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Synode

(3,126 words)

Author(s): Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Brandt, Reinhard | Germann, Michael | Ohme, Heinz
[English Version] I. Geschichtlich Der Begriff S. (von griech. συ´n̆οδος/sýnodos, »Zusammenkunft, zus. auf dem Weg sein«) kann bei der altkirchl. und ma. Entwicklung nicht vom Begriff Konzil getrennt werden. Nur im Blick auf den Protestantismus des 19./20.Jh. ist eine Isolierung sinnvoll, weil hier – vorbereitet seit dem 16.Jh. – die S. ein verfassungsrechtlich neuartiges Phänomen darstellt (Kirchenverfassung: IV.,2.; V.,1., c). Zu dessen Vorgesch. gehören die ma. Diözesansynode (als Fortentwicklung der…

Presbyter/Presbytery

(3,654 words)

Author(s): Karrer, Martin | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Lindner, Herbert | Germann, Michael
[German Version] I. New Testament Social structures that entrusted older individuals with functions on behalf of the community were widespread in the ancient Mediterranean world. In the memory of Israel, they were particularly important in the early history of the people (Num 11– 1 Sam 30:26ff.; 2 Sam 2:4; 12:17; Elders in the Old Testament). Their entrustment with local and regional judicial functions continued (reflected in Deut 19:12; cf. 11QT XLII 13f.) albeit often in diminished form. In the Ne…

Synod

(3,747 words)

Author(s): Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Brandt, Reinhard | Germann, Michael | Ohme, Heinz
[German Version] I. History As it developed in the Early Church and the Middle Ages, the term synod (from Gk σύνοδος/ sýnodos, “assembly, being together on the way”) cannot be separated from the term council. Only in 19th- and 20th-century Protestantism is a separate treatment warranted; in that context – with roots going back to the 16th century – the synod represents a new constitutional phenomenon (Church polity: IV, 2; V, 1.c). Its antecedents include medieval diocesan synods (as extensions of the provincial syn…

Germany

(25,084 words)

Author(s): Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Brenner, Beatus | Dehn, Ulrich | Pollack, Detlef
[German Version] I. General – II. Church History and Denominations – III. Non-Christian Religions – IV. Society, Culture, Religion, and the Churches in the Present I. General 1. Name The term Germany ( Deutschland) has been shaped by the history of the area it denotes. From the beginnings until 1945 it was closely associated with the German or Holy Roman Empire, so that it underwent many transformations. Since 1949 it has referred primarily to the Federal Republic of Germany, which since the joining of the German Democratic…

Bishop

(5,831 words)

Author(s): Schöllgen, Georg | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Rees, Wilhelm | Plank, Peter | de Wall, Heinrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics and Canon Law – IV. Missiology I. New Testament The NT contains no evidence of the episcopate in the traditional Catholic sense (a single bishop at the apex of a hierarchical clerical ministry functioning as head of a Christian community), but it does use the word ἐπίσκοπος ( epískopos; the etymological source of bishop) for functionaries and officials exercising oversight in the community (Acts 20:28; Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:1–7; Tit 1:7–9). For the primitive church, it is therefore better ¶ to speak of episkopoi rathe…

Laity

(5,415 words)

Author(s): Freiberger, Oliver | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Karrer, Leo | Schneider, Johann | Plasger, Georg | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics – IV. Practical Theology – V. North America – VI. Missiology I. Religious Studies Generally speaking, the term laity (from Gk λαος/ laós, “people”) denotes adherents of a religious tradition who do not act as religious specialists or function within a defined socio-religious class (Priesthood, Monasticism). The use of the term is therefore inappropriate in religions without religious specialists, for example Islam. In some religions, the laity, who…

Christology

(26,944 words)

Author(s): Karrer, Martin | Williams, Rowan D. | Hauschild, Wolf Dieter | Flogaus, Reinhard | Gunton, Colin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Primitive Christianity – II. History of Doctrine – III. Dogmatics – IV. Forms of Extra-ecclesial Christology I. Primitive Christianity 1. History of research and preliminary questions a.  The term Christology, which originated in the early 17th century, was coined for systematic reflection concerning Jesus Christ. Initially, conceptions and Christologies dealing with the salvation history of the whole Bible beginning with the Old Testament were as highly valued as the New Testament (cf. e.g. G.F. Händel's Messiah). NT Christology went its own way…

Tradition

(7,687 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin | Hezser, Catherine | Liss, Hanna | Schröter, Jens | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Et al.
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich Im allg. Sprachgebrauch ist »T.« (lat. transdare, »weiterreichen, übergeben, überliefern«) als ein Festhalten und Bewahren konnotiert; als ein konservierendes Weiterreichen von Sitten, Bräuchen, Normen, Regeln und Wissen verstanden. Im Vordergrund steht der Aspekt der Kontinuität von Hergebrachtem. Jan Assmann interpretiert T. als einen exemplarischen Fall des »kulturellen Gedächtnisses«, als eine auf Dauer gestellte kulturelle Konstruktion von Identit…

Tradition

(8,661 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin | Hezser, Catherine | Liss, Hanna | Schröter, Jens | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In general usage, tradition (from Lat. transdare/ tradere, “hand on, transmit”) connotes retention and safeguarding, understood as a conservative handing down of mores, customs, norms, rules, and knowledge. The emphasis is on continuity with the past. Jan Assmann interprets tradition as an exemplary case of “cultural memory,” an enduring cultural construction of identity. In religions appeal to tradition is a prominent element justifying interpretations, practices, clai…

Apocalypticism

(4,831 words)

Author(s): Hellholm, David | Kratz, Reinhard Gregor | Frankfurter, David | Dan, Joseph | Collins, Adela Yarbro | Et al.
[German Version] I. Definition of the Term as a Problem for the History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. Jewish Apocalypticism – IV. New Testament – V. Church History – VI. Dogmatics – VII. Islam – VIII. Art History I. Definition of the Term as a Problem for the History of Religions As a phenomenon in the history of religions, apocalypticism represents a form of revealed communication distinct from other types such as prophecy (Prophets and prophecy: I), oracle, mantic…

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…

Office

(9,171 words)

Author(s): Kehrer, Günter | Rüterswörden, Udo | Burtchaell, James Tunstead | Lips, Hermann von | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Early Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Church History – VI. Systematic Theology – VII. Practical Theology – VIII. Law – IX. Missiology I. Religious Studies Over the course of history, the word office has been used for a wide variety of functions. In every case, however, what is peculiar to the term is that it refers to an activity independent of the unique personal characteristics of the officeholder. In the context of religious studies, what first comes to mind is the office…
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