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Vienna Newtown

(143 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
[German Version] (Wiener Neustadt), a town in the Viennese basin south of Vienna, established by design in 1194. It became a bishopric in 1469, when Emperor Frederick III received approval for an episcopal see for his Vienna Newtown residence from Pope Paul II. Internal tensions and inadequate endowment made purposeful development difficult. Outstanding bishops included Leopold v. Kollonitsch (1670–1685), pastor of the Viennese during the Turkish siege of 1683, and the irenic theologian C. de Roja…


(1,720 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
[German Version] Marcion (c. 85 – c. 160) was the most successful heretic of the 2nd century; when the Catholic Church rejected him, he set up his own alternative church, for which he claimed catholicity. Marcion came from Pontus, probably from Sinope on the Black Sea. By profession he was a ship-owner and maritime trader. Otherwise his biographical tradition is colored by its anti-heretical sources. Early theological conflicts in Asia Minor are historically dubious. His excommunication by his own father, the bishop of Sinope, for seducing a virgin is certainly fictional (Epiph. Haer.

Wiener Neustadt

(143 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
[German Version] (Vienna Newtown), a town in the Viennese basin south of Vienna, established by design in 1194. It became a bishopric in 1469, when Emperor Frederick III received approval for an episcopal see for his Wiener Neustadt residence from Pope Paul II. Internal tensions an…


(1,597 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
[German Version] I. City and Archbishopric 1. City. Vienna is the capital of the Republic of Austria and (since 1922) a state in the Austrian federation, with a population of 1,723,000 (2009). The Roman legionary fortress of Vindobona was destroyed during the Migration Period along with the neighboring civilian town, but the site was settled continuously until the early Middle Ages (also called Vindomina and Venia). A great expansion took place under the late Babenbergs. Vienna became an ecclesiastical …


(164 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
[German Version] (c. 150 – c. 210), a painter by profession, was a Christian teacher in Syria (Antioch?), later in Carthage. The most important sources for his writings, which have been lost, are Tertullian Adversus Hermogenem and Hippolytus Refutatio omnium haeresium VIII 17. Influenced by Middle Platonism, Hermogenes taught that the world was created from eternal matter (citing Gen 1:1f.) and sought to defend the unity and goodness of God. For him evil was associated with matter. Other notions resemble Gnostic …


(3,749 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
[German Version] I. General – II. Non-Christian Religions – III. Christianity I. General Today's Republic of Austria (the official designation since 1920) corresponds, with diminished borders, to the Habsburg estate, i.e. the territories in the Danube and eastern Alpine area acquired by the Habsburgs in the 13th–15th centuries forming the center of the imperial Hausmacht. The name Austria first occurs in 996 in the form “Ostarrichi” (“Eastland”). Originally a reference to what is now Lower and Upper Austria, it subsequently served as a designation for the entire Habsburg Empire. 62.8% of the area of Austria belongs to the eastern Alps. The Danube and the easily accessible Alpine passes make …


(180 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
[German Version] (Gk Kerdon), a Syrian (?) Gnostic who was active as a Christian teacher in Rome c. 140. According to Irenaeus of Lyon ( Haer. I, 27.2f.), Cerdo came from the school of Simon Magus and introduced Marcion, his disciple and successor in Rome, to the distinction between the good god and the just god. (He is also mentioned in Hipp. Haer. VII, 10; 37.1f.; X, 9.1; Ps.-Tert. Adv. omn. haer. 6; and Epiph. Haer. 41; 42.3f.) The line of succession Simon – Cerdo – Marcion, however, is probably an anti-Marcionite fiction. A s…

Adamantius, Dialogue of

(124 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
[German Version] Adamantius (“Man of Steel”) is the name of the orthodox principal speaker in a Greek dialogue (subtitled De recta in deum fide) that attacks Marcion, Bardesanites (Bardesanes), and Valentinians (Valentinianism). It was composed some time after 325 …


(129 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
[German Version] (died after 180), the most important disciple of Marcion, was a Christian teacher in Alexandria and Rome. He moderated his mast…


(110 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
[German Version] (c. 180), is mentioned by Eusebius of Caesarea as an orthodox author ( Hist. eccl. IV 21) and especially as the author of an anti- Marcionite writing (IV 25). The context points to a date of c. 180. Jerome ( Vir. ill. 32) confirms this statement: he has Modestus write during the reigns of Marcus Aurelius (161–180) and Commodus (180–192). According to Eusebius, Modestus, in his writing against Marcion, exposed the heretic's error “better than the others.” The work is lost, and it is not known where Modestus lived.…

Dogma, History of

(3,213 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
[German Version] I. History of Dogma before the Enlightenment – II. History of Dogma as a Historical-Theological Discipline – III. Present and Future Tasks of the History of Dogma I. History of Dogma before the Enlightenment 1. What is meant by the history istory of dogma is, first, the process of the origin and reception of binding ¶ ecclesiastical decisions on doctrine and, second, the historical-theological discipline of their study. Roman Catholic theology usually speaks of the development of dogma and reserves the term “history of dogma” for the historical discipline. 2. The r…

Augsburg Confession

(1,584 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
1.1. The Augsburg Confession arose out of the political and ecclesiastical situation of the years 1529 and 1530. After making peace with Pope Clement VII (1523–34) and King Francis I of France (1515–47), Emperor Charles V (1519–56), who had left the empire in 1521 for a long sojourn in Spain, could again turn his attention to its affairs. In the interest of his other international political goals, he was looking for a solution to the theological disputes. He was ready for a tactical arrangement …

Athanasian Creed

(318 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
This creed, which is known as the Quicunque vult, from its opening words, is a pregnant summary of the doctrine of the Trinity and Christology. Written in Latin, it does not come from Athanasius (ca. 297–373) but originated instead in southern Gaul or Spain at the end of the fifth century or beginning of the sixth. Works from the fifth to the seventh centuries contain echoes of it. Perhaps Caesarius of Arles (d. 542) knew it in his time. Around the time of the Council of Autun (670) it is plainly attested as the creed of St. Athanasius. The first part of the statement presents a simplifie…

Augsburg, Peace of

(399 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
The Peace of Augsburg, promulgated on September 25, 1555, regulated the coexistence of confessions in the German Empire and gave Protestants who followed the Augsburg Confession (i.e., Lutherans) permanent legal security. It was arranged at the Augsburg Diet among the various states in agreement with King Ferdinand. The emperor, Charles V (1519–56), remained aloof for reasons of conscience. It was meant as a temporary political settlement until religious agreement could be reached, although no time limit was set. In eff…


(596 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
1. Marcion Marcion (d. ca. a.d. 160) was a shipowner from Pontus in Asia Minor (from ancient Sinope?). Under Emperor Antoninus Pius (138–61) he tried to win over the Roman church to his understanding of the Christian message. When he failed, he founded his own church (in 144?). His followers called themselves Marcionites.…


(1,829 words)

Author(s): Jürgensmeier, Friedhelm | May, Gerhard
[German Version] I. City and Bishopric – II. University I. City and Bishopric Mainz, laid out as a military camp between 18 and 13 bce, became the capital of the Roman province Germania prima; by the 4th century at the latest, it was an episcopal see. Medieval lists identify its first bishop as Marinus or Martinus. In the 10th century, in competition with Trier and Cologne, its episcopal succession was traced back to Crescens (2 Tim 4:10). The Roman civitas, coextensive with the see, collapsed during the migration period. A Frankish settlement since the 5th or 6th centur…

Literature, Biblical and Early Christian

(9,082 words)

Author(s): Schmitt, Hans-Christoph | Paulsen, Henning | May, Gerhard
1. OT 1.1. Task Viewing the OT as literature means engaging in critical literary analysis (Exegesis, Biblical) of the individual books. There is then an attempt to achieve ¶ a synthetic picture of the development of the entire literature of Israel from its early beginnings to the age of the Maccabees. This study will also take account of Israel’s life settings. First, however, this endeavor must survey the forms and genres of the preliterary tradition. 1.2. History of Research


(577 words)

Author(s): Schmälzle, Udo Friedrich | May, Gerhard | Maxson, Rachel E.
[German Version] I. History – II. Canon Law – III…


(7,453 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas | Mell, Ulrich | le Boulluec, Alain | Jorissen, Hans | Schuck, Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Philosophy and Religious Studies – II. Christianity – III. Practical Theology – IV. Church Law – V. Judaism – VI. Islam I. Philosophy and Religious Studies The word “heresy” derives from Gk αἵρεσις/ haíresis (“act of choice,” “decision”). In the Hellenistic period, when a plurality of philosophical schools had developed, the word was used to express the need of budding philosophers to choose between these schools. Hence it came to be used to denote both a philosophical school and the school's teaching; in addition, it was used for schools of medicine. In contrast to Christian usage, it was not a term with negative connotations distinguishing teachings contrary to one's own but a collective term for all ¶ the existing schools, such as Dio…