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(431 words)

Author(s): Zachhuber, Johannes
[German Version] The philosophico-theological use of light as a metaphor derives from religious light symbolism (light as a symbol [Symbols/Symbol theory: I] of the holy, the divine, salvation, bliss, life, deliverance, light and darkness), but the two are not identical. In the former, light suggests the fundamental structure of being and the possibility of knowing it (Epistemology). Parmenides described the way to knowledge of the truth as a journey from night into the light; light becomes a metaphor for knowledge of true being. In Plato's metaphor …


(360 words)

Author(s): Zachhuber, Johannes
[German Version] For Aristotle the theory of topoi (Lat. loci, “places”) was one of the fundamental elements of dialectics, the knowledge of what is probable, where it reveals and substantiates the situational appropriateness of strategies of argumentation (Rhetoric). Cicero’s rhetorical understanding of loci, only partially coincident with Aristotle’s theory, was more influential: the loci are sedes argumentorum ( De oratore, II 162), the most general categories in which a speaker looks for arguments. Thus “topics” are associated with the rhetorical art of inventio, which is…


(3,692 words)

Author(s): Friedli, Richard | Zachhuber, Johannes | Heiligenthal, Roman | Hartmut Rosenau | Thiede, Werner | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Christianity – IV. Taoism I. Religious Studies It is inherent in the conditio humana that we are forced to master everyday situations and withstand critical moments. To do so, members of every society need handy codes of conduct to survive the manifold crises. Life and death, time and eternity, meaning and meaninglessness mark such critical moments in both individual lives and the course of the world. The responses of cultures and religions to these questions document our yearning for immortality. 1. Models We …


(2,613 words)

Author(s): Zachhuber, Johannes | Pirson, Dietrich | Pemsel-Maier, Sabine
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology During recent decades, the concept of reception, originally at home in aesthetics and literary studies, has developed into a highly successful fundamental concept of communication; it emphasizes the decisive role of the recipient in the process of communication (Iser, Jauß). In this sense it also concerns theology, to which the concept is not new but has had its meaning and role more clearly defined. A fundamental distinction must be made. First, there is reception…


(1,160 words)

Author(s): Rese, Friederike | Zachhuber, Johannes
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Philosophy of Religion I. Philosophy Essence, from Lat. essentia, “being, essence,” is an abstract noun formed in imitation of Gk ousia, “being, essence,” ¶ that which is characteristic of something, that which makes it what it is. In Plato's writings, the essence of a matter is under consideration when we ask what something is (τι ἔστι/ ti ésti). Here, the essence of a matter is that which is immutable, that which remains the same when appearances change: the …


(10,035 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Koch, Klaus | Frey, Jörg | Zachhuber, Johannes | Mesch, Walter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. General. The words for time denote in different languages, according to their etymological derivation and symbolic semantic field, different ways of dividing natural and cultural forms of progression and sequences of events into parts separated and distinguished from one another. The German word for time, Zeit, comes from Old High German zīt; “divide (up)”, from the root *dāi, “divide,” and implies the general dividing function of ideas of time, as factors in ordering experience of the world. Different ideas of time …


(8,968 words)

Author(s): Hoheisel, Karl | Seebass, Horst | Gödde, Susanne | Necker, Gerold | Rudolph, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Phenomenology Western, Christian connotations of the concept of the soul, imposed on the religio-historical evidence by outside studies, must be generally excluded if the soul is understood as the principle of manifestations of life that are perceptible (or culturally considered to be perceptible), although they are rarely categorized under a common umbrella term. It is therefore reasonable to speak of a multiplicity of souls – for example four among the Ob-Ugrians (Hasenfratz, Einführung, 38–41), five among the Proto-Germanic peoples ( ib…

Divine Essence

(988 words)

Author(s): Zachhuber, Johannes | Dietz, Walter R.
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion – II. Dogmatics I. Philosophy of Religion Considering that philosophical theories of essence are grounded in the effort to establish a principle of ontological unity in the face of experienced multiplicity and mutability, any talk of divine essence may be surprising, as no such difference is to be presupposed in God. It is indeed essential for one tradition to use the term “essence” precisely to express its absolute simplicity (Unity, Divine), and thus God's self-identity per se. Accordingly, the statement that God is pure essence ( essentia…


(360 words)

Author(s): Zachhuber, Johannes
[German Version] The notion that the glorification ( glorificatio) of God is the goal of creation is a fundamental assumption, particularly in Calvin's theology (cf. the beginning of the Geneva Catechism of 1542). Accordingly, the final locus of Reformed dogmatics deals with glorification ( De glorificatione). The perfection of human beings is, thus, equated with joining in creation's praise of God. This concept is based on, first, the Augustinian and medieval notion of the fruitio Dei as the appropriate fulfillment of the human desire for God, and second, the biblical…

End of the World

(2,438 words)

Author(s): Winter, Franz | Zager, Werner | Zachhuber, Johannes | Evers, Dirk
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Bible I. History of Religions The (potentially) imminent end of the world is taken up in many religious traditions, as is evident from the ¶ many graphic accounts of it. The term end of the world refers primarily to cosmological (“physical”) eschatology, as distinct from individual and collective eschatology (i.e. from the idea of a judgment of all or of each person individually). Some fundamental distinctions should be drawn. First, cyclically oriented models of explaining the end of the …


(4,336 words)

Author(s): Schirren, Thomas | Mitchell, Margaret M. | Ueding, Gert | Zachhuber, Johannes | Helmer, Karl | Et al.
[German Version] I. Antiquity 1. Greek. The expression ῥητορικὴ τέχνη/ rhētorikḗ téchnē was coined by the Sophistic school, which created the theoretical foundation for a form of communication thought of – especially in the Greek world – as an agon: the appearance of one or more communicators before the public, engaging in a linguistic contest. The cultural background of such performance events ¶ (Speech act) was the literary agon and the forensic contest, already mentioned by Homer ( Il. 18.497–508). It was the particular achievement of the Greek Enlightenment of the 5th…

Macrina, the Younger

(172 words)

Author(s): Zachhuber, Johannes
[German Version] (c. 327, Neocaesarea – 379, Annisi) was the eldest daughter of a wealthy Christian family from Cappadocia. She was named after her grandmother, Macrina the Elder, who introduced her family to the teachings of Gregory Thaumaturgus. After the death of her fiancé, an advocate, Macrina remained unmarried. She founded and was the head of a monastic community of women (Monasticism: III) on her family's estate near Annisi from the 350s onward and never left it for the rest of her life. I…


(1,438 words)

Author(s): Horyna, Břetislav | Wesche, Tilo | Zachhuber, Johannes
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy – III. Dogmatics I. Religious Studies The origins (Ger. Ursprung) of something are an event or a set of events which, as a cause and in causal relationship with one another, constitute the initial shape of further events that ensue from the origins. Accordingly, the concept of origins must be understood on two levels of explication: (1) origins as a temporal conception in which the chronological beginning as well as the chronological proximity of origins and…


(2,816 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Hartenstein, Friedhelm | Cancik, Hubert | Schroer, Silvia | Wallraff, Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The sun is omnipresent; in the phenomenal world, it marks and accentuates the course of our chronological and spatial lifeworld. The range of associated structures, interpretations, and ambivalences (light and dark, life-giving and life-consuming) makes it only natural that the sun should acquire religious symbolisms and orientations in many ways and in many areas: (1) orientation in time (annual calendrical cycle, identification of sacral seasons and hours of th…


(947 words)

Author(s): Zachhuber, Johannes
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion Since the beginnings of Greek philosophy, the experience of transience, expressed in the dyad “generation and corruption, coming into being and passing away” ( génesis, phthorá) has been addressed as a theme both in the observational mode of natural philosophy and from an existential perspective. There is a religious dimension present when, for example, the “Anaximander Fragment” calls destruction the “atonement” of generation (DK, frgm. 12, B1). The question of what is eternal (Eter…