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American indigenous peoples

(6,755 words)

Author(s): Kummels, Ingrid | Grünschloß, Andreas
1. Terminology and methodological approach When the first Europeans were about to set foot on the dual landmass of the Americas the continent was home to an estimated number of 40 or 50 million people, who were characterized by an extraordinary diversity of population density, languages [3. 94] and cultures as well of social, economic and political organization [4]. They ranged from seasonally foraging hunters and gatherers led by informally chosen chiefs to sedentary farmers integrated in comprehensive political systems which included urban centers an…
Date: 2019-10-14


(3,052 words)

Author(s): Kummels, Ingrid | Kulmar, Tarmo
1. Introduction Not only was the Inca state known as  tawantinsuyu (“the four united parts”) the largest political entity in the pre-colonial Americas, it was also long admired in both “Old” and “New Worlds” for bringing together people of differing ethnic backgrounds and widely disparate ecosystems by means of a complex network of exchange mechanisms, thereby attaining a high level of prosperity. In 1532, when the 180 Spaniards led by Francisco Pizarro landed on the coast of Peru (Conquista), the regent known as the  sapa inka (“unique Inca”) ruled over a vast region stretchin…
Date: 2019-10-14


(2,690 words)

Author(s): Kummels, Ingrid | Grünschloß, Andreas
1. Introduction The Maya is the name given to speakers of the largest indigenous language family in Mesoamerica, who now number 8 million, and to the archaeological cultures in their settlement region. They already inhabited this region in pre-Columbian times, in what is now southern Mexico (Yucatán Peninsula and Chiapas), Belize, Guatemala, western Honduras, and El Salvador. It encompasses the karstic northern lowlands of Yucatán, the hot and humid southern Petén Basin, the highlands o…
Date: 2019-10-14


(7,822 words)

Author(s): Laube, Martin | Reichmuth, Stefan | Kummels, Ingrid | Rüther, Kirsten
1. Christianity 1.1. Preliminary noteOne of the unique aspects of Christianity is that from the very outset it developed a theology, and in order to explicate its own faith made use of the conceptual tools of contemporary (i.e. Greek and Roman) philosophy. This interweaving of theological and philosophical thought was constantly reflected quintessentially in the doctrine of God. A series of fundamental tensions pervaded the development of the idea of God even in the early modern period. These includ…
Date: 2019-10-14

Health culture, global

(6,931 words)

Author(s): Rüther, Kirsten | Holler, Ursula | Deacon, Harriet | | Kummels, Ingrid | Et al.
1. Introduction It is not unusual in the contextualization of the global history of health-related practices and health cultures to bring in themes such as quarantine, epidemic, ecological imperialism and hence the Demographic Catastrophe and Columbian Exchange [2]; [3]. Yet the concept of health cultures, particularly in the context of global interaction, also allows us to shed light on the wide-ranging and variously-accented mechanisms of exchange and negotiation, because it includes all modes of action and thought related to …
Date: 2019-10-14