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Eclecticism

(769 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Albrecht, Michael
[German Version] I. Comparative Religion – II. Philosophy I. Comparative Religion

Demonic, The

(2,174 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Sparn, Walter
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Dogmatics – III. Philosophy of Religion I. Religi…

Syncretism

(5,112 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Hutter, Manfred | Auffarth, Christoph | Leicht, Reimund | Roxborogh, John | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The word syncretism in its broadest sense denotes any blend or combination of diverse cultural phenomena. This usage derives from an apparently reasonable but false etymology: syncretism is commonly derived from the Greek verb συνκεράννυμι/ synkeránnymi, “mix.” In fact, however, it is a neologism coined by Plutarch ( Mor. 490b), who called the way Cretans came together in the face of external enemies synkretismos. Erasmus of Rotterdam than borrowed the term and introduced it into the language of Christian theology. In theology th…

Symbols/Symbol Theory

(9,049 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Cancik-Lindemaier, Hildegard | Recki, Birgit | Schlenke, Dorothee | Biehl, Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Use of the Greek word σύμβολον/ sýmbolon in a sense relevant to religious studies is attested quite early in the history of European religions; Dio of Prusa (1st/2nd cent. ce), for example, used it in his speech on Phidias’s statue of Zeus in Olympia ( Oratio 12.59). In this context, the Greek term reflects the problem posed by images of the gods: what is intrinsically inaccessible to human vision (Vision/Intuition) is somehow to be represented visually. In religious studies, especially in the phenomenology of religion, the concept of sy…

Hope

(4,048 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Kaiser, Otto | du Toit, Andrie | Beißer, Friedrich | Moxter, Michael
[German Version] I. Religious Studies / History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics – V. Ethics I. Religious Studies / History of Religions Various versions of the Greek Prometheus myth characterize hope ( elpís) as one of the requirements for human existence (Hesiod Opera et dies V 96; Aesch. Prometheus V 250). In Roman religion, hope ( spes) is one of the concepts personified and venerated as divine powers (Cic. De legibus II 28). It seems reasonable to assume that religious hope differs from nonreligious hope in extending its time…