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Monasteries

(3,085 words)

Author(s): Freiberger, Oliver | Köpf, Ulrich | Mürmel, Heinz | Kalb, Herbert
[German Version] I. Comparative Religion – II. Christianity – III. Buddhism – IV. Monastic Law I. Comparative Religion The term monastery (or cloister) derives from the Christian tradition, where it denotes the living and working quarters, relatively secluded from the outside world, of a monastic community leading some type of ascetic life (Asceticism; see II below). In the broader context of other religions, the term is also tied to the context of monasticism. When certain social structures in non-Christian reli…

Poverty

(3,579 words)

Author(s): Klinger, Elmar | Ebach, Jürgen | Stegemann, Wolfgang | Köpf, Ulrich | Reinert, Benedikt
[German Version] I. Concept Poverty is a major source of distress. It is a historical circumstance, not a natural condition. We speak of relative poverty when someone’s income is below the mean, absolute poverty when it is below subsistence level. From the perspective of the Bible and contemporary theology, poverty means deprivation but also marginalization, incapacitation, and disfranchisement. Wealth means affluence but also power, exploitation, and oppression (see III and V below). Poverty is a life and death matter. Elmar Klinger Bibliography E. Klinger, Armut, 1990 E.-U. Hu…

Literature, History of

(11,666 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Utzschneider, Helmut | Reiser, Marius | Hezser, Catherine | Heinzmann, Michael
[German Version] I. The Concept and its Problems – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Judaism – V. Church History I. The Concept and its Problems Since the emergence of historical consciousness in the late 18th and early 19th century, literary historiography has attempted to present literary phenomena not simply as a sequential chronological or lexical (alphabetical) list but in their internal, substantial coherence and its historical development. The notion of literary history goes back to antiquity, but to …

Effective History/Reception History

(5,400 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael | Schüle, Andreas | Rösel, Martin | Luz, Ulrich | Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Applications I. Philosophy The concept of effective history ( Wirkungsgeschichte) takes on philosophical significance in the hermeneutics of H.G. Gadamer, where it represents the attempt to clarify the fundamental requirement for understanding texts and make this understanding transparent in its own historically conditioned context. …

Renaissance

(9,034 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Cancik, Hubert | Buttler, Karen | Imorde, Joseph | Mohr, Hubert
[German Version] I. Concept The French term “Renaissance,” which was also borrowed by German and English, belongs to the large group of organic metaphors applied to historical occurrences. Used from the 19th century in sole reference to animal/human life and understood in the sense of “rebirth,” it is assigned in recent research (since Jost Trier) more appropriately to the botanical sphere and explained as “renewed growth,” i.e. as a renewed sprouting of shoots ¶ from felled trees and bushes. Pre-Christian Latin already employed renasci (from nasci, “to be born, to become, to ar…

Wealth

(3,273 words)

Author(s): Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth | Liwak, Rüdiger | Riches, John K. | Köpf, Ulrich | Reinert, Benedikt
[German Version] I. Terminology The term wealth belongs to the semantic field that includes kingdom, empire, violence, dominion, and glory. In that context it suggests first an abundance of earthly goods that brings power, then abundance or profusion of almost anything. A distinction must be made between an economic sense of wealth and a broader figurative sense. In its economic sense it means property, possessions, the sum of available goods and values (Value/Values) that substantially exceeds what is considered …

Humility

(4,021 words)

Author(s): Jödicke, Ansgar | Mathys, Hans-Peter | Reeg, Gottfried | Wengst, Klaus | Köpf, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Church History – VI. Dogmatics and Ethics I. Religious Studies Humility is an attitude of conscious abasement (Humiliation) and submission. Some modes of expressing humility, such as postures or gestures, can be traced to biological roots; others are conventional, for example a “humble glance” or foot washing. In many cases we encounter an inversion of what is culturally normal, for example nakedness in the poverty (IV) movements of the Middle Ages. Basically, a distinction must b…

Clothing and Vestments

(3,745 words)

Author(s): Berlejung, Angelika | Köpf, Ulrich | Allen Jr., Horrace T. | Schneider, Johann | Miletto, Gianfranco
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Christianity – III. Judaism I. Religious Studies 1. General Clothing fulfills the need for ornamentation and presentation, protection against the weather, and, in certain cases, magic. Appearance and materials follow climatic conditions, economic and technical capabilities (sewing, weaving, etc.), social or fashion conventions, and can be specified according to function (professional attire) or situation (festal attire). Clothing increases the complexity of the optical appearance of its ¶ wearer. It visualizes and makes m…

Spirituality

(5,031 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth | Grethlein, Christian | Kim, Kirsteen | Mendes-Flohr, Paul
[German Version] I. Terminology The growing popularity of the term spirituality and its equivalents in other Western languages in religious and theological literature is a 20th-century phenomenon. Although the adjective spiritalis (or spiritualis) appeared in early Christian Latin, translating Pauline πνευματικός/ pneumatikós (1 Cor 2:13–3:1, etc.), along with its antonym carnalis (for σαρκικός/ sarkikós) and rapidly became common, the noun spiritualitas did not appear until the 5th century and then only sporadically. In the 12th century, it began to app…

Papacy

(20,018 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Zimmermann, Harald | Mörschel, Tobias | Wassilowsky, Günther | Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Early Church – II. Middle Ages and Reformation – III. Modern Period and Today – IV. Chronological List of the Popes I. Early Church 1. Definition. If papacy is defined as the claim (based on Matt 16:16–19; 28:20; Luke 22:31f.; John 21:15–19) of the bishops of Rome as successors and heirs to Peter to leadership along with jurisdictional and magisterial primacy (I) within the universal church, papacy in the strict sense dates only from the Middle Ages in the Latin West. In the Early Church, the point at iss…

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 …

Relics

(5,513 words)

Author(s): Felber, Anneliese | Köpf, Ulrich | Plank, Peter | Hafner, Johann Ev. | Mohr, Hubert
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Relics are the remains (Lat. reliquiae) of individuals endowed with power, such as warriors, chiefs, sorcerers, heroes, prophets, martyrs, and saints – their bodies, their clothing, or objects they have used. Veneration of relics reflects the belief that these forces continue beyond the grave; the intent is to benefit from this power or blessing by erecting structures over the grave, lighting candles or leaving flowers, processions, touching or kissing, or burial near…

Historiography

(5,830 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Karl | Cancik, Hubert | Dietrich, Walter | Plümacher, Eckhard | Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Et al.
[German Version] I. Ancient Near East – II. Greece – III. Rome – IV. The Bible – V. Christianity – VI. Judaism I. Ancient Near East Historiography in the classic sense, with a reflective account of historical linkages, developed rudimentarily at best in the cuneiform cultures of the ancient Near East in Hittite and Neo-Assyrian annals and the introductions to treaties; even these documents were usually written to justify the political actions. Around the middle of the 3rd millennium bce, however, there appeared an immense number of all sorts of texts containing more …

Saints/Veneration of the Saints

(4,185 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Köpf, Ulrich | Müller, Gerhard Ludwig | Ivanov, Vladimir | Barth, Hans-Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In comparative religious studies, veneration of saints generally refers to the posthumous cultic veneration of a holy person more or less identifiable as a historical individual; it is centered at the place that preserves the saint’s mortal remains, thought to have miraculous powers. Occasionally veneration of living individuals is subsumed under the same category, but this extension results in a dubious diminution of terminological precision, since to this day no one …

Sacraments

(10,176 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Nocke, Franz-Josef | Felmy, Karl Christian | Kandler, Karl-Hermann | Busch, Eberhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Church History In Christian usage, the term sacrament has two meanings: a broad meaning corresponding to the New Testament term μυστήριον/ mystḗrion (“mystery”), used as a term for mysteries of the faith in general, and a narrower meaning in the sense of certain liturgical actions that enable believers to share in the salvific grace effected by Christ. While medieval Scholastic theology in the West developed the narrower understanding of sacraments with increasingly precise and subtle definitions, …

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, …

Martyr

(6,592 words)

Author(s): Beinhauer-Köhler, Bärbel | Wischmeyer, Wolfgang | Köpf, Ulrich | Strohm, Christoph | Hauptmann, Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. The Early Church – III. Middle Ages, Reformation, Counter-reformation – IV. The Modern Period – V. Martyrs of the Orthodox Church – VI. Judaism – VII. Islam – VIII. Missiology I. History of Religion The term martyrium (Greek μαρτύριον/ martúrion) was coined in early Christianity, where it denotes a self-sacrificial death in religious conflict as a witness to faith Historical and systematic references are found in many contexts, in which comparable terms imply something slightly different. For example, the Islamic šahīd, “witness…

Mysticism

(17,207 words)

Author(s): Brück, Michael v. | Gordon, Richard L. | Herrmann, Klaus | Dan, Joseph | Köpf, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. The Concept – II. Religious Studies – III. History – IV. Philosophy of Religion – V. Practical Theology – VI. Islamic Mysticism – VII. Hindu Mysticism – VIII. Taoist Mysticism I. The Concept The concept of mysticism is closely linked to the development of the history of religion in Europe and the term must not be taken and applied uncritically as a general term for a phenomenologically determined group of phenomena in other religions (see also II, 3 below). Attempts at definition are either phenomenolog…

Burial

(5,942 words)

Author(s): Schulz, Hermann | Wenning, Robert | Kuhnen, Hans-Peter | Hachlili, Rachel | Köpf, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Archaeology – III. Old Testament – IV. Judaism – V. Christianity – VI. Missiology – VII. Funerary Art I. Religious Studies A burial manifests and represents the culture-bound nature of personality and religious traditions that shape community; consequently, it is also a key to the metaphysics of cultural and civil religion. The history of research in religious studies is associated on many levels with the problem of burial. Studies examine agreements and differences …

Education

(15,718 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian | Zenkert, Georg | Harich-Schwarzbauer, Henriette | Fox, Michael V. | Klauck, Hans-Josef | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Philosophy – III. Greco-Roman Antiquity – IV. Bible – V. Church History – VI. Ethics – VII. Practical Theology and Pedagogy – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. Concept Traditionally, “education” has denoted the intentional interaction of adults with the younger generation in order-usually-to influence them positively; whether it makes sense to speak of education when negative goals are deliberately pursued is …
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