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Neology

(1,047 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. Term Originally coined to denote linguistic and literary innovation, “neology” came to be used from about 1770 as a term of reproach against theologians who were viewed as proposing new doctrines. The orthodox who were critical of the Enlightenment adopted it, but so too did many supporters (…

Orthodoxy

(6,002 words)

Author(s): Baur, Jörg | Sparn, Walter | Muller, Richard A.
1. Lutheran Orthodoxy 1.1. Epoch The term “Lutheran orthodoxy” (sometimes “old Lutheran orthodoxy” or “old Protestant orthodoxy”) is ill adapted to describe this specific form of Reformation Christianity, which extended between the Reformation and the Enlightenment. Radical Pietism called the period orthodox because of (1) its interest in pure doctrine alone and not also in a holy life in devout fellowship and (2) the alliance between ecclesiastical and secular government. But this summary was a cari…

Physicotheology

(1,988 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
Physicotheology is theology that gathers evidences of purpose in nature. It arose in the early Enlightenment as a form of the older European natural theology. It made use of the same allegorical interpretation of nature and of the same teleological proof of God (God, Arguments for the Existence of, 2.5), deducing the existence of an all-powerful and all-wise builder of the universe from its perfect, purposeful, and beautiful order. 1. Roots 1.1. Scientific Physicotheology was an important factor in the development of modern science. By demystifying nature in a pious …

Law and Legislation

(7,555 words)

Author(s): Michaels, Axel | Otto, Eckart | Räisänen, Heikki | Sparn, Walter | Starck, Christian
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics and Ethics – V. Politics and Jurisprudence I. History of Religion Laws are generally regarded as formulated, i.e. sentential and often codified rules of life and coexistence; this ¶ refers especially to principles of nature (Law/Natural law) and norms of action (Commandment, Ethics). For the modern age, the validity of natural laws arises from hypothetical laws that have been verified through observation and experiments, and have thereby been proven or j…

Schmidt, Johann Lorenz

(391 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Nov 30, 1702, Zell am Main – Dec 19/20, 1749, Wolfenbüttel), translator of the so-called Wertheim Bible. The son of a clergyman, Schmidt studied philosophy and theology at Jena (with J.F. Buddeus) and was appointed tutor to the comital (i.e. Protestant) House of Löwenstein-Wertheim. In this position he worked on a Bible translation, the first portion of which, the Pentateuch, was published by his pupils in 1735 ( Die göttlichen Schriften vor den Zeiten des Messie Jesus...). It triggered four years of public debate throughout Germany. Primarily at the ins…

Human Beings

(18,165 words)

Author(s): Gregersen, Niels H. | Grünschloß, Andreas | Figal, Günter | Janowski, Bernd | Lichtenberger, Hermann | Et al.
[German Version] I. Natural Sciences and Psychology – II. Religious Studies – III. Philosophy – IV. Old Testament – V. New Testament – VI. Church History – VII. Dogmatics and Ethics – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. Natural Sciences and Psychology 1. Evolution From the perspective of the natural sciences, the theory of evolution offers the most comprehensive framework for understanding human beings. It views the human species as a late product of a biogenetic process that began with the origin of life (VI) on earth some 3.8 billion …

Künneth, Walter

(276 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Jan 1, 1901, Etzelwang – Oct 26, 1997, Erlangen). A disciple of F. Brunstäd (Dr.phil. 1923) and K. Heim (Lic.theol. 1927), Künneth was appointed to the Apologetische Centrale in Berlin in 1926 and was its director from 1932. As a cofounder of the Jungreformatorische Bewegung (reform movement), he was prohibited from public speaking and writing in 1937. He became pastor in Starnberg in 1938 and dean in Erlangen in 1944, where he was made honorary professor in 1946 and professor of…

Gutke, Georg

(183 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Oct 1, 1589, Cölln an der Spree – Aug 19[?], 1634, Berlin) was rector of the Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster in Berlin from 1618 onward. As a philosophical author he professed the Wittenberg Aristotelianism of his teacher J. Martini in Logik (1626) and Metaphysik (1628/1630) and logically conceived a new discipline of Intelligentia. The cognition-enabling habitus primorum principiorum (1625) accordingly rests on the “subtility” of things, i.e. on their relationality with respect to each other, to God, and to the cognitive intellect, to wh…

Life

(7,317 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Liess, Kathrin | Zumstein, Jean | Sparn, Walter | Gander, Hans-Helmuth | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Fundamental Theology and Dogmatics – IV. Philosophy – V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Natural Sciences – VII. Ethics I. Religious Studies Religious ideas and rituals focus fundamentally on life in this world and the next (Here and now, and the hereafter), i.e., coping with life and death (I). Through an immense range of variations, certain returning elements are discernible. Because of its numinous origin (Creation), life is usually felt to be “owed,” but because …

Scheibler, Christoph

(198 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Dec 6, 1589, Armsfeld, Waldeck – Nov 10, 1653, Dortmund), Lutheran philosopher and theologian. In 1610 he was appointed professor of Greek, logic, and metaphysics at Gießen and served as rector. In 1625 he was appointed superintendent and gymnasiarch in Dortmund. A prolific writer, Scheibler gave Lutheran Scholastic Aristotelianism a distinctive character vis-à-vis Wittenberg (J. Martini): in its more didactic logic, which included Ramist motifs ( Opus logicum, 1613), and in its metaphysics, which was oriented sapientially as well as ontological…

Suárez, Francisco

(1,410 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] ( Jan 5, 1548, Granada – Sep 25, 1617, Lisbon), SJ, leading theologian, philosopher, and legal theorist of Spanish Scholasticism. Suárez studied in Salamanca. Initially rejected for lack of aptitude, he was accepted into the Jesuits in 1564. In 1571 he began teaching philosophy in Segovia; after 1574 he taught theology in Valladolid, Segovia, and Alcalá. In 1580 he began teaching at the Collegium Romanum in Rome. In 1585 sickness forced him to return to Alcalá, where he succeeded …

Religious Experience

(2,499 words)

Author(s): von Brück, Michael | Sparn, Walter | Stock, Konrad
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Experience is a process occurring directly in the conscious mind, whereby the perceiving subject and internal as well as external objects of the conscious mind link up to form an experience, representing a separate category, which is connected episodically with the moment in which a particular perception occurs. (Religious) experience (Ger. Erlebnis) is the subjective perception of an experience (Ger. Erfahrung). An experience is participation in an event; the accumulation of experiences generates knowledge. An event is c…

Angels

(5,988 words)

Author(s): Woschitz, Karl M. | Görg, Manfred | Wischmeyer, Oda | Sparn, Walter | Lohberg, Gabriele | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament– IV. Church History – V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Dogmatics – VII. Art History – VIII. Practical Theology – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. Religious Studies Religious conceptions include numinous intermediary beings of the most varied types and origins that mediate between the divine sphere and humanity and also serve higher powers. These are sometimes …

Demonic, The

(2,174 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Sparn, Walter
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Dogmatics – III. Philosophy of Religion I. Religious Studies R. Otto used the concept of the demonic in close association with the concept of the numinous, which occupied the center of his theory of religion. The essence of the numinous includes the element of the tremendum, the unnerving or unsettling element corresponding on the human side to numinous or religious awe – whose “preliminary stage” according to Otto is demonic awe ( Das Heilige, ch. 4.a). This understanding corresponds to a similar un…

Theodicy

(8,171 words)

Author(s): Weßler, Heinz Werner | Barton, John | Klaiber, Walter | Sarot, Marcel | Sparn, Walter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In archaic cultures, the wellbeing of the community is determined by a fatal power that can be influenced by religious rituals but is ultimately incalculable. In the context of advanced early urban cultures, however, there emerged religious worldviews in which universal concepts of order played a central role. In this historical context, a “functioning world order” (Klimkeit) became the structural principle for models explaining the world. The connection between …

Alienation

(1,490 words)

Author(s): Zenkert, Georg | Sparn, Walter | Stock, Konrad | Dober, Hans Martin
[German Version] I. Philosophy - II. Dogmatics - III. Ethics - IV. Practical Theology I. Philosophy The term “alienation,” made particularly prominent through the influence of Marxist literature, takes its philosophical sense from the work of G.W.F. Hegel. Etymologically, it derives from Lat. alienatio and Gk. ἀλλοτρίωσις/ allotriōsis. Besides “estrangement” in general, it can also denote a legal transfer of title (Aristotle, Rhet. 1361 a 22). The term occurs in various contexts in Christian theology, denoting both …

Hoffmann, Daniel

(219 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (c. 1538, Halle/Saale – Nov 30, 1611, Wolfenbüttel), Lutheran theologian. Hoffmann was appointed professor of philosophy in Helmstedt in 1574/1576 and professor of theology in 1578. In association with V. Strigel, S. Musäus, and T. Heßhus, Hoffmann attempted to preserve the integrity of Luther's doctrine against Philippistic (P. Melanchthon) and Flacian (M. Flacius) deviations, but also, while defending the Lutheran doctrine of the Eucharist, against the “new dogma” of ubiquity (J…

Hütter, Leonard

(417 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Hutterus; Jan 1563, Nellingen near Ulm – Oct 23, 1616, Wittenberg), after studying the arts and theology in Strasbourg (M.A. 1583), Heidelberg and Jena, he received the Dr.theol. in Leipzig (1593) and became professor of theology in Wittenberg (1596) alongside P. Leyser, Sr. and A. Hunn (Hunnius). Like them, Hütter was a policy advocate and theological interpreter of the Formula of Concord: as orthodox scriptural exegesis, it was the result, as was the Augsburg Confession ( Analysis, 1594), of the work of the Holy Spirit ( Libri Christianae Concordiae … explicatio, 16…

Gabler, Johann Philipp

(173 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Jun 4, 1753, Frankfurt am Main – Feb 17, 1826, Jena), Protestant theologian, became professor of OT at Altdorf in 1785, and at Jena in 1804, where he had studied OT and NT exegesis from 1772 to 1778 with J.G. Eichhorn and J.J. Griesbach. Linked with theological neology (Enlightenment: II, 4.c), but not a rationalist, Gabler successfully developed the program (Mar 30, 1787) for the methodological separation of a “biblical theology” set apart from variable dogmatics by historical e…

Calling

(3,654 words)

Author(s): Hjelde, Sigurd | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Wilhelm Horn, Friedrich | Sparn, Walter | Martin Müller, Hans
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics – V. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies The term calling or “call” refers to a person's experience of being grasped by a divine or other superhuman power and being taken into its service. The concept thus relates closely to that of election; at the same time, a calling can be seen as a kind of initiation that can precede or follow a longer period of instruction and maturation. The early…

Superstition

(3,603 words)

Author(s): Küenzlen, Gottfried | Sparn, Walter | Stolz, Fritz | Hollenweger, Walter J.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Terminology. Like the equivalent German term Aberglaube, the word superstition is pejorative in tone and so is inherently critical and polemical: to speak of superstition as a perverted belief implies that the speaker is doing so from the perspective of correct belief or knowledge. 2. Semantic history. The normative, judgmental character of the term shaped its semantic history. In ancient Rome, superstitio was used to describe an exaggerated religious anxiety, just as Greek δεισιδαιμονία/ deisidaimonía meant anxious servility toward …

Horneius, Konrad

(199 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Hornejus, Horn; Nov 25, 1590, Braunschweig – Sep 26, 1649, Helmstedt), philosophy student of Johannes Caselius and, also theological student of Cornelius Martini. In 1619 he became extraordinary professor of logic and ethics; in 1622, of metaphysics as the successor of Martini; and in 1628, the second professor of theology beside Georg Calixtus. Less innovative than the latter but a successful academic, teacher, and author, philosophically and theologically, Horneius embodied the…

Werdenhagen, Johann Angelius (von)

(325 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (ennobled in 1637; Aug 1, 1581, Helmstedt – Dec 26, 1652, Ratzeburg). After studying philosophy (J. Caselius, C. Martini) and law at Helmstedt, he began teaching as an adjunct in 1601. In 1607 he went to Salzwedel as deputy rector; from 1616 to 1618 he taught as professor of ethics at Helmstedt. Finding that position unpromising, he entered the political service of Magdeburg, lived as a writer in Leiden and The Hague from 1627 to 1632, and then returned to the service of Bremen, M…

Sensuality

(1,613 words)

Author(s): Fricke, Christel | Rosenau, Hartmut | Sparn, Walter | Stock, Konrad
[German Version] I. Philosophy Sensuality is a collective term for various human faculties that mediate sensations. Sensations are mental states. In contrast to abstract thoughts, memories, and fantasies, sensations are qualitatively dependent on the present state of the sensate person. It is traditional to distinguish between perceptual sensations and affective sensations. Sensations function as information, making it possible for us to react appropriately to our environment, have an idea of it, an…

Unio Mystica

(1,258 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter | Nüssel, Friederike | Radtke, Bernd
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion The phenomenon of unio mystica within mysticism is of interest to the philosophy of religion because recent analytical approaches in religious studies and the psychology of religion permit a more precise assessment of the philosophical issues involved, and also because it brings to light (so much better) a philosophically discussable connection between religious behavior or experience and rational cognition (Epistemology). Although the term itself is not always u…

Quenstedt, Johann Andreas

(283 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Aug 13, 1617, Quedlinburg – May 22, 1688, Wittenberg). After the death of his uncle, J. Gerhard, this scion of a patrician family was forced by war to study in nearby Helmstedt ¶ (G. Calixtus, K. Horneius); in 1644, however, he did go to Wittenberg (W. Leyser, J. Hülsemann), where in 1649 he was appointed adjunct professor in the faculties of philosophy and theology. He wrote quite a few geographical and antiquarian works. After receiving his doctorate in 1650, in 1660 he was appointed to the fourth chair of the…

Devil

(8,622 words)

Author(s): Felber, Annelies | Hutter, Manfred | Achenbach, Reinhard | Aune, David E. | Lang, Bernhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Names and Terms – II. Religious Studies – III. Ancient Near East and Old Testament – IV. New Testament – V. Church History – VI. Philosophy of Religion – VII. Fundamental Theology – VIII. Dogmatics – IX. Judaism – X. Islam – XI. History of Art and Literature I. Names and Terms 1. Devil The secular Greek noun διάβολος/ diabolos comes from one of the meanings of the verb διαβάλλω/ diaballō, “separate, sever,” which led to meanings such as “accuse, slander, deceive.” From the Greek noun came Latin diabolus, from which the English …

Spiritualism

(2,439 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker | Weigelt, Horst | Ludwig, Frieder | Sparn, Walter
[German Version] I. Definition The use of spiritualism as a precise technical term was shaped by the Soziallehren of E. Troeltsch, who used it to distinguish between two groups Luther had lumped together as Schwärmer (“Enthusiasts”): spiritualists and Anabaptists. The common characteristic shared by the groups called spiritualists is their belief in the direct effect of the Holy Spirit (Spirit/Holy Spirit) within each individual, in contrast to the outward working of the Spirit through the words of Scripture. As a rule, this belief i…

Schegk, Jakob

(243 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (born Degen; 1511, Schorndorf – May 9, 1587, Tübingen), professor of philosophy at Tübingen from 1536, also professor of medicine there from 1543; he was superintendent and several times rector of the Tübingen Stift; he lost his sight in 1577. His commentaries on Aristotle’s logic and physics represented the (non-Scholastic and anti-Ramist) reform of ¶ Aristotelian topics and theory of proof in logic and were closely associated with scientific advances in Italy in physics. His theological significance rests on his opposition to M. Ser…

Friendship

(3,210 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Berges, Ulrich | Fitzgerald, John T. | Gandler, Hans-Helmuth | Vowinckel, Gerhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy – V. Social Sciences – VI. Systematic Theology I. Religious Studies Religious studies have paid little attention to friendship, since it appears initially not to be a phenomenon of primary relevance to religion but to denote simply a personal relationship between individuals, culturally conditioned and codified, that represents a form of identityforming social life. As a result, very different understandings of friendship…

Descent into Hell

(2,415 words)

Author(s): Böcher, Otto | Sparn, Walter | Felmy, Karl Christian
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Dogma and the History of Dogma – III. Art History I. New Testament Christ's descent into hell, i.e. his descent to the underworld, the realm of the dead, is, as Descensus ad inferos, one of the christological statements of the early and medieval church's confession of faith (Apostles' Creed, Athanasian Creed; Confession (of faith): III). Nonetheless, the NT does not offer a single certain text for this notion; at most, 1 Pet 4:6 may be interpreted as preaching by Jesus to the dead, before his resurrection (cf. Ign. Magn. 9.2; Gos. Pet. 10.41f.; Iren. H…

Piety

(3,477 words)

Author(s): Jödicke, Ansgar | Sparn, Walter | Koch, Traugott | Seiferlein, Alfred | Weismayer, Josef | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Piety (recently often also “spirituality”) is understood, first, as the forms of expression of lived religiosity; research in this area is particularly the subject of folklore studies and church history for the idividual, secondly, piety has to do with particular qualities of feeling, such as reverence, with which the psychology of religion (Gruehn, Sundén) is concerned. Objective and subjective components are combined in various ways in the historical developme…

Antichrist

(2,868 words)

Author(s): Klauck, Hans-Josef | Leppin, Volker | George, Martin | Sparn, Walter
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Church History – III. Theology I. New Testament 1. The term ἀντίχριστος appears in Christian literature only in 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7, and, dependent on these texts, Pol. Phil 7:1. There it refers to someone who turns against Christ and the confession of Christ, not – as would be linguistically possible – someone who seeks to take the place of Christ; in context, it refers to theological opponents collectively. …

Thomasius, Christian

(594 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] ( Jan 1, 1655, Leipzig – Sep 23, 1728, Halle), was a prominent philosopher of law during the early German Enlightenment. Born into a Lutheran family of scholars (father Jakob Thomasius), Christian Thomasius studied philosophy in Leipzig from 1669 onward; from 1672 onward, after having read the works of H. Grotius and S. Pufendorf, he studied jurisprudence in Frankfurt an der Oder (Samuel Stryk), where he was awarded a doctoral degree in 1679. Enjoying little success as a lawyer, T…

Baroque

(6,748 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter | Hüttel, Richard | Mikuda-Hüttel, Barbara | Kühlmann, Wilhelm | Hagel, Doris
[German Version] I. Use and History of the Term – II. Architecture and Landscaping – III. Painting and Sculpture – IV. Literature – V. Music I. Use and History of the Term Initially a pejorative designation for irregular and un-natural elements of architecture following the Renaissance, the term “Baroque” has, since J. Burckhardt (1855) and Heinrich Wölfflin (1888), been revaluated into a term describing an artistic,…

Hell

(5,978 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph | Houtman, Cornelis | Frankemölle, Hubert | Lang, Bernhard | Sparn, Walter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Dogmatics – VI. Judaism – VII. Islam – VIII. Buddhism – IX. Contemporary Art I. Religious Studies 1. Hell as a place of retribution in the afterlife for those who continually transgress the religiously sanctioned rules of their community is not specifically Christian or monotheistic. But it is also not an idea that springs automatically from the question of how the dead exist (Death). Although hell was long viewed as a…

Afterlife

(2,000 words)

Author(s): Hölscher, Lucian | Sparn, Walter
1. Term Ideas about life after death are to be found among nearly all peoples and in nearly every era. Yet, like its counterpart Diesseits (“this life”), the term Jenseits (“afterlife”, literally “the beyond”) in German has only existed since the turn of the 18th century. The noun Jenseits is only found, sporadically, in sources from the late 18th century, e.g. in the exclamation in Schiller’s Die Räuber (1781; The Robbers): “Sei wie du willst, namenloses Jenseits, wenn ich nur mich selbst mit hinübernehme” (“Be what you will, nameless World Beyond, as long as…
Date: 2019-10-14

Lutheranism

(2,829 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. Definition, origin, and profileThe term  Lutheranism (German  Luthertum) was coined in 1544. Like the more common terms  die LutherischenLutherani, Lutheranismus, and so on, it was originally a pejorative exonym, implying the charge of heresy, applied to the adherents of the Reformation, who since the activities of Martin Luther in 1517 had been vigorously flexing their ecclesiastical and political muscles. Luther himself disliked the expression  Lutheran; therefore the churches that reorganized themselves on the basis of regional church orders (begin…
Date: 2019-10-14

Fundamentalism

(1,342 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Sparn, Walter
1. The term The term  fundamentalism is a product of the religious conflicts in North American during the early 20th century. It is relevant to the early modern period because the exploration of late modern religious conflicts can contribute to a better understanding of the religious conflicts, confessional antagonists, and theological controversies over the construction of religious identity typical of Eurpean societies in the early modern period.The term was coined around 1920 in the context of the religio-political conflicts between competing groups with…
Date: 2019-10-14

Body and soul

(2,099 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter | Wolff, Jens
1. Terminology and traditions At the beginning of the early modern period in Europe, the human experiences that give rise to belief in an asymmetrical duality of body and soul (sleep, dreams, ecstasy, grief, death, and childbirth [9]) had coalesced metaphysically, anthropologically, and epistemologically [12. ch. III and V]. What happens to individuals after their bodily death? How do animate beings differ from inanimate beings and from dead matter? How specifically is the cognitive element of the soul, the mind (Geist), related to the …
Date: 2019-10-14

Infinity

(3,304 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter | Scholz, Erhard
1. Metaphysics 1.1. Concept and prior historyThe term “infinity” (French infinité; German  Unendlichkeit) is often used figuratively (metaphorically) to denote very large or unknown values (“infinite depths of the ocean”), so that its literal use has faded into the background. “The infinite” (Latin  infinitum, Greek  ápeiron, “the boundless”, “the indeterminate”) in the strict sense, however, has since the first days of Greek philosophy been a precise term in both mathematics and metaphysics contrasted with the “finite.” What was often unc…
Date: 2019-10-14

Church interior

(2,275 words)

Author(s): Strohmaier-Wiederanders, Gerlinde | Sparn, Walter
1. DefinitionLike the sacral building itself (Church architecture), the church interiors in early modern Europe were all clearly recognizable as Christian. The most important features were the altar (or a table replacing it; see Altar design), font, and pulpit or lectern; from the late Middle Ages on, there was also an organ (initially in the larger churches, in the 19th century even in the smallest village churches; Organ music), as well as movable or permanent seating, e.g. choir stalls in mona…
Date: 2019-10-14

Church architecture

(5,877 words)

Author(s): Fürst, Ulrich | Strohmaier-Wiederanders, Gerlinde | Sparn, Walter | Faensen, Hubert
1. Introduction Theological and pastoral concepts continued to define early modern Church architecture that had shaped Christian sacral architecture since its very earliest days. The church was a meeting-place for the congregation that had to fulfill a function as the real venue and crucible of the divine service (Worship). Spatial forms and fittings had to support liturgical procedures and make their content available to experience. Still, changing cultural parameters and profound religious and c…
Date: 2019-10-14

Jesus Christ

(4,907 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. General observations “Jesus Christ” is not originally a name but the declaration that Jesus of Nazareth is the  christós (Greek: “anointed,” Messiah) of God. As such, in the European modern era, Jesus Christ was a prominent figure in religious and cultural orientation. However, these orientations underwent far-reaching changes amounting to a move away from the unquestioned authority of the Christian tradition toward a more independent, critically modifying reception. The belief (Faith) that God incarnated himse…
Date: 2019-10-14

Church year

(3,111 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian | Sparn, Walter | Petzolt, Martin | Bärsch, Jürgen
1. Introduction The term “church year,” probably first attested (as German Kirchenjahr) in the postil of the Lutheran pastor Johannes Pomarius (Magdeburg 1585) (see below, 4.1.), denotes the annual cycle of Christian festival and holiday. In the rhythm of the week and year, the church celebrates the memory of Jesus Christ (year of the Lord) [1], with the celebration of the saints’ days (Name day) taking a secondary role (year of the saints).The core and “origin” of the year was the Sunday on which the key events of Easter are celebrated (Passion Week) in the fe…
Date: 2019-10-14

Metaphysics

(3,425 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter | Schmidt-Biggemann, Wilhelm
1. DefinitionMetaphysics (Middle Latin  metaphysica, from Greek  ta metá physiká, “the [works traditionally arranged] after the Physics [in the Aristotelian canon]”) has since Greco-Roman antiquity been the traditional name for a theoretical discipline that deals not with individual objects as such, but with everything that is and can (therefore) be thought about: the Sein alles Seienden (Heidegger: the "being of all that is being"). Since Aristotle, then, metaphysics has been regarded as the “primal philosophy”, that is, the guiding discipline of …
Date: 2019-10-14

Christology

(3,146 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. SignificanceThe theological term  Christology, coined in the 17th century, denotes normative reflection (Dogma) on the person and work of Jesus Christ and his enduring religious significance. This intellectual image of Christ in Christology is one among many, for devotion to Christ always found expression in symbolic, literary, visual, musical, and theatrical forms as well. Despite reciprocal influences, however, these images of Christ (Jesus Christ; Iconography) by no means always conformed to t…
Date: 2019-10-14

Mysticism

(3,883 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter | Leppin, Volker | Bryner, Erich | Grözinger, Karl Erich
1. IntroductionThe noun mysticism, a general term dating from the 17th century, eluded all attempts of students of religion and the psychology of religion to define it in the 19th and early 20th century [1]; [3]; [5]. More recent researchers therefore use it only as a heuristic term for highly diverse phenomena of an intense individual experience of bonding or union (Latin  unio mystica) with God, the divine, the holy, etc. – always in specific cultural and social contexts. These phenomena are never accessible directly, since we know of them only through (…
Date: 2020-04-06

Church and state

(4,982 words)

Author(s): Unterburger, Klaus | Sparn, Walter | Schneider, Bernd Christian | Synek, Eva
1. Introduction The reciprocal but never symmetrical relationship between Church andState in early modern Europe was the result of a historical development that in some respects remained indebted to the political ethics of the New Testament (Rom 13; Rv 13), while in other respects confronting profound changes in both ecclesiastical and secular political institutions, specifically the emergence of the early modern territorial and nation state. At first, the underlying assumption was that the Europe…
Date: 2019-10-14

Atheism

(2,127 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Sparn, Walter
1. Terminology The word atheism (from Greek átheos, “without  God”, “godless”) denotes both a complex variety of interpretations of the world and life-designs shaped by conscious rejection of the existence of one or more gods, transcendent beings, or powers (positive atheism) and a conscious denial of the earthly influence of such gods or powers, while simultaneously recognizing the theoretical possibility of their existence (negative atheism). Terms such as “God,” “creator,” “absolute,” “supreme being…
Date: 2019-10-14
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