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(354 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] In its broadest sense, evangelical means “according or pertaining to the gospel.” Beyond that meaning, by the Middle Ages it had already been used in ¶ criticism of the church to describe a way of life thought to be particularly close to the teaching of the gospel. This meaning was preserved in the expression evangelical counsels (Counsels of perfection). In the Reformation period, evangelical was used to characterize the teaching of the Reformers, implying that this teaching, unlike that of the (Roman) …

Freedom of Belief

(1,634 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] I. History – II. Freedom of Belief – III. Freedom of Conscience Besides legal questions, freedom of belief and freedom of conscience touch on fundamental philosophical and theological problems (Human rights). Article 4, §1 of the German Basic Law ( Grundgesetz) guarantees that freedom of belief, of conscience, and of religious and ideological confession are inviolable on the part of the state. Freedom of belief and confession, as freedom of religion and ideology, must be distinguished from freedom of conscience. I. History Historically, however, freedom of b…

Secular Supremacy

(504 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] Secular supremacy ( Kirchenhoheit) refers to the supervisory authority of the state over the churches, based on the sovereignty of the state; this authority was recognized in Germany well into the 20th century. It must be distinguished from Kirchenregiment, which meant not “external” supervision but rather the legally recognized authority of the sovereign within the church itself. The notion of a special authority of the sovereign state to supervise the church had its roots in the theory of territorialism. Both extern…

Corpus Christianum

(1,246 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] The term “corpus Christianum” refers to the medieval concept of a unity of church and “state,” of spiritual and secular dominion. According to it, sacerdotium and imperium, empire and papacy are two powers within a unified respublica Christiana encompassing all of Christianity, membership in which is mediated by baptism. The invisible, unifying head of this corpus mysticum is Jesus Christ; it is governed by emperor and pope as earthly heads. The unity of this corpus Christianum was an argument, in particular, for the curi…

Corpus Evangelicorum

(726 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] Association of the Protestant imperial estates in the old empire. The Corpus Evangelicorum was presupposed in the Peace of Westphalia in the constitution of the empire. Here, in fact, art. V §52 of the Instrumentum Pacis Osnabrugense (IPO, Osnabrück Peace Treaty) specifies that, in certain cases, the Imperial Diet will not decide by majority but only by amicable consensus ( amicabilis compositio) between the (Catholic and Protestant) estates of the empire. These cases include questions of religion and cases in which the two confessions separate “in duas partes” ( itio…

Cuius regio, eius religio

(231 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] (“whose region, his religion”) is the slogan-like abbreviation of the state-church system in the old Empire characterized by the ius reformandi for territorial princes created in the Religious Peace of Augsburg (1555). According to this, rulers are justified in determining the confession in their territories, although they were restricted to the Roman Catholic or the Augsburg Confession. In addition, there were a number of special regulations, for imperial cit¶ ies, for example. Those not of the regional confession were granted the right to emigrate ( Ius emigrand…

Mayer, Otto

(171 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] (Mar 29, 1846, Fürth – Aug 8, 1924, Hilpertsau), professor of administrative and (Protestant) canon law in Strasbourg (from 1882) and Leipzig (from 1903). His most significant scholarly achievement is his Deutsches Verwaltungsrecht (German administrative law), in which, following the French model, he developed the concept and dogmatics of the administrative act. He thus laid the foundations of German administrative law. Mayer was active in numerous academic, state, and church functions. In his writings on church…

Bredt, Johann Viktor

(96 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] (Mar 2, 1879, Barmen – Dec 12, 1940, Marburg) was professor of state, administrative, international and church law in Marburg from 1910. He was a member of the Prussian parliament and Landtag. He was a member of the Reichstag from 1924 to 1932. He became justice minister in 1930. As one of the first comprehensive works on church law after the end of the Prince's summepiscopate, his three-volume New Protestant Church Law for Prussia (1921–1927) gained significance. Heinrich de Wall Bibliography K. Goebel, “Johann Viktor Bredt,” RhLB 5, 1973, 243–257.

Hübler, Bernhard

(179 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] (May 25, 1835, Cottbus – Apr 19, 1912, Berlin), professor of Protestant church law. At the University of Berlin, Hübler was appointed Privadozent in 1865 and associate professor in 1868; he was appointed professor at Freiburg in 1869. From 1880 to ¶ 1907 he taught as professor at Berlin. From 1870 to 1880 he served in the Prussian Kultusministerium, where he worked with A. Falk, the Prussian minister of ecclesiastical affairs and education, to draft legislation supporting the Kulturkampf . In 1879 he participated in the Prussian negotiations with the Holy Se…


(246 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] (from Lat. dissidere, “to disagree, contradict, be separate”). This was originally primarily a designation for adherents of the non-dominant (state) religion – thus first for the Polish Protestants in the Warsaw Confederation of 1573 and for Protestant groups (Dissenters) in England since the 17th century that did not wish to follow the doctrines of the Anglican st…

Eichmann, Eduard

(105 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] (Feb 14, 1870, Hagenbach, Palatinate – Apr 26, 1946, Munich), Roman Catholic canonist and legal historian; in 1905 he became professor in Prague, in 1913 in Vienna, from 1918 to 1937 in Munich; he was rector of the university there in 1929/30. Eichmann founded the leading textbook in the German-speaking realm, Kanonisches Recht, continued initially by his student K. Mörsdorf, and now in the 13th edition by Winfried Aymans. Among his writings in legal history, Die Kaiserkrönung im Abendland (2 vols., 1942) merits special mention. Heinrich de Wall Bibliography K. Mörsdo…

Chalybäus, Heinrich Franz

(98 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] (May 5, 1840, Kiel – Dec 26, 1911, Kiel), from 1891 to 1903 president of the Evangelical-Lutheran consistory in Kiel and curator of the University; from 1903 to 1911 he was president of the provincial consistory of Hanover and curator of Loccum monastery. He was a member of the Eisenach Conference and the executive committee of the Evangelical Church in Germany. He edited codes of ecclesiastical law for Schleswig-Holstein and (with G. Uhlhorn) Hanover. He was an advocate of the state church. Heinrich de Wall Bibliography W. Lampe, NDB III, 1957, 186f.

Seal of the Confessional

(348 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] Confession of specific sins in the confessional presupposes trust in the discretion of the confessor. Therefore silence must be preserved with respect to everything that takes place during confession. The seal of the confessional is an element of pastoral confidentiality in general. It includes everything communicated to a member of the clergy in his or her role as a pastor, even outside the confessional. On the other hand, professional confidentiality protects all other privilege…


(264 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] denotes a combined secular and ecclesiastical government in which the secular ruler, who enjoys a special religious status, exercises authority over the church even in spiritual and internal affairs. Since J.H. Böhmer at the beginning of the 18th century, the term has been applied particularly to the ecclesiastical authority of the emperors from Constantine the Great until the Investiture Controversy, above all for the system in the Eastern Roman…

Ecclesiastical Power

(498 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] The concept of “ecclesiastical power” is not very common in the newer doctrine of Protestant canon law; however, in Roman Catholicism, the authority of the Church and related concepts ( sacra potestas, potestas ecclesiastica, potestas ordinis, and potestas jurisdictionis) are the foundation of the Church's legal ¶ structure. Nevertheless, the justification for and the scope of the authority of the Church were among the most important controversial issues of the Reformation ( CA 28). In Protestantism, the concept of the power of …

Jacobson, Heinrich Friedrich

(110 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] Jun 8, 1804, Marienwerder – Mar 19, 1868, Königsberg [Kaliningrad]). Jacobson, of Jewish birth, was professor of both secular and ecclesiastical law at Königsberg from 1831 to his death. He wrote a treatise of Prussian law ( Der Preussische Staat, 1854), but his reputation rests primarily on his Das Evangelische Kirchenrecht des preussischen Staates und seiner Provinzen (2 vols., 1864–1866) and his unfinished Geschichte der Quellen des Kirchenrechts des Preussischen Staats (1837ff.). His works are characterized by positivistic legal particularism an…

School Legislation

(1,060 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] In the 18th century, the school system in Germany, previously treated as the domain of the church, gradually came under state control. The end of this process was marked by article 144 of the Weimar Constitution: the first clause of the first sentence placed all schooling under state supervision. This statement is repeated in Basic Law art. 7 §1. Originally this language barred all school supervision except that of the state, specifically precluding supervision by the church. Toda…


(934 words)

Author(s): Rutherford, Richard | de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] I. History and Law – II. Practical Theology I. History and Law In antiquity, cremation was widespread. Christianity, however, following a Jewish model, preferred interment (Burial: V). By the middle of the third century ce, cremation disappeared almost entirely across the Roman Empire, and Charlemagne prohibited it in 785. For the next millennium cremation remained the exception, surfacing in circumstances of mass deaths. Only under the influence of the Enlightenment was it reintroduced. …

Resistance, Right of

(2,921 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph | de Wall, Heinrich | Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. History Ever since classical antiquity, the theory of resistance and the right of resistance have been linked inseparably to the understanding of sovereignty and its limits in both civil society and the church. 1. In the Germanic tribal kingdom of Western, Central, and Northern Europe, three overlapping legal concepts legitimated a right of resistance: (1) the conviction that the ruler is not above the law but subject to the law (grounded in the tradition of the administration of justice by the community of all …


(1,117 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph | de Wall, Heinrich | Hausmanninger, Thomas
[German Version] I. Social Science Subsidiarity is a principle that regulates the relationship between the state and non-state social agents. It presupposes personal responsibility on the part of individuals as well as limitation of public regulatory authority over them and the groups to which they belong. Human beings can exist only in social communities, into which they must be integrated. At the same time, their endowment with reason allows them to act on their own responsibility, and the communit…


(5,831 words)

Author(s): Schöllgen, Georg | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Rees, Wilhelm | Plank, Peter | de Wall, Heinrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics and Canon Law – IV. Missiology I. New Testament The NT contains no evidence of the episcopate in the traditional Catholic sense (a single bishop at the apex of a hierarchical clerical ministry functioning as head of a Christian community), but it does use the word ἐπίσκοπος ( epískopos; the etymological source of bishop) for functionaries and officials exercising oversight in the community (Acts 20:28; Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:1–7; Tit 1:7–9). For the primitive church, it is therefore better ¶ to speak of episkopoi rathe…


(5,942 words)

Author(s): Schulz, Hermann | Wenning, Robert | Kuhnen, Hans-Peter | Hachlili, Rachel | Köpf, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Archaeology – III. Old Testament – IV. Judaism – V. Christianity – VI. Missiology – VII. Funerary Art I. Religious Studies A burial manifests and represents the culture-bound nature of personality and religious traditions that shape community; consequently, it is also a key to the metaphysics of cultural and civil religion. The history of research in religious studies is associated on many levels with the problem of burial. Studies examine agreements and differences …


(7,317 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Lehmann, Hartmut | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Mathisen, James A. | de Wall, Heinrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In the 1960s, religious studies began to discuss the continuing decline of religious commitment in Europe intensively. In particular the writings of Bryan Wilson ( Religion in a Secular Society, 1966) and Peter L. Berger ( The Sacred Canopy, 1967), drawing on the ideas of M. Weber, É. Durkheim, and others led to formulation of a so-called theory of secularization, where secularization denotes a natural aspect of the process of modernization, in which the traditional religious legitimation of the world has increasingly lost…
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