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Agnosticism

(1,006 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Gebhard | Byrne, Peter | Ven, Johannes van der | Ustorf, Werner
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Practical Theology – IV. Missiology I. History of Religions The term “agnosticism” originally referred to the impossibility of attaining certain metaphysical knowledge or, with reference to transcendent questions, to gain grounded judgments. The term stems from T.H. Huxley (1869; see also II). While for Huxley, agnosticism was epistemologically justified, the use of the term today is usually motivated in a variety of ways. The Sophist Protagoras of Abdera ( On the Gods, DK 80B4), who …

Pagandom

(562 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Gebhard
[German Version] As a term in the systematic study of religion, pagandom (like Ger. Heidentum) is inappropriate, since it inherently conveys connotations of religious “otherness” and the truth of Christian theology. As a descriptive historical term, it is useful for religions of antiquity other than Judaism and Christianity when discussing their conflicts with Christianity; this is also the context in which the term originated. Initially the Latin equivalent pagani served as a (pejorative) term describing the rural population (only recently converted to Christia…

Anthropomorphism

(2,629 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Gebhard | Podella, Thomas | Veltri, Giuseppe | Ess, Josef van | Körtner, Ulrich H.J. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Judaism – IV. Islam –V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Dogmatics – VII. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies Anthropomorphism denotes the conception of God or gods in human form. It derives from the personification of spiritual events (animatism), the idea of attributing a soul to stones, trees or places (Animism) or the idea of a power indwelling objects or persons (dyna-mism). In r…