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Funeral

(5,173 words)

Author(s): Steck, Wolfgang | Donohue C.R., James | Mehedintu, Viorel | Mbiti, John | Senn, Frank C.
1. General In human life the funeral is the ritual by which a society, clan, or family reconstitutes itself after the death of a member. It is the rite of passage in which a community marks and sometimes actually effects the transition both of a living person to the realm of the dead and of bereaved persons through mourning to reestablished life. The funeral accomplishes the reintegration of the affected group by dramatizing the positive and negative elements in death and in this specific dead per…

Grace

(7,671 words)

Author(s): Fahlbusch, Erwin | Roloff, Jürgen | Mehedintu, Viorel | Wagner, Harald | Heron, Alasdair I. C.
Overview In common parlance the words “grace” and “gracious” denote a human attitude. A gracious person is kind, well-disposed, considerate, gentle, and ready to show favor, to pardon, or to show clemency. The terms also occur in courtly formulas. In a legal setting grace is shown by the authorities when a reprieve or amnesty is granted. The language of religion (cf. ideas of redemption in Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Jainism) understands grace as divine assistance, the unmerited mercy of God, though also the mercy that may be expected on the basis of sacrifices or works. Grace is a ce…