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Discipleship, Christian

(4,235 words)

Author(s): Sim, David | Köpf, Ulrich | Ulrich, Hans G.
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Church History – III. Ethics I. New Testament 1. Discipleship of Jesus in the Gospels An important aspect of the description of Jesus' activity in the Gospels is his call to discipleship. This call is issued unconditionally and requires an immediate decision. When the disciples hear Jesus' invitation to follow him, they obey at once and follow him (ἀκολουϑεῖν/ akoloutheín; Mark 1:16–20 parr.; 2:13–14 parr.; cf. Luke 5:1–11; John 1:35–51). Others, however, fail to appreciate the unconditional and immediate nature of Jesus' call and therefore miss the chance to follow him (Matt 8:18–20 par.; Luke 9:61f.). The Gospels expressly record that men as well as women belonged to the group of disciples that followed Jesus. The account of the crucifixion in Mark 15:40f. parr. refers to a group of women who followed Jesus in Galilee. Luke 8:1–3 contains a further reference, independent of Mark, to these female disciples. In the Gospels, to follow Jesus means to understand all aspects of his mission and his uncompromising lifestyle. ¶ In this sense, Jesus says in Matt 10:25a, “it is enough for the disciple to be like the …

Vocation

(5,411 words)

Author(s): Heesch, Matthias | Klöcker, Michael | Ulrich, Hans G. | Sprondel, Walter M. | Drehsen, Volker | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology No term equivalent to vocation is found in classical Greek and Latin. An officium was exercised by virtue of a preexisting status, usually by birth. Trades (including medicine) fulfilled the conditions of a regular vocation (τέχνη/ téchnē), but had no self-awareness reflected in terminology. In the New Testament, κλῆσις/ klḗsis mostly refers to the “calling” of a Christian (1 Cor 7:20); in the national church of Late Antiquity, it referred primarily to the call to the religious life ( vocatio) in contrast to lay status. In Middle High German mys…

Good Works

(1,920 words)

Author(s): Beltz, Walter | Krötke, Wolf | Ulrich, Hans G.
[German Version] I. Comparative Religion – II. Dogmatics – III. Ethics I. Comparative Religion In the vocabulary of comparative religious studies, the expression good works (Lat. opera bona) is a metalinguistic concept borrowed from the 16th-century debates of ¶ confessional Christian theologians. It falls within the ethical aspect of religion and presupposes innumerable object-language verifications. Good works are human acts that are assessed positively by a religious community. The criteria are social assent and subjective doctrinal assent. No…