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26. The Life and Work of Nathan Söderblom

(19,356 words)

Author(s): Lange, Dietz
In: Volume 1 Dawn of Ecumenism | Part III. Beginnings: Movements Become a Movement previous chapter 1 The Early Years Lauritz (Lars) Olof Jonathan Söderblom, called Nathan from his boyhood, was born in the small village of Trönö, province of Hälsingland, Northern Sweden, on Jan 15, 1866. He was the second of seven children, two of whom had died in infancy. His father Jonas, an adherent of Carl Olof Rosenius’s new-evangelical revival movement, was the Lutheran pastor there. This movement was strongly indebted to Anglo-Saxon Congregational and Methodist influences, in particular to the Scottish preacher George Scott. Jonas Söderblom was well versed in theology, with a particular interest in foreign missions, and extremely conservative. A workaholic with a somewhat ascetic bent, he was a tireless servant of his congregation and an effective preacher. In the family, he was a loving father but very strict as far as his children’s upbringing was concerned. His extremely conscientious sense of duty recurred in his son Nathan, who coped with an incredibly heavy workload throughout his life, being able to concentrate on several different things simultaneously. Jonas’ wife, Sophia, was the daughter of a Danish physician. She shared with her husband his revivalist piety, but was otherwise quite different from him. A gentle woman of great empathy, she was capable of compensating for her husband’s harshness towards the children. She was interested in poetry and had a good sense of humor, which her son inherited. Nathan later called her his…


(836 words)

Author(s): Lange, Dietz
[German Version] …


(1,712 words)

Author(s): Lange, Dietz
[German Version] I. History of the Concept – II. Current State of the Problem “Autonomy” (Gk αὐτονομία) refers to self-regulation, self-determination, self-normativity. Autonomy can designate the political independence of states, the self-dependence of individuals, or the internal authority of institutions. The theological problem concerns the relationship of the modern concept of autonomy to the human relationship with God. I. History of the Concept Αὐτόνομος/ autónomos in Herodotus means: “To behave according to one's own will.” In classical antiquity, however, it is not independence in this general sense that stands in the foreground, but political independence; representative are Thucydides (III 40; IV 87; V 18, etc.) and Xenophon (…


(379 words)

Author(s): Lange, Dietz
[German Version] The word derives from the Greek ἡδονή/ hēdonḗ (“joy,” “pleasure,” “enjoyment”). It appeared in England after 1850 and was first used there in the sense of eudaimonism. Sidgwick (11875) introduced it into philosophy. In current English, hedonism denotes riotous living. In German usage, the word Hedonik first appeared in A. Schopenhauer ( Werke


(1,131 words)

Author(s): Lange, Dietz
[German Version] I. Theology The use of pleasure or enjoyment in a theological context began with Augustine of Hippo, who defined it as “amore alicui rei inhaerere propter seipsam” ( Doctr. chr. I 4.4; PL col. 20). The “res” is solely God, the highest good. The ethically telic uti (“use”) is subordinated to frui (“enjoyment”). Scholasticism followed Augustine but connected frui with the ultimus finis of humanity and secondarily with everything that occasions love of God (Thomas Aquinas In primum librum Sententiarum d.1 q.2 a.1, ratio 2). The German equivalent Genieß was not used in medieval theology; its primary use was in legal contexts, where it means usufruct, a share in some good; the prefix Ge- suggests a communality, as in Genosse, “comrade.” This usage guided Luther’s use of genießen (“enjoy”) for sharing in the …

Acknowledgement and Recognition

(882 words)

Author(s): Honneth, Axel | Lange, Dietz
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Dogmatics and Ethics I. Philosophy The concept of “acknowledgment” (German: Anerkennung) has always played an essential role in practical philosophy. Thus, in ancient ethics the conviction prevailed that a good life could be led only by those persons whose behavior could find social esteem in the polis. The Scottish moral philosophers took their lead from the idea that public acknowledgment or disapproval represents the social mechanism by which the indiv…


(10,340 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Lange, Dietz
[German Version] I. History – II. Systematics – III. Glaubenslehre (Doctrine of the Faith) I. History The term “dogmatics,” first used in the 17th century, refers to one of the oldest branches of theological endeavor: a coherent account of the content of the Christian proclamation, which in turn takes its orientation from the standard (“canonical”) paradigms of confession and proclamation. Other terms – “An exact exposition of the orthodox faith” (John of Damascus), “Sentences” (Peter Lombard), Summa Theologiae (Thomas Aquinas), Institutes of the Christian Religion (Calvin), L…

Ebeling, Gerhard

(1,181 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Lange, Dietz
[German Version] I. Life – II. Church Historian – III. Systematic Theologian Jul 6, 1912, Berlin-Steglitz – Sep 30, 2001, Zollikerberg/Zürich), Protestant German theologian. I. Life Ebeling began his theological studies in 1930; after studying at Marburg, Berlin, and Zürich, he passed his first theological examination for the examination office of the Confessing Church in Berlin. He prepared for pastoral ministry under …


(1,371 words)

Author(s): Kippenberg, Hans G. | Lange, Dietz
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Jewish and Christian Antiquity – III. Middle Ages to Modern Times I. History of Religion Hypocrisy as a deliberate feigning of non-existent situations is a special case of concealment. F. Bacon made a distinction between a morally necessary silence and a passive secretiveness, and between both of these and active hypocrisy or pretence. As a sociologist, G. Simmel regarded non-disclosure as a necessary means for enabling social relationships. Here, social distance and pr…


(773 words)

Author(s): Grube, Dirk-Martin | Lange, Dietz
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics I. Dogmatics In Protestant dogmatics, the debate on the term “heteronomy” (etymology, see II below) is characterized by the fact that “heteronomy” is not only defined as the opposite of “autonomy” but also of “theonomy” (cf. also Graf). P. Tillich regards heteronomy and auton-¶ omy as being essentially rooted in a theonomy that is unattainable under the conditions of existence. In the dialectical course of the history of theonomy, autonomy, and heteronomy, heteronomy represents a reaction to the domin…


(2,967 words)

Author(s): Gilhus, Ingvild Sælid | Steinmann, Michael | Sarot, Marcel | Lange, Dietz
[German Version] I. Religion – II. Philosophy – III. History of Theology and Dogmatics – IV. Ethics I. Religion Talk of happiness refers to a deeper level of experience than enjoying oneself or feeling good. Happiness denotes success in life; the pursuit of happiness is a universal element in human life and thought. The hope of happiness may take ritual forms, especially in connection with rites of passage when a change of social position and status makes life uncertain, for instance at birth and weddings. The…


(3,471 words)

Author(s): Pollmann, Karla | D'Costa, Gavin | Vroom, Hendrik M. | Lange, Dietz | Neuner, Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Literature (Early Church) – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Fundamental Theology – IV. Dogmatics – V. Ethics – VI. Ecumenism – VII. Dialogue and Mission I. History of Literature (Early Church) Dialogue, as a philosophical disputation with the objective of vanquishing the opponent at all costs, originated with the Sophists (Sophistic School); as a literary form, Plato's …