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(615 words)

Author(s): Körtner, Ulrich H. J.
[German Version] The intransitive meaning of the German verb verelenden, which is already attested in Middle High German, is “to sink into misery,” while its transitive use means “to drive someone into poverty.” ¶ The related verb verelendigen means “to drive out of the land, to bring misery upon someone.” Elend (misery) was the term with which the social criticism of the early 19th century denounced the impoverishment of large segments of the population that accompanied the simultaneous increase of general prosperity resulting from progressing…

Distant Neighbor, Love for the

(472 words)

Author(s): Körtner, Ulrich H.J.
[German Version] The expression “love for the distant neighbor” originated (as Fernstenliebe) with F. Nietzsche, whose Zarathustra propounds a love for those far away and for the future Übermensch (6.1: 78.30–79.2), derived from the Socratic idea of friendship (IV) and in contrast to the Christian ideal of love of one's neighbor, which is said to be merely a symptom of base self-love and weakness of c…


(466 words)

Author(s): Körtner, Ulrich H.J.
[German Version] The term sexism was coined by feminism after the analogy of racism. It denotes “the social construction of inequality within a society based on the assumed superiority of one sex to the other” (Tolbert, 503). The social pressure to act in accordance with conventional gender roles implies a negative moral assessment of deviant sexual behavior, especially homosexuality, and in the context of patriarchy misogyny that can extend to violence. A sexist perspective ascribes gender differen…

Amnesty International

(218 words)

Author(s): Körtner, Ulrich H.J.
[German Version] (AI), founded in 1961, is a human rights organization that works worldwide esp. for the release of people imprisoned for philosophical, religious, or political reasons. The impetus for the founding was a newspaper article by the English lawyer Peter Benenson in the London Observer on 28 May 1961, which called the public's attention to the fate of “forgotten prisoners.” AI serves exclusively so-called nonviolent political “prisoners of consc…

Sexual Ethics

(532 words)

Author(s): Körtner, Ulrich H.J.
[German Version] Recent conceptions of Protestant sexual ethics emphasize the difference between ethics as critical moral theory and sexual morality as its object; again, a distinction must be made between normative conceptions of ethics and descriptive or hermeneutical conceptions, following in the footsteps of F.D.E. Schleiermacher. Changes in the area of sexuality, marriage, and family, often profound, can be adequately addressed theologically only if they are not subjected at the same time to …


(742 words)

Author(s): Körtner, Ulrich H.J. | Küster, Volker
[German Version] I. Dogmatics, Fundamental Theology - II. Missiology I. Dogmatics, Fundamental Theology The term “accommodation” (from Latin accommodatio, “accommodation, adaptation”) originated in classical rhetoric (I); it denotes the adaptation of an object to its environment – in rhetoric (II), the adaptation of linguistic expression to its subject matter, purpose, and audience. In Christian rhetoric, it took on a deeper theological meaning. Augustine interprets the analogies of the Creator in nature as divine eloquence (CSEL 34, 184f). Hilary of Poitiers had already spoken previously of God's accommodation to the weakness of the human intellect (CCL 62, 91). From here we may trace a connection with the theories of accommodation developed in the theological controversies of the 16th through 19th centuries. Matthias Flacius calls God's use of human language as a medium of revelation an instance of divine accommodation. J.A. Quenstedt explains the grammatical and stylistic differences between the books of the Bible as an accommodation of the Holy Spirit to the language and style of the individual authors. For exponents of the burgeoning natural sciences like J. Kepler and Galileo, however, it was the biblical authors themselves who employed accommodation (anthropomorphisms, etc.). The notion of accommodation reached full flower in J.S. Semler, a theologian of the Enlightenment who maintained that the biblical authors used ac…


(1,775 words)

Author(s): Körtner, Ulrich H.J. | Widmann, Peter | Winkler, Eberhard
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology Although proclamation is not a specifically religious term, it plays a central role in Christianity. Generally speaking, it is “a form of address in which what is proclaimed takes effect in the moment it is proclaimed” (K.E. Løgstrup, 1358). It goes together with communication and message. While the term message has more to do with the content of the address, proclamation focuses more on the process. The term communication interprets the process as an objective event, whereas the term proclamation includes its effect on the person addre…

Enemy/Love of One's Enemy

(1,755 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Otto, Eckart | Theißen, Gerd | Körtner, Ulrich H.J.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Ethics


(7,176 words)

Author(s): Heller, Birgit | Körtner, Ulrich H.J. | Schubert, Anselm | Braun, Karl | Ziemer, Jürgen | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Religions have various assessments and guidelines regarding sexuality, which shape the concrete ways people deal with it and influence certain social attitudes. Religious sexual morality (Sexual ethics) regulates sexual relations through various sexual taboos and by …


(2,629 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Gebhard | Podella, Thomas | Veltri, Giuseppe | Ess, Josef van | Körtner, Ulrich H.J. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Judaism – IV. Islam –V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Dogmatics – VII. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies Anthropomorphism denotes the c…