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Nirvāṇa

(440 words)

Author(s): Freiberger, Oliver
[German Version] The Sanskrit word nirvāṇa (Pāli nibbāna; lit. “extinction”) is one of several terms for the final stage and goal of the path of salvation in Indian religions, especially Buddhism. Early Buddhist texts view nirvāṇa as the state attained through awakening ( bodhi; Enlightenment [Spiritual]) or liberating knowledge ( ājñā, Pāli añña; Redemption: IX). In this state, ignorance, desire, and hate, which lead to suffering and rebirth, are “extinguished,” ending the imprisonment of the individual in the universal, painful cycle of rebirth ( Samsāra ). …

Saṃgha

(282 words)

Author(s): Freiberger, Oliver
[German Version] Saṃgha (also saṅgha; Sanskrit/Pali; lit. “assembly”) is the monastic community originally founded by the Buddha (I; Buddhism: I, 4); according to the Buddhist rules governing such communities, it consists of ordained bhikṣus and bhikṣuṇīs (“monks and nuns”; monasticism: IV; monasteries: III). Since monastic Buddhism never developed an overall organizational structure, the idea of the “

Sannyāsin

(259 words)

Author(s): Freiberger, Oliver
[German Version] The Sanskrit word saṃnyāsin (“renouncer”) is one of several terms for an ascetic in the Indo-Brahmanic tradition (Asceticism: VIII). A saṃnyāsin renounces “the world,” especially all forms of ritual. In the classic formulation of the four stages of life (Āśrama: Brahmin student, householder, hermit, itinerant ascetic), saṃnyāsa (…

Monasteries

(3,085 words)

Author(s): Freiberger, Oliver | Köpf, Ulrich | Mürmel, Heinz | Kalb, Herbert
[German Version] I. Comparative Religion – II. Christianity – III. Buddhism – IV. Monastic Law I. Comparative Religion The term monastery (or cloister) derives from the Christian tradition, where it denotes the living and working quarters, relatively secluded from the outside world, of a monastic community leading s…

Monasticism

(13,595 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Freiberger, Oliver | Mürmel, Heinz | Horstmann, Monika
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Religious Studies – III. Church History – IV. Buddhism – V. India I. Terminology Monasticism is a collective term for an alternative way of life, always religiously motivated, that includes asceticism but is also characterized by a more or less radical withdrawal from society (the “world”) as well as from the monastics' own community of faith. The term

Laity

(5,415 words)

Author(s): Freiberger, Oliver | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Karrer, Leo | Schneider, Johann | Plasger, Georg | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics – IV. Practical Theology – V. North America – VI. Missiology I. Religious Studies

Fasting

(4,168 words)

Author(s): Freiberger, Oliver | Podella, Thomas | Böcher, Otto | Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich | Troickij, Aleksandr | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. Christianity – IV. Ethics – V. Judaism – VI. Islam I. History of Religions “Fasting” is a universally attested cultural technique to produce an expansion of mental and social control, power, or awareness (Asceticism) by restricting the intake of food. Many different types of and reasons for fasting can be found in the history of religions, and they are combined in various ways. Several studies have been produced w…