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Faith and Knowledge

(1,881 words)

Author(s): Petzoldt, Matthias | Hofmeister, Heimo
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology – II. Philosophy of Religion I. Fundamental Theology The relationship between faith and knowledge became a classic theme within the Christian cultural sphere as the terms πίστις/ pístis and πιστεύειν/ pisteúein became widespread as a result of the Christian missionary practice of adopting equivalents from foreign languages, as the noun itself became synonymous with “being a Christian” and then with religion as such, and as the structures of “I believe…” were secularized, becoming part of…


(1,158 words)

Author(s): Künne, Wolfgang | Petzoldt, Matthias
[German Version] I. Philosophy Thinking is a ramified concept. A survey of the phenomena of thinking must register several distinctions. (a) Thinking may be propositional (“X thinks that p”) or nominal (“X thinks of Y ”). (b) Propositional thinking is sometimes a state in which a thinker can be even when in a dreamless sleep (“X thinks that p” in the sense of “X believes that p.”) (c) Sometimes, however, propositional thinking is episodic – either (α) an activity one can be ¶ prompted to engage in: “Think about it” or (β) an experience: “At that moment, X had the thought that p go th…


(2,088 words)

Author(s): Fricke, Christel | Petzoldt, Matthias | Huxel, Kirsten | Linde, Gesche
[German Version] I. Philosophy Rationality is derived from Latin ratio (“calculation, consideration, reason”) and medieval Latin rationalitas (“reason, capacity for thought”). The term denotes various intellectual capacities that distinguish human beings as “rational animals” from the other more highly developed animals. In German, from the 18th century, these capacities were generally designated as Verstand (Intellect: I) and Vernunft (Reason: I). Under the influence of the English term rationality, and the usage of various scientific disciplines, especially s…

Fundamental Theology

(5,407 words)

Author(s): Jeanrond, Werner G. | Petzoldt, Matthias
[German Version] I. History – II. System I. History 1. Catholic Tradition In the Catholic tradition today fundamental theology is regarded as an independent theological discipline (Theology: IV) which is concerned with the fundamental discussion of God's self-revelation in Jesus Christ and its credibility within Christian practice and in the context of modern thought, and the provision of a corresponding methodological self-reflection on the discourse about God. Fundamental theology is rooted in Christian…

Prolegomena to Protestant Dogmatics

(1,688 words)

Author(s): Petzoldt, Matthias
[German Version] I. Historical Development When dogmatics represented the totality of theology, the prolegomena laid out the subject area of theology and examined the possibility of apprehending it theoretically: the constitutive conditions of belief and its theological propositions, as well as the sources and structures of theological knowledge. In the brief introduction to his Loci communes (1521), Melanchthon could concentrate on identifying the power of sin, the law, and grace as his central themes, because in them the knowledge of Christ and h…


(7,317 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Lehmann, Hartmut | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Mathisen, James A. | de Wall, Heinrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In the 1960s, religious studies began to discuss the continuing decline of religious commitment in Europe intensively. In particular the writings of Bryan Wilson ( Religion in a Secular Society, 1966) and Peter L. Berger ( The Sacred Canopy, 1967), drawing on the ideas of M. Weber, É. Durkheim, and others led to formulation of a so-called theory of secularization, where secularization denotes a natural aspect of the process of modernization, in which the traditional religious legitimation of the world has increasingly lost…