes of conduct to survive the manifold crises. Life and death, time and eternity, meaning and meaninglessness mark such critical moments in both individual lives and the course of the world. The responses of cultures and religions to these questions document our yearning for immortality. 1. Models We …

Weltanschauung (Worldview)

(2,530 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Thiede, Werner
[German Version] I. History of the Concept With its very first appearance in the writings of I. Kant( Kritik der Urteilskraft, 1790; ET: Critique of Judgment, 1951, 1987), the term Weltanschauung came to mark the difference between the empirical-scientific knowledge of individual phenomena in this world (or of an assortment thereof) and an all-encompassing conception of the world that fundamentally transcends this knowledge. While the expression “worldview” (Ger.


(3,924 words)

Author(s): Thiede, Werner | Koch, Klaus | Hübner, Wolfgang | Veltri, Giuseppe | Kiener, Ronald C. | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Biblical – III. Greco-Roman Antiquity – IV. Judaism – V. Practical theology I. History of Religions 1. Term . Astrology is the functional use of quantitative astronomical observations and calculations in the service of a qualitative cosmic and anthropological interpretation of the heavens. Inasmuch as the first of these two elements has not yet been, or is minimally, developed, it is better to speak of astral mythology (there has never been a f…

Stockmayer, Otto

(178 words)

Author(s): Thiede, Werner


(2,576 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter | Frey, Jörg | Marquardt, Manfred | Thiede, Werner | Pierard, Richard
[German Version] I. Religious History 1. Since the dawn of time, human birth has been associated with many religious ideas, rituals, and customs, including the idea of rebirth or regeneration. As a rite of passage (Rites of passage), birth is not merely a natural process; it can repeat a previous birth, view death as a passage to new life, or distinguish within a lifetime between a corporeal and a spiritual birth, separated by a ritual death. The Greek terminology is not uniform, using ἀναγεννᾶν/ anagennán, ἀναβιοῦν/ anabioún, μεταγεννᾶν/ metagennán, πάλιν γίνεσϑαι…


(1,002 words)

Author(s): Hübner, Wolfgang | Thiede, Werner | Strohmaier, Gotthard
[German Version] I. Greek and Roman Antiquity – II. Practical Theology – III. Islam– I. Greek and Roman Antiquity ʿΩροσκόπος/ hōroskópos “the watcher of the hours,” was originally a term for the ascendant, then the first 30° section of the Dodecatropos, and finally the position of all the stars at a particular time. The approx. nine Egyptian (between 38 bce and 93 ce) and 180 Greek (from 62 bce until 621 ce) horoscopes have been passed down on stone, papyrus, ostracon, or as graffiti, and also in didactic poetry (as sphragis in Manetho's writings) and in special…


(1,448 words)

Author(s): Thiede, Werner | Sparn, Walter
1. ConceptPalingenesis (Greek palingenesía, Latin  renascentia, German  Wiedergeburt, literally “rebirth”) in the early modern period was mostly the Christian metaphor for the (singular) process of a spiritual birth of a person comparable to their physical birth, that is, second birth, a prerequisite for eternal life. The origins of the concept in Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus (Jo 3) were remembered, and like the Pauline formula of “new creation,” it was from the outset associated with the act of …
Date: 2020-10-06


(4,729 words)

Author(s): Schäfer, Daniel | Thiede, Werner
1. Introduction 1.1. Continuity, diversity, and changeBy virtue of their historical impact, and of certain practices for dealing with them, death and dying comprise a  longue durée phenomenon in European history. As a mysterium tremendum et fascinans, this phenomenon confronts people far beyond the context of religious history (see below, 4.), and in all periods it demands many social and cultural responses. There is a continual confrontation and reflection in literature, art, philosophy, and theology on the alteration of life t…
Date: 2019-10-14


(2,186 words)

Author(s): Thiede, Werner
1. BegriffTh. (»Rechtfertigung Gottes« angesichts des von ihm geschaffenen und regierten physischen und moralischen Übels in der Welt) ist ein von Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz 1697 im Rückgriff auf Röm 3,4 f. und Ps 51,6 geprägtes und durch seine Essais de Théodicée (1710) europaweit verbreitetes Kunstwort (Untertitel: Über die Güte Gottes, die Freiheit des Menschen und den Ursprung des Übels; s. u. 3.) [6]. Immanuel Kant erklärte es in einem Th.-Aufsatz (1791; s. u. 3.1.) genauer als »Verteidigung der höchsten Weisheit des Welturhebers gegen die Anklage, we…
Date: 2019-11-19


(1,334 words)

Author(s): Thiede, Werner | Sparn, Walter
1. BegriffW. (Übersetzung von griech. palingenesía bzw. lat. renascentia) war in der Nz. meist die christl. Metapher für den (einmaligen) Vorgang einer der natürlichen vergleichbaren geistlichen Geburt einer Person, d. h. der zweiten, für ihr ewiges Leben entscheidenden Geburt. Der Ursprung, das Gespräch Jesu mit Nikodemus (Joh 3), blieb präsent; wie die paulinische Formel »neue Schöpfung« wurde der Begriff von Anfang an mit dem Akt der Taufe verknüpft (u. a. Tit 3,5 f.; Sakrament). In loser Anknüpfung an seine gelegentl…
Date: 2019-11-19


(4,100 words)

Author(s): Schäfer, Daniel | Thiede, Werner
1. Rahmenbedingungen 1.1. Kontinuität, Vielfalt und Wandel Sterben und T. bilden hinsichtlich ihrer histor. Wirksamkeit, aber auch bestimmter Umgangspraktiken ein Phänomen der longue durée in der europ. Geschichte. Als Tremendum und Faszinosum begegnet dieses den Menschen weit über den religionsgeschichtlichen Raum (s. u. 4.) hinaus und fordert zeitübergreifend zahlreiche soziale und kulturelle Reaktionen heraus. In Literatur, Kunst, Philosophie und Theologie wird kontinuierlich eine Auseinandersetzung mit der Verände…
Date: 2019-11-19