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(1,259 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
Writing Pentecostal history is no easy task, because historiographical narratives are inevitably linked to how Pentecostalism is defined (see Definition). In most of academic discourse, Pentecostalism tends to be seen as either the final outcome of a series of revivals in the beginning of the twentieth century, or as a global discourse in today's world with possibly more recent origins. The latter definition is becoming increasingly popular, as it avoids some of the historiographical problems as…
Date: 2021-07-16


(1,074 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
In a country shaped by many different religious traditions, Indian Christianity accounts for about 2 percent of the population. Nevertheless, in South India, where nearly two thirds of India’s Christians live, Christianity represents a relatively strong minority. Here, the portion of Pentecostalism is also relatively high with a growing trend. Though reliable statistics are not available, pentecostal churches and ministries gained a visible presence within the south Indian church landscape by th…
Date: 2021-07-16


(1,252 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
The question of how the Pentecostal movement is to be adequately defined and delimited has remained unresolved and contested (Anderson et al. 2010). The debate may have ebbed away somewhat in recent years, but increasing scholarly attention to global Pentecostalism makes the problem even more virulent. Current academic research on global Pentecostalism tends to favour a broad and vague understanding of its subject matter. At first glance, such an all-inclusive definition seems to be attractive t…
Date: 2021-07-16

Saints/Veneration of the Saints

(4,185 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Köpf, Ulrich | Müller, Gerhard Ludwig | Ivanov, Vladimir | Barth, Hans-Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In comparative religious studies, veneration of saints generally refers to the posthumous cultic veneration of a holy person more or less identifiable as a historical individual; it is centered at the place that preserves the saint’s mortal remains, thought to have miraculous powers. Occasionally veneration of living individuals is subsumed under the same category, but this extension results in a dubious diminution of terminological precision, since to this day no one …

Ringeltaube, Wilhelm Tobias

(81 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] (1770, Scheidelwitz [Szydlowice], Poland – went missing in 1816). Missionary of the London Missionary Society in South India. From 1806 to 1816, Ringeltaube worked mainly in Mayiladi in the far south of Travancore (now Kanniyakumari district), sometimes living like a sannyāsin in order to support the missionary work started there by an Indian Christian, Vedamanickam, among Nadars (Shanars) in the service of the London Missionary Society. Michael Bergunder Bibliography H. Grafe, A History of Christianity, 1990.

Jesus Christ

(19,624 words)

Author(s): Roloff, Jürgen | Pokorný, Petr | Köpf, Ulrich | Lathrop, Gordon W. | Krötke, Wolf | Et al.
[German Version] I. Name and Titles – II. Jesus Christ in the History of Christianity – III. Jesus Christ in Other Religions – IV. Jesus Christ in Jewish Perspective – V. Jesus Christ in Islamic Perspective – VI. Jesus Christ in Art I. Name and Titles 1. Jesus of Nazareth a. Terminology The appellation Jesus Christ signals a significant tension regarding the figure in question. Although generally understood as a double name, it originated as a fusion of two heterogeneous elements: the theophoric personal name Joshua/Jeshua (Heb. “the Lord help…

Personality Cult

(1,350 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Wermke, Michael
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The term personality cult probably became popular in February of 1956, when Nikita Khrushchev’s famous “secret speech” at the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union admitted numerous excesses during the Stalin period and ascribed them to the “cult of personality” (Russ. kult lichnosti) surrounding J. Stalin . Since that time, personality cult has been a political watchword denoting exaggerated importance attached to the role of personality in politics, society, or history. Because of its polit…


(225 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] (Filaret; Vasily M. Drozdov; Dec 26, 1782, Kolomna – Nov 19, 1867, Moscow), metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna, the most influential hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church in the 19th century. His authority greatly exceeded that of the Holy Synod (Synod, Holy), from which he kept a critical distance throughout his life. In the 60 years of his activity, first as teacher in the spiritual academies in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but especially as hierarch, his main concern was to pro…

Pentecostalism/Charismatic Movements

(5,310 words)

Author(s): Frenschkowski, Marco | Robins, Roger G. | Gerloff, Roswith | Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] I. Church History 1. On Jan 2, 1901, the Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, headed by C.F. Parham, experienced pneumatic phenomena, which were interpreted as missionary preparation and “baptism in the Spirit” (as in Acts 2). From 1906 to 1913, the “Azusa Street Revival” in Los Angeles, led by Pastor W.J. Seymour, the son of a black slave, became the birthplace of the modern Pentecostal movement. “Pentecostal churches” sprang up almost overnight (see II, 1 below). In 2002 some 20% …


(4,227 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Avemarie, Friedrich | Heiligenthal, Roman | Huxel, Kirsten | Sattler, Dorothea
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. History of Dogma – V. Dogmatics – VI. Ethics – VII. Ecumenics I. Religious Studies In European Christian theology the doctrine of merit (Lat. meritum) became a controversial subject, by which (at least on the Protestant side) it was thought possible to demonstrate with particular clarity the basic difference between Catholicism and Lutheranism (see IV below). Discussion in religious studies has shown that the use of such a theologically loaded conc…

Rhenius, Karl Theophil Ewald

(174 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] (1790, Graudenz [Grudziądz, Poland] – 1838, Palayamkottai, India). After attending J. Jänicke’s mission school in Berlin, Rhenius was ordained as a Lutheran and moved to England; in 1814 he traveled to Madras (Chennai) in service of the Church Missionary Society (CMS). In 1820 he moved to Palayamkottai, with responsibility for the Tirunelveli district. The CMS’s increasing church-centeredness (esp. after 1833) brought the Pietistic Lutheran missionary into conflict with episcopal …


(282 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] Transformation, metamorphosis of a human being into an animal, a plant, a rock, or the like is a common motif in Greek and Latin mythology (II, 2, 3); it also appears in European fairy tales and legends (Tales and legends) as well as many non-European narrative forms. Religious notions also frequently include the motif of transformation and therefore have long attracted the attention of religious studies, which considered transformation a characteristic mark of a “primitive worldview,” in which there are no fixed boundaries between various objects in the ¶ world, so t…

Phenomenology of Religion

(1,708 words)

Author(s): Michaels, Axel | Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The phenomenology of religion is the study of manifestations of religious phenomena (Phenomenon, Phenomenology), or their comparative morphology. The prime task is the recording of elements constituting religion, for example sacred objects, sacred sites, sacred times, actions, holy scriptures or people and groups, and also forms of religiosity. But the phenomenology of religion was usually less interested in finding analogies and parallels than in “grasping the essence” ( Wesenserfassung, Lanczkowski) of religious phenomena. In the fi…


(479 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] Spiritism (or spiritualism) denotes a movement whose adherents believe in the empirically demonstrable possibility of contact with the dead in the spirit world. It reached its peak in the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century. The roots of spiritism lie in the penumbra of Mesmerism (F.A. Mesmer, J. Kerner), especially Mesmer’s experiments in ascribing paranormal abilities like clairvoyance and automatic writing to “somnambulists.” Spiritism followed two parallel lines of development. In the United States, the mesmerist Andrew Jackson…


(7,317 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Lehmann, Hartmut | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Mathisen, James A. | de Wall, Heinrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In the 1960s, religious studies began to discuss the continuing decline of religious commitment in Europe intensively. In particular the writings of Bryan Wilson ( Religion in a Secular Society, 1966) and Peter L. Berger ( The Sacred Canopy, 1967), drawing on the ideas of M. Weber, É. Durkheim, and others led to formulation of a so-called theory of secularization, where secularization denotes a natural aspect of the process of modernization, in which the traditional religious legitimation of the world has increasingly lost…


(75 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[English Version] Ringeltaube, Wilhelm Tobias (1770 Scheidelwitz [Szydlowice], Polen – 1816 verschollen), Missionar der London Missionary Society (LMS) in Südindien. Von 1806 bis 1816 wirkte R. hauptsächlich in Mayiladi im äußersten Süden Travancores (heute Kanniyakumari Dt.), zeitweilig wie ein Saṃnyāsin lebend, um die dortige, von dem indischen Christen Vedamanickam initiierte Missionstätigkeit unter Nadars (Shanars) im Dienste der LMS zu unterstützen. Michael Bergunder Bibliography H. Grafe, A History of Christianity, 1990.


(474 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[English Version] . S. bez. eine Bewegung, deren Anhänger von einem möglichen und empirisch nachweisbaren Kontakt mit den Toten in der Geisterwelt ausgehen und die ihren Höhepunkt in der 2. Hälfte des 19.Jh. und am Beginn des 20.Jh. erreichte. Die Wurzeln des S. liegen im weiteren Umfeld des Mesmerismus (F.A. Mesmer, J. Kerner), insbes. in der mesmeristischen Versuchspraxis, die »Somnambulen« paranormale Fähigkeiten (wie z.B. Hellsehen, automatisches Schreiben) zuschrieb. Der S. gründet auf zwei parallelen Entwicklungen. In den USA war es der Mesmerist Andrew Jackson …


(6,587 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Lehmann, Hartmut | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Mathisen, James A. | Wall, Heinrich de | Et al.
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich In den 60er Jahren des 20.Jh. begann in der Religionswiss. eine intensive Diskussion der kontinuierlichen Abnahme rel. Bindungen in eur. Ländern. Es waren dabei v.a. die Entwürfe von Bryan Wilson (Religion in Secular Society, 1966) und Peter L. Berger (The Sacred Canopy, 1967), die, anknüpfend an Konzepte von Max  Weber, É.  Durkheim u.a., zur Formulierung einer sog. Säkularisierungsthese führten. Säkularisierung (S.) beschreibt demnach einen selbstver…


(3,700 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Avemarie, Friedrich | Heiligenthal, Roman | Huxel, Kirsten | Sattler, Dorothea
[English Version] I. ReligionsgeschichtlichIn der eur. christl. Theol. wurde die Lehre vom V. (lat. meritum) zu einem kontroverstheol. Thema, an dem man (zumindest auf prot. Seite) glaubte, den grundlegenden Unterschied zw. Katholizismus und Luthertum bes. deutlich festmachen zu können (s.u. IV.). Die religionswiss. Diskussion hat gezeigt, daß die Verwendung eines derart theol. aufgeladenen Begriffes als analytische Kategorie des Religionsvergleiches auf kaum zu lösende Probleme stößt. Von daher w…


(4,763 words)

Author(s): Frenschkowski, Marco | Robins, Roger G. | Gerloff, Roswith | Bergunder, Michael
[English Version] I. Kirchengeschichtlich 1. In der von Ch.F. Parham geleiteten Bethel Bible School (Topeka, KS) kam es am 1.1.1901 zu pneumatischen Erfahrungen, die als missionarische Zurüstung und »Geisttaufe« (nach Apg 2) erlebt wurden. 1906–1913 wurde die »Azusa Street Erweckung« (Los Angeles) unter Führung des schwarzen Sklavensohns und Pastors W.J. Seymour zur Geburtsstätte der modernen Pfingstbewegung (Pb.). In rascher Folge entstanden »Pentecostal Churches« (»Pfingstkirchen«, Pk.; s.u. II.,…


(1,511 words)

Author(s): Michaels, Axel | Bergunder, Michael
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich R. ist die Erforschung der rel. Erscheinungsformen bzw. der vergleichenden Morphologie rel. Phänomene (Phänomenologie). Im Vordergrund steht die Aufnahme religionskonstituierender Elemente wie z.B. heiliger Gegenstände, Orte (heilige Stätten), heiliger Zeiten, Handlungen, heiliger Schriften oder Menschen und Gruppierungen sowie Formen von Religiosität. Dabei kam es der R. aber meist nicht auf die Feststellung von Analogien und Parallelen, sondern auch …


(1,162 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Wermke, Michael
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich Der Begriff P. wurde wahrscheinlich populär, nachdem Nikita Chruschtschow im Februar 1956 in seiner berühmten »Geheimrede« auf dem XX. Parteitag der KPdSU einige Verfehlungen während der Stalinzeit (Sowjetunion) zugegeben und diese auf den »Personenkult« (russ. kul't licˇnosti) um J. Stalin zurückgeführt hatte. Seitdem markiert P. ein polit. Schlagwort, durch das eine Überbewertung der Rolle der Persönlichkeit in Politik, Gesellschaft oder Gesch. bez. …


(176 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[English Version] Rhenius, Carl T.E. (1790 Graudenz [Grudziądz], Polen – 1838 Palayamkottai, Indien). Nach Besuch der Missionsschule von J. Jänicke in Berlin wurde Rh. luth. ordiniert und ging nach England, um 1814 im Dienste der Church Missionary Society (CMS) nach Madras auszureisen. 1820 wechselte er nach Palayamkottai und war für die Region Tirunelveli zuständig. Zunehmende Verkirchlichung der CMS (insbes. nach 1833) brachte den pietistisch-luth. Rh. in Konflikt mit dem episkopalen Anglikanismus…


(251 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[English Version] Verwandlung, religionswissenschaftlich. V. als die Veränderung eines Menschen in ein Tier, eine Pflanze, einen Felsen etc. ist in der griech.-lat. Mythologie (: II.,2. und 3.) ein häufig vorkommendes Motiv (Metamorphosen), findet sich in eur. Märchen und Sagen und ebenfalls in vielen außereur. Erzählformen. Auch rel. Vorstellungen enthalten oft Verwandlungsmotive und haben deshalb eine Zeitlang die bes. Aufmerksamkeit der Religionswiss. gefunden. V. wurde hier als kennzeichnendes …
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