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(389 words)

Author(s): Köhler, Wiebke
[German Version] In common usage, humor refers to an individual or collective disposition to laugh (Laughter), to be cheerful, and to be unserious, and to the circumstances of its communication. The term itself derives from the Latin designation for the four bodily fluids ( humores) in the humoral pathology of antiquity and its understanding of temperament. The literary use of the term in 17th- and 18th-century English to refer to an individual's affective disposition (Affect), especially in the sense of being “ridiculous/eccentric” and “…

Gender Segregation in the Church

(428 words)

Author(s): Köhler, Wiebke
[German Version] The segregation of men and women in the cult, but also in everyday religious and spiritual performances can be observed throughout the history of religions. In animistic and polytheistic religions (Animism, Monotheism and Polytheism), female and male ancestors or gods are venerated, often separately by the respective sexes. Thus, for example, the participation of women in the Dionysus cult (Dionysus [Bacchus]) was considered an ecstatic peculiarity. Especially in patriarchal monot…

Court Preacher

(495 words)

Author(s): Köhler, Wiebke
[German Version] The senior clergymen at Protestant courts (Germany until 1919, the Netherlands, Scandinavia) bear the official title of court preacher (with distinctions of rank between court deacon, court preacher and senior court preacher, in some regions also court chaplain). Their function and the legal status of their positions stand in the tradition of the court chaplains and private confessors (Confession) who are attested as far back as the Byzantine court (Co…


(667 words)

Author(s): Recki, Birgit | Köhler, Wiebke
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Practical Theology I. Philosophy Irony (from Gk εἰρωνεία/ eironeía, “dissimilation,” attested since the 4th cent. bce; Lat. dissimulatio) is disingenuous speech for the purpose of demonstrative exposure or derisive goading: through the expressive characterization of ambiguity, the opposite of what is meant is said. Rectification through reversal is the method of irony, which is employed as an aesthetic means, in the broader sense, of gaining reflexive distance in philosophy, poli…

Teaching Office of the Church

(4,631 words)

Author(s): Pahud de Mortanges, Elke | Germann, Michael | Köhler, Wiebke | Herms, Eilert | Neuner, Peter
[German Version] I. Law 1. Catholicism. Within the total structure of the church, the teaching office is the court of final authority for preserving, transmitting and interpreting the faith. The teaching office stands under the Word of God (Vatican II, DV 10: magisterium non supra verbum Dei, sed eidem ministrat), and perceives its task as constantly involved in interaction with the other ecclesiastical witnesses ( loci theologici) to the Word of God. Consonance with all other courts and organs of the church is shown in the church’s reception (II) of decisions…