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Righteousness, Justice

(6,688 words)

Author(s): Dietrich, Walter | Reumann, John | Luz, Ulrich | Strohm, Theodor
1. OT 1.1. Term The Heb. root ṣdq is as comprehensive in meaning as the Eng. “right(eous),” Ger. (ge)recht, Gk. nomos, or Lat. ius (Law). It embraces, besides the narrower legal sense of justice, judgment, and standard for what is right (Ger. Gericht, Rechts-norm), the wider ethicosocial sphere of wholesome and salutary relationships. The masc. ṣedeq denotes a state of beneficently ordered relationships between people or between people and God; the fem. ṣĕdāqâ refers to conduct that corresponds to this state or promotes it; the verb ṣdq describes the related action…


(3,584 words)

Author(s): Narr, Wolf-Dieter | Strohm, Theodor
1. Term and History The term “democracy,” which comes from ancient Greece, literally means “rule by the people.” In political philosophy, democracy was viewed as a form of government. It stood between aristocracy (the rule of the elite) and the negatively viewed ochlocracy (mob rule; Aristotle Pol. ). Classical Greece—or more narrowly the city-state of Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries b.c. up to its subjugation by Philip II of Macedonia and the end of its independence in 338 b.c.—ranked as a model democracy. In Athens male citizens had the right to vote at popular…

Religious Socialism

(2,129 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Theodor
1. Beginnings Like socialism in general, religious socialism is a political and social movement that sought to replace the existing order by a new and more just social order. Triggered by the drastic social effects of the industrial revolution (Industrial Society) but largely irrelevant after World War II, it involved the idea that the Christian faith has crucial relevance for the carrying out of political, economic, and social tasks (Politics; Economy; Society). Rooted in the older Christian trad…

Diakonisches Werk der EKD

(1,677 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Theodor
[German Version] (Diaconal Ministry [= DW] of the Evangelical Church in Germany). The DW of the EKD came into being when the “Central Committee for Inland Mission of the German Evangelical Church (DEK)” (formed in 1848) merged with the “Zentralbüro des Hilfswerks der EKD” (Head Office of the EKD Relief Organization), which had been founded in 1945 on the initiative of E. Gerstenmaier. The DW …


(1,463 words)

Author(s): Prohl, Inken | Strohm, Theodor
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Christian Charity I. History of Religions In the Christian context, the term charity signifies the practical implementation of the commandment to love one's neighbor (Love of one 's neighbor) in kindly acts for the benefit of others, such as support for the needy (Poor, Care of the) or the care of the sick (Diakonia; ¶ Caritas). The precondition for this is the specifically Christian love command in forming social relationships and the interiorization of this rule. It is q…


(795 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Theodor | Lauterer, Heide-Marie
[German Version] 1. Theodor (Jan 21, 1800, Eppstein – Oct 4, 1864, Kaiserswerth), husband of 2, Friederike. Beside J.H. Wichern, Theodor Fliedner was one of the most important initiators of the Diakonia and of the diaconate of women in particular. He became a pioneer of participation of women in the work of the Evangelical Church in Germany, and his influence can be seen even today far beyond the national borders. In 1822, after theological study in Giessen and Göttingen, in which Fliedner had alrea…

Youth Care, Upbringing and Education

(691 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Theodor
[German Version] Youth Care, Upbringing and Education (henceforward YCUE, Ger. Fürsorgeerziehung) in pastoral studies relates to children and young people for whom educational provision for life in the family, neighborhood, kindergarten, ¶ school, youth group and work training has either broken down, or whose personal development is hampered by significant deficiencies. In these cases YCUE (Youth, Pastoral care of) services enter the educational process. The origins of this care are found in Christian and non-Christian traditi…


(728 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Theodor
[German Version] is a key anthropological concept that at all times has defined the way human beings live together and that has been shaped by religion. In the biblical tradition, it is taken for granted that believers are willing to help. This is based on the religious traditions and moral laws not only of the Judaism of the Hellenistic period ¶ but also of the ancient Near East, in which both private ethics and public or royal ethics were grounded. Plato, for example, distinguished between material, bodily, professional, and legal help. For him, in addi…

Welfare System

(1,106 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Theodor
[German Version] I. Terminology The term welfare system, which goes back to the workers’ welfare associations of the 19th century, covers a variety of endeavors. Distinct from poor relief (Poor, Care of the) and private charity, it denotes the broad area of social work, social assistance, and welfare work within the framework of the modern social state. The welfare system embodies the purpose of the social state, “which assists its weaker members, which regulates how economic goods are shared according…


(2,084 words)

Author(s): Stichweh, Rudolf | Karle, Isolde | Strohm, Theodor
[German Version] I. General The term profession denotes a particular form of vocation that modern society inherited from the estate-based, corporative world of early modern Europe. The ¶ earliest examples were the academic vocations of theologians, jurists, and physicians, who were educated by the faculties of the medieval and early modern universities. An important element was therefore a close tie to one of the great traditions of scholarly knowledge, which were then applied by “professionals” in practical situations li…

Poor, Care of the

(5,426 words)

Author(s): Tworuschka, Udo | Ebach, Jürgen | Gager, John G. | Caplan, Kimmy | Nagel, Tilman | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies We can speak of care for the poor in the sense of public and private relief of poverty only when there has been a certain degree of institutionalization. Religions have treated poor relief with varying degrees emphasis. It is important to distinguish caregivers (including families, clans, congregations, orders, foundations, societies, and associations), the kind of help given (material, personal, structural), and the recipients (different levels of poverty). The Greeks and Romans felt no obligation to help the poor, or at most a g…


(1,851 words)

Author(s): Stichweh, Rudolf | Karle, Isolde | Strohm, Theodor
[English Version] I. Allgemein Der Begriff der Profession bez. eine bestimmte Form der Beruflichkeit, die der modernen Gesellschaft aus der ständisch-korporativen Welt des alten Europa zugekommen ist. Beispiele waren zunächst die akademischen Berufe des Theologen, Juristen und Mediziners, die ihren Ausbildungsort an den Fakultäten der ma. und der frühneuzeitlichen Universität fanden. Wichtig war also ein enger Bezug zu einer der großen Traditionen gelehrten Wissens, die aber durch den Professionell…


(916 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Theodor
[English Version] I. Begriff Der Begriff der W., der auf die Arbeiterwohlfahrtseinrichtungen im 19.Jh. zurückzuführen ist, faßt unterschiedliche Bestrebungen zusammen. W. setzt sich von Armenpflege (Armenfürsorge) und privater Wohltätigkeit ab und bez. das weite Gebiet sozialer Arbeit, sozialer Hilfe und Fürsorgetätigkeit unter den Rahmenbedingungen des modernen Sozialstaates. In der W. manifestiert sich die Aufgabe des Sozialstaats, »der den Schwächeren hilft, der die Teilhabe an den wirtschaftlic…