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Glory of God

(2,368 words)

Author(s): Podella, Thomas | Lis, Hanna | Zumstein, Jean | Schoberth, Wolfgang
[German Version] I. Ancient Near East and Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics I. Ancient Near East and Old Testament The English expression glory of God derives from the Greek translation (δόξα κυρίου or τοῦ ϑεοῦ / dóxa kyriou or toú theoú) of the Hebrew phrase כְּבוֹד יהוה /kĕbôd YHWH. In ordinary usage, Heb. כָּבוֹד/ kābôd denotes a person's “weight” or “weightiness,” which is displayed outwardly to mark to his or her social status (Gen 31:1; 45:13). As a fundamental aesthetic concept, the glory of God can be understood …

Life

(7,317 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Liess, Kathrin | Zumstein, Jean | Sparn, Walter | Gander, Hans-Helmuth | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Fundamental Theology and Dogmatics – IV. Philosophy – V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Natural Sciences – VII. Ethics I. Religious Studies Religious ideas and rituals focus fundamentally on life in this world and the next (Here and now, and the hereafter), i.e., coping with life and death (I). Through an immense range of variations, certain returning elements are discernible. Because of its numinous origin (Creation), life is usually felt to be “owed,” but because …

Conversion

(6,787 words)

Author(s): Bischofberger, Otto | Cancik, Hubert | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Zumstein, Jean | Bienert, Wolfgang A. | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Greco-Roman Antiquity – III. Bible – IV. Church History – V. Systematic Theology – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Missiology – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. History of Religions “Conversion” denotes the religiously interpreted process of total reorientation in which individuals or groups reinterpret their past lives, turn their backs on them, and reestablish and reshape their future lives in a new network of social relationships. The phenomenon was initially treated historically (Hellenistic religions and Early Church history, missionary history); later, primarily in the context of American and British sociology of religion, it was examined in more depth. The pioneering work was done by Lofland and his colleagues. Since the work of James, a total reorientation toward reality, usually called “transformation” in the technical literature, has been considered the central mark of conversion. Confessional narratives and conversion stories bearing witness to the reinterpretation of the narrator's life are understood as biographical reconstructions (Biography). They describe the unsatisfactory life before conversion as empty and unhappy, life after conversion as meaningful and happy. The reorientation of an entire life involves commitment to the religious community that made conversion possible or even served as its vehicle, matched by an enactment of membership in the community in word and deed. Despite the importance converts often ascribe to an acute crisis or a single event, conversion should be thought of not as a sudden and abrupt change but as a process taking place in a specific milieu that triggers the experience of crisis and influences the active search for a new orientation. Future scholarship must gather …

Soul

(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 ( ibid., 82–85); texts from India often count five “souls”: the power of breath ( prāṇa), the power of speech ( vāc), the power of sight ( cakṣus), the power of hearing ( śrotra), and the power of thought ( manas); collectively these are usually called prāṇa ( ibid., 94): the blood soul, the breath soul, the shadow soul, the name soul – or, with Hasenfratz, functional classes like the ego soul, t…