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Normen

(1,874 words)

Author(s): Michaels, Axel | Alexy, Robert | Herms, Eilert
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich Soziale N. sind die verinnerlichten, aber kontrollierten Verhaltensregeln einer sozialen Gruppe. Sie umfassen Regeln und Standards für Anstand und Sitte, d.h. für das rel., sittliche und rechtliche Verhalten. Anders als Ideale oder Werte sind N. meist spezifisch und konkret. Zur Bedeutung von N. gibt es unterschiedliche Theorien; es überwiegt die These, daß N. zur sozialen Kontrolle und der Erzeugung von Gruppensolidarität bzw. der kulturellen Identität dienen. Die Geltung von rel. und sittlichen N. wird meist durch …

Caste

(1,741 words)

Author(s): Michaels, Axel | Jeyaraj, Daniel | Forrester, Duncan
[German Version] I. India – II. Caste and Christianity (in History) – III. Missiology I. India “Caste” (from Port. casta, “pure, unadulterated, chaste”) is the term used to denote Indian social groups based on criteria of consanguinity and, in part, fictional genealogy; they are distinguished by common occupations, names, and traditions, especially norms governing marriage and diet (Dietary laws: VIII). Traditional Hindu society adopts a hierarchic model of four classes (Skt. varṇa, often mislabeled “castes”) (Hinduism: III, 2). Castes are charact…

Anxiety and Fear

(1,909 words)

Author(s): Michaels, Axel | Ringleben, Joachim | Schulz, Heiko | Loder, James E.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy – III. Philosophy of Religion – IV. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies Anxiety (Angst) or fear (anxiety is the deeper but less harmful form of the feeling) – S. Freud scarcely differentiates between the terms – is an alteration in feeling and behavior triggered by pain, actual or expected, loss, or expected punishment. Somatic responses triggered by a perceived threat – perspiration, increased pulse rate, a sense of confinement (cf. Lat. angustus, “narrow, constricted”) – are associated…

Law and Legislation

(7,555 words)

Author(s): Michaels, Axel | Otto, Eckart | Räisänen, Heikki | Sparn, Walter | Starck, Christian
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics and Ethics – V. Politics and Jurisprudence I. History of Religion Laws are generally regarded as formulated, i.e. sentential and often codified rules of life and coexistence; this ¶ refers especially to principles of nature (Law/Natural law) and norms of action (Commandment, Ethics). For the modern age, the validity of natural laws arises from hypothetical laws that have been verified through observation and experiments, and have thereby been proven or j…

Redemption/Soteriology

(10,262 words)

Author(s): Gunton, Colin | Filoramo, Giovanni | Spieckermann, Hermann | Popkes, Wiard | Hübner, Michael | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology All the major concepts in soteriology have biblical roots. Of central importance today is the notion of reconciliation (II), which bridges the theological and secular realms. The original Greek word καταλλαγή/ katallagḗ involves the notion of exchange, which was early taken to imply that Christ takes the place of the sinner before God, so realizing atonement (at-one-ment) and making expiation. Associated ideas include substitution and representation, which conceive Christ as standing in for the sinner before God. Particular theolo…

Hinduism

(9,381 words)

Author(s): Michaels, Axel | Fischer-Tiné, Harald | Eisenlohr, Patrick | Gail, Adalbert J. | Lähnemann, Johannes | Et al.
[German Version] I. History – II. Religious Doctrine – III. Society – IV. Hinduism and Christianity I. History 1. Historical outline Hinduism, from Persian hindu (“one who lives by the Indus River”), is a collective term for those religious communities and their systems that formed on the south Asian subcontinent (India: I) or spread there, whose social organization is characterized by particular rules of lineage and marriage (the so-called caste system, see III, 2 below; Caste: I), who primarily uphold Vedic-Brahm…

Ancestors, Cult of

(3,486 words)

Author(s): Balz, Heinrich | Harich-Schwarzbauer, Henriette | Podella, Thomas | Seiwert, Hubert | Michaels, Axel | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Greco-Roman Antiquity – III. Old Testament – IV. China – V. India – VI. Missiology I. Religious Studies All ancestors that are worshiped are dead, but not all dead people are ancestors, and not every mortuary ritual represents an ancestor cult. For an ancestor cult, there must be a consciousness of a familial and genealogical connection with the ancestors over one or more generations, …

Life Cycle

(2,663 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Wagner-Rau, Ulrike | Preul, Reiner | Goldberg, Sylvie Anne | Michaels, Axel
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Practical Theology – III. Ethics (Phases of Maturation) – IV. Judaism – V. Hinduism I. Religious Studies In almost all cultures and religions, a person apparently experiences his life not only as a straight line, but more as cyclically sequenced, more-or-less discontinuous phases with varied social status and role claims. The transition between these phases usually takes place as a controlled “growing process,” not only accompanied by so-called rites of passage, but in f…

Asceticism

(6,235 words)

Author(s): Harich-Schwarzbauer, Henriette | Ries, Julien | Podella, Thomas | Niederwimmer, Kurt | Köpf, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Ethics – VI. Judaism – VII. Indian Religions I. Religious Studies 1. Greece and Rome. The term “asceticism,” the Western meaning of which was shaped by Christianity, derives from Gk ἄσκησις/ áskēsis, a noun denoting activity; ἄσκεῖν/ askeîn originally meant “to craft/to decorate.” In the 5th century bce, the primary meaning became “to train/to exercise.” The exercise was mostly physical (gymnastics, …

Speisegebote/Speiseverbote/Speisegesetze

(3,798 words)

Author(s): Borgeaud, Philippe | Willi-Plein, Ina | Ebner, Martin | Puza, Richard | Reichman, Ronen | Et al.
[English Version] I. ReligionswissenschaftlichAnhand der Speisegebote (S.) und -verbote einer menschlichen Gemeinschaft läßt sich der Zusammenhang zw. symbolischen und rituellen Handlungen ablesen. Die Wahl der Nahrung (Vorlieben und Verbote) ist eng verbunden mit dem Gesamtbild, das eine Kultur von sich entwirft und mit dem sie anderen Kulturen gegenübertritt und das seinerseits ein spezifisches Verhältnis zur Natur und Transzendenz voraussetzt. Die S. haben somit identitätsstiftende Funktion; si…

Dietary Laws

(4,404 words)

Author(s): Borgeaud, Philippe | Willi-Plein, Ina | Ebner, Martin | Puza, Richard | Reichman, Ronen | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Christianity – V. Judaism – VI. Islam – VII. Buddhism – VIII. Indian Religions I. Religious Studies A human society's dietary laws and prohibitions give us an excellent insight into its symbolic and ritual practices. The choice of nourishment (preferences and prohibitions) is closely tied to the overall image that a culture develops of itself, with whic…

Wallfahrt/Wallfahrtsorte

(8,670 words)

Author(s): Winter, Franz | Oegema, Gerbern S. | Raspe, Lucia | Jehle, Irmengard | Hartinger, Walter | Et al.
[English Version] I. Religionsgeschichtlich Grundsätzlich versteht man unter einer Wallfahrt (W.) eine rel. motivierte, individuelle oder kollektive Reise, die meist über eine größere Distanz auszuführen und (v.a. in früheren Zeiten) mit großen Mühen verbunden ist. Ein abendländischer »Pilger« kennt dabei kaum mehr die Gefahren, denen ein peregrinus ausgesetzt war. Dieser lat. Ausdruck, auf den das dt. Wort »Pilger« zurückgeht, bez. den Fremden, gelegentlich auch den Exilierten. Auch die Semantik von »wallen« bezog sich urspr. a…

Opfer

(11,705 words)

Author(s): Borgeaud, Philippe | Marx, Alfred | Chaniotis, Angelos | Bremmer, Jan N. | Moscovitz, Leib | Et al.
[English Version] I. ReligionswissenschaftlichDas Wort »O.« bez. im Deutschen sowohl das geopferte Lebewesen bzw. die Opfergabe als auch diejenige rituelle Handlung (z.B. Zerstörung), durch die das Lebewesen oder Objekt den übernatürlichen Wesen zugeeignet wird. Im Engl. sowie in den romanischen Sprachen werden diese beiden Phänomene dagegen begrifflich differenziert. Engl./franz. »sacrifice« (ital./span. sacrificio) bez. die rituelle Opferhandlung, während engl. »victim« (franz. victime, span. vi…

Pilgrimage/Places of Pilgrimage

(9,650 words)

Author(s): Winter, Fritz | Raspe, Lucia | Jehle, Irmengard | Hartinger, Walter | Schmid, Josef Johannes | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies A pilgrimage is a journey by an individual or group, religiously motivated, usually over a substantial distance and (esp. in earlier periods) demanding great effort. A Western pilgrim today can hardly imagine the dangers to which a peregrinus was exposed. This Latin term, the etymon of the English word pilgrim, denoted a foreigner or in some cases an exile. A person who undertook a pilgrimage was thus someone who had to leave his or her familiar environment. The element of foreignness and movement also induced…

Sacrifice

(13,083 words)

Author(s): Borgeaud, Philippe | Marx, Alfred | Chaniotis, Angelos | Bremmer, Jan N. | Moscovitz, Leib | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The word sacrifice denotes both the living creature or offering sacrificed and the ritual action (e.g. destruction) through which that creature or object is dedicated to a supernatural being. If a distinction needs to be made, English and the Romance languages can use sacrifice (Eng. and Fr.; sacrificio Ital. and Span.) for the ritual action while using victim (Fr. victime, Span. víctima, Ital. vittima) for the creature sacrificed. Etymologically sacrifice suggests an action in which the sacrificed object is “made holy/sacred” (Lat. sacrum fac…
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