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Blessing and Curse

(3,866 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Steymans, Hans Ulrich | Lehnardt, Andreas | Fitzgerald, John T. | Greiner, Dorothea | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Historical and Systematic Theology– VI. Practical Theology…

Holy Scriptures

(1,139 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Veltri, Giuseppe | Drecoll, Volker Henning | Graham, William A.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Judaism – III. Christianity – IV. Islam I. Religious Studies

Polyvalence

(243 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria
[German Version] In chemistry polyvalence is the potential of an element to combine with other elements in different ways, producing a variety of chemical compounds. In an extended sense, polyvalence can be used in various contexts to express a potential for multiple uses. In religious discourse, the term can be used in connection with the referential function of symbols in a religious symbol system. Such usage can characterize the ambiguity and multifunctionality of symbolic elements within a complex context. A symbol can realize its …

Millenarianism/Chiliasm

(4,324 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Aune, David E. | Fitschen, Klaus | Leppin, Volker | Boyer, Paul S | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. New Testament – III. Church History – IV. North America – V. Systematic Theology – VI. Islam – VII. China I. Religious Studies Millenarianism (chiliasm) refers to the notion of a 1,000-year (Lat. millenarius, Gk χίλια/ chília) period ¶ immediately preceding the Last Judgment and the end of the world. This conception of world history (see also II) derives from Jewish apocalypticism (III) and became widespread over time, being interpreted in various ways depending on the age and cultural environs: as a still future age or one that has already started, as an age of salvation for the elect, as an age of defeat for evil powers, or as an age of expectation ofperfect redemption. The duration of “1,000 years” was interpreted both lite…

Orientation (Space Perception)

(642 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria
[German Version] The concept of orientation of objects, persons, buildings, movements, etc. to the east (Lat. oriens; Orientation [Prayer and architecture]), is used in religious studies with regard to representations and conceptions of space and time, but also in reference to religious actions and religious behavior. Orientation is predefined in each worldview that is constituted and mediated by a religious symbolic system. Various reference patterns provide orientation in any given religious context. The orientations, demar…

Settlements

(530 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria
[German Version] Generally speaking, settlements include various types of construction: individual buildings in isolation as well as villages, towns, and cities with various types of internal organization, functions, and networks. These tend to generate different forms of religious symbol systems. In ancient societies, the distinction between urban centers (Town and city) and other forms of settlement played a central role. The city or town was the center, the surrounding settlements the periphery…

Stolz, Fritz

(238 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria
[German Version] ( Jul 16, 1942, Männedorf, Switzerland – Dec 10, 2001, Männedorf ). After studying theology and Near Eastern philology in Zürich and Heidelberg, he taught Hebrew and Old Testament at the seminary in (Bielefeld-)Bethel from 1969 to 1980. In 1980 he was appointed professor of the history of religions and the study of religion in Zürich, where he taught until his death. He was also active in several bodies both within and outside t…

Canon

(4,367 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Schindler, Alfred | Huizing, Klaas | Troianos, Spyros N. | Felmy, Karl Christian | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Church History – III. Fundamental Theology – IV. Orthodox Law – V. Eastern Poetry – VI. Islam – VII. Buddhism – VIII. Taoism I. History of Religion The canon can be defined as a complex process of selection of documents regarded as authoritative; from the totality of the extant written tradition, documents are set apart according to certain criteria as holy or inspired (Inspiration/Theopneustia). Although the concept of the canon as a normative collection of Holy Scriptures was developed in the framework of the Judeo-Christian tradition, it has become a technical term in the study of religions utilized in …

Paradise

(5,515 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Leiner, Martin | Rebiger, Bill | Heine, Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. History of Doctrine and Dogmatics – IV. Judaism – V. Islam – VI. Buddhism – VII. History of Art and Literature I. Religious Studies The history of the term “paradise” is informative for determining its meaning. The word “paradise” is derived from the ancient Iranian * paridaēza, literally “surrounding wall.” It appears as a loanword in many other languages, for e…

Topography

(187 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria
[German Version] Topography is the representation and description of geographical areas (Geography of religion). As such it also plays a role in the treatment of religious symbol systems, which highlight territory in various ways. In urban areas and villages, the presence of religious orientation is signaled primarily by spe…

Exegesis

(13,995 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Cancik, Hubert | Seidl, Theodor | Schnelle, Udo | Bienert, Wolfgang A. | Et al.
[German Version] (Biblical Scholarship, Hermeneutics, Interpretation) I. Religious Studies – II. History of Religions – III. Greco Roman Antiquity – IV. Bible – V. Church History – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Biblical Scenes in Art – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. Religious Studies Exegesis (for etymology see III below) is the explanation, interpretation, or analysis of sacred or otherwise religiously central documents by experts; it enables and encourages the access of a …