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Schaeder

(776 words)

Author(s): Voigt, Friedemann | Colpe, Carsten | Schwöbel, Gerlind
[German Version] 1. Erich (Dec 22, 1861, Clausthal – Feb 18, 1936, Berlin). After studying in Berlin and Greifswald from 1881 to 1886, Schaeder began lecturing in systematic theology at Greifswald in 1891. In 1894 he was appointed adjunct professor at Königsberg (today Kaliningrad) and in 1895 at Göttingen. In 1899 he was appointed ¶ to a full professorship at Kiel and in 1918 at Breslau (Wrocław). He was one of the theologians of the Greifswald school led by A.H. Cremer. In his most important work, Theozentrische Theologie (vol. I 1909, 31925; vol. II 1914, 21928), Schaeder criticized th…

Hermeticism/Hermetism

(2,928 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Kurt | Holzhausen, Jens | Lory, Pierre | Blum, Paul Richard | Colpe, Carsten
[German Version] I. Literature – II. History of Influence I. Literature The literature that has come down to us under the name of the Greek-Egyptian god Hermes (Hermes Trismegistus) is not a unity, neither literarily nor in terms of content. Its beginnings reach back into the 3rd century bce to Egypt (III, 2), and its influence extends beyond the Arabic-Islamic and Christian-European Middle Ages into the 18th century (see II below). This literature has been divided into “popular” or “occult” and “scholarly” or “philosophical” writings. The …

Marranos

(373 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
A Marrano is a Christianized Jew or Moor of medieval Spain, especially one who converted only to escape persecution (Conversion 1). From the 11th century Spanish Jews (Judaism), showing that they too had to avoid things, borrowed from the Arabs the term maḥram (something prohibited), which, in its Castillian form marrano, they used to refer to pigs. The reconquistadores then took over the word and applied it to the Jews themselves. When baptism was forced on the Jews, it became a common term of contempt for those thus baptized (they called themselves ʾănûsı̄m, “coerced ones”), who w…

Llullian Method

(359 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
“Llullian method” denotes the overall approach of Ramón Llull (ca. 1233-ca. 1315)—Catalan writer, Scholastic, polymath, adviser of popes and princes, ¶ Islamic and Jewish scholar and missionary—whose basic goal in his writings was to see Jews and Muslims converted. Of his 263 writings, 36 contain the word ars (method, way, art) in the title. Llull called this literary work, and especially the summary of it, Ars generalis ultima (1305–8), or Ars magna. This title, similar to the Ars maior and Ars minor of Roman grammarian Aelius Donatus (4th cent. a.d.), whose influence extended …

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

(404 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
“Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh” is the guru name of Rajneesh Chandra Mohan (1931–81). It combines with the given name “Rajneesh” the appellative “Bhagwan,” commonly used in India for gods, demigods, and holy men (from Skt. bhag(a)van, meaning “reverend” or “divine”), and the title “Shree.” Rajneesh was born in Kuchwada (Madhya Pradesh), India, on December 11, 1931. On March 21, 1953, he experienced the “other reality,” which his philosophy enabled him to interpret as God, truth, dharma, tao, and so forth. He deepened the experience by techniqu…

Hell

(1,543 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten | Heron, Alasdair I. C.
1. Religious History The word “hell” comes from Old Ice. hel, the term in Nordic mythology for the place of the dead in the underworld and for its female ruler. All the dead are there or under her rule except for those killed in battle. The idea was not negative from the outset, as the etymology also shows, for the meaning of the root is “hide, conceal.” The concept became a negative one only with the demonization of virtually all pre-Christian material by the repressive methods of missionaries and by those who after conversion engaged in committing German myt…

Cyprus

(1,081 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
Cyprus (Heb. Kittim, after the harbor Citium, mentioned often by the Phoenicians and the site of present-day Larnaca), from the Greek “Kypros” (etymology unknown), is a Mediterranean island 100 km. (60 mi.) west of the Syrian coast and 65 km. (40 mi.) south of the coast of Turkey. 1. Late Paleolithic and Neolithic settlement of Cyprus before the fourth millennium b.c. points to close relations with the Near East. During the third and second millennia the Copper and Bronze Age of Egypt, Crete, Mycenae, Syria, and Anatolia made Cyprus, with its rich m…

Phenomenology of Religion

(1,533 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
1. Term and Beginnings 1.1. Between G. W. F. Hegel (1770–1831; Hegelianism) and E. Husserl (1859–1938), “phenomenology” was a simple methodological term designed to indicate the fullest possible recording of facts and data. The phrase “phenomenology of religion” was used by P. D. Chantepie de la Saussaye (1848–1920) for the phenomenological part of his Lehrbuch der Religionsgeschichte (vol. 1; Freiburg, 1887; ET Manual of the Science of Religion [1891]). Others in later editions would speak of religious manifestations and ideas. Under this head Chantepie de la…

Iranian Religions

(2,807 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
1. Definitions Iranian religions are the authentic religions of peoples and tribes that spoke or speak Iranian languages. One may also refer to other religions whose features appear in Iranian religions and are material variants of them. We do not include religions in non-Iranian languages that are native to territories that came under the rule of Iran (e.g., the Elamites) or that came to Iran later and in so doing underwent changes (e.g., the many Turkic tribes) or that are regarded as their own only by a few Iranian speakers (e.g., the Buddhism of the Sakas and Sogdians). The Iranian la…

Yoga

(416 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
Yoga, the Vedic term for “exertion,” “strain,” or “venture” (related to Gk. zygon and Lat. iugum, “yoke”), is a technical term used in various senses. 1. In a less technical sense yoga has to do with forms of trance (Ecstasy), asceticism, and meditation¶ . Two or three such rituals reach back to the end of the second century b.c. in southern Asia. Then in a more crystallized sense we find jñānayoga, bhaktiyoga, and karmayoga (yoga through the ways of knowledge, surrender/devotion, and action) in the Bhagavad Gita, and the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali (lived between 2d cent. b.c. and 2d cent. a.d.).…

Ecstasy

(940 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
1. Scope of the Term The broadest usage of “ecstasy” encompasses several semantic domains. Ethologically, the moment when the earliest hunter and his prey first met was probably one of united concentration on the encounter, of holding of breath and silence, of tense quiet along with the ability to spring very quickly into action. 1.1. On the human side the continuation and development of this basic attitude is a history of self-interpretation, with new social contexts and anthropologies as inalterable presuppositions. This was first the case probabl…

Theogony

(378 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
¶ “Theogony” (Gk. theogonia, “birth of the gods”), the title of an epic poem by Hesiod (ca. 700 b.c.), refers to the origin of the gods. Many of the almost 300 gods whose names and qualities Hesiod gives in this work make up the world, so that a theogony is also a cosmogony. When the world is constituted, it is ruled by the great gods (Uranus, Cronus, Zeus). Hesiod makes use here of the concept that northern Syria and Asia Minor employed: a succession of gods instead of a genealogical list or an anthropomorphizin…

Quaternity

(423 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
The number four ranks high among the symbolically significant numbers (Symbol). In translations of Monophysite arguments both for and against Apollinarius of Laodicea (d. ca. 390), theological Latin refers to quaternitas along with trinitas. “Two natures,” it was argued, means “two sons,” and hence we have a tetrad instead of a triad (Trinity). In religious history the term “quaternity” denotes a fourfold structure. On the basis, for example, of the four points of heaven, the four ages, the four sides of a square, the four temperaments, the four…

Miracle

(3,480 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten | Böcher, Otto | Grözinger, Albrecht
1. Basic Considerations 1.1. Distinctions No systematic hermeneutical examination of miracles in the larger sense can avoid articulating exactly which elements are to be addressed as objective facts and which as part of the concept itself. Because arguments on the two sides can no longer be adduced in support of one another, the modes in which the two aspects are examined necessarily also diverge. The remaining conceptual content prompts even further distinctions, depending on whether one is dealing with a simple or a complex concept. Only simple concepts mu…

Visions

(864 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
1. Cultures that have loanwords from Lat. visio (a seeing, view) often use them for visionary hallucinations. Such a vision, which takes place when the person is awake, is not a dream. Psychokinetic phenomena may accompany it, and it may include paranormal information. If the visionary is religiously inclined, it might seem to contain a revelation. The vision itself is not a revelation and must be interpreted. The visionary might be the interpreter, or some other person might be. Interpretation imparts mystical knowledge, falling between the rational and the occult (Occultism). 2. A …

Cao Dai

(755 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
Cao Dai is the religion of the Vietnamese god Cao Dai, whose name means “great palace.” The full self-designation is (Dai-Dao) Tam-Ky Pho-Do, or “(Great Way of) the Third Forgiveness of God.” Along this way, the unity of all religions is to be recovered, a unity that had already been divided in a “first forgiveness” under the forerunners of Confucius, Lao-tzu, and Buddha Sakyamuni, and then in a “second forgiveness” under these founders themselves plus Jesus Christ. Around this focus, many in th…

Animism

(630 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
Georg Ernst Stahl (1660–1734), a German physician and chemist who established the phlogiston theory, used the term “animism” from the psychology of the early modern period, wanting as a doctor to give scientific form to the classical identification of the life principle and the soul. The English anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor (1832–1917) then took it over from Stahl, proposing it in a lecture to the Royal Asiatic Society in London in 1867 as a substitute for the term “fetishism” to denote m…

Egypt

(2,787 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten | Swanson, Mark N.
1. Data Egypt is the most populous Arab country, even though the Nile makes only 4 percent of its land mass suitable for habitation and cultivation. The foundation of the modern Arab Republic of Egypt (Jumhūrīyat Miṣr al-ʿArabīyah), as it has been called since 1971, was laid in July 1952, when the reforming Free Officers under Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918–70) seized power. Egypt had previously been a constitutional monarchy, set up in 1923 after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World Wa…

Ānanda Mārga

(297 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
Meaning “way of blessedness” in Sanskrit, Ānanda Mārga is the name of a Hindu reforming movement that was started in 1955 at Jamalpur, in Bihar, India. Its originator was Prabhata Ranjana Sarkar (b. 1921), who called himself Shree Ānanda-murti, and to whom his followers attached a further title “shree.” With the Ānanda he thought of himself as a member of the classical Vedanta triad sat (being), chit (thought), and nanda (bliss), which, as attributes of Atman or Brahman, compose the true nature of humanity and the univers…

Monotheism

(1,465 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
1. Term Monotheism is a religious, theological, or philosophical position whose normative feature is recognition of only one God. Those who use the term “monotheism” in either confession or research are differentiating between different views of God. Like other isms, this term also tends to denote a movement, sphere, or epoch in which, whether the respective inhabitants or contemporaries use the term or not, a specific outlook or opinion prevails. Whether those who define their own position claim the validity of t…
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