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(404 words)

Author(s): Schröer, Henning
[German Version] The beginnings of bibliodrama are to be found in the USA, where both the methods of psychodrama as well as physical expression and dance (Delakova) were incorporated into interactional Bible interpretation (Martin, 22f.). Strong impulses came from Samuel Laeuchli, whose workshops in Philadelphia developed a “mimetic” method of enacting mythica…

Children's Communion

(461 words)

Author(s): Schröer, Henning
[German Version] The participation of children in the Eucharist has had an eventful history ¶ marked by confessional differences. Cyprian of Carthage speaks of children having received cibum et poculum domini (De lapsis 9). Augustine defended infant baptism together with the practice of children's communion. The Eastern Church has always held on to infant communion, citing the biblical precedent in John 6:53. Until the 12th century, children's communion was common practice in the Western Church as well, th…

Parish Education

(807 words)

Author(s): Schröer, Henning
[German Version] In 1974 the concept of “parish education” (Ger. Gemeindepädogogik) was introduced into academic discussion by Hessler (Naumburg) and Rosenboom (Kiel), at much the same time but independently of one another. In 1976 Adam conceived of parish education as a new subdiscipline within practical theology. Foizik has expertly presented the first phase of development until 1992. In 1987 Adam and Lachmann brought out the first compendium on the subject. Ruddat went further with an “inventory” of th…

Böll, Heinrich

(238 words)

Author(s): Schröer, Henning
[German Version] (Dec 21, 1917, Cologne – Jul 16, 1985, Bornheim-Merten) graduated from public school in 1937, apprenticed as a bookseller, served as a soldier (1939–1945), after 1951, was a freelance writer, received the Gruppe 47 Prize (1951), the G. Büchner Prize (1967), and the Nobel Prize (1972). As probably the best-known German author of the post-war pe…

Confession (of Faith)

(12,201 words)

Author(s): Bochinger, Christoph | Kreuzer, Siegfried | Reumann, John | Staats, Reinhart | Holze, Heinrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Bible – III. Church History – IV. Systematics – V. Practical Theology – VI. Law – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. History of Religions The term confession refers to various phenomena, including the confession of faith and of sin. A confession of faith can be understood as an officially sanctioned, formulaic summary of the central doctrines of a religious or a confessional community (“denomination”). Recited in cultic procedures and/or in everyday piety, i…

Challenges to Faith

(1,179 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Oswald | Schröer, Henning
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Practical Theology I. Dogmatics A legal challenge involves retroactive nullification of a declared intent by means of a later declaration. Religious ¶ and theological usage preserves something of this sense, since a challenge to faith fundamentally challenges the word given in God's name (Exod 3), God's promise that establishes his presence, God's own nature as promise (Exod 20:2). Does God keep his promise? Can he keep it? Does he intend to keep it? There …


(8,461 words)

Author(s): Terrin, Aldo Natale | Dohmen, Christoph | Schunack, Gerd | Figal, Günter | Jeanrond, Werner G. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy – V. Fundamental Theology – VI. Ethics – VII. Practical Theology – VIII. Cultural History I. Religious Studies The classical questions of hermeneutics concern the problems of understanding within a historical context that includes both what is to be interpreted and the one who is interpreting. The latter's horizon of understanding is effective as pre-understanding in dealing with documents of the past, whose history of influen…

Hermeneutical Dialogue

(449 words)

Author(s): Schröer, Henning
[German Version] is a basic function of practical theology (Hermeneutics: VII). A biblical locus classicus for it is Paul's demand that glossolalia be honored by means of (prophetic) interpretation for the edification of the church and to prevent it from being misunderstood (1 Cor 14:1–25). This requires those who exercise spiritual gifts to engage in hermeneutical dialogue on the path to agapé: “pursue love” (14:1). The Johannine understanding of the truth as a way and life of love corresponds to this (Ernst Fuchs). Accordingly, hermeneutical dialogue is…


(1,929 words)

Author(s): Schröer, Henning
[German Version] I. Relevance – II. Sitz im Leben – III. Authorship – IV. History – V. Tasks – VI. Poetic Approaches – VII. Goals I. Relevance Lyricism, or the art from which poems are issued, is and always has been theologically relevant in the practice of religion and church, although its appreciation has been subject to historical fluctuations. The significance of the Psalter (Psalms/Psalter), as the poetic center of the Bible, lies in its pristine power. In his rich anthologies, Kurz ( Höre Gott!) demonstrated the formative impact of the Psalms on lyricism. Marti apt…