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Father Deities

(2,241 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Bosse, Katrin | Albertz, Rainer
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Old Testament I. Religious Studies Deities defined by emphasis on their relationship to ancestors (“fathers,” see also Ancestors, Cult of) are historically and ethnographically attested in Near Eastern and East African cultures. Usually named in the form “God of X” or “God of my/your father” or “God of my/your fathers,” they can also be known by a specific proper name. The cult of such father deities occurs – independently of a specific…

Miracle

(8,918 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Fabry, Heinz-Josef | Alkier, Stefan | Gregersen, Niels Henrik | Evers, Dirk | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Fundamental Theology – VII. Dogmatics – VIII. Education and Practical Theology – IX. Judaism – X. Islamic Theology I. History of Religions Miracles are extraordinary, mystifying human experiences that cannot be explained by normal causes, which in ma…

Retribution

(4,477 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Janowski, Bernd | Bendemann, Reinhard v. | Volkmann, Stefan | Buß, Johanna
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Retribution – recompense of good with good and evil with evil, in religion as reward (Payment) or punishment for human conduct, imposed in this life or the next by God or fate – is an aspect of reciprocity, the principle of quid pro quo (Merit). Richard Thurnwald was the first to point out the significance of reciprocity for social action and worldview in ethnic societies. It goes beyond reciprocating with a gift or assistance, or exchanging daughters between exogamous groups; the moral, legal, a…

Dead, Cult of the

(2,817 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Podella, Thomas | Cancik-Lindemaier, Hildegard
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Classical Antiquity…

Silence

(996 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Kreuzer, Johann | Heinz, Andreas
[German Version] I. Religious Studies

God as Father

(2,661 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Albertz, Rainer | Böckler, Annette M. | Schlosser, Jacques | Mühling, Markus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Early Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Dogmatics – VI. Philosophy of Religion I. Religious Studies The use of father as a designation of God is almost universal. It is especially frequent in certain contexts: 1. In many cultures, deification of ancestors begins as their death recedes into the past (in Hinduism after three generations). Forefathers gradually lose their individuality and become gods or merge with familiar deities. Thus the original ancestor is often identified with the Supreme Being. Both are th…

Medium

(361 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer
[German Version] Individuals are regarded as mediums if they have extrasensory perceptions and as mediators can make contact with superhuman beings (spirit, ancestor, saint, god). Usually such a being is said to penetrate (intrusion) and take possession of the body of the medium. The spiritual being temporarily takes the place of the soul or the personali…

Sickness and Healing

(3,297 words)

Author(s): Rütten, Thomas | Neu, Rainer | Ebner, Martin | Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph | Wiesing, Urban | Et al.
[German Version] I. Medicine Sickness and healing are basic phenomena of human life and core concepts of any anthropology. Nevertheless defining them and the relationship between them still raises problems, not least because each is a collective term. There is debate within medicine over whether sickness and healing can be neutral categories, purely descriptive and empirical, with their meaning determined by the evolutionary function of the body and its organs. Other positions, mindf…

Estate

(1,134 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Volkmann, Stefan | Münch, Richard
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Dogmatics – III. Sociology and Social History I. History of Religions Estates are socially and juri…

Kinship

(888 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Wannenwetsch, Bernd
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Social Ethics – III. Sociology I. Religious Studies

Genealogy

(943 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible I. Religious Studies Genealogies are pedigrees (Tribe/Clan), ancestral tables (Ancestors, Cult of), etc., that represent a kind of constitution in societies (Society) with no state. In state societies, they usually legitimize the claims of the ruling ¶ and priestly dynasties. They originate in societies with private property in land or cattle that is passed on with the assistance of rules of inheritance based on known genealogical relationships. Depending on the type of genealogy, various…

Punishment

(4,817 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Otto, Eckart | Schuck, Martin | Loos, Fritz | Hermann, Dieter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies All religions share the conviction that human actions hold a significance that reaches far beyond a person’s current life situation. On the precise manner in which an equitable balance between personal behavior and current or future life is achieved, however, there is considerable divergence of views – depending on the historical and social context of the respective religion. From the perspective of religious studies, it is advisable to differentiate between the…