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Death Penalty

(3,790 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | de Boer, Martinus C. | Reichman, Ronen | Owens, Erik C. | Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Judaism – IV. Law – V. Ethics…

Mourning Customs

(3,303 words)

Author(s): Heller, Birgit | Podella, Thomas | Triebel, Lothar | Goldberg, Sylvie-Anne | de Boer, Martinus C. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies As an element of burial rites and the cult of the dead (Dead, Cult of the), mourning customs serve not only the survivors but also the departed. Ritual support of the dead or protection against them is usually one of the functions of a mourning period, which often concludes with a change in the status of the departed (e.g. admission to the realm of the dead at the end of a journey into the afterlife). In the light of the religio-historical evidence, both the older interpretation of mourning cust…


(11,861 words)

Author(s): Heller, Birgit | Cancik, Hubert | Liess, Kathrin | Necker, Gerold | Goldberg, Sylvie-Anne | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies and History of Religions – II. Death and the Realm of the Dead in the Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Philosophy – VI. Philosophy of Religion – VII. History of Dogma and Dogmatics – VIII. Ethics – IX. Practical Theology – X. Art – XI. Islam – XII. Buddhism – XIII. Hinduism I. Religious Studies and History of Religions 1. General Modern religious criticism regards religion as compensation for human anxiety in the face of death. Although engagement with death contributed essentially to the development of human culture, witnesses to the early history of religions place earthly life in the foreground, for the most part. Religious traditions assess death and afterlife differently. At any rate, death manifests itself as requiring an explanation almost everywhere; it is rarely regarded as a natural phenomenon. Death appears in male and/or female form. Although sometimes male forms dominate (e.g. the “Grim Reaper”), female personifications prevail in many cultures (goddesses of death, of illness, and of the underworld are widespread). A distinction is made between “bad” and “good” death depending on age, place of death, circumstances of death, a…