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Animals

(2,763 words)

Author(s): Starke, Ekkehard
1. Biblical Data The biblical texts present no unitary view of animals. We find the motif of human peace with animals, as well as the recognition that animals have been tamed but also destroyed and killed, and that animals destroy and kill one another. 1.1. In the OT the evaluation of animals includes the understanding (1) that they are creatures of God and thereby human partners (Gen. 1:20–28; 2:18–20) and (2) that they have their essential significance in the covenant God made with his creation. The task of giving names to animals (2:19) presupposes both their identity and their dign…

Human Dignity

(2,105 words)

Author(s): Starke, Ekkehard
1. Term In the modern period the concept of human dignity has been inseparably related to human and civil rights. Human dignity is generally seen as the inner basis of these rights, and it thus serves as a moral term that legally states and politically ensures the independence and inviolability of the person. It finds constitutional expression in article 1 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948): “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another …

Despair

(1,345 words)

Author(s): Benedetti, Gaetano | Starke, Ekkehard
Despair is a state that, like anxiety or a feeling of guilt, affects a person’s whole experience. It may derive from differing situations, depending on whether the psychological nature of conflict, the state of the nervous system, or existence as a metaphysical problem is dominant. The loss of all hope of well-being causes despair to seem related to sadness and depression, though in reality it represents a radical heightening of the latter within experience. In older psychiatry (J.-É.-D. Esquiro…

Discipleship

(2,050 words)

Author(s): Strecker, Georg | Starke, Ekkehard
1. NT 1.1. The Greek verb akoloutheō, “follow,” has a specifically religious sense only in the Gospels (apart from Rev. 14:4) and relates exclusively to Jesus, never to God. 1.2. The call of Jesus, “Follow me” (Mark 1:17), which is always directed to individuals, initiates discipleship. The announcing of the imminence of the kingdom of God, with the ensuing demand for conversion and faith in the gospel (cf. v. 15), gives urgency to the summons. Those who heed the call renounce existing ties (1:18; 10:28; Luke 9:61–62), receive a share in the future salvation that the person of …

Life

(3,059 words)

Author(s): Starke, Ekkehard | Schubert, Hartwig von
1. Bible and Theology 1.1. OT 1.1.1. In the OT Yahweh is consistently the source of life (e.g., Ps. 36:9; Jer. 2:13; 17:13; Job 33:4). He is the one who gives life to all creatures (see Gen. 1:1–2:4a or 2:4b–25) and also the one who takes it away (Ps. 104:29). Thus all life stands related to God as Lord of life and death. He himself is “the living God” (e.g., Deut. 5:26; Josh. 3:10; also Ps. 18:46 etc.). In oaths in Israel we find the formula “as the Lord lives” (Judg. 8:19; Ruth 3:13, etc.). Life is the supreme good that nothing can surpass or relativize. As Ecclesiastes says, “Whoe…

Marxism

(6,678 words)

Author(s): Fleischer, Helmut | Starke, Ekkehard | Editors, The
1. Historical Development Marxism is the social doctrine that the disciples of Karl Marx (1818–83)—especially E. Bernstein, K. Kautsky, A. Bebel, F. Mehring, and G. V. Plekhanov, in partnership with F. Engels (1820–95)—developed in the 1880s and 1890s from various elements of thought that they regarded as the essence of Marx’s teaching. Marx himself disliked being called a Marxist, and we cannot really view him as the founder of Marxism. His revolutionary theories were not meant to be doctrines but, in the strict sense, merely an account of a real movement of history ( MECW  6.498). The …

Marxism and Christianity

(3,676 words)

Author(s): Calvez, Jean-Ives | Starke, Ekkehard | Hjelm, Norman A.
1. Sources of Conflict 1.1. The Marxist Critique of Religion Karl Marx (1818–83), especially in his younger period, took the view that the task of criticizing religion had already been effectively concluded by German philosophers, especially Ludwig Feuerbach (1804–72), who had attempted to base religion and especially Christianity exclusively in anthropology (Criticism). Although Marx himself never used the expressions “historical materialism” or “dialectical materialism,” his approach to history was nevertheless materialist as he sought to equat…