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(1,087 words)

Author(s): Mädler, Inken | Auerochs, Bernd
[German Version] I. Art In 1886 the writer Jean Moréas published a Symbolist manifesto, the stated aim of which was not to express artistic ideas directly but to represent them by defamiliarization. This manifesto also profoundly influenced the visual arts at the turn of the 20th century, allowing painting and graphics to turn to the realm of dreams, the unconscious, and the imagination for significant content. Unlike naturalism (IV) and realism (IV), Symbolism sought to express the realm of the hum…


(1,077 words)

Author(s): Rebiger, Bill | Mädler, Inken | Reymaier, Erich Konstantin
[German Version] I. History of Religions Numerology (or number symbolism) is a central feature of all religions and cultures. The orderly structure of arithmetic serves as a model for observed or postulated relationships in space and time. The relationality or even harmony of numerology evokes meaning and order. The symbolism of numbers reduces the complexity of reality and provides meaning (N. Luhmann). In the face of chaos and chance, number symbolism promises knowledge of God’s will and the orderli…

Symbols/Symbol Theory

(9,049 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Cancik-Lindemaier, Hildegard | Recki, Birgit | Schlenke, Dorothee | Biehl, Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Use of the Greek word σύμβολον/ sýmbolon in a sense relevant to religious studies is attested quite early in the history of European religions; Dio of Prusa (1st/2nd cent. ce), for example, used it in his speech on Phidias’s statue of Zeus in Olympia ( Oratio 12.59). In this context, the Greek term reflects the problem posed by images of the gods: what is intrinsically inaccessible to human vision (Vision/Intuition) is somehow to be represented visually. In religious studies, especially in the phenomenology of religion, the concept of sy…

Friedrich, Caspar David

(304 words)

Author(s): Mädler, Inken
[German Version] (Sep 5, 1774, Greifswald – May 7, 1840, Dresden) is considered the most prominent painter of German Romanticism. After his education in Copenhagen, Friedrich settled in Dresden in 1798, where P.O. Runge introduced him to Johann Ludwig Tieck in 1802 and where he came into contact with early Romantic ideas. This made a deep impression on him, as did his contact with F.D.E. Schleiermacher, which came about through the mediation of Georg Andreas Reimer and the pastors in Rügen. Schlei…


(1,076 words)

Author(s): Recki, Birgit | Mädler, Inken
[German Version] I. Philosophy The expression the sublime (Ger. das Erhabene) refers to our experience of objects that by virtue of their greatness (physical or metaphysical), power, or perfection make us conscious of our own exaltation, often with an accompanying awareness of the limits of our own capacity. In the debate with poetic enthusiasm (I) in antiquity, the sublime was discussed using the term ὕψος ( hýpsos, “height”) as a category of poetics and rhetoric (I): in ¶ the works of writers like Plato, Aristotle, Aristophanes, and Pseudo-Longinus, the issue was the fu…


(2,992 words)

Author(s): Löser, Philipp | Figal, Günter | Mühling, Markus | Mädler, Inken
[German Version] I. Literary Criticism – II. Philosophy – III. Philosophy of Religion – IV. Fundamental Theology – V. History of Art I. Literary Criticism Metaphor (Gk μεταφορά/ metaphorá, “transfer,” from μεταφέρω/ metaphérō, “to transfer”) is a figure of speech in which, by means of a linguistic image, that is, in a figurative sense, reference is made to an object. The semantic analysis of metaphor, its distinction from other tropes, and discussion of the effectiveness and comprehensibility of poetic metaphors are some of the more difficult tasks of literary criticism. Definit…