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Change of Religion

(333 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
[German Version] While the phenomenological approach in religious studies (Phenomenology of religion) placed the supposed “essence” and immutability of religion at the center of its considerations, contemporary systematic approaches to religion emphasize the transformations and the nature of religion and religions as a process. Religious traditions are not static constructs in an ahistorical realm. Instead, the practices, contents, forms of expression, and…


(8,661 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin | Hezser, Catherine | Liss, Hanna | Schröter, Jens | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In general usage, tradition (from Lat. transdare/ tradere, “hand on, transmit”) connotes retention and safeguarding, understood as a conservative handing down of mores, customs, norms, rules, and knowledge. The emphasis is on continuity with the past. Jan Assmann interprets tradition as an exemplary case of “cultural memory,” an enduring cultural construction of identity. In religions appeal to tradition is a prominent element justifying interpretations, practices, clai…


(10,901 words)

Author(s): Astley, Ian | Mürmel, Heinz | Sagaster, Klaus | Baumann, Martin | Yaldiz, Marianne | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Missiology I. History of Religion 1. The Buddha and his Teaching. Although the biographical dates of the historical Buddha are uncertain, scholars generally put them at 563–483 bce. The Buddha understood his own teaching as a path to redemption, i.e., to liberation from the wretched cycle of rebirths. This teaching (Dharma) is often expressed in a medical…


(2,671 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin | Rajak, Tessa | Dan, Joseph | Fleischmann-Bisten, Walter | Gerloff, Roswith
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Jewish Diaspora – III. Christian Diaspora I. History of Religions The Greek noun διασπορά/ diasporá derives from the composite verb διασπείρω/ dia-speírō, translated “to disperse, scatter, be separated.” Epicurus, following Plutarch, used diasporá in the context of his philosophical doctrine of the atom in the sense of “dissolution down to the last units, to have become without context.” The Jewish tran…


(3,414 words)

Author(s): Britz, Gabriele | Baumann, Martin | Fleischmann-Bisten, Walter | Wendehorst, Stephan | Malik, Jamal
[German Version] I. Social Sciences – II. Religious Studies – III. Christianity – IV. Judaism – V. Islam I. Social Sciences Minorities are groups whose members perceive themselves or are perceived by others as a (related) portion of society distinct from the rest. The distinction is based on actual or supposed features divergent from the characteristics of the rest, often with negative connotations. Sometimes relative powerlessness in comparison to the dominant group, exclusion, and discrimination are considered constitutive. The term is used in different ways. (1) I…


(886 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin | Falkenburg, Brigitte | Rosenau, Hartmut
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy – III. Fundamental Theology I. Religious Studies The term “boundary” is used spatially, temporally, and metaphorically. Spatially, a boundary separates localities and territories, signaled by boundary markers (cf. OE mearc, “boundary, landmark”). In certain cases, boundaries must not be crossed; in sacred sites onl…

Turner, Victor Witter

(156 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
[German Version] (May 28, 1920, Glasgow – Dec 18, 1983, Charlottesville, VA), British ethnologist. After doing fieldwork among the Ndembu in Africa in the 1950s, he turned his attention to pilgrims and pilgrimages. He developed a theory of comparative symbolism and an analysis of ritual processes (Rite and ritual: I; Cult/Worship: II, 4) and coined the term social drama (II, 1) to describe social and normative processes of negotiation. Turner used the analytic categories of liminality (Rites of passage) and communitas (Community and the individual) to interpret social proce…

World Society and Religion

(357 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
[German Version] The sociological concept of a world society constitutes the existence of a global social system, conceived of as a unity on the basis of a specific concept of society as an empirical object. The idea was put forward in the 1970s by Peter Meintz, John Meyer, Immanuel Wallerstein, and N. Luhmann, each on the basis of his own theoretical premises; its guiding notion is that there is a distinct global dynamic and global level of social interaction that represents the benchmark for oth…


(953 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
1. Diaspora (Gk., ‘scattering’) in the context of its early Jewish origin denotes the Jewish communities in diverse places outside the ‘Land of Israel’ (Palestine), and far from Jerusalem. Since the sixteenth century, the term has been used to designate Protestant and Catholic minorities living in an environment of different Christian confessions. Over the last three decades, the concept of Diaspora has achieved a great popularity in social and cultural scientific research. It is often applied in…


(1,017 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
1. Migration, the spatial mobility of individuals and groups, represents, after deliberate extension (→ Mission), the most important factor in the spread of religions. Although we meet the nineteenth- and twentieth-century movement of individuals and population groups in hitherto unheard-of numbers, the fact must not be overlooked that, even in prehistoric times, human beings traversed land and water routes into other spaces and onto other continents (for example, Aryan immigration into Indian s…

Weltgesellschaft und Religion

(320 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
[English Version] Weltgesellschaft und Religion, religionswissenschaftlich. Das soziologische Konzept der Weltgesellschaft (W.) konstituiert die Existenz eines weltweiten sozialen Systems, als Einheit und auf der Grundlage eines spezifischen Gesellschaftsbegriffs (Gesellschaft) gedacht, als empirischen Gegenstand. Als Konzept in den 70er Jahren des 20.Jh. von Peter Heintz, John Meyer, Immanuel Wallerstein und N. Luhmann nach den je eigenen theoretischen Prämissen konturiert, ist es leitende Vorstellu…


(7,687 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin | Hezser, Catherine | Liss, Hanna | Schröter, Jens | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Et al.
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich Im allg. Sprachgebrauch ist »T.« (lat. transdare, »weiterreichen, übergeben, überliefern«) als ein Festhalten und Bewahren konnotiert; als ein konservierendes Weiterreichen von Sitten, Bräuchen, Normen, Regeln und Wissen verstanden. Im Vordergrund steht der Aspekt der Kontinuität von Hergebrachtem. Jan Assmann interpretiert T. als einen exemplarischen Fall des »kulturellen Gedächtnisses«, als eine auf Dauer gestellte kulturelle Konstruktion von Identit…


(146 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
[English Version] Turner, Victor Witter (28.5.1920 Glasgow – 18.12.1983 Charlottesville, VA, USA), brit. Ethnologe. Feldforschungen bei den Ndembu in Afrika in den 50er Jahren, später waren Pilgerschaft und Wallfahrt zentrale Forschungsthemen. T. entwickelte eine vergleichende Symboltheorie und prozessuale Ritualanalyse (Ritus/Ritual: I., Kult/Kultus: II.,4.). Er prägte den Begriff des »sozialen Drama« (Drama: II.,1.) zur Beschreibung sozialer und normativer Aushandlungsprozesse. Mit den analytische…


(282 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin
[English Version] . Stellte die religionsphänomenologische Religionswiss. (Religionsphänomenologie) das vermeintliche »Wesen« und die Unwandelbarkeit von Rel. in den Mittelpunkt ihrer Überlegungen, so betonen gegenwärtige religionssyst. Ansätze die Veränderung und den Prozeßcharakter von Rel. und Religionen. Rel. Traditionen sind keine statischen Gebilde im ahist. Raum. Vielmehr unterliegen die Praktiken, Inhalte, Ausdrucksformen und Gemeinschaftsbildungen Einflüssen lokaler Kontexte sowie den akt…