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(7,504 words)

Author(s): Friedli, Richard | Otto, Eckart | Dignas, Beate | Elm, Dorothee | Kraus, Georg | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Etymologically the term priest derives from Greek πρεσβύτερος/ presbýteros, “elder”; it denotes a religious functionary, especially an expert responsible for the cult. The Greek word did not originally have this meaning. A second semantic strand puts a priest (Gk ἱερεύς/ hiereús, Lat. sacerdos) in charge of things that are sacred (Sacred and profane). The characteristics that comparative religion usually associates with priesthood are often transferred globally from Christianity, especially Roman Cathol…

Sensus fidei

(166 words)

Author(s): Kraus, Georg
[German Version] is the sense of faith, the ability to understand the faith through inward perception and gain religious conviction through one’s own insight. It is given by the Spirit of God to all members of the church at baptism. Ecclesiologically this means in principle that there is a sensus fidei totius populi and the entire body of the faithful cannot err in matters of belief (LG 12). Concretely, this means that church’s magisterium (Teaching office of the church) must respect the right of all believers to have a voice in making decisions. The sensus fidei is a criterion for recogn…


(5,925 words)

Author(s): Kraus, Georg | Kinzig, Wolfram | Schlemmer, Karl | Plank, Peter | Schwier, Helmut | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Church History – III. Liturgy – IV. Customs and Traditions – V. Homiletics and Education – VI. Art History I. Terminology Easter (cf. Ger. Ostern) is the English word for the feast of Jesus Christ's resurrection (II). The name in other Germanic and Romance languages derives instead from Gk πάσχα/ páscha (Aram. פַּסְחָא/ pascha' or פִּסְחָא/ pischa' for Heb. פֶּסַח/ pesah. [from פסח/ psh., “limp/go past”, etymology not entirely clear]; Lat. as pascha or passa), for example, Påske (Danish and Norwegian), Pasen (Dutch), Påsk (Swedish), Pasqua (…

Auxiliary Saints

(536 words)

Author(s): Kraus, Georg
[German Version] are, in the Catholic view, saints who are invoked to intercede with God in specific situations of need. The term has existed since the late 12th century. This title has been given to various saints who, based on their vitas, are attributed particular power of intercession in certain predicaments. Beginning in the 14th century, the …