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(669 words)

Author(s): Steck, Wolfgang
[German Version] The vicarage or parsonage, an original invention of modern Protestantism, is a religious institution separate from the organizational structure of the church, rooted in private life and indissolubly linked with the pastoral profession. The symbiosis of cultural religion and family piety, of professional work and private life characteristic of bourgeois life takes on practical embodiment in the vicarage; at the same time, the vicarage owes its great importance in the culture of mod…

Marriage Ceremonies

(4,074 words)

Author(s): Idelberger, Petra | Grethlein, Christian | Hofhansl, Ernst W. | Steck, Wolfgang | Winter, Jörg | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Church History – III. Practical Theology – IV. Liturgics – V. Law – VI. Orthodox Church – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. History of Religion In Christendom marriage was considered a secular act until well into the Middle Ages, before it was declared a sacrament in 1184. Many religions view marriage as a religious duty, and nuptial rites (Rites of passage; see III below) often have sacral character, but civil marriages are also obligatory in certain countries. Regulations gover…

Reader (Lector)

(672 words)

Author(s): Steck, Wolfgang | Petzolt, Martin | Neijenhuis, Jörg
[German Version] I. Catholic Church It seems that there was a synagogue tradition in antiquity of lay persons undertaking the reading in public worship of lessons other than those taken from the Gospels. From the early Middle Ages, readers were given clerical status (Clergy and laity), and assigned to one of the so-called minor orders at the preparatory stage before ordination of priests. Since the reordering of liturgical services by Paul VI’s apostolic decree Ministeria quaedam (Aug 15, 1972), readers are assigned to the laity (as they were orig.), the office of read…


(2,384 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Lütcke, Karl-Heinrich | Schieder, Rolf | Steck, Wolfgang
[German Version] I. Comparative Religion – II. History and Theology – III. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies In human societies, power is wielded by culture-specific structures of authority. Various dimensions of authority may be distinguished, such as the power to control daily matters (family, larger communal units), war, the sacral realm, etc. Segmentary societies distribute authority relative…


(3,500 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Lichtenberger, Hermann | Meßner, Reinhard | Gerö, Stephen | Nagel, Tilman | Et al.
[German Version] I. General – II. Jewish Calendar – III. Christian Calendar – IV. Islamic Calendar – V. Liturgical Calendar I. General 1. The term calendar derives from the Roman “calendae,” the day on which a new month was proclaimed. It designates the structuring and hence the consequent mediation of time, i.e. records in pictorial and literary media to communicate structures of time. Calendars are concrete translations of chronologies. The performance of activities to be collectiv…


(723 words)

Author(s): Steck, Wolfgang
[German Version] I. General Until the first half of the 12th century, sacramentum could denote any liturgical action of the church; since early Scholasticism, however, Western theology (in the Roman Catholic Church) has made a distinction between the seven sacraments and all other liturgical ¶ actions and signs, which are categorized as sacramentals. Although the sacramentals, like the sacraments, are visible signs of invisible grace, there is a qualitative difference: the sacraments, which go back in substance to Jesus Christ, are effective ex opere operato Christi, independent…


(219 words)

Author(s): Steck, Wolfgang
[German Version] The mitre is worn today by bishops and abbots as one of their liturgical marks of office. A bishop wears it when seated, delivering a homily, salutation, or address, when he pronounces a solemn blessing, during sacramental gestures, and in processions. During any liturgical celebration, he wears only a single mitre, which may be simple or ornate, depending on the rank of feast ( Caeremoniale episcoporum 1964, no. 60). It probably developed out of the camelaucum, a conical headdress with strips of cloth ¶ worn by dignitaries of the Roman Empires (cf. Insignia). In…