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Faith

(25,125 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Schulz, Heiko | Kaiser, Otto | Hooker, Morna D. | Jüngel, Eberhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Systematic Theology – V. Practical Theology – VI. Judaism – VII. Islam …

Word of God

(7,795 words)

Author(s): Prenner, Karl | Levin, Christoph | Hahn, Ferdinand | Krötke, Wolf | Meyer-Blanck, Michael | Et al.
[German Version] See also Heavenly voice, Memra, Revelation. …

Arabian Peninsula

(2,427 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W. | Gerö, Stephen | Nagel, Tilman
[German Version] I. Christianity – II. Islam I. Christianity 1. Southern Arabia. It is impossible to tell when the gospel was first preached in southern Arabia; probably Arabs from the region came into contact with Christianity in the course of their commercial travels or else Christians arrived in southern Arabia. Jewish and Christian missionaries probably paved the way for Southern Arabian monotheism, attested in inscriptions dating from 378 …

Islam

(15,859 words)

Author(s): Nagel, Tilman | Ende, Werner | Radtke, Bernd | Rudolph, Ulrich | Krawietz, Birgit | Et al.
[German Version] I. Origin and Spread – II. Doctrine – III. Islamic Philosophy – IV. Islamic Art (Architecture and Book Art) – V. Islamic Studies – VI. Christianity and Islam – VII. Judaism and Islam – VIII. Islam in Europe – IX. Islam in North America – X. Political Islamism I. Origin and Spread 1. Muḥammad and his message In 569 ce, Muḥammad was born in Mecca, a city with the shrine of the Kaʿba at its center. Mecca enjoyed good relations with the Sasanian Empire and its Arab vassal princes in Ḥīra, but considered itself politically independent. It was ruled by the Quraysh tribe, among whom the ʿAbdmanāf clans of ʿAbdsham and Hāshim were dominant. Muḥammad belonged to the latter. He also had ties of kinship with Medina. Muḥammad …

Ishmael

(510 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel | Nagel, Tilman
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Islam I. Old Testament Through recourse to the name of a northern Arabian tribal confederation in the 7th century bce (* Šamaʿʾil; attested in Neo-Assyrian sources and reflected in ¶ Gen 25:13–15 [P]), which was transformed in analogy to “Isaac",” the figure of Ishmael served the parties in the course of the edition of the Pentateuch in defining the proximity or distance between the two s…

Revelation

(13,059 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann | Schwöbel, Christoph | Kaiser, Otto | Bockmuehl, Markus | Werbick, Jürgen | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Concept. The word revelation echoes the Greek ἀποκάλυψις/ apokálypsis (“uncovering”), which was translated into Latin as revelatio and then borrowed into most European languages. The literal meaning already indicates that revelation involves a reality, content, more specifically a message hidden from mortals. Revelation is important: it is relevant religious knowledge necessary for salvation, for finding meaning, and for dealing with everyday life. It is knowledge that peo-¶ ple do not already possess by nature, and their religion says they cannot attain it by themselves. This aspect received increasing emphasis in the course of the modern era and revelation came to function as a key theological concept, which also served to distinguish theology from religious studies (Wiedenhofer), but this term with its Christian background also came to be used in the context of non-Christian religions. More recent academic reference works have tended to use the term more narrowl…

Confession (of Faith)

(12,201 words)

Author(s): Bochinger, Christoph | Kreuzer, Siegfried | Reumann, John | Staats, Reinhart | Holze, Heinrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Bible – III. Church History – IV. Systematics – V. Practical Theology – VI. Law – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. History of Religions The term confession refers to various phenomena, including the confession of faith and of sin. A confession of faith can be understood as an officially sanctioned, formulaic summary of the central doctrines of a religious or a confessional community (“denomination”). Recited in cultic procedures and/or in everyday piety, i…

Calendar

(3,500 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Lichtenberger, Hermann | Meßner, Reinhard | Gerö, Stephen | Nagel, Tilman | Et al.
[German Version] I. General – II. Jewish Calendar – III. Christian Calendar – IV. Islamic Calendar – V. Liturgical Calendar I. General 1. The term calendar derives from the Roman “calendae,” the day on which a new month was proclaimed. It designates the structuring and hence the consequent mediation of time, i.e. records in pictorial and literary media to communicate structures of time. Calendars are concrete translations of chronologies. The performance of activities to be collectively coordinated must be regulated in the various arenas of human life: for example, in everyday life (planting, ha…

Allah

(511 words)

Author(s): Nagel, Tilman
[German Version] I. Pre-Islamic Period – II. Qurʾān I. Pre-Islamic Period Even in the pre-Islamic period, the deity Allah (“God”) was worshiped at the Qaʿbah. In the course of the 6th century ce, this shrine achieved preeminence among comparable cultic sites in the Arabian Peninsula. These sites were dedicated to one or several deities and we…

Mecca

(1,142 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W. | Nagel, Tilman
[German Version] I. Pre-Islamic Period – II. Islamic…

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…

Mercy

(2,498 words)

Author(s): Scoralick, Ruth | Avemarie, Friedrich | Weder, Hans | Bayer, Oswald | Nagel, Tilman
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatic/Ethics – V. Islam I. Old Testament The direct statements of the Old Testament about mercy as a loving and helping approach to others who had fallen into need or guilt are crystallized in Hebrew around the root רחם ( rḥm). The situation is complicated by overlapping of content with the root חנן ( ḥnn, “to be gracious”; Grace: II). Moreover, the OT deals with mercy itself without using the roots חנן or רחר, for example, in the description of God in the primordial history (Gen 1–11). An etymologi…

Damascus

(2,359 words)

Author(s): Weber, Thomas | Heid, Stefan | Nagel, Tilman
[German Version] I. Archaeology – II. Early Church – III. Arab Period – IV. Christianity in Damascus I. Archaeology Damascus, modern Dimešq ( aš-Šām), is located 3 km east of where the Baradā river (cf. 2 Kgs 5:12) emerges from the ravine (Rabwāt al-Minšār) between Mount ¶ Hermon) and Mount Qasyūn (Anti-Lebanon). It is the center of the largest Syrian mountain-border oasis – the Ghutah, an area threatened by overdevelopment – and since 1946 has been the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria). According to legend, Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the world, …

Community

(5,842 words)

Author(s): Kehrer, Günter | Rüterswörden, Udo | Banks, Robert J. | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Marquardt, Manfred | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Dogmatics – VI. Ethics – VII. Practical Theology – VIII. Church Law – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. History of Religion In the following comments the term community will refer exclusively to a religiously motivated association of people. From the standpoint of the history of religion, the formation of communities is more the exception than the rule. The fact that associations such as tribes, as well, howe…

Fear of God

(3,873 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Kirsten | Becker, Jürgen | Link, Christian | Börner-Klein, Dagmar | Dan, Joseph | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III.  Christianity – IV.  Judaism – V. Islam I. Old Testament In the OT, fear of God occurs in various reactions to the encounter with God. Fear of God encompasses both the immediate reaction of a person gripped by horror before the holy God (the numinous) and the behavior of the pious person toward God in the form of obedience and praise. Consequently, fear of God can also designate veneration of God and piety (religion). The scope of the fear of God corresponds to the breadth of the concept of God (God: II). The God of Israel is not only a nume…

Free Will

(7,479 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Loos, Fritz | Herms, Eilert | Fraenkel, Carlos | Nagel, Tilman
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Law – III. Church History – IV. Philosophy of Religion – V. Dogmatics – VI. Ethics – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. Terminology Classical Antiquity lacked a term for free will, a concept first popularized by Christians in Late Antiquity. Aristotle discussed the problem in the context of asking in what sense actions lie “within us” (ἐϕ᾿ ἡμῖν/ ephʾ hēmín; Arist. Eth. Nic. III 1, 1110a, 1–3). The Stoics called the concept τὸ αὐτεξούσιον/ to autexoúsion (“self-control”; ¶ cf. Chrysippus [ SVF II, 975–990]), translated into Latin as liberum arbitriu…

Abraham

(3,604 words)

Author(s): Blum, Erhard | Attridge, Harold W. | Anderson, Gary A. | Dan, Joseph | Nagel, Tilman
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Judaism – IV. Qur’ān I. Old Testament 1. Name. The name אַבְרָהָם/ 'abrāhām is a by-form of אַבְרָם/ 'abrām or אֲבִירָם/ 'abîrām (Num 16:1, etc.). With the meaning "Father (= God) is exalted," it corresponds to a widely dispersed West-Semitic name pattern and, as a praise or confessional name, belongs in the realm of personal piety. The otherwise unattested extended form is interpreted in Gen 17:4f. in a popular etymology as "Father (אָב/ 'āb) of a multitude (הָמוֹן/ hāmôn) of nations" - in an entirely …

ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālʿīb

(175 words)

Author(s): Nagel, Tilman
[German Version] (c. 600-660), the cousin and son-in-law of Muḥammad, belonged - like Muḥammad himself - to the banū hāšim clan of the Quraysh tribe. During the prophet's lifetime, he did not play a major role; the later tradition that depicts him as one of the first to accept Islam is almost certainly wrong. After Muḥammad's death, he became the leader of heterogeneous forces opposed to the regime of th…