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(2,281 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
Geographical Breadth and Organization 1. Together with Judaism and Islam, Christianity belongs to the scriptural religions ( Monotheism), whose common origin is in the Near East. With a membership of almost one-third of the world population, it is the most widespread of individual religions. Its greatest dynamism within contemporary culture is in South, Central, and North America. There are Christian majorities in many lands of sub-Saharan Africa, on the western rim of the Pacific between Australi…

Christianity: Time Chart

(3,499 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
Era 1: Cultural transgressions of a proscribed religion (1st–3rd centuries) around 30 CE Jesus begins his public life After a short period of activity, the Jewish preacher and healer is executed. After his death, a belief appears in his resurrection from the dead. around 30–70 ‘Apostles’ The first generation of Jesus's disciples is in confrontation over whether Jesus's message is to be only intra-Judaic or to be spread to other peoples as well. Paul's epistolary literature appears (later a part of the New Testament). 1st cent. CE Mission extension in the Mediterrane…


(545 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] 1. Gustav (Mar 6, 1834, Naumburg – Dec 26, 1910, Halle). As the first occupant of a chair of missiology, Warneck gave the discipline its fundamental profile. At the turn of the 20th century, the work of Protestant mission societies in Africa and Asia was at its hi…


(583 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] The adjective numinous and its nominalized form the numinous were introduced into the phenomenology of religion by R. Otto in his book Das Heilige. It is derived from Latin numen (“divine will/activity/being”), translated by Otto himself as “supernatural being without a more precise concept”). In subsequent literature based on Otto’s work, the Latinized form numinosum came into widespread use, but Otto himself never used it. In Otto’s wor…


(13,709 words)

Author(s): Sundermeier, Theo | Frankemölle, Hubert | Feldtkeller, Andreas | Collet, Giancarlo | George, Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Christianity – III. Judaism – IV. Buddhism – V. Islam I. Religious Studies 1. Overview. Mission is not a fundamentally universal phenomenon in the history of religions; neither is every form in which religion is passed on eo ipso mission. “Primary,” tribal religions are not missionary religions. Their domain is coterminous with their society and its way of life; they are handed down from one generation to the next in the course of natural life. The question of truth does not arise. An individual is born into this religion. Only “secondary” religions, founded by reformers or spiritual leaders, are essenti…

Mysterium tremendum et fascinans

(325 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] The expression mysterium tremendum was introduced by R. Otto as a basic concept in phenomenology of religion; the author translated it as schauervolles Geheimnis, “terrible mystery.” The concept forms part of a description of how the numinous can be experienced by the religious feeling of the human subject. Otto presupposed that reli…

Richter, Julius

(314 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] (Feb 19, 1862, Grossballerstedt near Osterburg – Mar 28, 1940, Berlin), received his schooling in the Francke Foundations in Halle. He studied theology in Leipzig and Berlin. From 1887 to 1912 he was pastor in Pröttlin near Lenzen, Rheinsberg, and Schwanebeck near Belzig. During this period, he began his extensive writings in the area of missiology. He received honorary doctorates in 1908 from the Berlin faculty of theology, and in 1910 from the Edinburgh faculty of divinity. In 1913 he gained his


(5,112 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Hutter, Manfred | Auffarth, Christoph | Leicht, Reimund | Roxborogh, John | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The word syncretism in its broadest sense denotes any blend or combination of diverse cultural phenomena. This usage derives from an apparently reasonable but false etymology: syncretism is commonly derived from the Greek verb συνκεράννυμι/ synkeránnymi, “mix.” In fact, however, it is a neologism coined by Plutarch ( Mor. 490b), who called the way Cretans came together in the face of external enemies


(7,453 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas | Mell, Ulrich | le Boulluec, Alain | Jorissen, Hans | Schuck, Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Philosophy and Religious Studies – II. Christianity – III. Practical Theology – IV. Church Law – V. Judaism – VI. Islam I. Philosophy and Religious Studies The word “heresy” …


(8,420 words)

Author(s): Schwemer, Daniel | Feldtkeller, Andreas | Fitschen, Klaus | Tamcke, Martin | Kaufhold, Hubert | Et al.
[German Version] …

United Evangelical Mission (Vereinigte Evangelische [Rheinische] Mission)

(204 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] From 1971 to 1996, the Vereinigte Evangelische (Rheinische) Mission was a missionary society with its headquarters in Wuppertal, the result of a merger of the Rheinische Mission (founded in 1828 as a union of missionary societies in Barmen, Elberfeld, and Cologne) and the Bethel Mission (founded in 1886). The Zaire Mission joined in 1978. In 1996 the United Evangelical Mission was restructured as a “fellowship of churches in three continents,” under the name United Evangelical Mis…


(730 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas | Miege, Frank
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology – II. Ethics and Practical Theology I. Fundamental Theology “Contextuality” denotes a set of circumstances that became a theological issue in the wake of contextual theology, though it is of fundamental relevance to any theology. The concept arose from the fact that Christ…

Co-existence, Religious,

(308 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] also known as “convivence,” which is derived from Span. convivencia and Port. convivência (“living together”). In medieval Spain, the latter denoted the peaceful coexistence of Jews, Christians, and Muslims; in Latin-American liberation theology (I), it refers to the communal life and solidarity of the poor which arises from bonds of kinship or neighborly relations and which the base communities have adopted as a structure of ecclesial life (Freire). The equivalent German term Konvivenz was introduced in German-speaking theology by Th. Sunderme…


(2,942 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Bultmann, Christoph | Feldmeier, Reinhard | Feldtkeller, Andreas | Grözinger, Albrecht
[German Version] I. Religious Studies From the outset, religions are involved in processes of exchange with their (religious) environment. This structural relationship to the surrounding world finds expression in internal representations of what is “strange/alien/foreign” or “other” and is part of the self-reference of religious systems. Because other religions are often experienced as competing entities, in most traditions they represent a great challenge to the adherents’ own identity. Therefore responses of allergic rejection predominate, and not solely in the context of claims to exclusive truth. Instead of xenologies that would be hermeneutically more prudent, we frequently find what is religiously alien reduced to a deficient mode of religious otherness or even stigmatized as “diabolical.” Even in traditional religions, we find only limited tolerance of the other (e.g. commensality and intermarriage based on ritual purity, hospitality, and initiation). Sociopolitical factors such as unsymmetrical power or a milieu of conflict affect the relationship between a religion’s theory of the “other” and actual practice – for example the use of inclusive rhetoric to cover exclusive claims, but also aggravated conflict and even wars of re…

Primordial History

(2,632 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas | Arneth, Martin | Cancik, Hubert | Strutwolf, Holger
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The concept of a primeval or primordial history (Ger. Urgeschichte), as used in scholarly discourse, starts with the biblical text of Gen 1–11, but may be transferred to other contexts in religious studies. However, this makes sense only where identity-forming narratives proceed on a chronological basis (History/Concepts of history) in their notions of time, and where they are guided by the idea of a special quality in the origin of the world and/or their own society and ancestry that contributes to the formation of identity. The concept cannot be applied, for…


(410 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] Historically, erudition became obvious with the first systems of writing (Paleography: I; II, 3) in Mesopotamia and Egypt (late 4th mill. bce). Writing systems made it possible to identify a particular learned class that, for its part, was basic to the development of high cultures. Erudition was cultivated in temple schools and applied by priests and royal officials (Library: I), resulting in an overlap of religious and secular interests. The erudition of the 3rd millennium bce mainly involved listing individual …


(426 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[English Version] 1.Gustav , (6.3…


(4,646 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Hutter, Manfred | Auffarth, Christoph | Leicht, Reimund | Roxborogh, John | Et al.
[English Version] I. Zum Begriff Das Wort »S.« in seiner weitesten Bedeutung bez. jede Verbindung oder Mischung verschiedener kultureller Phänomene. Diese Verwendung erklärt sich aus der scheinbar naheliegenden, falschen Etym.: »S.« ist meistens von dem griech. Verbum …


(7,625 words)

Author(s): Schwemer, Daniel | Feldtkeller, Andreas | Fitschen, Klaus | Tamcke, Martin | Kaufhold, Hubert | Et al.
[English Version] I. Geographie Griech. Συρι´α/Syría entstand als verkürzte Bildung zu ᾿Ασσυρι´α/Assyría (Assyrien); in der griech. und lat. hschr. Überlieferung werden beide Landschaftsbez. z.T. promiscue verwendet. Syría bez. zunächst, der pers. Satrapie ʿEbar-naharā entsprechend, das Gebiet zw. Ägypten und Kleinasien unter Einschluß der Landschaft östlich des Euphrat, die jedoch seit der Zeit des Alexanderzugs Mesopotamien genannt wurde. Das nun im Osten an den Euphrat grenzende S. schied man seit der …


(244 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[English Version] Richter, Julius (19.2.1862 Großballerstedt bei Osterburg – 28.3.1940 Berlin). Schulausbildung in den Franckeschen Stiftungen (Halle), Studium der Theol. in Leipzig und Berlin, 1887–1912 Pfarrämter in Pröttlin bei Lenzen, Rheinsberg und Schwanebeck bei Belzig. Währenddessen begann R. bereits seine umfangreiche missionswiss. Publikationstätigkeit. 1908 wurde er Ehrendoktor der Theol. Fakultät Berlin, 1910 der Theol. Fakultät Edinburgh. 1913 habilitierte er sich, wurde 1914 a.o. und 1920 o.Prof. fü…

Vereinigte Evangelische (Rheinische) Mission

(183 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[English Version] (VEM). 1971 bis 1996 Name einer ev. Missionsgesellschaft mit Sitz in Wuppertal, gebildet aus dem Zusammenschluß der Rheinischen Mission (gegründet 1828 aus Missionsgesellschaften in Barmen, Elberfeld und Köln) und der Bethel-Mission (gegründet 1886). 1978 Beitritt der Zaire-Mission. 1996 umstrukturiert zu einer »Gemeinschaft von Kirchen in drei Erdteilen« unter dem Namen Vereinte Ev. Mission (United Evangelical Mission). Gleichberechtigt an der Verantwortung beteiligt sind 34 Kirchen in Afrika, Asien und Europa, darunter die aus der Tätigkeit der Rheinischen Mission und der Bethel-Mission hervorgegangenen Kirchen in Namibia, Tansania, Indonesien und China, weitere Kirchen verschiedener konfessioneller Prägung in Afrika und Asien (nach 1960 in Partnerschaften eingetreten), sowie sechs Mitgliedskirchen der EKD. Außerdem sind die von Bodelschwinghschen Anstalten (F.v. Bodelschwingh) in Bethel Mitglied der VEM. Für den Prozeß der Umwandlung der Missionsgesellschaft in eine Kirchengemeinschaft wurde die Formulierung »United in M…


(592 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[English Version] . Das Adj. »numinos« (n.) und sein substantivischer Gebrauch »das Numinose« (N., bei der ersten Verwendung zunächst »numinös«/»das Numinöse«) wurden von R. Otto in seinem Werk »Das Heilige« als religionsphänomenologische Begriffe geprägt, abgeleitet aus lat. »numen« (göttlicher Wille, göttliches Wirken, göttliches Wesen; von Otto selbst übertragen als »übernatürliches Wesen noch ohne genauere Vorstellung«). In der Otto rezipierenden Lit. ist auch eine latinisierende Form »numinosum« weit verbreitet, die Otto selbst jedoch nicht verwendet hat. Bei Otto dient der Begriff des N. zur Näherbestimmung des »Heiligen« und zur Abgrenzung gegen den Sprachgebrauch von »heilig« in der liberalen Theologie. Er bez. »das Heilige minus seines sittlichen Momentes und … seines rationalen Momentes …«. In diesem Sinne ist das N. das, worum es Otto eigentlich geht; der Begriff des »Heiligen« ist dessen ungenaue und mißverständliche Wiederg…


(5,905 words)

Author(s): Wallmann, Johannes | O'Malley, J. Steven | Winkler, Eberhard | Sträter, Udo | Feldtkeller, Andreas
[English Version] I. Kirchengeschichtlich 1.Deutschland und Europa a)Definition Der P. ist eine rel. Erneuerungsbewegung im Protestantismus  (: I.,1.) des späten 17.Jh. und des 18.Jh., neben dem angelsächsischen Puritanismus die bedeutendste rel. Bewegung seit der Reformation. Gleicherweise in der luth. wie in der ref. Kirche entstanden, löste sich der P. von der als totes Gewohnheitschristentum angesehenen, obrigkeitlich regulierten Gestalt des altprot. Kirchentums, drang auf Individualisierung und …


(2,260 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas | Arneth, Martin | Cancik, Hubert | Strutwolf, Holger
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich Das Konzept einer U., wie es im wiss. Diskurs verwendet wird, ist am bibl. Text Gen 1–11 ausgerichtet, läßt sich aber auch auf andere Zusammenhänge der Religionsgesch. übertragen. Sinnvoll ist dies jedoch nur, wo identitätsstiftende Erzählungen in ihren Zeitvorstellungen (Zeit) grundsätzlich geschichtsförmig sind (Geschichte/Geschichtsauffassun…
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