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(458 words)

Author(s): Wegenast, Klaus
[German Version] 1. David Ami Isaac (Oct 6, 1790, Geneva – Dec 24, 1874, La Force, Dordogne), the chief representative and chronicler of the Genevan Réveil, came from one of the Herrnhuter families (Bohemian and Moravian Brethren). From 1798 to 1802, he was a student at the Herrnhuter academy in Neuwied; in 1809, he became a member of the lodge “Union des Cœurs” in Geneva, which was closely related to the Awakening (Revival/Revival movements); ¶ in 1810, he studied theology and founded the “Société des Amis,” opposed to the …

Häberlin, Paul

(203 words)

Author(s): Wegenast, Klaus
[German Version] (Feb 17, 1878, Kesswil, Switzerland – Sep 29, 1960, Basel), studied theology in Basel, Göttingen and Berlin (graduation 1900) and philosophy in Göttingen and Basel (doctorate 1903). He taught in the gymnasium in Basel (1903), was director of the teacher's academy in Kreuzlingen (1904–1909), became assistant professor of philosophy in Basel (1908–1914), and professor of philosophy, education and psychology in Bern ¶ (1914–1922) and in Basel (1922–1944). The accents of Häberlin's work lie on a dualist anthropology (mind – drive) and a resultin…


(23,143 words)

Author(s): Schnelle, Udo | Fischer, Georg | Becker, Hans-Jürgen | Fischer Georg | Müller, Hans-Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics – V. Practical Theology – VI. Missiology – VII. Judaism – VIII. Cultural History I.  Concept “Bible” is the predominant designation in church, theology, and society for the collection of OT and NT scriptures recognized by the church. The word “Bible” and its close equivalents in other European languages derive from the middle Latin “biblia.” This Latin feminine derives from the Greek neuter plural τὰ βιβλία/ tá biblía. Grammatically, the sg. βιβλίον/ biblíon is a diminu¶ tive form of ἡ βίβλος/ hē b…


(2,178 words)

Author(s): Schott, Rüdiger | Seidl, Theodor | Pöttner, Martin | Helmer, Christine | Wegenast, Klaus
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Fundamental Theology and Philosophy of Religion – IV. Literary History – V. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies Orally transmitted narratives are often the most important sources for the religious views of preliterate peoples. Frequently narratives also provide an aetiological basis for certain cultic actions (Aetiology). Narratives with religious content say important things about the creation of the world and primeval times, the creation and nature of hum…


(4,033 words)

Author(s): Wehrle, Josef | Kähler, Christoph | Pöttner, Martin | Sanders, Andy F. | Wegenast, Klaus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Fundamental Theology – IV. Philosophy of Religion – V. Religious Education and Preaching – VI. Judaism I. Old Testament A similitude (from Lat. similis, “like”; Ger. Gleichnis, “simile”) differs from a concise simile in its textological extent. A situation or event is visualized by comparison to an analogous situation or event in a different, more concrete area of everyday life. Unlike a fable, a similitude presents only one essential point ( tertium comparationis) common to the objects of comparison. The concrete an…

Bible Study

(1,375 words)

Author(s): Wegenast, Klaus
[German Version] I. Term – II. History – III. New Forms and Methods I. Term Bible study generally means a communal study of biblical texts in and by groups. The German term ( Bibelarbeit) is comparatively recent and is owed to Protestant youth groups after World War I and the revival of Bible-reading that occurred at that time. II. History First moves toward such “Bible study groups” were probably in the order of the Dutch-Reformed church in Geneva (1550), which supplemented Bible interpretation in …

Religious Instruction

(2,966 words)

Author(s): Wegenast, Klaus
1. Historical Data Religious instruction in schools occurred first in the Latin and native-language schools of the 16th century. It centered on the catechism, doctrine, and their biblical basis. J. A. Comenius (1592–1670), Pietism, and the Enlightenment regarded Holy Scripture as the alpha and omega in all schools. We see this value in the German tradition, for example. H. J. Hübner’s (1668–1731) Zweymal zwey und funfzig auserlesene Biblische Historien (Twice 52 selected biblical stories, 1713/14), A. H. Francke’s (1663–1727) Kurtzer und einfältiger Unterricht (Short and simp…


(1,827 words)

Author(s): Wegenast, Klaus
1. Term and History 1.1. “Catechesis” is the term for the instruction in the Christian faith that is connected with baptismal preparation or administration (Baptism). The underlying Greek word katēcheō, “teach by word of mouth” (originally used in drama), acquired in primitive Christianity the sense of communicating the content of the faith by instruction (1 Cor. 14:19; Gal. 6:6; Acts 18:25, etc.). In Heb. 6:1–2 the content is listed: “repentance from dead works and faith toward God … baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal j…


(2,122 words)

Author(s): Wegenast, Klaus
1. Term The term “catechism” comes from the Greek by way of the Late Lat. catechizo. It refers to the process of oral instruction for baptism (Catechesis). When infant baptism replaced adult baptism, the term came to be used for Christian education in general. From the time of the Reformation it has also been a term for published works summarizing Christian faith and Christian life. Today there is uncertainty as to whether a catechism is meant for teaching or for learning, for children or for adults, for memorizing or as an argumentative introduction to the …