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Catholicos

(202 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
Of Antiochian origin, “catholicos” is the title of some Orthodox or ancient Eastern archbishops (Bishop, Episcopate) who have supervision over scattered and relatively independent areas. Among the Jacobites in Persia, the term “maphrian” is also found. Where full autonomy is achieved or claimed, the title is associated with that of patriarch in the Orthodox Church of Georgia and the Assyrian Church of the East. It is used alone for the leaders of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Among the …

Synaxarion

(335 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
From the word synagō, “collect,” the synaxarion is a collection for the church year of short lives and notices of the saints (§5.1) that, in the Eastern churches, can be used either in public worship or privately (Orthodox Christianity; Orthodox Church). From the 9th century onward, the literary genus of the synaxarion has merged into that of church calendars and martyrologies (Martyrs; Martyrs, Acts of the). There are examples in Byzantium and Italy and Greece, and also in the Near East, though usually in translation from the Greek. Modern Greek usage has added the texts to the li…

Patriarch, Patriarchate

(1,573 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
1. Biblical Usage The LXX coined the Gk. word patriarchēs, which derives from patria (family, tribe). In the OT it may be used for any group leaders, but in the NT it refers specifically to Abraham (Heb. 7:4), the 12 sons of Jacob (Acts 7:8–9), and David (2:29). 2. Jewish History From the third century to the fifth, the nasi (prince), the head of the Tiberias Sanhedrin, was called patriarchēs in Greek documents. The office, which was a hereditary one in the family of the editor of the Mishnah, Judah ha-Nasi (d. ca. 220), lasted until after 415 and was recognized and supported by t…

Acathistus

(161 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
The Acathistus (from Greek, meaning “not [sung] sitting”), a Byzantine hymn to the Virgin Mary sung while standing, takes the form of an alphabetic acrostic and is thought to have been first composed by Romanus Melodus (6th cent.). The original served as a model for many similar hymns, especially in Russia. At times having considerable influence in the West, the Acathistus has been illustrated in picture-cycles since the 14th century. See Mariology; Mary, Devotion to Peter PlankBibliography A. Chadzinikolau, “Akathistos Hymnos,” RBK  1.94–96 G. Dévai, “Akathistos–Prooemia in …

Pentarchy

(304 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
“Pentarchy” (lit. “the rule of five”) denotes the widespread theory in the Greek East that the five patriarchs of Rome, Constantinople (Byzantium), Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem are jointly responsible for oversight of the church (Church Government). These patriarchs occupy the seats that were given a special preeminence by the ecumenical councils of the fourth and fifth centuries. The theory is first found in the laws of Emperor Justinian (527–65). It was given fuller theological development by the theologians of the eighth and ninth centuries …

Archimandrite

(149 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
“Archimandrite” (from Greek roots meaning “head of a sheepfold [ mandra]”) refers to a dignitary ranking below a bishop. It was used from the 4th century for certain heads of monasteries (Orthodox or united with Rome). After the 6th century it was reserved for leaders of groups of monasteries and at first restricted to certain abbots. Since the 18th century the title has been conferred on other monks or unmarried priests only loosely connected to the monastic state (as a rhasophore, or novice), either in an honorary way or as a promotion on the way to the episcopal office. See Orthodox Church Pe…

Synodicon

(255 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] On the first Sunday in Lent in 843, after years of struggle, the population of Constantinople were solemnly informed that the heresy of iconoclasm had finally been condemned and defeated. In the Orthodox Church, this proclamation became the occasion of a permanent annual festival: the first Sunday in Lent, formerly dedicated to Moses and all the prophets, has been observed as the “Sunday of Orthodoxy” ever since. In all episcopal cathedrals, the Synodicon is recited on this day in a special rite: a lengthy doxology is followed by a renunciation of all…

Liturgy of the Hours

(3,593 words)

Author(s): Häußling, Angelus A. | Hofhansl, Ernst W. | Meßner, Reinhard | Plank, Peter | Kreuels, Matthias
[German Version] I. History – II. Liturgical Practice – III. Catholicism – IV. Orthodox Church – V. Protestantism – VI. Music I. History Praying “at all times” reflects belief in a God who is always present as Lord of every time and all time. The Early Church continued the practice of Israel, but soon enriched the anamnestic remembrance of God's saving work at certain times (deliverance in the morning, preservation of the creation in the evening) with the remembrance of experiences of salvation in the life of th…

Altar

(6,849 words)

Author(s): Sfameni Gasparro, Giulia | Fritz, Volkmar | Häußling, Angelus A. | Schmidt-Lauber, Hans-Christoph | Plank, Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Israel – III. Christianity I. Religious Studies The term comes from the Lat. “altare,” which is derived from “adolere,” “burn” (thus already Sextus Pompeius Festus, De verborum significatione, v. 14: “altaria sunt in quibus igne adoletur”). In addition to “altare/altaria”, the common term “ara” (from “areo,” “burn”) has the same meaning. Accordingly, the Roman altar could be defined as “place of fire” or “sacrificial hearth.” In Greek, there are a number of alternating terms. Of these θυμέλη/ thymélē and θυσιαστήριον/ thysiastḗrion (fr…

Russia, Theology in

(1,054 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] The pervasive social reform set in motion by Alexander II’s emancipation of the serfs in 1862 also created the conditions in Russia necessary for an Orthodox theology (Orthodox churches: IV) consistently using historical-critical methods. This new form of theology bore fruit consonant with the cultural level and the capacities of the country and its church, until the October Revolution in 1917 violently interrupted the entire life of the church, including its theological reflectio…

Chernivtsi

(383 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] (Rumanian Cernăuţi, Russian Černovcy). After the incorporation of Bukovina into the Habsburg Empire in 1775, Czernowitz became the seat of the Orthodox bishop of Radautz (Radauti); while its ancient title was retained, it was joined to the Serbian Habsburg metropolitan see of Karlowitz (Sremski Karlovci). In the spirit of Josephinism, the existing monasteries were suppressed and their assets transferred to a so-called religious endowment to the benefit …

Liturgical Implements

(799 words)

Author(s): Berger, Rupert | Plank, Peter
[German Version] I. Western Church – II. Eastern Church I. Western Church From the very outset, celebration of the Lord's Supper (Eucharist/Communion: IV) required a cup for the wine and a dish for the bread (II). Initially simply chosen from whatever household utensils were available, over the course of time they were gradually withdrawn from everyday use and came to be made of precious materials. Finally their particular requirements (ease of holding and passing) led to the chalice and paten (liturgical…

Church Year

(2,193 words)

Author(s): Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich | Grethlein, Christian | Richter, Klemens | Plank, Peter
[German Version] I. General Background and History – II. Practical Theology – III. Orthodox Church I. General Background and History The church year – like church art, architecture, etc. – is one of the great cultural products of the Christian faith. It attempts to give cultural form to the gospel by means of the human perception of time. It thus stands alongside other attempts to cultivate the experience and perception of time, and to structure it meaningfully. As a sign of salvation…

James, Liturgy of Saint

(281 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] James, Liturgy of Saint, is the indigenous eucharistic liturgy of the Holy Land, named after the Lord's brother, James, verifiable as the foundation for the fourth and fifth mystagogical catecheses of Cyril of Jerusalem or John of Jerusalem; passages are also already evident in Eusebius of Caesarea and in the eucharistic prayer in Origen. In terms of content, the sequence, formulated strictly in accordance with salvation history, of post-sanctus, words of institution, anamnesis, and epiclesis, and the extraordinary scope of the intercessions are n…

Jerusalem

(8,314 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Hezser, Catherine | Dan, Joseph | Küchler, Max | Bieberstein, Klaus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Early Church – V. Patriarchates – VI. Islam – VII. Religious and Political Situation Today – VIII. Archaeology I. Old Testament Jerusalem (ירושׁלם/ yerûšālēm, MT yerûšālayim) was founded c. 1800 bce as a fortified town in the central Palestinian uplands at a strategic point for transportation between northern and southern Palestine. Outside the Bible, the name appears from the 18th century on in the Egyptian execration texts and the Amarna letters (as Akkad. uruu-ru-sa-lim). It derives from the verb yrh I…

Bishop

(5,831 words)

Author(s): Schöllgen, Georg | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Rees, Wilhelm | Plank, Peter | de Wall, Heinrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics and Canon Law – IV. Missiology I. New Testament The NT contains no evidence of the episcopate in the traditional Catholic sense (a single bishop at the apex of a hierarchical clerical ministry functioning as head of a Christian community), but it does use the word ἐπίσκοπος ( epískopos; the etymological source of bishop) for functionaries and officials exercising oversight in the community (Acts 20:28; Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:1–7; Tit 1:7–9). For the primitive church, it is therefore better ¶ to speak of episkopoi rathe…

Psalms/Psalter

(13,915 words)

Author(s): Hartenstein, Friedhelm | Janowski , Bernd | Hartenstein , Friedhelm | Janowski, Bernd | Häußling, Angelus A. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology and Scope The book of Psalms is a unique collection of 150 poetic texts compiled to make a work sui generis. Its Hebrew title תְּהִלִּים(סֵפֶר) /( sēper) tĕhillîm, “(Book of) Praises,” is already found at Qumran (earliest instance: 4QMa [= 4Q491] 174, 1st cent. bce). As in the New Testament occurrences from about a century later (Luke 20:42; Acts 1:20: βίβλος ψαλμῶν/ bíblos psalmṓ n), it appears to be used primarily in the technical sense of a scroll containing psalms (cf. the frgm. 4QPs), but it might also denote a form of the Psalter. In 11QPsa, a collectio…

Troparion

(295 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] Troparion, name of a special chant in Byzantine Orthodox worship; its origin and original meaning are disputed. Over the centuries, the characteristics of a troparion have been subject to considerable variation. As a hymnographic genre, a troparion is hard to distinguish formally from a sticheron and a kathisma. Originally a troparion appears to have been a short text serving as a refrain, framing and/or subdividing the recitation of a psalm. Such troparia have been preserved in c…

Liturgical Languages

(1,039 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] In principle any language capable of supporting a literature is suitable as a liturgical language. All languages in which liturgy has been recorded in writing turn out to be potential literary languages or have become such through the translation of biblical and liturgical texts. Not unlike liturgical vestments, liturgical languages that differ significantly from languages in daily use, spoken or written, have arisen through the exclusion of the liturgical domain from processes of change and development, as well as from potential replacement of spoken idioms. The …

Easter

(5,925 words)

Author(s): Kraus, Georg | Kinzig, Wolfram | Schlemmer, Karl | Plank, Peter | Schwier, Helmut | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Church History – III. Liturgy – IV. Customs and Traditions – V. Homiletics and Education – VI. Art History I. Terminology Easter (cf. Ger. Ostern) is the English word for the feast of Jesus Christ's resurrection (II). The name in other Germanic and Romance languages derives instead from Gk πάσχα/ páscha (Aram. פַּסְחָא/ pascha' or פִּסְחָא/ pischa' for Heb. פֶּסַח/ pesah. [from פסח/ psh., “limp/go past”, etymology not entirely clear]; Lat. as pascha or passa), for example, Påske (Danish and Norwegian), Pasen (Dutch), Påsk (Swedish), Pasqua (…

Sabas Monastery

(298 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] The monastery was established between 483 and 490 by St. Sabas alongside the Kidron Valley nine km southeast of Jerusalem. It was founded as a laura, consisting of individual caves in the rock with a communal building as its center. Despite its deep involvement in the Origenist controversies, by the time of the Persian invasion in 614 it had already experienced an initial spiritual and intellectual flowering (Cyril of Scythopolis); it played an essential role in the development of…

Hagiography

(2,226 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Plank, Peter | Dan, Joseph
[German Version] I. Western Hagiography – II. Eastern Hagiography – III. Medieval and Modern Judaism I. Western Hagiography Western hagiography, as a literature that has no scholarly purpose but serves to venerate saints, first followed Greek examples. Its most important genre, the lives of the saints, is shaped less by the panegyric biography of the martyr bishop Cyprian of Carthage, written by the deacon Pontius (2nd half of 3rd cent. ce), than by the vitaes of the desert father Anthony of Padua, written by Athanasius (with two Latin translations), and of Martin …

Trinity/Doctrine of the Trinity

(11,509 words)

Author(s): Oberdorfer, Bernd | Theobald, Michael | Müller, Gerhard Ludwig | Plank, Peter | Küster, Volker | Et al.
[German Version] ¶ I. Terminology To an unusual degree, the theology of the Trinity is characterized by a strained combination of narrative biblical language and speculative philosophical language. The word trinitas was first used by Tertullian ( Prax. 2.1–4), as a translation of Greek τριάς/ triás (orig. “threeness”). To denote the divine unity (God: V, 1), the 4th-century debates showed that the term οὐσία/ ousí (“Essence”; see also Divine essence) borrowed from Greek philosophy was theologically legitimate. The term ὑπόστασις/ hypóstasis (Hypostasis) was sometimes used i…

Bishops, Consecration of

(532 words)

Author(s): Ratzmann, Wolfgang | Plank, Peter
[German Version] I. Practical Theology – II. Orthodox Church I. Practical Theology Episcopal ordination is the rite whereby a person chosen as bishop receives his office (the legal aspect) and is empowered to exercise this (the spiritual aspect). After Vatican II, episcopal ordination in the Roman Catholic church was given a structure parallel to the ordination rites of deacons and …

Relics

(5,513 words)

Author(s): Felber, Anneliese | Köpf, Ulrich | Plank, Peter | Hafner, Johann Ev. | Mohr, Hubert
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Relics are the remains (Lat. reliquiae) of individuals endowed with power, such as warriors, chiefs, sorcerers, heroes, prophets, martyrs, and saints – their bodies, their clothing, or objects they have used. Veneration of relics reflects the belief that these forces continue beyond the grave; the intent is to benefit from this power or blessing by erecting structures over the grave, lighting candles or leaving flowers, processions, touching or kissing, or burial near…

Pectoral Cross

(175 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] The pectoral cross represents a special development of the encolpion ( pectorale), otherwise usually rectangular or oval, which Christians as well as pagans and Jews used as an ornament in antiquity. Although long worn by other secular and religious notables, by the 12th century the encolpion and pectoral cross were becoming increasingly a mark of episcopal office. Since 1570 the pectoral cross has been part of the mandatory attire of bishops. Since the 18th century, priests in the Orthodox …

Vestments, Liturgical

(306 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] Basically, liturgical vestments derive from the festal and official garb of antiquity; as secular fashions changed, they became the distinctive liturgical attire of the clergy and identified their various ranks (Clothing and vestments: II). All clergy wear an alb (sticharion), a full-length garment with sleeves. The stole (stola) serves as a mark of ordination; it is a strip of cloth worn over the left shoulder by deacons (orarion), over both shoulders by priests and bishops (epit…

Nikon of the Black Mountain

(165 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] (c. 1025, Constantinople – after 1100, near Antioch), important encyclopedist and canonist of the Chalcedonian patriarchy of Antioch. After a military career in Byzantine service, Nikon was a monk on the “Black Mountain” near Antioch and a monastic teacher appointed by the patriarchate. In this role he gathered and critically evaluated in three works what seemed genuine and normative to him in legal, liturgical, and ascetic traditions (I: Explanations of the Commandments of the Lord [῾Ερμηνεῑαι τῶν ἐντολῶν τοῦ κυρίου], also called the Pandects; II: Little Book [Μικρ…

Ordination of Priests

(830 words)

Author(s): Meßner, Reinhard | Plank, Peter
[German Version] 1. Catholic understanding. In Roman Catholic usage, the expression ordination of priests (or presbyters; Ordination: V, 1) reflects a specific, sacerdotal understanding of ecclesiastical office (VI, 3). The Christian priesthood is associated in the first instance with baptism (IV, 1). Postbaptismal anointing is the ritual sign of inclusion in the priestly people of God through participation in the priestly office of Christ. In the Roman tradition in particular, this anointing has always been associated with…

Priesthood

(7,504 words)

Author(s): Friedli, Richard | Otto, Eckart | Dignas, Beate | Elm, Dorothee | Kraus, Georg | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Etymologically the term priest derives from Greek πρεσβύτερος/ presbýteros, “elder”; it denotes a religious functionary, especially an expert responsible for the cult. The Greek word did not originally have this meaning. A second semantic strand puts a priest (Gk ἱερεύς/ hiereús, Lat. sacerdos) in charge of things that are sacred (Sacred and profane). The characteristics that comparative religion usually associates with priesthood are often transferred globally from Christianity, especially Roman Cathol…

Marriage Ceremonies

(4,074 words)

Author(s): Idelberger, Petra | Grethlein, Christian | Hofhansl, Ernst W. | Steck, Wolfgang | Winter, Jörg | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Church History – III. Practical Theology – IV. Liturgics – V. Law – VI. Orthodox Church – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. History of Religion In Christendom marriage was considered a secular act until well into the Middle Ages, before it was declared a sacrament in 1184. Many religions view marriage as a religious duty, and nuptial rites (Rites of passage; see III below) often have sacral character, but civil marriages are also obligatory in certain countries. Regulations gover…

Theodore Graptos and Theophanes Graptos, Saints

(287 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] The two brothers were born in Palestine c. 775 as sons of a priest named Jonas. Like their father, they became monks in the Sabas Monastery. Probably while traveling in the service of Patriarch Thomas I of Jerusalem (807–820), they were detained in Constantinople and became involved in the turmoil of the Iconoclastic controversy (Veneration of images: VI), which had flared up against in 815 under Emperor Leo V (813–820); in the course of it, as declared iconodules, they were forced to have their foreheads branded (γραπτοί/ graptoí) with satirical verses. Theophanes …

Theodore of Studios, Saint

(335 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] (759, Constantinople – Nov 11, 826, island of Prinkipo [modern Büyükada]) (feast day Nov 11), influential reformer of monastic and liturgical life, ecclesiastical politician, prolific writer and poet. His family moved in the highest social circles. Led by his uncle Platon, in 781 he along with his parents, siblings, and other family members turned the family estate of Sakkudion in Bithynia into a monastery; he was ordained to the priesthood in 787 and served as abbot after 794. In…

Nikolai Kasatkin, Saint

(163 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] (Aug 1, 1836, Berezovskij, district Bel’sk – Feb 3, 1912, Tokyo), founder and first archbishop of the Orthodox Church of Japan. In 1860 he graduated from the seminary in St. Petersburg (II); he worked in Japan from 1861, first as priest of the Russian consulate in Hakodate and, after the granting of religious tolerance in 1873, as missionary; from 1880, as bishop. He achieved an exemplary inculturation of the Orthodox Church in Japanese language and mentality. A minority church wa…

Stephen of Perm, Saint

(135 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] (c. 1340, Veliky Ustyug – Apr 26, 1396, Moscow), important early Russian missionary. Around 1365 he entered the monastery of Gregory the Theologian in Rostov Velikhy. There besides Greek he learned the language of the Finno-Ugrian Zyrians (Komi), for whom he devised a new alphabet and translated biblical and liturgical texts. In 1383 he was consecrated bishop, so that he was able to conduct a successful missionary campaign among them. He found an outstanding biographer in his fellow student Epifany the Wise. Peter Plank Bibliography Source: Svjatitel’ Stefan Permsk…

Typicon

(169 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] Until well into the 15th century, the term typicon, which in principle can mean any fixed order, was often used by founders of Orthodox monasteries to denote the structures and offices peculiar to their foundations. Since the 11th century, however, the term has been applied primarily to a collection of rubrics governing the course of worship throughout the year. Its beginnings can be traced back to the 7th century and the Sabas Monastery. From the 9th century on, the dominant typicon was …

Unleavened Bread Controversy

(173 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] Originally ordinary leavened bread (enzyma) was used in celebrations of the Eucharist (III, 3) throughout Christendom. In the mid-11th century, its replacement by unleavened bread (azyma) – attested in the Armenian Church since the 6th century and in the Latin Church since the 9th century – provoked a fierce controversy between Byzantium and Rome; in 1054 it occasioned the schism between East and West. Since the introduction of unleavened bread was obviously modeled after the Isra…

Germanos

(178 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] (Strēnopoulos; Sep 15, 1872, Bithynia, Turkey – Jan 23, 1951, London), metropolitan of Thyateira with seat in London and a leading figure in the ecumenical movement. After attending the theological seminary at Chalkis and earning his doctorate in Leipzig, Germanos was appointed professor at Chalkis in 1904 and rector of the same in 1907, retaining his rectorship even after his consecration as bishop in 1912. In 1922, Patriarch Meletius Metaxakis dispatched him to Western Europe as…

Baptism

(22,186 words)

Author(s): Alles, Gregory D. | Avemarie, Friedrich | Wallraff, Martin | Grethlein, Christian | Koch, Günter | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. New Testament – III. Church History – IV. Dogmatics – V. Practical Theology – VI. History of Liturgy – VII. Law – VIII. Missions – IX. Art I. History of Religion From the standpoint of the history of religion, baptism is not a general type of rite (Rite and ritual) but a lustration ritual that is carried out not only in Christianity but also in historically related religions such as …

Christmas

(7,716 words)

Author(s): Roll, Susan K. | Köhle-Hezinger, Christel | Plank, Peter | Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich | Hermelink, Jan | Et al.
[German Version] I. History – II. Christian Liturgy – III. Practical Theology – IV. Art History – V. Music I. History 1. Origins. “Christmas,” the nativity feast or birthday celebration of Christ on Dec 25, comes from Middle English Christmesse, Christ's Mass; cf. Dutch Kerstmis. The German Weihnachten, “holy nights,” refers to the twelve days between Dec 24 and Jan 6. The Lat. natalis, dies nativitatis, or nativitas domini nostri Jesu Christi is reflected in Span. navidad, Ital. natale. Gk ἡ γενέθλιος ἡμέρα τὰ γενέθλια, ἡ κατὰ σάρκα γέννησις τοῦ κυρίου/ hēgenéthlios h…
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