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Journals, Religious

(4,530 words)

Author(s): Hübinger, Gangolf | Mürmel, Heinz | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Felmy, Karl Christian | Schwarz, Johannes Valentin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religio-Cultural Journals – II. Journals of Religious Studies – III. Christianity – IV. Judaism – V. Islam I. Religio-Cultural Journals During the second half of the 19th century, the publication of German-language journals experienced a tremendous upsurge. While the year 1890 saw the publication of 3,203 individual titles, the number had grown to 5,231 by the year 1900 and to 6,689 by 1914. Journals became the preferred medium in aca…

Birth Control

(1,916 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Reiter, Johannes | Badry, Roswitha
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Ethics – III. Islam I. Religious Studies The notion that birth can be understood, not as a “natural” but a “cultural” process includes, among other things, what we today call birth control. Whether and how a child is accepted into the framework of human society is, thus, not least the object of a – both socially (or religiously) and individually determined – decision. This decision depends on the resources, the social environs of the parents, the gender of the child, etc. In most societies, methods exist for promoting or hindering births. A fundamental concern, on one hand, is the guarantee of familial continuity (which runs specifically via the paternal or maternal lines, or occasionally also bilaterally, as the case may be), on the other, precautions are to be undertaken against offspring that may threaten the well-being of the entire family. Cultural mechanisms of control include, first, abstinence, which is often imperative outside of marriage (the age of marriage has a regulating effect on the number of children). In addition, there are bodily techniques and means of prevention with varying degrees of effectiveness, and terminations of pregnancies (Abortion) by means of massages and other interventions. Finally, children are often exposed or killed. The threat of over-population appears in many places as a global threat to life (e.g. in the Mesopotamian Atrahasis Epic). Normally, in traditional societies, balanced reproduction can be assumed. Certain changes are associated with rapid changes in the history of religions, for example from the pre-Christian era to Christian antiquity: whereas, previously, the exposure of killing of children had been socially accepted, it was later condemned. A similar circumstance pertained in Islam in relation to the attitude in pre-Islamic Arabia. In the Western religions of the book (Judaism, Islam, Christianity), birth control became the subject of religious law. Judaism and Israel value sexuality and marriage more positively, but permit birth control to a certain degree (esp. coitus interruptus). In contrast, early Christianity, which preferred a more ascetic ideal, rejected birth control – in official Catholicism down to today. Norm and behavior are always poles apart; today Catholics and non-Catholics in central Europe are indistinct in terms of reproduction rates, a fact that attests to the ineffectuality of the church's …


(929 words)

Author(s): Badry, Roswitha
[German Version] (Arab. Lībiyā, based on the Italian or Greek name, possibly from Egypt. Libu, the name of a North African tribe), official name (since 1986) “Great Socialist Libyan Arabic People's Jamahiriya” (Arab. al-Ğamāhīrīya al-ʿArabīya al-Lībīya aš-Šaʿbīya al-Ištirākīya al-ʿUẓmā), is the easternmost of the four Maghreb states and has a relatively homogeneous native population of roughly five million (approx. 90% Arabs and Arabized Berbers, over 95% of whom are Sunnis of the Maliki school of jurisprudence). Ibadis (Ḫāriğites; …


(7,247 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Hutter, Manfred | Schieder, Rolf | Thiemann, Ronald | Badry, Roswitha | Et al.
[German Version] I. Social Sciences Since its Greek origins, politics has meant (a) an action with a specific object, aiming to achieve the best way for all the inhabitants of the ancient city-state ( pólis) to live together and hence achieve the common good of the ¶ community ( koinón), and (b) the theory of this action (Sellin; see also Political science). Given that we no longer live in small urban societies but in large, open, and functionally complex societies (Society), politics includes – but cannot be limited to – the system of state g…