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Pseudo-Science/Para-Science

(380 words)

Author(s): Zinser, Hartmut
[German Version] The pseudo-sciences or parasciences (“alternative sciences”) generally include such phenomena as alchemy, acupuncture, anthroposophy, astrology, esotericism, geomancy, homeopathy, occultism, and parapsychology, and ¶ sometimes also psychoanalysis, radiesthesia, etc. insofar as their claim to be sciences is rejected by science on theoretical and methodological grounds. Both terms derive from Greek (ψεῦδος/ pseúdos, “deception, lie”; παρά/ pará, “beside”) and imply criticism. In the pseudo-sciences, the alleged phenomena, theories, etc…

Pseudo-Religions

(359 words)

Author(s): Zinser, Hartmut
[German Version] The terms pseudo-religion (from Gk pseúdos, “lie, falsehood”) and ersatz religion are used colloquially – and unfortunately sometimes in scholarly writing – for two different social phenomena, without clear distinction: (a) constructs for which their adherents claim a religious quality, while churches and critics dispute these claims (e.g. some of the so-called new religious movements); and (b) constructs such as sporting events, certain political events, concerts, and shows to which a reli…

God

(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 address the concepts that human beings have expressed concerning their God (or gods: God, Representations and sym…

Auditory Hallucination

(167 words)

Author(s): Zinser, Hartmut
[German Version] (Lat. auditio, hearing) denotes an experience in which someone hears something although there is no real speaker. Therefore, from a psychological point of view this experience is, like a vision, regarded as a hallucination. Both events occur in a waking state and are different from dreams. Auditory hallucination becomes an important phenomenon …

Esotericism

(315 words)

Author(s): Zinser, Hartmut
[German Version] Today, esotericism (Gk ἐσωτερικόv/ esōterikón, “the internal”) encompasses all those writings, doctrines and practices that either (1), to the extent that they involve religious matters, contradict the declared doctrines of the churches or (2), to the extent that they understand themselves as knowledge, are irreconcilable with the knowledge and methods of science and, consequently, claim to be “higher knowledge,” or (3) whatever can be sold on the esoteric market as eso-¶ tericism. In antiquity, philosophical writings intended…