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(516 words)

Author(s): Krüggeler, Michael | Daiber, Karl-Fritz
[German Version] I. The Concept – II. Sociology of Religion – III. Practical Theology I. The Concept Present-day sociology considers individualization a central feature of modern societies (Society: I, II). It is rooted in the process of social differentiation or, more precisely, in the development of functional subsystems that for the most part have their own organizational structures. Individuals no longer necessarily belong to every subsystem. Commonly – though not always – membership in subsystems comes t…

Dialogue Preaching,

(349 words)

Author(s): Daiber, Karl-Fritz
[German Version] taken in the narrow sense of the term, refers to worship proclamation by two preachers engaged in dialogue with one another. Used in a broader sense, however, it may also denote an agenda of fundamental criticism that is dissatisfied with the monological character of the sermon from the pulpit and seeks alternatives that would seem less authority-dependent and more efficient in terms of communication theory. German discussion in homiletics has been debating the issue since the 1960s. The discussion was most intense betwe…


(1,873 words)

Author(s): Meixner, Uwe | Mühling-Schlapkohl, Markus | Herms, Eilert | Daiber, Karl-Fritz
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Theology – III. Ethics – IV. Practical Theology I. Philosophy The concept of action is of central importance for philosophical ethics and anthropology. It is closely related to the concept of person, since persons are the subjects of action and cognition (the latter always itself an action, since it necessarily involves judgment). We may distinguish …


(363 words)

Author(s): Daiber, Karl-Fritz
[German Version] In everyday language, a neighbor is someone who lives “next door” to us, whom we see (or at least know by sight), whom we hear, and in whose life we involuntarily participate. As a rule, we cannot choose our neighbors. They are simply there, and we must ¶ behave toward them with interest, disinterest, or hostility. Neighbors are part of a residential environment, which can vary a great deal in structure and spatial extent. In one case, a building may accommodate several families; in another, there may be a more extensive reside…

Masses, The

(951 words)

Author(s): Heesch, Matthias | Daiber, Karl-Fritz
[German Version] I. Social Sciences and Ethics – II. Practical Theology I. Social Sciences and Ethics The term the masses (or the crowd) is a peculiarly modern, strongly normative designation for a great number of human beings thought of as an amorphous whole. Since antiquity there have been references to disorganized groups of people, uneducated and hence susceptible to demagoguery ( óchlos, plebs), but the modern use of the term presupposes specific processes of deracination in industrial societies along with the concomitant obsolescence – real or supp…


(2,906 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Dörfler-Dierken, Angelika | Oswalt, Julia | Daiber, Karl-Fritz
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Church History – III. Current Situation I. History of Religions Brotherhoods are a special form of community, not constituted by traditional forms of relationship (Covenant). They are mono-gendered groupings (also “sisterhoods”) distinguished by certain homogeneous characteristics. Initiation groups are often the origin of brotherhoods in cultural histo…


(1,909 words)

Author(s): Daiber, Karl-Fritz | Huxel, Kirsten
[German Version] I. Phenomenology and Social Sciences – II. Ethics – III. Mores and Church Life – IV. Ecclesiastical Mores I. Phenomenology and Social Sciences The term “mores” (cf. Ger. Sitte) refers to regular forms of common living that are relatively binding and provided by tradition. Behavior oriented to mores relates to cultural patterns that have been valid for “a long time,” and were often practiced by previous generations. M. Weber thus speaks of “embeddedness” ( Eingelebtheit). In German, the term Sitte (“mores”) competes with Brauch (Custom). There is no sharp dis…

Action, Science of (Handlungswissenschaft)

(884 words)

Author(s): Daiber, Karl-Fritz
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Social Sciences – III. Practical Theology I. Terminology From the 18th century on, the German term Handlungswissenschaft denoted the study of trade ( Handel). It thus came to represent one of the precursors of modern economics. Nowadays it has this meaning only in historical contexts. Its present-day usage refers to the disciplines that deal with action in the broadest sense, from trade through pedagogy …

Sociology of the Church

(1,158 words)

Author(s): Daiber, Karl-Fritz | Feige, Andreas
[German Version] I. Practical Theology The systematic study of the church as a social entity (Churched) began with A. v. Oettingen in the 19th century. In the context of practical theology, the church studies published by P. Drews beginning in 1902 produced accurate descriptions of the life of the church. These were joined in subsequent decades by smaller individual studies, especially of the religiosity of industrial workers. Pastoral sociology began to take shape in France and the Netherlands, buil…


(5,942 words)

Author(s): Schulz, Hermann | Wenning, Robert | Kuhnen, Hans-Peter | Hachlili, Rachel | Köpf, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Archaeology – III. Old Testament – IV. Judaism – V. Christianity – VI. Missiology – VII. Funerary Art I. Religious Studies A burial manifests and represents the culture-bound nature of personality and religious traditions that shape community; consequently, it is also a key to the metaphysics of cultural and civil religion. The history of research in religious studies is associated on many levels with the problem of burial. Studies examine agreements and differences …


(892 words)

Author(s): Schoberth, Ingrid | Daiber, Karl-Fritz
[German Version] I. Social History, Sociology, Social Ethics – II. Practical Theology I. Social History, Sociology, Social Ethics The concept of home (or home country, Ger. Heimat) stirs ambivalent emotions: Heimat stands for the longing for security and rest, but, misused as propaganda, also for ideological resistance to the new and the foreign. In contrast to the customary connotation of connections to origins and the imprint of tradition (cf. Education/Formation: II), E. Bloch understands home as an expression of unfulf…


(5,842 words)

Author(s): Kehrer, Günter | Rüterswörden, Udo | Banks, Robert J. | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Marquardt, Manfred | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Dogmatics – VI. Ethics – VII. Practical Theology – VIII. Church Law – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. History of Religion In the following comments the term community will refer exclusively to a religiously motivated association of people. From the standpoint of the history of religion, the formation of communities is more the exception than the rule. The fact that associations such as tribes, as well, howe…

Village (in Germany)

(1,075 words)

Author(s): Daiber, Karl-Fritz
[German Version] I. Sociology and Social Ethics Instead of the term village ( Dorf), German statisticians today use the term rural community ( Landgemeinde). In a broad sense it denotes communities of up to 5,000 inhabitants, in the narrow sense 2,000. Given the de facto variety of villages, there is no attempt to identify additional defining features. This approach takes into account the fact that rural communities have become attractive as homes for population strata not engaged in agriculture, especially on the urban fringe. After World War II, changes began that led to the …

Sociology of Religion

(3,710 words)

Author(s): Knoblauch, Hubert | Mürmel, Heinz | Otto, Eckart | Ebertz, Michael N. | Stuckrad, Kocku v. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The sociology of religion studies religion’s social aspects and manifestations, clearly including religious institutions, organizations, and social groups. It also studies more situational forms, less clearly defined, such as gatherings, ceremonies, and collective rituals (e.g. processions [Rite and ritual]). In an extended sense, characteristic of the German-language tradition since M. Weber, religious sociology deals with all social or socialized behavior focused on…