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Boy Bishop

(255 words)

Author(s): Hartinger, Walter
[German Version] The “boy bishop” is the central figure of the boy-bishop ceremonies found from the 10th century through the 18th, primarily in France, the Netherlands, England, Germany, Italy, and Spain. On the feast of the Holy Innocents (Dec 28), the cathedral subdeacons – and later the schoolboys in monastic and municipal schools (Monastery schools) …

Devotional Objects

(1,373 words)

Author(s): Hübner, Ulrich | Bloedhorn, Hanswulf | Hartinger, Walter
[German Version] I. Antiquity – II. Early Church – III. Middle Ages to the Present I. Antiquity Devotional objects can be understood as objects of private piety and religiosity common in all ancient cultures (cf. Epict., Dissertationes II 8.12), where they were in demand, especially in daily life for magical/apotropaic or energetic/sacramental purposes, and were traded commercially (Philostr. Vita ap. 5.20). The term is modern, so there are no ancient equivalents; comparable Greco-Roman terms include, for example εὐλογία/ eulogía (blessing; Lat. benedictio), ϕυλακτήριον/ ph…

Fairy Tales

(1,964 words)

Author(s): Lampart, Fabian | Hartinger, Walter | Halbfas, Hubertus
[German Version] I. Literary History – II. Religious History – III. In Religious Education I. Literary History The fairy tale (the diminutive German term Märchen derives from MHG maere, “tidings,” “news,” “story, narrative”; the English term has been variously derived from ME faie, fei< MF feie, fee< Lat. fata; a genre term since the 16th cent.) as a basic genre of literary narrative is ¶ characterized by elements of the fantastic, miraculous, and supernatural. Neither the authors nor the circumstances of origin of fairy tales are known; although over the …

Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras

(454 words)

Author(s): Hartinger, Walter
[German Version] The earliest evidence for the celebration of Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras, Carnival) comes from the towns and cities of the 12th and 13th centuries; the nature of the celebration was based on its contrast with Lent: sumptuous, rich foods, copious drink, dancing, sporting events and games (often with a special role for butchers; cf. the Schembartlauf [“run of the hairy/bearded men”] in Nuremberg), special festivities of the nobility and dignitaries, allegorical plays and entertainments, weddings, and legal proceedings (payment of taxes). Earlier scholarship gener…

Pilgrimage/Places of Pilgrimage

(9,650 words)

Author(s): Winter, Fritz | Raspe, Lucia | Jehle, Irmengard | Hartinger, Walter | Schmid, Josef Johannes | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies A pilgrimage is a journey by an individual or group, religiously motivated, usually over a substantial distance and (esp. in earlier periods) demanding great effort. A Western pilgrim today can hardly imagine the dangers to which a peregrinus was exposed. This Latin term, the etymon of the English word pilgrim, denoted a foreigner or in some cases an exile. A person who undertook a pilgrimage was thus someone who had to leave his or her familiar environment. The element of foreignness and movement also induced…


(8,670 words)

Author(s): Winter, Franz | Oegema, Gerbern S. | Raspe, Lucia | Jehle, Irmengard | Hartinger, Walter | Et al.
[English Version] I. Religionsgeschichtlich Grundsätzlich versteht man unter einer Wallfahrt (W.) eine rel. motivierte, individuelle oder kollektive Reise, die meist über eine größere Distanz auszuführen und (v.a. in früheren Zeiten) mit großen Mühen verbunden ist. Ein abendländischer »Pilger« kennt dabei kaum mehr die Gefahren, denen ein peregrinus ausgesetzt war. Dieser lat. Ausdruck, auf den das dt. Wort »Pilger« zurückgeht, bez. den Fremden, gelegentlich auch den Exilierten. Auch die Semantik von »wallen« bezog sich urspr. a…