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(1,074 words)

Author(s): Barth, Hans-Martin
1. Term The Reformation shaped the use of the German term Anfechtung, which is often translated as Eng. “temptation.” There is no clear equivalent for it in Hebrew, Greek, or Latin (which has tentatio and afflictio). Other modern languages lack an exact equivalent, and in everyday speech it is rarely used any longer in a religious connection. 1.1. In today’s humanistically oriented terminology, the term “temptation” (even more so Anfechtung) is inadequately characterized. It carries with it the sense of conflict, though this term is inadequate unless it relates s…


(6,190 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Kurt | Barth, Hans-Martin | Wiggermann, Karl-Friedrich
1. Religious Aspects 1.1. General The term “prayer” has to do with a central fact in the divine-human relation, at the root of which is asking. Etymologically, Eng. “prayer” (unlike Ger. Gebet) goes back to OFr. preiere, “act of asking” or “demand,” and is akin to Lat. precaria, “a request.” These and related terms are probably related also to OEng. frignan, “inquire” (cf. Old Sax. fragon; Old Ger. pragan, frahen; Ger. fragen), and introduced in connection with Christianization for an act of the church ritual. The older theory that prayer developed out of magical sayings…

Vedder, Hermann Heinrich

(205 words)

Author(s): Barth, Hans Martin
[German Version] (Jul 3, 1876, Westerenger, Westphalia – Apr 26, 1972, Okahandja, Namibia), from 1903 a missionary in German Southwest Africa, working on behalf of the United Evangelical Mission (Vereinigte Evangelische [Rheinische] Mission). Initially he looked after victims of the German colonial wars from 1904 to 1908 (Namibia) among the Herero and nama people, providing critical comment. After 1911 he found his primary missionary life’s work in training teachers and evangelists, which he ¶ placed on a solid academic footing with ethnographic, linguistic, and histo…

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 …