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Punishment

(4,817 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Otto, Eckart | Schuck, Martin | Loos, Fritz | Hermann, Dieter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies All religions share the conviction that human actions hold a significance that reaches far beyond a person’s current life situation. On the precise manner in which an equitable balance between personal behavior and current or future life is achieved, however, there is considerable divergence of views – depending on the historical and social context of the respective religion. From the perspective of religious studies, it is advisable to differentiate between the…

Ethics

(18,301 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Antes, Peter | Otto, Eckart | Horn, Friedrich Wilhelm | Leicht, Reimund | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept and Scope – II. Religious Studies – III. Bible – IV. Judaism – V. As a Theological Discipline – VI. As a Philosophical Discipline (Business Ethics, Discourse Ethics, Economic Ethics, Ethics, Bio-Medical Issues, Ethics Commissions, Ethics Education, Ethics of Conviction, Ethics of Duty, Ethics of Goods, Ethics of Responsibility, Evolutionary Ethics, Fraternal Ethics, Individual Et…

Justice and Righteousness

(8,833 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Klaiber, Walter | Höffe, Otfried | Holmes, Stephen R. | Anzenbacher, Arno | Et al.
[German Version] I. Bible – II. Philosophy – III. History of Theology and Dogmatics – IV. Ethics – V. Law – VI. Social Politics, Social Ethics – VII. Missiology – VIII. Islam I. Bible 1. Ancient Near East and Old Testament The concept of justice in the ancient Near East and the Hebrew Bible is basically one of connectivity. It designates the positive relation of the king to the gods and to his people, of the individual to the various collectives ranging from the family to the entire nation, of the deed to the doer's well-being,…

Marriage

(10,960 words)

Author(s): Nehring, Andreas | Otto, Eckart | Deming, Willoughby Howard | Schäfer, Rolf | Nave-Herz, Rosemarie | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Sociology – VI. Systematic Theology – VII. Law – VIII. Practical Theology – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. Religious Studies The term marriage denotes a relationship entered into between two or more persons of different sex, ritually formalized, intended to be permanent, and recognized by society. In all cultures, definitions of economic and sexual rights and the conveyance of social status to children (Child/Childhood) are part of the socially ¶ defined framework of marriage…

Judah/Judea

(201 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] As a regional designation (“the hollowed out, washed out region”; cf. also Arab. wahda), Judah (Heb. יְהוּדָה/ yehûdāh; Gk ‘Ιουδα/Iouda) refers to the southern range in the hills to the west of the Jordan. It gave the name to the tribe of Judah (Tribes of Israel) that settled there, from which the allied state of Judah developed in the time of David. Until the death of Solomon part of a state with the other tribes of Israel, Judah became independent again alongside the northern kingdom of Israel aft…

Tithing

(1,866 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred | Otto, Eckart | Reichman, Ronen | Strohm, Christoph
[German Version] I. History of Religion Instances in which a certain share of a person’s gains were ceded to the gods are known from the religions of the ancient Near East and of Classical Antiquity; on the evidence of the Old Testament (e.g. Lev 27:32f.; 1 Sam 8:15), Judaism and Christianity were also familiar with tithing (see III, IV below). Even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), which only cultivates a loose relationship to biblical tradition, takes up this notion in the B…

Criminal Law

(3,505 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Sellert, Wolfgang | Loos, Fritz | May, Georg | Krawietz, Birgit
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. History – III. German Criminal Law Today – IV. Penal Canon Law (Roman Catholic) – V. Islam I. Old Testament Old Testament law (Law and legislation: II) emerged from three sources: (1) it reinforced mutual expectations based on norms of behavior by means of criminal ¶ laws supporting general prevention of criminal conduct; (2) it minimized violence by regulating conflicts through casuistic law (Law and jurisprudence: III) as the precursor of modern civil law, and (3) it regulated int…

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…

Talion

(3,214 words)

Author(s): Beinhauer-Köhler, Bärbel | Otto, Eckart | Reeg, Gottfried | Krawietz, Birgit | Ogris, Werner
[German Version] I. Concept Talion is derived from the Roman lex talionis, in which it referred to a regulated act of retribution – in keeping with a legal norm that was meant to place limitations on self-administered justice. This stands in contradiction to the general understanding of talion as “doing as you are done by,” also in the sense of self-administered justice. In modern usage, talion is thus particularly understood in the sense of blood revenge or vendetta. The latter meaning is therefore focuse…

Zadok/Zadokites

(459 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] Zadok (Heb. קוֹדצָ[ינֵבְּ]/[ b enê] ṣādôq, “Zadok”/“Sons of Zadok = Zadokites”) was considered the ancestor of the Zadokite priests (1 Kgs 4:2) in the temple (II, 4) of Jerusalem (I), who were believed to have officiated under Solomon, the founder of the temple. The fact that, in the narrative of David’s (I) succession to the throne (2 Sam 7–1 Kgs 2), he appears as a homo novus with no previous history certainly does not point to Zadok’s pre-Israelite origins, but rather to the fact that it was only at a late date that he was given a role in the D…

Settlement/Settlement Traditions

(1,194 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] The canonical Old Testament describes the settlement as a military conquest of Palestine by the 12 tribes of Israel, beginning in Transjordan under Moses’ leadership with a victory over Sihon and Og, kings of the Amorites, and the capture of Heshbon (Num 20f.; 32; Deut 1–3). After Moses’ death (Deut 34), the settlement continued west of the Jordan under Joshua’s leadership, initially in Benjaminite territory with the capture of Jericho (Josh 6) and Ai (Josh 7–8) and a treaty with …

Jacob

(1,848 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Niehoff, Maren | Campanini, Saverio
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism I. Old Testament 1. Name The anthroponym Jacob (יַעֲקוֹב/ yaʿaqôb) is attested as a common name throughout the ancient Near East from Mesopotamia and Egypt in the 2nd millennium as ia( ) qub-( ēl) to late 1st-millennium Palmyra as yʿqwb. As a sentence name it derives from the verbal root ʿqb (Old South Arab. and Eth.: “protect”; Ug.: “be near”), so that the theophoric form may be translated “God protects” or “God is near.” In the Hebrew Bible, only the hypocoristic form without a theophoric subject ¶ occurs. The Hebrew Bible derives the n…

Fraternal Ethics

(747 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] In the Old Testament, fraternal ethics refers to an ethos that gives, first every Judean, and later also foreigners, the solidarity owed to the closest natural members of one's family. Fraternal ethics originated in Deuteronomy in reaction to the dissolution of natural fraternal ethics in the 8th/7th century Assyrian crisis through the destruction of extended families and their solidarity-stabilizing cult of ancestors (III) as a consequence of Judean and Assyrian resettlements and…

Book of the Covenant

(674 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] Following Exod 24:7, the law collection in Exod 20:22–23:13(19) is termed the Book of the Covenant. The oldest legal corpus in the Old Testament, dating to the middle to late monarchial period, although pre-deuteronomic, the Book of the Covenant was edited together from several originally independent, smaller, thematically self-contained colle…

Homosexuality

(3,245 words)

Author(s): Carlsson, Bo Göran | Otto, Eckart | Kreß, Hartmut | Steinhäuser, Martin
[German Version] I. Religion – II. Biblical – III. Ethics – IV. Practical Theology I. Religion The present scientific classification of homosexuality in acts, preferences, and identity does not exist in religious documents or traditions. What these describe, and in some cases judge or condemn, is sexual acts between persons of the male sex. The presence in myths of homosexual activities between gods does not always correspond to what is sanctioned among men. In many religions with strong patterns of gender roles, polygamy or other conditions in society lead to ho…

Judicial System in Biblical Israel and the Ancient Near East

(1,094 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] The judicial system in the ancient Near East and biblical Israel was shaped by its political context. In the ancient Near East, the king, acting for the gods to ¶ establish law (Law and legislation: III) and dispense justice (I, 1), was the supreme judge, so that when the king delegated judicial authority, the judiciary operated under his oversight. In Egypt (II, 1), central viziers' courts in Upper and Lower Egypt supervised the local lay courts. The courts were bound by the legal edicts of the king; their ca…

Priesthood

(7,504 words)

Author(s): Friedli, Richard | Otto, Eckart | Dignas, Beate | Elm, Dorothee | Kraus, Georg | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Etymologically the term priest derives from Greek πρεσβύτερος/ presbýteros, “elder”; it denotes a religious functionary, especially an expert responsible for the cult. The Greek word did not originally have this meaning. A second semantic strand puts a priest (Gk ἱερεύς/ hiereús, Lat. sacerdos) in charge of things that are sacred (Sacred and profane). The characteristics that comparative religion usually associates with priesthood are often transferred globally from Christianity, especially Roman Cathol…

Shechem

(593 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] Shechem, Heb. שְׁכֶם/ šĕkem, “shoulder,” a city in the hill country of central Palestine between Ebal and Gerizim. Since the excavations by Sellin and G.E. Wright between 1913 and 1969, it has been identified with Tell Balāṭa, near Nablus. The earliest Middle Bronze settlement of the city, initially unfortified, dates from c. 1900 bce. It includes a courtyard complex which Wright interpreted as a temple but was more likely a palace (Otto, 133–150). In the 17th century, Shechem was fortified with a massive cyclopean wall in combinat…

Bodily Harm in the Old Testament

(368 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] In Israel and Judah, bodily harm was originally avenged through the legal institution of the talion (Exod 21:24f.), an immediate juridical response on the part of the injured party, who inflicted on the wrongdoer a punishment equal to the crime. When the law governing bodily harm was entrusted to the local authorities (Judicial system), the …

Peace

(3,762 words)

Author(s): Schmidt-Leukel, Perry | Otto, Eckart | Wengst, Klaus | Strohm, Christoph | Link, Christian | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Peace (negatively: absence of fighting and war; positively: security, wellbeing, and harmony) is considered desirable in all traditional religions, although they also have their specific legitimations of war. In archaic religions, peace is primarily related to the community and understood as a present reality. However, from the beginning of the Christian era, religious developments produced stronger differentiations. Peace is no longer seen as a social phenomenon…
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