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Catechesis and Catechetics

(3,702 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A. | Fraas, Hans-Jürgen | Schoberth, Ingrid | Schweitzer, Friedrich | Phan, Peter
[German Version] I. History – II. Practical Theology – III. Latin America, Asia, Africa I. History 1. Early Church. The verb κατήχειν/ katḗchein originally denoted the oral transmission of a message in the sense of “tell, inform.” In Paul and early Christian literature it usually means “teach, instruct” (Gal 6:6; Lat. catechizare); in contrast to glossolalia, it refers to intelligible speech (1 Cor 14:19; Luke 1:4) such as instruction in the law (Rom 2:18) or in the teaching (“the way”) of the Lord (Acts 18:25). In t…

Kohut, Heinz

(154 words)

Author(s): Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] (May 3, 1913, Vienna – Oct 8, 1981, Chicago) studied medicine in Vienna, after emigration training as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist in Chicago from 1939. He set an independent psychology of the self alongside psychoanalytical drive (Drive theory) and “I” (ego) psychology. At its center stands the question of how the capacity for object love and a healthy self-awareness can arise from the initially object-free human sense of self (primary narcissism). Secondary (structured) na…

Personality/Personality Psychology

(783 words)

Author(s): Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] Personality denotes the uniqueness of each individual, who realizes his or her personhood (in the philosophical or theologi-¶ cal sense; Person) in the context of his or her genetic and historico-biographical contingency. While “understanding psychology” ( verstehende Psychologie: W. Dilthey) views the uniqueness of personality, which eludes explanatory regularities, as a meaningful unity, empirical methods have been used to study these very rules and regularities, since the 1930s increasingly in terms of nature and …


(293 words)

Author(s): Skrine, Peter | Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] 1. Susanna (Aug 13, 1820, London – Nov 25, 1884, Clifton), grew up in Manchester, where she was drawn into the intellectual climate of the Gaskells and their circle. She opened up a new spiritual dimension in 19th-century Britain by translating two key works of German mystical theology, the Theologia Germanica (1854) and History and Life of Johannes Tauler with Twenty-Five of his Sermons (1857). She also translated the Life and Letters of Barthold Niebuhr (B.G. Niebuhr, 1852) and Signs of the Times (1856) and God in History (1868–1870), two works of contemporary rel…


(6,026 words)

Author(s): Heine, Susanne | Murken, Sebastian | Schweitzer, Friedrich | Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] I. What Is Psychology? The psyche (Soul: IV) as the object of psychology is accessible only through a theory that attempts to obtain a cognitive grasp of the inner life and experience of human beings (thinking, imagining, wishing, feeling). As “citizens of two worlds” (I. Kant), human beings confront the psychophysical problem existentially and cognitively: how can they conceive of themselves – being both rational animals and cognitive subjects – as unitary persons? To be considered …


(2,509 words)

Author(s): Stollberg, Dietrich | Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] I. Terminology The term psychotherapy is a literal borrowing from Greek philosophy: τῆς ψυχῆς ϑεραπεία/ ́ s psychḗ s therapeía (or ἐπιμέλεια/ epiméleia) denoted the (pedagogical) care and nurture that Plato believed the immortal soul required. There is no direct biblical equivalent, but the Greek term entered modern usage through its Latin translation cura animarum (“care/cure of souls”), translated ¶ into the vernacular in the late Middle Ages (cf. Ger. Seelsorge [pastoral care]). S. Freud called his psychotherapy “secular Seelsorge,” and V. Frankl spok…


(263 words)

Author(s): Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] In the terminology of psychoanalysis, the phenomenon of transference refers to the patient’s emotional attitude toward the therapist, analogous to the early and earliest relationship structures ¶ within the family. Love, affection, respect (positive transference) or hate, fear, humility (negative transference) are shown to the therapist without a concrete reason. If this does take place, the therapist may find him- or herself in a state of countertransference, in which he misjudges his relationship to the p…

“I” (Ego) Psychology

(385 words)

Author(s): Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] In S. Freud's understanding, the ego, along with the id and the super-ego, represents one of the three entities in the psychic system ( Das Ich und das Es, 1923; ET: The Ego and the Id, 1927). Its origin is not yet sufficiently explained in Freud's writings. Increased observation of the healthy personality (Personality/Personality psychology) and the influence of social factors (impact of A. Adler's individual psychology) and cultural factors led to the insight that the ego, as an expression of the continuity and u…

Social Psychology

(1,678 words)

Author(s): Fraas, Hans-Jürgen | Huxel, Kirsten | Santer, Hellmut
[German Version] I. The Concept Social psychology studies the modes of social experience and behavior and the interaction processes both of individuals and between individuals and social systems (Community and the individual) of varying complexity (microsystems like partnerships, families [Family], groups; mesosystems like organizations and institutions; macrosystems like social, political and cultural entities), as well as the relationship of social systems to each other. The basic issues, which are…


(3,725 words)

Author(s): Tebartz-van Elst, Franz-Peter | Schulz, Ehrenfried | Hauptmann, Peter | Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Catholic Catechisms – III. Orthodox Catechisms – IV. Protestant Catechisms – V. Catechetical Instruction I. Terminology Linguistically and semantically, the word catechism is derived from the Greek verb κατήχειν/ katḗchein, “to echo.” This etymology suggests a semantic connotation, according to which the transmission of the faith is fundamentally seen as a mediation of the content of the faith through personal testimony (cf. the Lat. personare, “to sound through”). Only when used in a transitive sense does κατήχειν acquire the meani…

Erikson, Erik Homburger

(244 words)

Author(s): Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] (Jun 15, 1902, near Frankfurt am Main – May 12, 1994, Harwich, MA), a Dane, lived in Germany and Austria until emigrating in 1933. An autodidact with no academic degree, he worked as artist and teacher after attending the academy of arts. He became familiar with Montessori education in Vienna and undertook psychoanalytic training with Anna Freud. In California after 1939, he worked in ¶ the area between anthropology, psychoanalysis, and society or culture, held various university teaching posts, a…

Psychopathology of Religion

(498 words)

Author(s): Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] The interrelationship between personality in its relational character and religious symbolism as an expression of comprehensive relatedness allows pathological forms of religiosity to manifest themselves as disorders of the relationship between the individual personality and its social and physical context. Following Peter Szondi, Huth (1978, 728) views drug and alcohol addiction, neurosis, and insanity as negative attempts to solve the problem of participation, parallel to philosophy and belief. The definition of what is pathological (Sickness an…

Object-Relations Theory

(346 words)

Author(s): Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] Psychic energy (libido) is always directed toward specific “objects” of drives (Drive, Drive theory). According to S. Freud’s theory of primary narcissism, it focuses initially on the self, not yet perceived as distinct from the mother. The interruption of the symbiosis between mother and child (narcissistic wound) compels the child to turn outward. Only by perceiving him- or herself as his own person, distinct from his first attachment figure, can the child build a relationship t…

Imprinting (Environmental Conditioning)

(384 words)

Author(s): Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] Imprinting denotes that part of human personality (Personality/Personality psychology) for the shaping of which external factors are responsible. In behavioral research (Konrad Lorenz), imprinting refers to a learning process in a sensitive phase during which an instinctive action (a genetically determined, typal behavior) that is not innately set in motion is irrevocably linked to a triggering signal. One may also assume that the early phase of human life is characterized by a ne…

Group Dynamics

(229 words)

Author(s): Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] A term in social psychology, first used by Kurt Lewin in an English publication in 1939, which refers, first, to the field of interactive processes occurring in a group, then to the investigation of these processes. In this regard, awareness of the processes, for example, through feedback, can alter the atmosphere of the group which makes group dynamics, third, into an instrument of social technique. Jacob Levy Moreno (1892–1974; Systemic therapy) developed the method of the socio…


(13,283 words)

Author(s): Alles, Gregory D. | Reventlow, Henning Graf | Gebauer, Roland | Förster, Niclas | Wallmann, Johannes | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Prayer is one of the most frequent and important religious acts in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It also appears in other religions – for example the indigenous religions of America. But it does not appear to be universal. Some Buddhist traditions, for example, are atheistic, and in them there is no prayer in the strict sense; these traditions often allow their adherents to pray to gods (e.g. Hindu gods), but they value the goals of such prayer less than enl…


(319 words)

Author(s): Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] S. Freud’s psychoanalysis teaches that reality requires converting an unsatisfied sex drive (libido) into culturally valuable and socially approved modes of behavior (art, humor) as a compromise between the demands of the id and the superego developed in the process of socialization. This compromise is enabled by “defense mechanisms” (A. Freud), a series of behavioral strategies including such constructive forms as repression, substitution, conversion, and projection. A response t…

Freud, Sigmund

(525 words)

Author(s): Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] (May 6, 1856, Příbor [Ger. Freiberg], Moravia – Sep 23, 1939, London), lived from 1860 until his emigration in 1938 in Vienna; the son of Jewish parents, with an orthodox upbringing, the themes of his life were strongly stamped by tensions with his patriarchal father. Freud began as a neurologist (student of Jean Martin Charcot [1825–1893] in Paris, colleague of Josef Breuer [1842–1925] in Vienna), discovered the subconsciousness (Depth psychology) as the basis of disturbances in …

Depth Psychology

(474 words)

Author(s): Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] The term, introduced by Eugen Bleuler as Tiefenpsychologie in 1910 as a synonym for Freudian psychoanalysis, is commonly used in Germany (less in the Anglo-Saxon countries) as a collective ¶ term for the sometimes heatedly feuding schools, such as psychoanalysis (S. Freud), individual psychology (A. Adler), analytical or complex psychology (C.G. Jung), existence analysis (Ludwig Binswanger, Medard Boss), logotherapy …

Unconscious, The

(1,756 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund | Rosenau, Hartmut | Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] I. Religious Studies S. Freud claimed credit for discovering the unconscious as a key concept for psychoanalysis, but much older concepts of the unconscious are found in religious and philosophical systems: (a) in the works of Plato(ἀνάμνησις/ anámnēsis as the unconscious condition for conscious mental activity) and Plotinus, (b) in Indian Vedānta and Buddhism ( avidyā, “ignorance,” inducing māyā), and (c) in the medieval Christian mysticism of Meister Eckhart ( Seligkeit) and the 14th-century English mystical text The Cloud of Unknow…

Child Psychology

(2,954 words)

Author(s): Hoppe-Graff, Siegfried | Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] I. General – II. Psychology of Religion I. General The child is the subject of different psychological subdisciplines, for example developmental psychology, educational psychology, psychology of culture, and clinical psychology. The following presentation mainly adopts the perspective of developmental psychology and looks into the question of the point of view from which psychologists describe and explain the development (Development: III) of the child in the first years of life. 1. Children and their world. The changes in our view of childhood and our …
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