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Ubiquity

(692 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
1. In the context of Christian theology, ubiquity, or the teaching that God is everywhere (Lat. ubique), is related to the distinction between God and the world (i.e., God’s transcendence). The omnipresence of God shows clearly that the divine transcendence (Immanence and Transcendence) does not mean that the Creator is alongside the creature but involves the direct permeation of every creature by the Creator, who has given it its being and maintains it in being ( conservatio; Creation). Pantheism, which stresses the unity of God with the world, does at least resist the…

Wrath of God

(4,386 words)

Author(s): Smend, Rudolf | Hübner, Hans | Slenczka, Notger
1. OT 1.1. Using anthropomorphic or anthropopathic language, many religions described their gods in human terms; they could thus see them as wrathful. Fear of divine wrath was undoubtedly one of the main motivations behind the development of religion and also of the cult. Israel was close to its neighbors in this regard, as may be seen from an inscription of King Mesha of Moab (mid-9th cent. b.c.), who, speaking of the long-standing oppression of Moab by King Omri of Israel (§1.5), attributes it to the wrath of Chemosh, the Moabite god (KAI 181.5; TUAT 1.647; cf. 2 Kgs. 3:27). 1.2. Mention of …

Sign

(3,172 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Enno | Brown, Robert F. | Slenczka, Notger
1. Term A sign in the most general sense is something understood to stand for something else, for something other than the sign itself. To serve as a sign, it must be recognized as signifying what it stands for. People and computer programs recognize and employ signs. To determine whether other animals do too depends on what counts as a sign, and on the assessment of their cognitive and instinctual functions. There is no unanimity as to what counts as a sign or how to classify different sorts of signs. Some signs have a direct or natural connection between their characteristics or oc…

Reformation Principles

(524 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
1. By the term “Reformation principles” the Formula of Concord and Protestant orthodoxy (§1) understand negatively slanted formulations of the doctrine of justification, above all sola fide, “by faith alone,” on the basis of Martin Luther’s (1483–1546) rendering of Romans 3:28 (see LW  ¶ 35.187ff.; Faith 3.5.3). This exclusion of works as a ground of justification does not mean the isolating of faith but singles out justifying faith because it receives the righteousness of Christ that is given by grace alone. The formula thus has the implication of solus Christus (Christ alone) and sol…

Sacramentality

(1,630 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
1. Term The term “sacramentality” and the related adjective “sacramental” have no single meaning but are used in different ways in different connections. Formally, “sacramentality” is an abstract term based on “sacrament” and denoting what is essential to a sacrament as such. It serves, then, to show with what right the church describes various actions as sacraments. In this sense M. J. Scheeben (1835–88) raised the question of the sacramentality of marriage (pp. 593–610). By its very nature the term “sacramentality” looks beyond the question of the number of sacramen…

International Council of Community Churches

(493 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
The International Council of Community Churches (ICCC) is a national organization of independent churches in the United States. It works particularly to foster a sense of Christian loyalty to a church’s own community, instead of primary loyalty going to a denomination or other organization outside that community. Its fourfold stated vision is to “affirm individual freedom of conscience; protect and promote church self-determination; proclaim that the love of God, which unites, can overcome any d…

Communicatio idiomatum

(498 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] denotes the “mutual interchange of attributes” of the second person of the Deity with the human person Jesus of Nazareth or attributes of humanity with the second person of the Deity in the person of Jesus Christ (Christology). It manifests first in the language of worship (prayer addressed to Jesus; predication of Mary as Theotokos) as well as in the biblical documents and ecclesiastical tradition (1 Cor 2:8b; Mark 2:10). The Chalcedonian Defin…

Obedience

(2,323 words)

Author(s): Gantke, Wolfgang | Beutler, Johannes | Slenczka, Notger | Schweitzer, Friedrich | Sieckmann, Jan-R.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Dogmatics – IV. Education and Ethics – V. Law I. Religious Studies Emphasis on the phenomenon known as obedience varies among religions, but wherever human beings are understood as hearers of a divine or sacred word obedience plays an important role as the claim of a higher, transhuman power on human beings. The religious will to obey presupposes prevailing over one’s own self-will for the sake of God or what is holy. The Enlighten-¶ ment, which calls human beings to autonomy, led to a crisis of the religious concept of o…

Rudelbach, Andreas Gottlob

(268 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] (Sep 29, 1792, Copenhagen – Mar 3, 1862, Slagelse, Zealand). After his university studies, degree, and habilitation, he was appointed to a pastorate in Copenhagen; there he translated the Augsburg Confession and its Apologia as well as patristic texts into Danish. In 1829 he succeeded E.W. Hengstenberg as superintendent in Glauchau (Saxony); during his tenure, a revival movement (Revival/Revival movements) took root. Rudelbach was a confessional Lutheran (Neo-Lutheranism), who also supported the Evangelische Kirchenzeitung and its antirationalist posit…

Schlink, Edmund

(186 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] (Mar 6, 1903, Darmstadt – May 20, 1984, Heidelberg), one of the leading participants in the ecumenical dialogue following World ¶ War II. His academic career began during the Kirchenkampf; he was active in many functions on behalf of the Confessing Church. Initially he taught at Bethel; after the seminary was dissolved by the Gestapo in 1939, he served as a pastor. After the war, he accepted a call to Heidelberg, where the founded the first Ecumenical Institute. His multifaceted ecumenical involvement both in…

Logos

(4,012 words)

Author(s): Peppel, Matthias | Slenczka, Notger | Figal, Günter
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Philosophy I. History of Religion The Greek noun logos (λόγος/ lógos), which is derived from the verb λέγειν/ légein, “to say, to speak,” designates the human faculty of speech and ability to reason, usually in combination, as well as numerous individual aspects such as: sentence, topic, oration, prose, teaching, judgment, cause, conclusion, and reason. In its earliest attestations logos refers to an “oration,” whose deceptive effects are frequently emphasized (Hom. Od. I 56) – thus in the personific…

Goods

(1,473 words)

Author(s): Himmelmann, Beatrix | Slenczka, Notger | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Dogmatics – III. Ethics I. Philosophy A good is something we actively pursue for ourselves (Action: I). Obviously there are different kinds of goods that we pursue: prosperity, health, development of our talents, friendship, professional success, the joy of love, long life, etc. Classically (Plato, Laws 697b, 743e) ¶ goods can be divided into three classes: external goods, goods of the body, such as health, and goods of the soul, such as friendship and justice. Our appetite for goods inevitably leads to confli…

Cross/Crucifixion

(4,480 words)

Author(s): Sundermeier, Theo | Taeger, Jens-Wilhelm | Köpf, Ulrich | Slenczka, Notger | Stock, Alex
[German Version] I. The Cross in Non-Christian Religions – II. Crucifixion in Antiquity – III. The Crucifixion of Christ – IV. Church History – V. Dogmatic Theology – VI. The Cross in Modern Art I. The Cross in Non-Christian Religions From prehistoric times to the present, various forms of the cross have appeared in many non-Christian cultures and religions, used both as a religious symbol and as an ornamental design (the boundaries are fluent). It is a primal human symbol. As such it is polysemous and has …

Real Presence

(638 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] In the first instance, the expression real presence means a position that takes the words of institution (“This is my body/blood”) literally, arguing that “in, with, and under” the elements of the Eucharist, the body and blood of Jesus Christ are actually received, in contrast, say, to the position of Berengar of Tours and Zwingli, which interprets the words of institution metaphorically and considers the elements signs representing the humanity of Christ, seated at the right hand of God…

Humiliation

(633 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] κένωσις/ kénōsis; exinanitio). The Christ-hymn in Phil. 2:6–11 describes the life of Jesus in two “stages” as a path from incarnation to the cross and as post-resurrection exaltation. The doctrine of the “state” of humiliation, which was not really articulated terminologically until the intra-Protestant dispute concerning Christology, adopts the central term associated with the first stage: heautón ekénōsen (v. 7). This doctrine expounds the relationship between the doctrines of the person and work of Christ. Beginning with the initial …

Walter, Johannes von

(152 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] (Nov 8, 1876, Petersburg – Jan 5, 1940, Bad Nauheim), church historian at Breslau (Wrocław), Vienna, and Rostock (from 1921). His edition of the commentary on the Sentences by Gandulf of Bologna deserves special mention, along with his studies on the history of the Reformation, including his analysis of K. Holl’s interpretation of justification ( Mystik und Rechtfertigung beim jungen Luther, 1937) and the Diet of Augsburg ( Luther und Melanchthon während des Augsburger Reichstags, 1931). His strength was the elicitation and vivid description of the inte…

Parties, Political and Church

(4,565 words)

Author(s): Hübinger, Gangolf | Oberreuter, Heinrich | Mayeur, Jean-M. | Slenczka, Notger | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] I. Concept, Historical and Legal Foundations The concept of the party has always been polyvalent in the political semantics of European modernity, while the historical configurations of parties have been subject to extreme variations. As intermediary, organizationally cemented groups representing shared views and positioned between the general population and the government, and legitimized by the respective national electoral law, parties have helped promote the parliamentarization and …

Status confessionis

(393 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] The concept of a status confessionis comes from the situation presented in Matt 10:32f., in which – under persecution – one must decide (Decision) between confessing Christ and denying Christ. Not every situation requiring a decision involves a status confessionis. Paul, for example, considered eating food offered to idols irrelevant to a person’s relationship to God (Adiaphora). But those who could see eating such food only as separation from Christ should refrain (Rom 14; 1 Cor 8). The term itself emerged during the Adiaphorist controversy, in which Mela…

Thomasius, Gottfried

(190 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] ( Jul 26, 1802, Egenhausen – Jan 24, 1875, Erlangen), theologian associated with the Erlangen School (professor at Erlangen from 1842). Thomasius considered Scripture, the church’s confessions of faith, and the individual consciousness of salvation (faith) to be substantially identical manifestations of Christianity. He organized his dogmatic theology ( Christi Person und Werk, 5 vols., 1852–1861), focused on Christology and its implications, as a methodical explication of the consciousness of fellowship with God mediated through …

Traditionalism

(1,399 words)

Author(s): Holzem, Andreas | Hilberath, Bernd Jochen | Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] I. Catholicism 1. History. Traditionalism in the broader sense does not correlate clearly with Christianity or any denomination. A tendency to invest long-standing tradition as a whole or particular authorities within a body of religious tradition with special dignity and binding force appears primarily in the context of attempts to deal with acute crises of belief and practice by maintaining a firm hold on the past. Catholic traditionalism in the narrower sense was therefore a 19th-…
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