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(577 words)

Author(s): Schmälzle, Udo Friedrich | May, Gerhard | Maxson, Rachel E.
[German Version] I. History – II. Canon Law – III. Meaning in the English-speaking World I. History (Middle Lat.: capellanus; Ger: Kaplan), cleric at the Carolingian royal court (Carolingians) (first attested 741) with wide-ranging rights (accompanying the king on campaigns, capacity of registrar, diplomatic service, pastoral care at the capella regis); reduced after the ¶ Investiture Controversy following the papal decretal, Ad Audientiam of Alexander III, to clerical functions (responsibility for enforcing attendance at services and distribution o…

Ku Klux Klan

(168 words)

Author(s): Maxson, Rachel E.
[German Version] is a secret, white supremacist group in the United States. Founded in Pulaski, Tennessee, during the period of reconstruction after the American Cival War, the Klan had spread through the southern United States by 1867. The name was derived from the Greek word κύκλος/ kýklos (circle). Klansmen, disguised with white robes and masks, used intimidation and violence to prevent blacks from exercising their newfound political rights. The Klan declined in the 1870s but was revived as a fraternal organization in 1915 by ex-preacher…

Jones, Absalom

(170 words)

Author(s): Maxson, Rachel E.
[German Version] (Nov 6, 1746, Sussex, DE – Feb 13, 1818, Philadelphia) was the first black Episcopal priest in the United States and a lifelong leader in Philadelphia's black community. Born a slave, Jones was brought to Philadelphia in 1760. There he purchased his freedom in 1784. Together with fellow freedman, Richard Allen, he founded the Free African Society, a benevolent organization, in 1787. An independent African church grew from this society after Jones and Allen led a black walkout from…

Garvey, Marcus

(148 words)

Author(s): Maxson, Rachel E.
[German Version] (Aug 17, 1887, St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica – Jun 10, 1940, London), founder of the first and largest black social movement in the United States. Garvey came to Harlem, New York, in 1916 and made it the center of his Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), which sought to unite and uplift the black race. The movement declined after Garvey was deported from the United States in 1927 following a conviction for mail fraud. Garvey endorsed the establishment of an all-black church. He encouraged blacks ¶ to think of God as one of them and reject symbols of white domi…

Herberg, Will

(146 words)

Author(s): Maxson, Rachel E.
[German Version] (Jun 30, 1901, Liachovitzi, Russia – Mar 26, 1977, Chatham, NJ), communist activist and author, later conservative Jewish theologian and social critic. Herberg grew up in Brooklyn with his nominally Jewish mother. After championing the working classes as a communist propagandist in the 1920s and 1930s, he turned, disillusioned, to the study of theology. Engagement with the works of R. Niebuhr and with other Jewish and Christian theologians brought him closer to religious existentialism and the hope of the “biblical faith,” which found expression in his book Judaism …

Father Divine

(143 words)

Author(s): Maxson, Rachel E.
[German Version] (c. 1880 – Sep 10, 1965, Philadelphia), African American religious leader who founded ¶ the Peace Mission movement. Born George Baker, in 1914 he took the name Major J. Divine and started his movement in New York, from where it spread nationwide. Banquet meals, served without cost to all comers, were a central part of the movement that drew a large following during the Great Depression. The movement also provided inexpensive housing and jobs in many movement-owned businesses. Divine's followers…