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Death Penalty

(3,790 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | de Boer, Martinus C. | Reichman, Ronen | Owens, Erik C. | Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Judaism – IV. Law – V. Ethics I. Old Testament The death penalty in the Old Testament has three causes: 1. blood revenge as a direct legal reaction by a family damaged by a homicide; 2. cultic law involving severe violations of religious taboos such as witchcraft, sodomy and apostasy (Ex 22:17–19); 3. family property …


(3,273 words)

Author(s): Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth | Liwak, Rüdiger | Riches, John K. | Köpf, Ulrich | Reinert, Benedikt
[German Version] I. Terminology The term wealth belongs to the semantic field that includes kingdom, empire, violence, dominion, and glory. In that context it suggests first an abundance of earthly goods that brings power, then abundance or profusion of almost anything. A distinction must be made between an economic sense of wealth and a broader figurative sense. In its economic sense it means property, possessions, the sum of available goods and values (Value/Values) that substantially exceeds what is considered …


(1,265 words)

Author(s): Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth | Radtke, Henning
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics – III. Law I. Dogmatics Despite its central significance for the understanding of the human being, discussion about guilt in Christian ¶ theology at the present time has lost its importance. The criticism made by F. Nietzsche and S. Freud of the categorial function of guilt for the Christian religion has, through the psychologically interpreted definitions and effects of guilt, eclipsed the dogmatic adoption of the concept in dogmatics and its application to present analyses of …


(372 words)

Author(s): Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth
[German Version] Indebtedness differs from guilt/debt, which refers generally to an ethical circumstance as the omission or transgression of a duty, as a concrete, unfulfilled duty or a specific transgression of a requirement. In this regard, one thinks, first, of debts in the economic realm incurred through private, national or international borrowing. The term itself also echoes the understanding of indebtedness as a failure in the general moral sense. Both aspects converge from the standpoint o…


(716 words)

Author(s): Kober, Michael | Evers, Dirk | Gräb-Schmidt , Elisabeth
[German Version] I. Philosophy Objectively, probability is the measure of the chance that a particular event will take place (ontological probability); subjectively, it is the measure of the certainty or credibility of a statement (epistemic probability). The interest in ontological probability arising from decision theory, as in games of chance, led to the mathematical theory of probability (Andrey N. Kolmogorov; Chance). But we must distinguish the logical ( a priori) ¶ probability of throwing a six, namely 1/6, from its empirical ( a posteriori) probability, i.e. its actua…

Faithfulness, Divine and Human

(648 words)

Author(s): Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth
[German Version] Faithfulness is an attribute of God (Divine attributes); it is what makes God God – truth and authenticity (Mal 3:6). In the Old Testament, trust is directed toward God's covenant (II) with humans. It describes God's faithful stance toward man (Hos 2:14–21). He is the one whose words do not pass away (Isa 40:8). The reference to God's covenant, preserved by his faithfulness, points to the trustworthiness of God's pledge which endures forever as the basis of human trust, irrespecti…


(812 words)

Author(s): Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth
[German Version] “Luxury” is derived from Latin luxus, luxuria and was first used as a German term ( luxus) by Paracelsus in 1529. On the basis of its Latin root, luxury denotes wastefulness, pomp, and immoderate expenditure exceeding the respective social norm (Veblen). Luxury is a concomitant phenomenon of the history of humanity (Voltaire, Oeuvres complètes, ed. L. Moland, vol. XX, 1967, 16). Because it is defined in relation to the respective social norm, however, this descriptive concept of the conduct of life (Lifestyle/Conduct of life) is als…


(733 words)

Author(s): Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth
[German Version] is a term related to human action (III) and denotes the circumstance that an action may result in harm (Damage), but also in positive consequences. ¶ Derived ultimately from Italian risco, it refers figuratively to hazardous rocks that must be negotiated. Thus risk means a daring challenge. It describes, in dramatic form, a situation that every human action must grapple with, since all human actions are based on decisions that must be taken, even when, as is natural, not all factors of an active intervention i…


(5,031 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth | Grethlein, Christian | Kim, Kirsteen | Mendes-Flohr, Paul
[German Version] I. Terminology The growing popularity of the term spirituality and its equivalents in other Western languages in religious and theological literature is a 20th-century phenomenon. Although the adjective spiritalis (or spiritualis) appeared in early Christian Latin, translating Pauline πνευματικός/ pneumatikós (1 Cor 2:13–3:1, etc.), along with its antonym carnalis (for σαρκικός/ sarkikós) and rapidly became common, the noun spiritualitas did not appear until the 5th century and then only sporadically. In the 12th century, it began to app…


(704 words)

Author(s): Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth
[German Version] generally denotes the relationship of two unrelated adults living together unmarried as a household with or without children. Structurally, cohabitation does not represent a new and novel way of life. Traditionally it was known as concubinage. What have changed, however, are the conditions that encourage cohabitation, the subjective significance assigned to it, and its biographical position. As late as the beginning of the 20th century, it served…

Security, Technological

(408 words)

Author(s): Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth
[German Version] The notion of security or safety in the technological context must always consider two aspects simultaneously – the assurance of attaining its goals inherent in the concept of technology (I, 1) itself, and dealing with the potential for damage inherent in technological risks – avoiding, minimizing, or eliminating them. The assurance of technology implies using it on the basis of regularities, both on the level of knowing laws that govern nature and society and on the level of tech…

Lifestyle/Conduct of Life

(1,311 words)

Author(s): Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Aesthetics – III. Christian Theology I. Terminology The term conduct of life was already used in the Early Church (Jerome) for the view that an individual's personal life may differ from the lives of others. It is not destined to be at the mercy of the individual's own natural and social development: he or she experiences his being as a being to which he can relate, which he can actively shape in freedom and responsibility. This presupposes that human life is a form of ex…


(1,850 words)

Author(s): Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion The term trust or confidence (Lat. fiducia, Gk πίστις/ pistis), has embodied, since ancient Rome and Greece, both aspects essential to the concept of trust, namely certainty and faithfulness on the one hand, and faith and hope on the other. Cicero saw both as being based on an assured self-confidence, which he assigned as a secondary virtue to bravery ( De inventione, 2.163). Trust, where it is firmly held onto as a fundamental attitude towards life, is quite rightly placed among the virtues. However, it may not be con…