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Libri sententiarum

(992 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] Authoritative dicta with significant content (Gk γνώμη/ gnṓmē [earliest: Sophoc. Ajax 1091] alongside more specialized terms; Lat. sententia [since Cicero]) were already in use in pre-Christian times in literary and rhetorical contexts; later they were collected for more convenient use ( gnomology, similar to anthology [Florilegium]). Examples are Μενάνδρου γνώμαι μονόστιχοι/ Menándrou gnṓmai monóstichoi ¶ (probably begun in the 2nd cent. bce; continued into the Byzantine period) and Σέξτου γνώμαι/ Séxtou gnṓmai (c. 200 ce). During the Trinitarian contr…

Quaestio

(422 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] A true (as opposed to “rhetorical”) question (Gk ζήτημα/ zḗtēma, πρόβλημα/ próblēma, ἀπορία/ aporía, Lat. quaestio), seeking an answer that will solve a problem, is a fundamental tool for rational argumentation. It was used already by the ancient Greeks (beginning with the questions of Socrates in the dialogues of Plato) and rabbinic Judaism (in give and take between teacher and student). Formulation of questions became common early on in the theology of the Early Church (reaching a high point in Augustine, e.g. De diversis quaestionibus ad Simplicianum; Quaestione…

Oxford University

(900 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The city is first mentioned in 912. It was founded in the Anglo-Saxon period and walled by the Normans, and lies at the intersection of important routes. As early as the 12th century there were schools for the artes liberales , law and theology, from which the university developed by the beginning of the 13th century. Following a conflict with the townspeople, most masters and students left Oxford in 1209; some of them founded Cambridge University. When others returned to Oxford in 1214 the university…

Carmelites

(510 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The Carmelite Order goes back to a community of occidental hermits on Mount Carmel, who were granted a rule by the patriarch of Jerusalem in 1210. It obligated them to a strict contemplative life. The spirituality of the community, led by a prior, was marked by anachoretic traditions, the example of the prophet Elijah, and veneration of the Virgin Mary. In 1240, the Carmelites fled before the growing threat of the Saracens into their European homelands, where …

Pico della Mirandola

(799 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] 1. Giovanni (Feb 24, 1463, Mirandola near Modena – Nov 17, 1494, Florence), son of the count of Mirandola. From 1477, he studied canon law, artes liberales, philosophy, and literature, especially in Bologna, Ferrara, Padua, Paris, and Perugia. In addition to Greek, he learned Hebrew and Arabic. He paid several visits to Florence, where he made friends with Lorenzo de’ Medici and his circle, especially with M. Ficino, Angelo Poliziano (1454–1494), and Girolamo Benivieni (1453–1542). …

Summa theologiae

(401 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] In the 12th century, a scholarly work briefly summarizing the totality of important knowledge in a particular field (Robert of Melun: singulorum brevis comprehensio) came to be called a Summa (later also Summula). Various disciplines were represented: Summa grammaticae/grammaticalis; Summa super Priscianum; Summa dictaminis/artis notariae; Summa logicae ( Summulae dialectices/logicales/logicae); Summa de modis significandi; Summa philosophiae; Summula philosophiae naturalis; Summa de anima, etc. Compendia of civil and canon law were also called Summae…

Physis/Natura

(1,828 words)

Author(s): Hornauer, Holger | Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. The Greek Φύσις/ Phýsis is an abstract personification and an effective divine power. It is not restricted to any particular area of responsibility, and has no cult of its own or special iconography, with two exceptions: the votive relief of Archelaus of Priene (so-called “Apotheosis of Homer,” c. 120–130 bce), and the mosaic of Merida (2nd cent. ce; natura is between heaven, the sea, the Euphrates, the Nile, Tellus etc.). 2. In pre-Socratic natural philosophy (see also Nature), Physis may be personified and thought of as divine power (…

Seal/Stamp

(1,059 words)

Author(s): Uehlinger, Christoph | Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Archaeology Seals are attested in the ancient Near East since the pre-pottery Neolithic (c. 7000 bce), initially in the form of simple round or oval disks or theriomorphic stamps. Beginning in the late 4th millennium (Susa, Uruk), we also find cylinder seals (Good Shepherd: I, fig.). The latter were in use until the end of the first millennium bce, but they are also found in Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean region. In cultures where papyrus or leather was the commonest writing material, smaller stamp seals were preferred. In Egypt c. 2300 bce, carved stamp seals ca…

Ebeling, Gerhard

(1,181 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Lange, Dietz
[German Version] I. Life – II. Church Historian – III. Systematic Theologian Jul 6, 1912, Berlin-Steglitz – Sep 30, 2001, Zollikerberg/Zürich), Protestant German theologian. I. Life Ebeling began his theological studies in 1930; after studying at Marburg, Berlin, and Zürich, he passed his first theological examination for the examination office of the Confessing Church in Berlin. He prepared for pastoral ministry under …

Ireland

(2,091 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Richter, Michael
[German Version] I. General Facts – II. Christianity I. General Facts Lying west of Great Britain in the North Atlantic, Ireland belongs to the British Isles and covers an area of 84,421 km2. Its (esp. in the west) strongly cleft coastline has a total length of 3,173 km. Numerous small offshore islands and reefs played an important role in the history of Ireland as places of refuge, bridgeheads, and the like. The island's interior is relatively flat with a general altitude of approx. 60–120 m above sea level. Mountains, whic…

Town and City

(4,189 words)

Author(s): Dangschat, Jens S. | Köpf, Ulrich | Grünberg, Wolfgang
[German Version] I. Sociology The popular idea of a town or city is primarily a densely populated and heterogeneous collection of buildings having various uses, provided with specific rights, and always having a market place. The “European city” is however principally understood as being also the arena of city society. Sociology has studied the development of urban societies for about 150 years, because towns are places of close-knit economic growth, social diversity, and innovations and conflicts. To modern sociology the town was simply the laboratory of society. Today in Europe …

Blood of Christ

(1,937 words)

Author(s): Breytenbach, Cilliers | Köpf, Ulrich | Hunsinger, George
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics I. New Testament 1. General: The Greek word αἷμα ( haîma, “blood”) first of all denotes the blood of humans (Mark 5:25; John 19:34) as well as of animals (Heb 9:7, 18–25). Apart from flesh (σάρξ / sárx) blood constitutes a major component of the human body. Thus the expression “flesh and blood” designates the human (Matt 16:17; 1 Cor 15:50; Gal 1:16; Eph 6:12). The blood is the origin (John 1:13), the locus of life (Matt 27:4; Lev 17:11; Wis 7:2; Jub. 6:7; Philo Spec. IV 122f.), the psyche (“…

Teachers

(2,641 words)

Author(s): Rau, Eckhard | Köpf, Ulrich | Lämmermann, Godwin
[German Version] I. Earliest Christianity According to CIJ 2, 1266 and passim, religious teachers known as διδάσκαλος/ didáskalos or רב/ rab (addressed as: διδάσκαλε/ didáskale; רבי/ rabbi; rabbi) existed in Palestine prior to 70 ce (Zimmermann). All four Gospels portray Jesus as a teacher with a circle of disciples who were also responsible for the preservation of his teaching. Q (Logia/Sayings Source/Q), furthermore, emphasizes the teacher’s superiority over the disciple (Luke 6:40 par.). Mark has Jesus being addressed as a διδάσκαλε or ῥαββί/ rhabbí who, in a singular show …

Edifying Literature

(3,117 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Weismayer, Josef | Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] I. To the Reformation – II. Modern Era – III. Present I. To the Reformation The term “edifying literature” (or “devotional literature”) embraces all Christian literature that is not liturgical, juristic, merely informative, or scholarly (history, theology) but is meant to edify and encourage piety and Christian conduct. But the boundaries distinguishing e…

Hagiography

(2,226 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Plank, Peter | Dan, Joseph
[German Version] I. Western Hagiography – II. Eastern Hagiography – III. Medieval and Modern Judaism I. Western Hagiography Western hagiography, as a literature that has no scholarly purpose but serves to venerate saints, first followed Greek examples. Its most important genre, the lives of the saints, is shaped less by the panegyric biography of the martyr bishop Cyprian of Carthage, written by the deacon Pontius (2nd half of 3rd cent. ce), than by the vitaes of the desert father Anthony of Padua, written by Athanasius (with two Latin translations), and of Martin …

Discipleship, Christian

(4,235 words)

Author(s): Sim, David | Köpf, Ulrich | Ulrich, Hans G.
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Church History – III. Ethics I. New Testament 1. Discipleship of Jesus in the Gospels An important aspect of the description of Jesus' activity in the Gospels is his call to discipleship. This call is issued unconditionally and requires an immediate decision. When the disciples hear Jesus' invitation to follow him, they obey at once and follow him (ἀκολουϑεῖν/ akoloutheín; Mark 1:16–20 parr.; 2:13–14 parr.; cf. Luke 5:1–11; John 1:35–51). Others, however,…

Universities

(5,637 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | vom Bruch, Rüdiger | Roxborogh, John
[German Version] I. History 1. Middle Ages and Reformation. The university, the most important academic institution devoted to teach-¶ ing (Education/Formation) and research today, is a creation of the medieval West. Its appearance marked a deep caesura in the history of Western science, especially in the history of theology (Theology, History/Historiography of). The multiplicity of institutions involved in acquiring and transmitting knowledge (monasteries, cathedral schools, monastery schools, schools run by inde…

Disputation

(1,448 words)

Author(s): Dan, Joseph | Köpf, Ulrich | van Ess, Josef
[German Version] I. Judaism – II. Christianity – III. Islam I. Judaism Talmudic tradition includes several examples of disputations between Jewish scholars and pagan philosophers or Roman emperors, dealing mainly with the questions of divine unity, the creation and the role of Israel ( b. Sanh. 91a–b; ' Abod. Zar. 10a–11a, etc.). Disputations with representatives of Islam and, especially, of the Christian religion became a central subject in the historical and apologetical literature (…

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 monk commonly used in Christianity (from secular Gk μοναχός/ monachós, “solitary,” Lat. monachus, borrowed by way of a hypothetical 8th-century monichus* into Old High German [ munih] and othe…

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 some type of ascetic life (Asceticism; see II below). In the broader context of other religions, the term is also tied to the context of monasticism. When certain social structures in non-Christian reli…
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