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Baptism

(9,795 words)

Author(s): Fahlbusch, Erwin | Schnelle, Udo | Wainwright, Geoffrey | Leonard, Bill J. | Grethlein, Christian | Et al.
Overview In Christianity, baptism—either by plunging in water or by sprinkling with it—represents the first act of incorporation “into Christ” and into the fellowship of the church. Further acts of incorporation are confirmation (Initiation Rites 2) and the Eucharist. Other religious societies have similar rites (Initiation Rites 1). Jewish proselyte baptism incorporates the baptized not only into the religious fellowship but also into God’s covenant people. This matter is relevant in the dialogu…

Drews, Paul Gottfried

(296 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] (May 8, 1858, Eibenstock, Saxony – Aug 1, 1912, Halle an der Saale). In 1894, after several years of parish ministry, Drews was appointed associate professor of pastoral theology at Jena; in 1901 he was appointed professor at Giessen and in 1908 at Halle. He was a cofounder of Die Christliche Welt (1887); his initial work was in church history, especially historical liturgics. Together with F. Niebergall and O. Baumgarten, he championed reform of “impractical practical theology.” In his programmatic Das Problem der praktischen Theologie. Zugleich ein …

Piety (Pietas)

(402 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] The term piety, from Lat. pietas, largely synonymous with Gk εὐσέβεια/ eusébeia, OHG and Gothic fruma, and modern Ger. Frömmigkeit stands on the borderline between ethics and religion. It denotes an obedient and respectful attitude toward a person or object, usually considered a positive trait. Today it is often reduced to a person’s attitude toward the departed. A shift of meaning is already visible in Latin: on the one hand, pietas denotes behavior in the interpersonal sphere, especially toward one’s parents (Cic. Partitiones oratoriae 78; De inventione 2.66); on…

Marriage Counseling

(1,076 words)

Author(s): Browning, Don S. | Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] I. In the United States – II. In Germany I. In the United States Marriage counseling in the United States can be clarified by making three distinctions: (1) counseling for engaged couples (pre-marital counseling) and married couples (marriage counseling); (2) counseling informed by the social sciences and purely theological counseling; (3) counseling that is primarily educational or remedial or curative in intent. Most marriage counseling today combines theological with social scientific perspectives. Conservative and liberal churches diff…

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…

Free Churches

(3,048 words)

Author(s): Larsen, Timothy | Fix, Karl-Heinz | Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] I. Church History – II. Practical Theology – III. Missions in the Free Churches I. Church History 1. General Free churches are non-established Protestant bodies in countries or regions where there is a Protestant state church or regional churches. The term is often used more loosely, however, and is liable to impose discontinuities through geographical or political changes which do not correspond to the heritage and sense of identity of particular religious communities. For example, the Evangelic…

Moral Statistics

(411 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] refers to the scholarly discipline that uses statistical methods to ascertain the social contingency of moral and religiously relevant action. Having flourished in the second half of the 19th century, it soon declined in importance and occurs today, as a rule, only in the reduced form of criminal statistics. In the late 17th century, studies linked to mortality (J. Graunt, Observations on the Bills of Mortality, 1662) led to the discovery that human behavior can be measured by statistics. This realization was soon theologically interpreted in t…

Parents

(522 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] Parenthood denotes the common relationship of man and woman to their children, in which biological, social, and religious aspects need to be taken into account. Procreation by the two sexes has until now meant that everyone has a woman and a man as biological parents. Possible biotechnical intervention (clones) could change this in future, with as yet unforeseeable consequences. Human cultural determination means that the basic biological fact requires qualification. It is true th…

Mass Media

(1,677 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian | Schenk, Michael
[German Version] I. Practical Theology – II. Sociology I. Practical Theology Mass media, i.e. “all the institutions within society that employ technical means of duplication for the spreading of communication” (Luhmann, 10), have become a general prerequisite of public and private communication throughout the world. They represent non-personal media that usually exclude a direct, personally mediated interaction (III) between sender and receiver; however, computer technology enables the linking of various…

Consecration/Blessing

(724 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] I. Theology – II. Church Law – III. Practical Theology I. Theology Consecration (Ger. Einsegnung) is a theologically vague term of liturgical (or more specifically benedictional) practice. It denotes the public ceremony, with laying-on of hands, that communicates God's blessing to certain individuals at special times in their lives. Without being clearly distinguished from other forms of blessing, consecration today denotes primarily the blessing of ¶ young people at confirmation and of other members of the congregation at the beginnin…

Treviranus, Georg Gottfried

(91 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] (Jan 12, 1788, Bremen – Aug 22, 1868, Bremen), Protestant clergyman. From 1814 he was associated with G. Menken ¶ at the Church of St. Martin in Bremen; in 1826 he succeeded Menken as pastor primarius. A man of great organizational ability, he founded and supported numerous associations, primarily for missionary and charitable purposes, and maintained numerous contacts (in Germany and abroad) in the revival movement (Revival/Revival movements). In 1861 he received honorary doctorates from Göttingen and Berlin. Christian Grethlein Bibliography K.H. Voigt, BBKL XI…

School and Church

(1,047 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] The relationship between school and church reflects the relationship between church and state and current views in education or educational theory (Education, Theory of) and religion or theology – it is therefore subject to change and is subject to different regulations in different countries. In antiquity there were no schools for Christian children. The earliest emerged in monasteries, which – as the Prologus Regulae Benedicti (45) states – could be thought of as dominici scola servitii. Over time – initiated by the ¶ offering of children as oblates (I) – mona…

People and Nationhood

(3,043 words)

Author(s): Junginger, Horst | Gertz, Jan Christian | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Grethlein, Christian | Ustorf, Werner
[German Version] I. Religious Studies People and nationhood are functional political terms that serve to define a collective entity and to incorporate it into a specific context (see III below). Only since the 18th century has it been possible to speak of a German nation as the active subject of its own history. The rupture of the church at the Reformation and the subsequent wars of religion in the 16th and 17th century long prevented the development of an inclusive political or religious identity. It …

Media

(1,138 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] I. Concept and Scope – II. Practical Theology I. Concept and Scope In its broad sense, the term media denotes all the material conditions that enable coexisting individuals (individual persons and social systems) to be effectively present to each other and to respond effectively. Media in this broad sense are the material conditions for intersubjectivity. Even archaic, undifferentiated societies are characterized by a – likewise undifferentiated – complex of media. Social differentiation leads to…

Technical Colleges

(358 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] Technical colleges ( Fachschulen) were established in German-speaking Europe during the 19th century as a result of the “scientification of production” (Grüner, 248). Until c. 1890, senior technical colleges ( Fachhochschulen) could also be called technical colleges; since that time, the increasing differentiation of the educational system has narrowed the definition of technical colleges. The definition established on Oct 29, 1937, is still in effect: “Technical colleges are schools that provide training in a…

Dedication of Children

(363 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] The Synoptic Gospels explicitly report that Jesus blessed children (Mark 10:13– 16 parr.). Whether an early Christian practice lies behind this report is an open question (Hahn). Later, the pericope was naturally employed at the baptism of children (Baptism) and was also used for its theological legitimization (e.g. Luther in WA 17/II, 72–88; Calvin in CR 45, 534–536). Against the background of the theological critique of pedobaptism by K. Barth ( KD IV/4), recent pedagogical objections (Stuhlmann), and the emerging …

Worship

(20,376 words)

Author(s): Dondelinger, Patrick | Auffarth, Christoph | Braulik, Georg | Reif, Stefan C. | Johnson, Luke T. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The German word Gottesdienst (“worship,” lit. “service of God”) is attested since the 13th/14th century as a German translation of Latin cultus (Cult/Worship). It came into common use in the 16th century, especially in Luther’s works. Starting with an ethical understanding of the word, Luther himself used it as a technical term for the common celebration of the Word of God, as it evolved from the evangelical reform of the Catholic sacrifice (IV) of the mass. For centuries the term Gottesdienst remained limited to this specific form of worship of …

Le Seur, Paul

(190 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] (Jul 18, 1877, Berlin – Mar 13, 1963, Potsdam). Following theological studies in Berlin, during which he developed a lifelong attachment to the CVJM (YMCA equivalent), and after short temporary employments as a private tutor and curate, Le Seur was appointed mission inspector of the Berlin City Mission by A. Stoecker in 1905 and later became his successor. It was in the course of these activities – which were only interrupted by a military chaplaincy in Brussels during World War I…

Crisis

(817 words)

Author(s): Huxel, Kirsten | Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] I. Ethics – II. Practical Theology I. Ethics The Greek noun κρίσις/ krísis originally denoted the action derived from the verb κρίνειν/ krínein: (a) “sepa¶ ration, quarrel”; (b) “selection”; (c) “decision, judgment, verdict”; (d) “turning point (in a battle or disease)” (cf. also criticism, kairology). The adoption of the forensic sense in the LXX added a theological dimension to the term. In the NT, krísis stands for the verdict of the judge, the court of judgment, and especially the eschatological Divine Judgment, the ultimate separ…

Spirituality

(5,031 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth | Grethlein, Christian | Kim, Kirsteen | Mendes-Flohr, Paul
[German Version] I. Terminology The growing popularity of the term spirituality and its equivalents in other Western languages in religious and theological literature is a 20th-century phenomenon. Although the adjective spiritalis (or spiritualis) appeared in early Christian Latin, translating Pauline πνευματικός/ pneumatikós (1 Cor 2:13–3:1, etc.), along with its antonym carnalis (for σαρκικός/ sarkikós) and rapidly became common, the noun spiritualitas did not appear until the 5th century and then only sporadically. In the 12th century, it began to app…
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