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(1,134 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Volkmann, Stefan | Münch, Richard
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Dogmatics – III. Sociology and Social History I. History of Religions Estates are socially and juridically closed groups that occupy a specific niche in society – defined by birth, social function, way of life, and frequently cultic observance. They develop in a society that is already stratified. Those who exercise political and religious control (Dominion) in such societies constitute administrative hierarchies. In Israel, for example, there were no clearly distinct social strata and estates prior to the monarchy, whereas in the Canaanite city-states of the same period, which were headed by a “king” as representative of the deity (El or Baal), there was an aristocratic estate, which included the priests of the city sanctuaries, as well as distinct subordinate groups performing …


(6,607 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Kippenberg, Hans G. | Thiel, Winfried | Wehr, Lothar | Münch, Richard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The word society ( societas, société) has changed from a term denoting particular forms and modes of human coexistence to a term (in both sg. and pl.) denoting the totality of human coexistence; it has thus become the basic term of the theoretical sciences that deal with human coexistence. The German equivalent, Gesellschaft (from OHG sal, “room,” and selida, “dwelling place”), …

Elias, Norbert

(245 words)

Author(s): Münch, Richard


(3,401 words)

Author(s): Pollack, Detlef | Ludwig, Frieder | Münch, Richard | Gräb, Wilhelm | Hock, Klaus
[German Version] I. Study of Religion – II. History – III. Sociology – IV. Practical Theology – V. Missiology I. Study of Religion The term modernization usually refers to mutually reinforcing structural changes in various social sectors: nation building and democratization in the political sector; industrialization and tertiarization (i.e. the development of services) in the economic sector; urbanization, educational expansion, and mobilization in the social sector; diversification and individualization in the c…


(1,367 words)

Author(s): Münch, Richard | Jödicke, Ansgar | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Sociology – II. Comparative Study of Religions – III. Ethics I. Sociology “Elite” – from Lat. eligere “to elect” – designates a select group of persons who stand out from the cr…

Estate-based Society

(494 words)

Author(s): Münch, Richard
[German Version] From the early Middle Ages to the modern period, hierarchical European society was based on distinct estates (Ger. Stände). An estate-based society differs from modern society based on class or strata, which arose in the 19th century, in the extreme closure of the estates: membership in an estate passed from one generation to the next, there was relatively little mobility between the estates (though some…


(452 words)

Author(s): Münch, Richard
[English Version] . Als S. bez. man die hierarchisch in Stände gegliederte Gesellschaft der Zeit vom frühen MA bis zur Neuzeit in Europa. Sie unterscheidet sich von der modernen, im 19.Jh. entstandenen Klassen- und Schichtengesellschaft durch ein bes. hohes Maß der Schließung der Stände und der intergenerationalen Vererbung der Standeszugehörigkeit, durch die relativ geringe, wenn auch nicht ganz ausgeschlossene Mobilität zw. den Ständen, die Dauerhaftigkeit der traditional legitimierten ständisch…


(1,007 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Volkmann, Stefan | Münch, Richard
[English Version] I. Religionsgeschichtlich S. – sozial und rechtlich geschlossene Gruppen, die einen durch Herkunft, gesellschaftliche Funktion, Lebensstil und häufig eigene Kultformen bestimmten Rang in der Gesellschaft einnehmen – entwickeln sich erst in stratifizierten Gesellschaften. Die Träger polit. und rel. Herrschaft bilden in ihnen administrative Hierarchien. Während es z.B. in Israel vor der Entstehung des Königtums keine deutlich unterscheidbaren sozialen Schic…