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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 (e.g., G. E. Lessing). The reference today is to the middle phase of Enlightenment Protestant theology after 1740. Advocates used it of themselves only rarely and with reservations, preferring “Enlightenment.” Nor is the meaning always uniform. It is i…

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 …

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 …
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