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(615 words)

Author(s): Körtner, Ulrich H. J.
[German Version] The intransitive meaning of the German verb verelenden, which is already attested in Middle High German, is “to sink into misery,” while its transitive use means “to drive someone into poverty.” ¶ The related verb verelendigen means “to drive out of the land, to bring misery upon someone.” Elend (misery) was the term with which the social criticism of the early 19th century denounced the impoverishment of large segments of the population that accompanied the simultaneous increase of general prosperity resulting from progressing…

Enemy/Love of One's Enemy

(1,755 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Otto, Eckart | Theißen, Gerd | Körtner, Ulrich H.J.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Ethics I. History of Religion The theme of the enemy is connected with the development or protection of identity and is directed toward people of other tribes or states, those of other faiths, or a hostile region of the world. The enemy can represent what is foreign and threatening or be localized within the world of common daily life (heretics, heresy). Stereotypical images of the enemy can stylize the other even as the embodiment of evil and serve to justify violence, killing, and war. As early as cosmogonic myths, enmity is a constitutive principle of the world. Differences with an enemy can also be eliminated through loving devotion. Love of one's enemy is found expressed in the Buddhist meditation practice of the four elevated, positive states of mind (Sanskrit/Pali: …


(1,775 words)

Author(s): Körtner, Ulrich H.J. | Widmann, Peter | Winkler, Eberhard
[German Version]

Sexual Ethics

(532 words)

Author(s): Körtner, Ulrich H.J.
[German Version] Recent conceptions of Protestant sexual ethics emphasize the difference between ethics as critical moral theory and sexual morality as its object; again, a distinction must be made between normative conceptions of ethics and descriptive or hermeneutical conceptions, following in the footsteps of F.D.E. Schleiermacher. Changes in the area of sexuality, marriage, and family, often profound, can be adequately addressed theologically only if they are not subjected at the same time to normative ethical assessment; they must first be analyzed by the social and human sciences (Keil; Ringeling). The historical relativity and limitations of traditional Christian sexual morality and teaching regarding marriage must also be taken into account. Otherwise historically contingent realities can be invested with the authority of divine commandments and given exaggerated sacral or ideological significance. Concepts of sexual ethics are therefore open to criticism when they ahistorically declare social structures and institutions to be the order of nature or creation. It is the ethical duty of all individuals to integrate their sexuality responsibly into their personhood responsibly and in the spirit of love. But sexual ethics must not limit itself to the perspecti…


(2,629 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Gebhard | Podella, Thomas | Veltri, Giuseppe | Ess, Josef van | Körtner, Ulrich H.J. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Judaism – IV. Islam –V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Dogmatics – VII. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies Anthropomorphism denotes the conception of God o…

Distant Neighbor, Love for the

(472 words)

Author(s): Körtner, Ulrich H.J.
[German Version] The expression “love for the distant neighbor” originated (as Fernstenliebe) with F. Nietzsche, whose Zarathustra propounds a love for those far away and for the future


(466 words)

Author(s): Körtner, Ulrich H.J.
[German Version] The term sexism was coined by feminism after the analogy of racism. It denotes “the social construction of inequality within a society based on the assumed superiority of one sex to the other” (Tolbert, 503). The social pressure to act in accordance with conventional gender roles implies a negative moral assessment of deviant sexual behavior, especially homosexuality, and in the context of patriarchy misogyny that can extend to violence. A sexist perspective ascribes gender differen…


(7,176 words)

Author(s): Heller, Birgit | Körtner, Ulrich H.J. | Schubert, Anselm | Braun, Karl | Ziemer, Jürgen | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Religions have various assessments and guidelines regarding sexuality, which shape the concrete ways people deal with it and influence certain social attitudes. Religious sexual morality (Sexual ethics) regulates sexual relations through various sexual taboos and by ¶ prohibiting premarital and extramarital sex a…


(742 words)

Author(s): Körtner, Ulrich H.J. | Küster, Volker
[German Version] I. Dogmatics, Fundamental Theology - II. Missiology I. Dogmatics, Fundamental Theology The term “accommodation” (from Latin accommodatio

Amnesty International

(218 words)

Author(s): Körtner, Ulrich H.J.
[German Version] (AI), founded in 1961, is a human rights organization that works worldwide esp. for the release of people imprisoned for philosophical, religious, or political reasons. The impetus for the founding was a newspaper article by the English lawyer Peter Benenson in the London Observer on 28 May 1961, which called the public's attention to the fate of “forgotten prisoners.” AI serves exclusively so-called nonviolent political “prisoners of consc…