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Optimism and Pessimism

(1,311 words)

Author(s): Gilhus, Ingvild Sœlid | Zenkert, Georg
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy I. Religious Studies Optimism (from Lat. optimus, “best”) and pessimism (from Lat. pessimum, “worst”) are used in the history of religions to characterize attitudes towards the world and this life. Some religions (e.g. Judaism) are described as having an optimistic view of life, while others have been characterized as pessimistic, as for instance religions which originated in India in the 7th to 5th centuries bce: Upanishadic religions (Upanisạds), Jainism, and Buddhism. Also Neoplatonism and Gnostic varieties …


(1,209 words)

Author(s): Gilhus, Ingvild Sœlid | Zenkert, Georg
[English Version] I. Religionsgeschichtlich O./P. (von lat. optimum, das Beste und pessimum, das Schlechteste) sind in der Religionsgesch. verwendete Termini, um Haltungen gegenüber der Welt und dem Leben zu charakterisieren. Einigen Rel. wie z.B. dem Judentum wird eine positive Sicht des Lebens zugeschrieben, anderen eine pessimistische. Zu letzteren zählen die in Indien vom 7. – 5.Jh. v.Chr. entstandenen Rel. (upaniṣadische Rel. [Upaniṣaden], Jinismus und Buddhismus). Auch dem Neuplatonismus un…