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(1,235 words)

Author(s): Hermelink, Jan
[German Version] I. History of the Terms – II. Significance – III. Empirical Aspects – IV. Need for Conceptual Differentiation I. History of the Terms Toward the end of the 18th century, the term “churched” was coined in the face of the increasingly widespread ¶ phenomenon of the “unchurched,” i.e. of persons who were no longer willing to allow church doctrine to dictate their religious convictions, who only occasionally attended worship or communion, and who reduced their financial and public support of the socio-…


(12,278 words)

Author(s): Nicol, Martin | Beutel, Albrecht | Fuchs, Ottmar | Felmy, Karl Christian | Hermelink, Jan | Et al.
[German Version] I. General Preaching (from Lat. praedicare, “proclaim publicly”) is spiritual or religious speech, in contrast, for example, to forensic speech, political speech, or celebratory speech. Its setting is the worship of the community (Ministerial offices), church activities such as evangelism, devotions (Devotion [Attitude]), and ordinations (Consecration/Ordination/Dedication), and – in various forms – the media (see IV below). ¶ Communication in preaching, reduced to its basic elements, can be represented as a triangle of the preacher, th…

Schian, Martin

(176 words)

Author(s): Hermelink, Jan
[German Version] (Aug 10, 1869, Liegnitz [Legnica] – Jun 11, 1944, Breslau [Wrocław]). After serving as a pastor in Silesia form 1895 to 1908, he taught at Gießen as professor of practical theology from 1908 to 1924. In 1924 he was appointed general superintendent in Breslau; in 1933 he was forced to retire. Actively engaged on a wide range of ecclesiastical, ecclesio-political, and theological fronts, Schian (with O. Baumgarten, P. Drews, et al.) was a protagonist of “modern,” empirical, subject-centered practical theology. He published standard works that were wid…

Homiletic Process

(445 words)

Author(s): Hermelink, Jan
[German Version] When preparing a sermon (Preaching), it is advisable not to adopt a unilinear, deductive, text-to-sermon approach but to engage the factors text/topic, preacher, and congregation/situation interactively in terms of form and content. In most cases, this produces a rhetorically or didactically justified sequence of three steps, which simultaneously constitutes a process of spiritual experience. ¶ 1. Perception: In a first step, it is necessary to gather and methodically examine as many different observations, associations, and insights a…

Harms, Claus

(325 words)

Author(s): Hermelink, Jan
[German Version] (May 25, 1778, Fahrstedt – Feb 1, 1855, Kiel), a miller's apprentice, studied theology in Kiel (1799–1802). He was shaped by F.D.E. Schleiermacher Reden über die Religion (1799, 1993; ET: On Religion, 1988) and idealistic and mystical literature (Novalis). He became pastor in Lunden in 1806, arch-deacon (second pastor) in Kiel in 1816. He declined to succeed Schleiermacher as preacher in Berlin in 1834 and thereupon became senior pastor and provost in Kiel in 1835. Far beyond his home, Harms first became renowned as a preacher: more than 300 sermons, som…

Church Membership

(2,985 words)

Author(s): Kraus, Dieter | Lippy, Charles H. | Huber, Friedrich | Hermelink, Jan
[German Version] I. Forms – II. Law – III. Practical Theology I. Forms 1. Europe The multiplicity of churches in Europe, especially in the realm of the Reformation churches, has also brought about various forms of church membership, although the now common tendency to link church membership with baptism has had a unifying effect. Divided church membership may occur when a distinction is made between the church as a spiritual body based on its confession and its ecclesiastical principles and the church as a body constituted according …

Sermon Preparation Literature/Preaching Aids

(552 words)

Author(s): Hermelink, Jan
[German Version] Since the Reformation, collections of model sermons (Postils) have served extensively as written preaching aids. In the 19th century, collections of sermon topics and model sermons (Preaching) were compiled (e.g. R.A. Kohlrausch, Vademecum Homileticum, 31909), addressing various social situations. In the early 20th century, “practical” or “homiletical” expositions of the lectionaries (including the revised lectionary of 1896; Pericopes) became common. Attendant on the Word of God theology and kerygmatic exegesis, …


(7,716 words)

Author(s): Roll, Susan K. | Köhle-Hezinger, Christel | Plank, Peter | Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich | Hermelink, Jan | Et al.
[German Version] I. History – II. Christian Liturgy – III. Practical Theology – IV. Art History – V. Music I. History 1. Origins. “Christmas,” the nativity feast or birthday celebration of Christ on Dec 25, comes from Middle English Christmesse, Christ's Mass; cf. Dutch Kerstmis. The German Weihnachten, “holy nights,” refers to the twelve days between Dec 24 and Jan 6. The Lat. natalis, dies nativitatis, or nativitas domini nostri Jesu Christi is reflected in Span. navidad, Ital. natale. Gk ἡ γενέθλιος ἡμέρα τὰ γενέθλια, ἡ κατὰ σάρκα γέννησις τοῦ κυρίου/ hēgenéthlios h…