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Nature and Grace

(1,974 words)

Author(s): Saarinen, Risto | Meyer-Blanck, Michael
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology The words nature and grace are used (primarily in Catholic theology) to explain the relationship between philosophical anthropology (I) and the reality of God’s salvation, conceived theologically. This discussion, peculiar to the West, normally involves only the nature of human beings, not that of other beings. The language of medieval Aristotelianism, especially that of Thomas Aquinas, decisively shaped the treatment of this topic by fundamental theology. According to Thomas, grace does not abolish nature but perfects it ( Summa theolo…

Word of God

(7,795 words)

Author(s): Prenner, Karl | Levin, Christoph | Hahn, Ferdinand | Krötke, Wolf | Meyer-Blanck, Michael | Et al.
[German Version] See also Heavenly voice, Memra, Reve…


(411 words)

Author(s): Meyer-Blanck, Michael
[German Version] refers to the process of constituting or preserving a whole and is employed in the humanities primarily as a sociological and educational-psychological category. Consequently, in the field of theology, integration is a term with primary relevance for practical theology. Conceptually, in particular the third of the meanings of the Latin adjective integer (1. sound, incorrupt, 2. new, 3. whole) has come to dominate the current notion of integration, while the Latin substantive, integratio, primarily connoted “renovation.” The modern concept of integration can be understood as a counterpart of the modern differentiation of society and became current in the 19th and 20th century. Programmatically in the thought of H. Spencer, integration stands for the typical 19th-century notion of development: the contrast between integration and differentiation describes ¶ the progress from unrelated similarity to related dissimilarity, a phenomenon that relates to both social and biological-psychological processes. The opposite of integration is denoted by the term disintegration, which demonstrates the almost exclusively positive content of integration. Sociologically, a distinction is made between the integration of the individual into society (through socialization and especially through education [VII]) from the integration of society itself through common interpretations of reality and norms o…


(5,316 words)

Author(s): Schäfers, Bernhard | Leppin, Volker | Meyer-Blanck, Michael | de Boutemard, Bernhard Suin | Knoblauch, Hubert
[German Version] I. Definition Sociology is an empirical social science; its field of study encompasses the relatively enduring forms and structures of social action (Action, Science of ) and the resultant social units, from entities like the family and kinship group and social groups to large-scale organizations and states. The word itself is an artificial combination of Latin socius (“companion, fellow”) and Greek logos (“word, truth,” in an extended sense “knowledge”). It appears for the first time in vol. IV of the Cours de philosophie positive of A. Comte (1838). As a science, sociology includes both general sociology with its study of concepts and theories, including theories about the causes and forms of social change, and special sociologies, such as the sociology of work (Labor) and vocation, family and town and city, as well as religion (Sociology of religion), in which sociology is applied to specific areas. Bernhard Schäfers Bibliography É. Durkhe…

Liturgical Studies

(4,045 words)

Author(s): Meyer-Blanck, Michael | Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich
[German Version] I. History – II. Liturgical Studies Today I. History The German term Liturgik (“liturgics”) was first used by the 16th-century Catholic mediation theologian G. Cassander; in the 19th century, Catholics began to use it for the historical, critical, systematic, and practical theory of Christian worship. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the use of liturgics in this sense to the mid-19th century. The term

Krause, Gerhard

(199 words)

Author(s): Meyer-Blanck, Michael
[German Version] (Jun 2, 1912, Ückermünde, Pomerania – Aug 25, 1982, Loccum), was deeply influenced by his studies under R. Hermann in Greifswald and by D. Bonhoeffer's preachers' seminary in Finkenwalde. He became campus minister in 1937, performed his military service and was a prisoner of war (1939 to 1955), officiated as pastor in Bünde, Westphalia, and was professor of practical theology in Bonn from 1962 to 1977. Until his death, Krause was one of the two editors of the Theologische Realenzyklopädie ( TRE), which began appearing in 1977, and a member of the commission en…


(23,549 words)

Author(s): Zinser, Hartmut | Kaiser, Otto | Lindemann, Andreas | Brümmer, Vincent | Schwöbel, Christoph | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy of Religion – V. Dogmatics – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Missiology – VIII. Art – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. Religious Studies 1. It is fundamentally true that God is not an object of religious studies, since God – as theology teaches – cannot be made an object of empirical scientific study. Religious studies can only addres…


(384 words)

Author(s): Meyer-Blanck, Michael


(13,995 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Cancik, Hubert | Seidl, Theodor | Schnelle, Udo | Bienert, Wolfgang A. | Et al.
[German Version] (Biblical Scholarship, Hermeneutics, Interpretation) I. Religious Studies – II. History of Religions – III. Greco Roman Antiquity – IV. Bible – V. Church History – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Biblical Scenes in Art – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. Religious Studies Exegesis (for etymology see III below) is the explanation, interpretation, or analysis of sacred or otherwise religiously central documents by experts; it enables and encourages the access of a …

Theory and Praxis

(4,249 words)

Author(s): Linde, Gesche | Figal, Günter | Westhelle, Vítor | Herms, Eilert | Meyer-Blanck, Michael
[German Version] I. Natural Sciences The distinction between theory as a consistent linguistic or symbolic system of ordered statements about a par-¶ ticular subject area or phenomenal domain and practice (praxis) as technical action to produce quantifiable phenomena in an experiment, or at least observation against the background of a theory, is fundamental to the modern natural sciences, although the precise definition of the relationship between the two is disputed and is addressed by the philosophy of science. Usually the relationship between theory and praxis is desc…

Müller, Alfred Dedo

(170 words)

Author(s): Meyer-Blanck, Michael
[German Version] (Jan 12, 1890, Hauptmannsgrün, Vogtland – Aug 4, 1972, Leipzig), pastor from 1917, and from 1930 professor of practical theology in Leipzig. As early as 1934, Müller cooperated with Leipzig psychologists in order to include spiritual care in the curriculum. First influenced by religious socialism (L. Ragaz), and later, more decisively, by the Evangelische Michaelsbruderschaft, Müller's Grundriß

Doerne, Martin

(401 words)

Author(s): Meyer-Blanck, Michael
[German Version] (Mar 20, 1900, Schönbach, Saxony – Sep 2, 1970, Göttingen) was a practical theologian of Lutheran provenience who may be categorized in the sphere of influence of “Word of God theology” (K. Barth), but who sought to take into account influences from Berneuchen theology (W. Stählin, A.D. Müller, O. Haendler) and empirical aspects of the chu…

Haendler, Otto

(141 words)

Author(s): Meyer-Blanck, Michael
[German Version] (Apr 18, 1890, Komsomolsk [Ger. Löwenhagen], Russia – Jan 12, 1981, Berlin). After pastoring in Gumtow, Prignitz and Stralsund, Haendler was director of the seminary in Stettin (1931–1935), pastor in Neuenkirchen near Greifswald (1935–1949) and professor of practical theology at Greifswald (1945–1951) and East Berlin (1951–1959). Marked by ¶ the depth psychology of C.G. Jung and the Evangelische Michaelsbruderschaft, he became an early proponent of pastoral psychology in Germany before its broad acceptance after 1970. His 1941 textbook

Social History

(4,845 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph | Schaper, Joachim | Hezser, Catherine | Leutzsch, Martin | Herrmann, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology and Theory In its scientific exploration of the past, all historiography aims at a synthesis in the sense of a valid overview of what has gone before. At best, however, the quest can succeed only paradigmatically and typically, because any reconstruction of an histoire totale is doomed to failure. Nevertheless historiography cannot abandon the ven-¶ ture of viewing history (History/Concepts of history) as a whole, because otherwise the incalculable mass of detail would rule out any interpretation of historical processes. Therefore the history of the historical disciplines has been marked by the repeated emergence of new critical “schools,” which have accused the then dominant views of deficiencies in particular areas, which they have undertaken to overcome with new questions and methods. Among them – if we ignore certain precursors – is the…


(8,725 words)

Author(s): Prohl, Inken | Morgen, Michèle | Stock, Konrad | Steinmann, Michael | Herms, Eilert | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Bible – III. Dogmatics – IV. Philosophy – V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Ethics – VII. Practical Theology – VIII. Judaism I. History of Religion The concept of love describes a relationship of affection, tenderness, or devotion between human beings and between humans and God (Love of/for God) or the gods. The Old Testament speaks of the love of God for humanity; in Judaism, …

Cultural Elites and the Church

(773 words)

Author(s): Meyer-Blanck, Michael
[German Version] In a broad sense, the educational dilemma of the church is the consequence of the modern tension between religion and science, first apparent in the 18th century. In 1799 F.D.E. Schleiermacher defended religion from its cultured despisers, who had enthusiastically adopted aesthetic and moral forms of self-assurance while educating the general populace in a religion to which they themselves were “totally indifferent” (Schleiermacher, 32). As the middle class grew during the 19th century, this …

Practical Theology

(3,867 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian | Meyer-Blanck, Michael
[German Version] I. Definition In the Middle Ages, it was common to call theology practica in contrast to speculativa (e.g. Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae I/I q. 4f.; but contrast Luther, ¶ WA.TR, 153). In German Protestantism today, the term practical theology ( Praktische Theologie) denotes a discipline within academic theology that was established in the early 19th century. Introduced encyclopaedically by F.D.E. Schleiermacher for the “proper approach to dealing with all the functions that come under the heading of church leadership” ( Kurze Darstellung des theologischen Studiums, §260; E…