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(1,674 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard
[English Version] I. Allgemein Der Begriff S. bez. polit. wie rel. Phänomene. Polit. versteht man unter S. die Abspaltung von einem Staat oder einer polit. Gruppierung mit dem Ziel, sich einer anderen Gruppe anzuschließen oder unabhängig zu werden. Beispiele hierfür sind das Bemühen, das nach dem 1. Weltkrieg besetzte Rheinland vom Staatsgebiet Deutschlands abzutrennen, oder die Sezession (Sezessionskrieg) der amer. Südstaaten von den konföderierten Nordstaaten (Nordamerika: I.). Eine andere Form v…


(1,764 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard
[German Version] I. General The term separatism describes political and religious phenomena. In its political sense, separatism is understood to be the secession of a state or a political group with the aim of joining another group or becoming independent. Examples are the efforts of the Rhineland ¶ occupied after World War I to separate from the state of Germany, or the American Civil War of the American southern states who wished to secede from the confederate northern states (North America). Another form of separation is fought for by cult…

Moral Majority

(270 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard
[German Version] was the name of a religiously-oriented political organization in the United States, but the term itself is applied to any intolerant moralistic movement. Its founder, Jerry Falwell, a politically conservative Baptist pastor and television preacher from Lynchburg, Virginia, had a large following among fundamentalists (Electronic church). Courted by Republican Party functionaries who recognized the voting potential of conservative Christians, Falwell founded the Moral Majority, Inc.…

International Baptist Theological Seminary

(269 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard
[German Version] The Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board (FMB; Southern Baptist Convention [SBC]) founded the school in 1948 to provide leadership training. The FMB bought a villa in Zürich-Rüschlikon and opened the Baptist Theological Seminary in 1949. It offered a four-year Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) course but other programs were available. All its presidents, beginning with Norwegian-born Josef Nordenhaug (1903–1969), were Southern Baptists, while the FMB chose the trustees, many of whom w…

German Missions

(2,596 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
Although spreading the gospel message to all peoples has been a hallmark of the Christian faith from the very beginning, the identification of missionary work with individuals from a specific nationality is a post-Reformation and primarily Protestant phenomenon. Because the Roman Catholic Church was an international body, individuals who served in religious or missionary orders were theoretically part of the larger community, although many of these bodies actually had a national basis. Examples …

Inner Mission

(1,449 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
The term “Inner Mission” (Innere Mission) refers generally to the organized charitable endeavors of the German Protestant churches. It is often conflated into the larger conception of charitable or social service (Diakonia), and some writers even refer to it as a social gospel. Essentially a conservative concept, Inner Mission (IM) included conscious efforts (1) to cope with the harmful effects of the industrial system, which caused the masses to fall victim to the power of sin; (2) to bring about the…

Soviet Union

(2,550 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
1. Background The 74-year Soviet period was a significant interlude in the vast sweep of Russian history. Its origins lay in the deepening unrest during the reign of the last czar, Nicholas II (1894–1917), and the crisis of World War I. A variety of political movements existed, some of which operated underground and were supported by exiles. They ranged from moderate conservatives and liberals to radical agrarian socialists who wanted to remake Russia along the lines of the rural peasant land comm…

Worldwide Church of God

(1,215 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
The Worldwide Church of God (WCG), founded in 1933, is a North American Adventist church that strongly emphasizes biblical prophecy. Although it deviated from Protestant orthodoxy in a number of ways, a major doctrinal and organizational transformation occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s that converted it into an evangelical denomination. Subsequently, a number of schisms resulted in an exodus of half its adherents. The most recent (2004) estimated membership is 63,000 worldwide. 1. Founder and Successors The WCG was virtually the personal extension of its founder,…

World Evangelical Alliance

(1,812 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
Overview The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is an association of 128 national evangelical alliances, grouped, for administrative purposes, into seven regional associations (Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, North America, and South Pacific). The North America branch comprises the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and, in the United States, the National Association of Evangelicals. In 2006 the WEA also included 8 affiliate members (independently incorporated organizations that work …

Civil Religion

(4,737 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
1. Definition Also known as civic, public, political, or societal religion and as public piety or religion-in-general, civil religion refers to the widely held body of beliefs or religiopolitical traits that are tied to a nation’s history and destiny. It is a kind of generic faith that relates the political society as well as the individual citizen to the realm of ultimate meaning and existence. In turn, it enables the people to view their polity in a special manner, thereby providing meaningful s…

United Nations

(1,870 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
1. Origins The concept of an association of all the nations of the world to keep the peace and promote international cooperation seems to have originated with British foreign secretary Edward Grey (1905–16) and was promoted during World War I by U.S. president Woodrow Wilson (1913–21) in his statement of war and peace aims (the Fourteen Points). A commission at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 drafted the covenant for the League of Nations (LN, Société des Nat…

German Christians

(1,525 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
1. Definition The German Christians (GCs) were clergy and laypeople in the Protestant church of Nazi Germany who believed that the National Socialist revolution would restore the church to its rightful place at the heart of German culture and society. Distinguishing between the “invisible” and the “visible” church, they argued that the church on earth was based on divinely ordained distinctions of race and ethnicity (Racism). The GCs set out to build a heroic, manly, doctrinally free “people’s chu…

Weltparlament der Religionen

(353 words)

Author(s): V. Pierard, Richard
[English Version] . Das W. der Rel. unter dem Vorsitz des Presbyterianers John Henry Barrows tagte in Chicago vom 11. – 27.9.1893 als Höhepunkt zahlreicher, parallel zur Weltausstellung 1893 in Chicago stattfindender Zusammenkünfte säkularer und rel. Organisationen. Aus dem Postulat einer gemeinsamen, universal gültigen transzendenten Wahrheit in allen Rel. leitete das W. der Rel. das Ziel ab, auf der Grundlage der Goldenen Regel und der allg. Menschlichkeit des gottebenbildlich geschaffenen Mensc…

Church Struggle

(3,470 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
1. Term The phrase “church struggle” (CS, Ger. Kirchenkampf) refers to the conflicts between rival factions within the German Evangelical (or Protestant) Church (GEC), as well as to their oppositi…

Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State

(187 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V
[German Version] Formed in 1947 and now known as Americans United, this is the foremost advocacy group in the United States for freedom of religion and the constitutional separation of church and state (I, 5). It is a nonsectarian organization that draws support from mainline and Evangelical denominations, Baptists, Seventh-Day Adventists, Unitarians, …

Moral Re-Armament (MRA)

(721 words)

Author(s): Nolte, Paul | Pierard, Richard
[German Version] I. Europe – II. North America I. Europe Moral Re-Armament (MRA) emerged from an evangelistic movement founded in 1921 by F.N.D. Buchman (from 1929 known as the “Oxford Group”), that in 1938 renamed itself Moral Re-Armament. From England it spread in the 1920s and 1930s to the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, Scandinavia (Den-¶ …

World’s Parliament of Religions

(431 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
[German Version] The World Parliament of Religions took place in Chicago, Sep 11–27, 1893. Many conventions of secular and religious groups were held alongside the World’s Columbian Exposition in summer 1893, and this congress was planned to be the culminating event. Chaired by Presbyterian minister John Henry Barrows, it was to be a forum that ¶ would, on the basis of the Golden Rule, unite religions against irreligion and promote the spirit of human brotherhood (Love of one’s neighbor). The common aims of the religions of the world would be set for…

World Evangelical Fellowship

(265 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
[German Version] (WEF). The WEF is an Evangelical Alliance, founded in 1846 to promote Christian unity, soon divided into national branches. The US body declined after 1900, but the formation of the National Association of Evangelicals (1943) revived interest in closer ties among evangelicals (Evangelicalism: I; II) in Europe and North America. In 1951 the WEF was formed at Woudschoten, the Netherlands. Its purposes were witnessing to historic Christianity and encouraging fellowship, theological reflection, and united effort in evangelism…

Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State

(166 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
[English Version] . 1947 gegründet und heute unter dem Titel »Americans United« bekannt, sind die P. die bedeutendste Gruppe von Befürwortern der Religionsfreiheit und der verfassungsmäßigen Trennung von Kirche und Staat (: I.,5.)…

World Evangelical Fellowship

(273 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
[English Version] (WEF). Die WEF geht auf die Ev. Allianz zurück, die 1846 zur Förderung der christl. Einheit gegründet wurde und sich bald national verzweigte. Während die amer. Organisation nach 1900 verfiel, gab die Formierung der National Association of Evangelicals (1943) dem Interesse an engeren Bindungen zw. der Evangelikalen Bewegung (: I., II.) in Europa und Nordamerika neuen Auftrieb. 1951 wurde die WEF in Woudschoten (Niederlande) gegründet. Sie sollte die hist. Bedeutsamkeit des Christ…


(188 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
[English Version] Peale, Norman Vincent (31.5.1898 Bowersville, OH – 24.12.1993 Pawley, NY), amer. Prediger. Der Sohn eines Methodistenpfarrers studierte an der Wesleyan University, Ohio (B.A. 1920) und bis 1924 in Boston. P. wurde zunächst Pfarrer einer methodistischen Gemeinde in Brooklyn, NY. 1927 wechselte er mit großem Erfolg nach Syracuse, NY. 1932 ging er an die Marble Collegiate Church, New York City, wo er den Rest seiner Laufbahn verblieb. Er gründete das »Institute of Religion and Health«…

Peale, Norman Vincent

(214 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
[German Version] (May 31, 1898, Bowersville, OH – Dec 24, 1993, Pawley, NY), American preacher and promoter of “positive thinking.” The son of a Methodist minister, Peale was educated at Ohio Wesleyan University (B.A. 1920), and studied theology at Boston University. After graduating in 1924, he was assigned to a Methodist parish in Brooklyn, New York. Following great success Peale took a church in Syracuse, …

Fellowship Movement

(1,250 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V. | Ohlemacher, Jörg
1. Definition The Fellowship Movement (Gemeinschaftsbewegung) is an umbrella concept encompassing a wide variety of pietistic and theologically conservative groups in Germany. The term arose in the 1880s and referred essentially to the merging of vestiges of the pietistic awakening earlier in the 19th century with Holiness and revivalistic influences from Britain and North America. This blending resulted in the flowering of religious and charitable organizations, both within and outside the framework of the established regional Protestant churches. As voluntary societies …


(1,343 words)

Author(s): Heesch, Matthias | Pierard, Richard V.
[German Version] I. Terminology and History Utopians aspire to achieve fundamental improvement of human life from a rational, religious, or technological perspective – often in combination. To present their ideas, they frequently make use of a form somewhere between a philosophical or theological treatise and a narrative account, called a utopia after the eponymous Utopia of T. More (1516). But the theme is much earlier, going back to Plato’s Politicus: society should correlate with the three divisions of the soul, in such a way that representatives of the nous (philosophers) are in charge of gov…

Trade Unions

(3,524 words)

Author(s): Brakelmann, Günter | Jähnichen, Traugott | Pierard, Richard V.
[German Version] I. History The emergence of trade unions is associated with the development of modern capitalistic industrial society. The nascent unions considered themselves primarily representatives of the economic and social interests of their organized members but also as representatives of the unorganized workers in the various trades and professions. By virtue of their organizational goals and structures, they were organized as opponents to the employers and thus formed an integral part of t…

Voluntary Work and Associations

(4,301 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard | Guder, Darrell | Schibilsky, Michael
[German Version] I. Importance in Europe A voluntary association (Ger. ehrenamtliche Vereinigung)serves the common interest of its members. Voluntarism has to do with the freedom of the will ( voluntas; Free will), and when individuals work together of their own free will in order to accomplish a task, this leads to the creation of a voluntary association. Membership in it is neither compulsory nor acquired by birth, and its activities do not contribute to the livelihood of its members. Since human beings have a natural disposition to band together, such organizations have always existed. Voluntary work for religious purposescan be traced back to the Judeo-Christian tradition and begins as spontaneous action within the religious community. Such action mirrors the ethical assignment of caritas, i.e. the “necessity to do good works,” which leads to fraternal unions and to various patterns of organized charity. The spirit of voluntariness already manifested itself during the years of Israel’s wanderings through the wil…


(4,668 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Pierard, Richard V.
[English Version] I. Begriff …


(5,477 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Pierard, Richard V.
[German Version] I. The Concept Nationalism may be described as an integrative ideology that claims that loyalty to the inclusive body of the ¶ nation has absolute priority over all other commitments. Such competing loyalties include loyalty to a particular estate or social class, a dynasty, a local state, a region, a tribe, a denomination, or a religion. While the concept of a nation played a role in political debates in medieval Europe, its reference was not to the totality of the people but to the ruling class (the nationes


(3,273 words)

Author(s): Dieter Betz, Hans | Frey, Jörg | Marquardt, Manfred | Thiede, Werner | Pierard, Richard V. | Et al.
[English Version] I. Religionsgeschichtlich 1. Die menschliche Geburt ist in der Religionsgesch. seit jeher Gegenstand mannigfaltiger Vorstellungen, Riten und Gebräuche, darunter auch W. Als rite de passage ist die Geburt kein bloß natürlicher Vorg…


(2,576 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter | Frey, Jörg | Marquardt, Manfred | Thiede, Werner | Pierard, Richard
[German Version] I. Religious History 1. Since the dawn of time, human birth has been associated with many religious ideas, rituals, and customs, including the idea of rebirth or regeneration. As a rite of passage (Rites of passage), birth is not merely a natural process; it can repeat…
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