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(371 words)

Author(s): Murken, Sebastian
[German Version] In religious studies, fanaticism (from Lat. fanum, “holy precinct”; fanaticus, “functionary of non-Roman cults”; fanari, “rage about”) originally referred to religious behavior that was viewed as deviant, exaggerated, and excessive. The term also served to refer to deviant religions during the post-Reformation period. Enthusiasts and emergent sects were referred to as fanatici, the emotional excessiveness of their religiosity being particularly rejected. Since the 19th century, the term has been increasingly psychologized and now …

Self-help Groups

(152 words)

Author(s): Murken, Sebastian
[German Version] Self-help groups are voluntary, usually loosely organized groups of individuals whose activity is directed at common ways of dealing with illnesses, psychological problems, or social difficulties they face, either personally or as family members. They meet regularly as discussion groups, often weekly. Their goal is to alter the circumstances of their personal lives and (less often) the social and political environment. The “anonymous” groups modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)…


(378 words)

Author(s): Murken, Sebastian
[German Version] Thanks to our capacity for self-reflection, we human beings can recognize our deficiencies on all levels of our being. We are finite, limited, mutable, contingent, and imperfect. In almost all philosophies and religions, this human self-perception contrasts with an ontological realm, free of these limitations, seen as being infinite, unlimited, immutable, absolute, and perfect. The concept of humans as “deficient beings,” introduced into philosophical anthropology by A. Gehlen, is based on comparison to animals. It denotes the disadv…


(155 words)

Author(s): Murken, Sebastian
[English Version] . S. sind freiwillige, meist lose Zusammenschlüsse von Menschen, deren Aktivitäten sich auf die gemeinsame Bewältigung von Krankheiten, psychischen oder sozialen Problemen richten, von denen sie – entweder selber oder als Angehörige – betroffen sind (Definition der Dt. Arbeitsgemeinschaft S. e.V.). Dies geschieht mittels regelmäßiger, oft wöchentlicher Gesprächsgruppen. Ziel ist die Veränderung der persönlichen Lebensumstände sowie (seltener) des sozialen und polit. Umfeldes. Ein…


(1,338 words)

Author(s): Murken, Sebastian | Ulbrich, Paul | Kreß, Hartmut | Zweigle, Birgit
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Medicine – III. Ethics – IV. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies Drugs have been used since prehistoric times both for healing purposes and as a means of transcending the normal state of consciousness. The extraordinary state of consciousness induced by drugs (Intoxication, trance, ecstasy) facilitates the contact with the transcendent world and its be…


(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 …


(5,339 words)

Author(s): Heine, Susanne | Murken, Sebastian | Schweitzer, Friedrich | Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[English Version] I. Zum Begriff Die Seele (: IV.) als Gegenstand der P. ist immer nur von einer Theorie her zugänglich, die versucht, die Erfahrung des Menschen mit seinem Innenleben und -erleben (denken, vorstellen, wollen, fühlen) kognitiv zu erfassen. Als »Bürger zweier Welten« (I. Kant) steht der Mensch existentiell und kognitiv vor dem Psycho-Physischen Problem und der Frage, wie er sich, zugleich leibliches Sinnenwesen und geistiges Subjekt, als personale Einheit denken kann. Seelentheorien …