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Ecclesiastical statistics

(864 words)

Author(s): Christophersen, Alf
Attempts to record mass phenomena in numbers, that is, statistically, go all the way back to the high cultures of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the modern period statistics developed in various areas (e.g. in university statistics in the 17th century, then political arithmetic). Basic to this were efforts to record legal structures - a concern which, under Enlightenment influence, was to lead in the theological field to proofs of the existence of God [3].The medieval administrations of a communal and ecclesiastical character provide comprehensive material for historic…
Date: 2019-10-14


(2,138 words)

Author(s): Christophersen, Alf
1. ConceptsThe term “transcendence” (from the Latin  transcendere, “to surmount”; “to rise above”) is invariably associated with its antithesis, immanence (from the Latin  immanere, “to dwell [with]in,” first attested as Middle Latin immanentia). Transcendence means the escaping beyond a boundary, and immanence the opposite. These are thus two anthropological constants. Individuals are capable of intentionally transcending themselves and their environment, and equally of remaining within themselves and their world. Transcend…
Date: 2022-11-07


(1,567 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit | Christophersen, Alf
1. Overview 1.1. ConceptSince the late 18th century, the term  subjectivity (from Latin subiectum, “something placed underneath”; as a term of classical rhetoric: “basis [of a statement]”) has been understood as a philosophical mindset or attitude that views the world and reality not as something objectively given but as an idea or a creation of the subject perceiving it. From the outset, this emphasis on perception distinguished subjectivity from similar categories like character (the nature and moral qual…
Date: 2022-08-17

Modernism (church)

(671 words)

Author(s): Christophersen, Alf
The term “modernism” (from the Latin  modo, “just now”, “presently”) covers a wide spectrum of meaning and a specific historical dimension of depth. It has denoted positions in literature, art, and architecture since the mid-19th century, but its dominant use has been in ecclesiastical contexts.Continuing the opposition of the “old” and the (truly or purportedly) “new” that began in antiquity, the neologism modernus began in the early Middle Ages to be used to refer to a present aspiring to be superior to the past (cf. Late modern period). From the 10th ce…
Date: 2020-04-06

Biblical criticism

(2,095 words)

Author(s): Christophersen, Alf
1. Concept “Biblical criticism”, like the related “biblical scholarship,” is the umbrella term for method-led critical exegesis, the interpretation of Old and New Testament canonical biblical texts as well as apocryphal and deuterocanonical writings (i.e. the canon transmitted only in the Septuagint). Using principles of ancient philology, a solid historical-critical set of methodological tools formed from this in the modern period (Textual criticism; Historical method). Its interpretative premise…
Date: 2019-10-14


(792 words)

Author(s): Christophersen, Alf
The term rechristianization denotes the goal of religio-political efforts beginning in the last third of the 19th century to counter the decline of lived and publicly present Christianity – that is, secularization and dechristianization of Europe and North America, together with criticism of religion (Religion, critique of) [1]; [3]. This religious development, however, was already shaped by religious reform movements beginning soon after the Reformation – which were based on the critical diagnosis that Christianity existed largely as …
Date: 2021-03-15