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Blessing and Curse

(3,866 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Steymans, Hans Ulrich | Lehnardt, Andreas | Fitzgerald, John T. | Greiner, Dorothea | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Historical and Systematic Theology– VI. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies From the perspective of religious studies, blessing and curse are dense, complex terms, hard to summarize in a single concept that would include every religious symbol system. They should not be thought of primarily as opposites but as parallel polyvalent ter…

Holy Scriptures

(1,139 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Veltri, Giuseppe | Drecoll, Volker Henning | Graham, William A.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Judaism – III. Christianity – IV. Islam I. Religious Studies Any kind of written document relating to a religious symbol system (Symbols/symbol theory) can be considered a holy Scripture. The existence of a written text as a criterion is a convenient starting point for a systematic orientation within the variety of religious texts produced throughout history. The process of reducing something to written form always implies more or less distanced reflection on what …


(243 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria
[German Version] In chemistry polyvalence is the potential of an element to combine with other elements in different ways, producing a variety of chemical compounds. In an extended sense, polyvalence can be used in various contexts to express a potential for multiple uses. In religious discourse, the term can be used in connection with the referential function of symbols in a religious symbol system. Such usage can characterize the ambiguity and multifunctionality of symbolic elements within a complex context. A symbol can realize its ¶ pointing function on several levels simult…


(4,324 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Aune, David E. | Fitschen, Klaus | Leppin, Volker | Boyer, Paul S | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. New Testament – III. Church History – IV. North America – V. Systematic Theology – VI. Islam – VII. China I. Religious Studies Millenarianism (chiliasm) refers to the notion of a 1,000-year (Lat. millenarius, Gk χίλια/ chília) period ¶ immediately preceding the Last Judgment and the end of the world. This conception of world history (see also II) derives from Jewish apocalypticism (III) and became widespread over time, being interpreted in various ways depending on the age and cultural envi…

Orientation (Space Perception)

(642 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria
[German Version] The concept of orientation of objects, persons, buildings, movements, etc. to the east (Lat. oriens; Orientation [Prayer and architecture]), is used in religious studies with regard to representations and conceptions of space and time, but also in reference to religious actions and religious behavior. Orientation is predefined in each worldview that is constituted and mediated by a religious symbolic system. Various reference patterns provide orientation in any given religious context. The orie…


(2,520 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Wilson, Walter T. | Dell, Katharine | Koenig, John | Leppin, Volker | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Ancient Near East – III. Greco-Roman Antiquity – IV. Old Testament – V. New Testament – VI. Church History – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. History of Religion “Hospitality” refers to the customs that regulate the temporary admittance of a stranger to a particular group. This aspect can be well illustrated, for instance, with the Greek term for hospitality, ϕιλοξενία/ philoxenía (the “welcoming of a stranger”). The host protects the guest from the numerous perils to which he or she is exposed in his precarious …


(530 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria
[German Version] Generally speaking, settlements include various types of construction: individual buildings in isolation as well as villages, towns, and cities with various types of internal organization, functions, and networks. These tend to generate different forms of religious symbol systems. In ancient societies, the distinction between urban centers (Town and city) and other forms of settlement played a central role. The city or town was the center, the surrounding settlements the periphery…

Stolz, Fritz

(238 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria
[German Version] ( Jul 16, 1942, Männedorf, Switzerland – Dec 10, 2001, Männedorf ). After studying theology and Near Eastern philology in Zürich and Heidelberg, he taught Hebrew and Old Testament at the seminary in (Bielefeld-)Bethel from 1969 to 1980. In 1980 he was appointed professor of the history of religions and the study of religion in Zürich, where he taught until his death. He was also active in several bodies both within and outside the university, for example as a member of the researc…


(4,367 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Schindler, Alfred | Huizing, Klaas | Troianos, Spyros N. | Felmy, Karl Christian | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Church History – III. Fundamental Theology – IV. Orthodox Law – V. Eastern Poetry – VI. Islam – VII. Buddhism – VIII. Taoism I. History of Religion The canon can be defined as a complex process of selection of documents regarded as authoritative; from the totality of the extant written tradition, documents are set apart according to certain criteria as holy or inspired (Inspiration/Theopneustia). Although the concept of the canon as a normative collection…


(5,515 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Leiner, Martin | Rebiger, Bill | Heine, Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. History of Doctrine and Dogmatics – IV. Judaism – V. Islam – VI. Buddhism – VII. History of Art and Literature I. Religious Studies The history of the term “paradise” is informative for determining its meaning. The word “paradise” is derived from the ancient Iranian * paridaēza, literally “surrounding wall.” It appears as a loanword in many other languages, for example as the Akkadian pardēsu, the Hebrew פַּרְדֵּס/ pardes or the Greek παράδεισος/ parádeisos. These terms denote an enclosed park or garden (cf. Xeno-¶ phon, Anabasis V…


(187 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria
[German Version] Topography is the representation and description of geographical areas (Geography of religion). As such it also plays a role in the treatment of religious symbol systems, which highlight territory in various ways. In urban areas and villages, the presence of religious orientation is signaled primarily by special structures. In settled rural areas but also in open country (in forests, in the mountains, along watercourses, etc.), the religious significance of specific places and pat…


(13,995 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Cancik, Hubert | Seidl, Theodor | Schnelle, Udo | Bienert, Wolfgang A. | Et al.
[German Version] (Biblical Scholarship, Hermeneutics, Interpretation) I. Religious Studies – II. History of Religions – III. Greco Roman Antiquity – IV. Bible – V. Church History – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Biblical Scenes in Art – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. Religious Studies Exegesis (for etymology see III below) is the explanation, interpretation, or analysis of sacred or otherwise religiously central documents by experts; it enables and encourages the access of a …


(230 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria
[English Version] bez. in der Chemie das Potential eines Grundstoffes, sich auf unterschiedliche Weisen mit Elementen zu binden, um verschiedene chemische Verbindungen zu erzeugen; im weiteren Sinne bringt P. mehrfache Verwendungsmöglichkeit zum Ausdruck. Im Rahmen eines religionswiss. Diskurses kann der Begriff P. im Zusammenhang mit der Zeigefunktion von Symbolen in einem rel. Symbolsystem verwendet werden. Damit wird die Mehrdeutigkeit und die Mehrfunktionalität von symbolischen Elementen inner…


(566 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria
[English Version] Orientation, religionswissenschaftlich. Der Begriff O. bzw. Orientierung, die Ausrichtung von Gegenständen, Personen, Gebäuden, Bewegungen usw. nach Osten (lat. oriens; Ostung), wird religionswiss. sowohl in bezug auf Darstellungen und Konzepte von Räumen und Zeiten als auch auf rel. Handlungen und rel. Verhalten verwendet. O. ist im jeweiligen Weltbild, das von einem rel. Symbolsystem konstituiert und vermittelt wird, vorgegeben. Innerhalb eines bestimmten rel. Kontextes bestehen…

Segen und Fluch

(3,412 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Steymans, Hans Ulrich | Lehnardt, Andreas | Fitzgerald, John T. | Greiner, Dorothea | Et al.
[English Version] I. ReligionsgeschichtlichS. und F. erscheinen aus religionswiss. Sicht als dichte, komplexe Begriffe, die sich schwer in einem einheitlichen, alle rel. Symbolsysteme übergreifenden Konzept zusammenfassen lassen. S. und F. sind nicht primär als Gegensätze, sondern als parallele, polyvalente Begriffe zu verstehen, welche unterschiedliche Formen von rel. Kommunikation zum Ausdruck bringen. Als komplexe Vorgänge bilden sie eine Kondensierung unterschiedlicher Kodierungsebenen rel. Bo…


(204 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria
[English Version] Stolz, Fritz (16.7.1942 Männedorf, Schweiz – 10.12.2001 ebd.), studierte Theol. und Orientalistik in Zürich und Heidelberg. 1969–1980 lehrte er Hebr. und AT an der kirchl. Hochschule in (Bielefeld-) Bethel. Seit 1980 war er Ordinarius für Allg. Religionsgesch. und Religionswiss. in Zürich, wo er bis zu seinem Tod tätig war. Daneben engagierte er sich in mehreren Gremien innerhalb und außerhalb der Universität, z.B. als Mitglied des Forschungsrates des Schweizerischen Nationalfonds…


(4,801 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Leiner, Martin | Rebiger, Bill | Heine, Peter | Et al.
[English Version] I. ReligionswissenschaftlichDie Gesch. des Begriffs P. ist für die Bestimmung seiner Bedeutung aufschlußreich. Die Bez. P., die von altir. *paridaēza, wörtl. »Umwallung«, abgeleitet ist, erscheint als Lehnwort in vielen anderen Sprachen: z.B. als akkad. pardēsu, hebr. פַּרְדֵּס/pardes oder griech. παρα´δεισος/para´deisos. Diese Begriffe bezeichnen einen eingefriedeten Park, eine Gartenanlage (vgl. Xenophon, Anabasis VI 29,4) und in der Achämenidenzeit speziell die königliche Domäne). Erst in der LXX, durch die Verwen…


(494 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria
[English Version] Siedlungen, religionswissenschaftlich. Als allg. Begriff umfaßt S. unterschiedliche Arten von Anlagen: einzelne, in der Landschaft isolierte Gebäude, Dörfer oder Städte, die verschiedene Arten von inneren Organisationen, Funktionen und Netzwerken aufweisen. Daraus ergeben sich jeweils unterschiedliche Formen von rel. Symbolsystemen. In antiken Gesellschaften spielt die Unterscheidung zw. Stadt und anderen Siedlungsformen eine zentrale Rolle. Die Stadt bildet jeweils das Zentrum, d…


(198 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria
[English Version] Topographie, religionswissenschaftlich. T. bez. die Darstellung und Beschreibung von geographischen Örtlichkeiten (Religionsgeographie). Als solche spielt sie auch in der Auseinandersetzung mit rel. Symbolsystemen eine wichtige Rolle, denn diese markieren das Territorium auf vielfältige Weise. In Stadtgebieten und Dörfern ist die Präsenz von rel. Orientierungen v.a. durch bes. Bauten erkennbar. Auf dem bebauten Land, aber auch in der freien Natur (in Wäldern, in den Bergen, entlan…