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Witte, Johannes

(91 words)

Author(s): Ustorf, Werner
[German Version] (Feb 19, 1877, Silligsdorf, Pomerania [Sielsko, Poland] – Aug 7, 1945, Buch, Berlin), Protestant missiologist and religious scholar in Berlin; editor of the Zeitschrift für Missionswissenschaft und Religionswissenschaft (1909–1932; professor 1930–1939). He headed the theologically liberal Ostasien-Mission from 1909 to 1930, but resigned when he turned to dialectical theology. Werner Ustorf Bibliography Works include: “Wandlungen in der Religionswissenschaft und Mission,” ZMR 47, 1932, 97–122 Die Christus-Botschaft und die Religionen, 1936 On Witte:…

People and Nationhood

(3,043 words)

Author(s): Junginger, Horst | Gertz, Jan Christian | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Grethlein, Christian | Ustorf, Werner
[German Version] I. Religious Studies People and nationhood are functional political terms that serve to define a collective entity and to incorporate it into a specific context (see III below). Only since the 18th century has it been possible to speak of a German nation as the active subject of its own history. The rupture of the church at the Reformation and the subsequent wars of religion in the 16th and 17th century long prevented the development of an inclusive political or religious identity. It …


(908 words)

Author(s): Ustorf, Werner
[German Version] The term missionary gained currency during European overseas expansion (Colonialism and mission), generally designating someone active in the organized attempt to convert a non-European ethnic group to Christianity. In contrast to passing on one's faith, considered the duty of all Christians, modern mission has always argued for a special “calling” of missionaries (by God, the church or other delegates) as special (ordained) ambassadors of Christ. However, the history of mission (Mi…

Mission, History of

(2,979 words)

Author(s): Ustorf, Werner | de Souza, Teotonio R. | Kalu, Ogbu
[German Version] I. The Evolution of the Gospel in Human Cultures – II. Cultural and Social History of Missions – III. History of Mission, History of the Church, and History of the Reception of Christ I. The Evolution of the Gospel in Human Cultures Theology first examined the decentralization or pluralization of Christianity in the context of missiology: the forms and criteria of what can be called Christian are shaped by history and culture. This holds true even for the notion (however conceived) of a unity or evolution of Christiani…

Laymen's Foreign Missions Inquiry

(222 words)

Author(s): Ustorf, Werner
[German Version] (1932). The so-called Laymen's Report comprises Re-Thinking Missions: A Laymen's Inquiry after One Hundred Years, by a commission chaired by W. Hocking, and a seven-volume Supplementary Series, containing detailed reports from the Protestant missions to Asia and their American sponsors. The report, which provoked much controversy, is a masterpiece of missiology (Mission studies) in both method and substance. Written by and for laymen, it sought to define the meaning of Christianity and missions…

Norddeutsche Mission

(282 words)

Author(s): Ustorf, Werner
[German Version] (known in West Africa as the “Bremen Mission”); working since 1847 among the Ewe, an ethnic group in what is now Ghana and Togo. By its 2001 constitution, the mission is a combination of churches with equal rights (Council for World Mission, 1977), including the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Togo, together with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldenburg, the Evangelical Reformed Church in Germany, the Bremen Evangelical Church, …


(7,296 words)

Author(s): Ustorf, Werner | Sundermeier, Theo | Yates, Timothy E. | Küster, Volker | Blaser, Klauspeter | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of the Discipline – II. Methodology – III. Missiology and Other Disciplines – IV. Missiological Hermeneutics – V. Topics of Missiology – VI. Research and Study I. History of the Discipline From the outset, Christians have reflected on the practical and theological questions posed by the Christian mission, as illustrated, for example, by the Pauline Epistles, the book of Acts, and, c. 600, the well-known missionary instructions of Gregory the Great. At certain critical times in the history of Chri…


(1,006 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Gebhard | Byrne, Peter | Ven, Johannes van der | Ustorf, Werner
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Practical Theology – IV. Missiology I. History of Religions The term “agnosticism” originally referred to the impossibility of attaining certain metaphysical knowledge or, with reference to transcendent questions, to gain grounded judgments. The term stems from T.H. Huxley (1869; see also II). While for Huxley, agnosticism was epistemologically justified, the use of the term today is usually motivated in a variety of ways. The Sophist Protagoras of Abdera ( On the Gods, DK 80B4), who …

Tempels, Placide

(163 words)

Author(s): Ustorf, Werner
[German Version] (Feb 18, 1906, Berlaar, Belgium – Oct 9, 1977, Hasselt, Belgium), influential, sometimes controversial Franciscan theologian in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo, Democratic Republic; 1933–1962) and founder of Jamaa. Tempels criticized the colonial mentality and traditional mission methods. By taking indigenous concepts such as “fertility” and “vital force” seriously ( Bantoe-Filosofie, 1945/1946, many trans.; ET: Bantu Philosophy, 1959), he sparked a dialogue between theology and African ontology ( Notre rencontre, 1962). Church authorities w…

Schlunk, Kurt Albert Martin

(185 words)

Author(s): Ustorf, Werner
[German Version] (Oct 6, 1874, Calicut [Kozhikode], Kerala – Feb 18, 1958, Tübingen), missiologist and functionary. Influenced theologically by G. Warneck, in 1903 Schlunk was appointed inspector and in 1913 director of the Norddeutsche Mission. In 1927 he became director of the Hanseatic mission in Hamburg; from 1928 to 1941 he was professor of missiology in Tübingen. He was a delegate at conferences organized by the International Missionary Council and chair of the most important coucils of Germ…