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Morality and Immorality

(1,093 words)

Author(s): Preul, Reiner
[German Version] Since English has no equivalent distinction, it should be made clear that this discussion is concerned with Sittlichkeit, translated loosely here as “morality and immorality,” in distinction from Moralität, morality in the more abstract sense. As the history of its use has shown, though “morality” is an indispensable key concept in any philosophical or theological ethics, it can also bear a variety of different meanings. These can still largely be found in the everyday use of the words. Morality/immorality m…

Public

(1,039 words)

Author(s): Preul, Reiner
[German Version] I. Social Sciences and Ethics No modern theory of society can manage without the multilayered concept of the “public.” As a sociological category that needs to be determined on the basis of institutional and interaction theories, the term designates “that dimension of all social institutions and life processes in which the joint interests and needs, rights and duties of a society’s members are addressed” (Huber, 45). The concept of the public is thus intimately linked to conceptions o…

Moral Law

(274 words)

Author(s): Preul, Reiner
[German Version] Moral law (cf. lex moralis; Law and legislation) is the general rule setting out processes in the world in relation to the nature of these processes, i.e. the scope of applicability of each law: the moral law is the rule for human behavior in the world of moral freedom; “natural law” (II; Natural law/Law of nature) on the other hand is the rule for causally determined processes in the world of natural phenomena. Since I. Kant this concept has become established as the basis of normati…

People’s Church (Volkskirche)

(1,695 words)

Author(s): Hein, Martin | Hüffmeier, Wilhelm | Preul, Reiner
[German Version] I. Concept The concept of the people’s church ( Volkskirche) plays a prominent role in debate on ecclesial conceptions, notably in German Protestantism. It is first attested in the writings of F.D.E. Schleiermacher in 1822/1823 (cf. Die christliche Sitte, ed. L. Jonas, 1843, 569) – in demarcation from the state church (requiring membership), and from a voluntary church based on subjective choice. While the New Testament gave a transnational interpretation of the church in its talk of the people of God (1 Pet 2:9f.), the subsequent historical…

Education/Formation

(5,784 words)

Author(s): Zenkert, Georg | Preul, Reiner | Schweitzer, Friedrich | Leschinsky, Achim
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. History – III. Philosophy – IV. Philosophy of Religion, Dogmatics, Ethics – V. Practical Theology and Education – VI. Social History I. Terminology This article deals with formative education, corresponding to the German term Bildung (cf. Fr. formation). (The related article education deals with the subject area of Erziehung, covering education and training. Bildung or formation may be considered more general, with cultural overtones, while Erziehung places more emphasis on schooling.) ¶ Even in its earliest form, OHG bildunga (“creat…

Life Cycle

(2,663 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Wagner-Rau, Ulrike | Preul, Reiner | Goldberg, Sylvie Anne | Michaels, Axel
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Practical Theology – III. Ethics (Phases of Maturation) – IV. Judaism – V. Hinduism I. Religious Studies In almost all cultures and religions, a person apparently experiences his life not only as a straight line, but more as cyclically sequenced, more-or-less discontinuous phases with varied social status and role claims. The transition between these phases usually takes place as a controlled “growing process,” not only accompanied by so-called rites of passage, but in f…

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…

Tolerance and Intolerance

(6,428 words)

Author(s): Dehn, Ulrich | Gertz, Jan Christian | Wischmeyer, Oda | Ohst, Martin | Kronauer, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Tolerance and intolerance must be defined in terms of their relationship to respect, coexistence, indifference, acceptance, and prejudice. In the public context, they ¶ correspond to the presence or absence of freedom of religion. They originate in the claim to exclusive religious truth or else collide with it. Tolerance requires insight into the human ability to err and into the limits of human cognition with regard to faith, whereas intolerance rejects this insight. Following Gerlitz,…

Rite and Ritual

(6,139 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred | Stausberg, Michael | Schwemer, Daniel | Gertz, Jan Christian | Hollender, Elisabeth | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. The terms The terms rite and ritual are often used synonymously, both in daily speech and in the specialized language of religious studies, leading to a lack of clarity. “Rite” is etymologically related to Sanskrit ṛta, “right, order, truth, custom,” and may thus be regarded as the “smallest” building block of a ritual, which can be defined as a complex series of actions in a (logical) functional relationship. Within a three-level sequence, cult (Cult/Worship : I, 2) must also be taken into cons…

Faith

(25,125 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Schulz, Heiko | Kaiser, Otto | Hooker, Morna D. | Jüngel, Eberhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Systematic Theology – V. Practical Theology – VI. Judaism – VII. Islam I. Terminology 1. Religious Studies a. As an emic linguistic term, “faith” is found not only in the context of the Christian West (cf. fides, foi, Glaube, etc.), but also in other religious traditions. The Sanskrit term śraddhā (cf. Pāli saddhā; Avestan zrazdā-) seems to represent an Indo-European etymological pendant to Lat. credo, as demonstrated by the possible reconstruction of Indo-Germanic * k'red-dhē-, “set one's heart o…

Church

(19,399 words)

Author(s): Wenz, Gunther | Davis, Derek | Grünschloß, Andreas | Grappe, Christian | Schäfer, Rolf | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Religious Studies – III. Early Christianity – IV. Early Church to the Reformation – V. Modern Era – VI. Orthodox Churches – VII. Asia, Africa, Latin America – VIII. Systematic Theology – IX. Ethics – X. Practical Theology – XI. Ecumenical Discussion – XII. Law I. Concept 1. Theology The loan-word, church, which in common parlance can mean both the Christian worship service and the building dedicated to its performance as well as the constituted social configuration of Christian faith in t…

Education

(15,718 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian | Zenkert, Georg | Harich-Schwarzbauer, Henriette | Fox, Michael V. | Klauck, Hans-Josef | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Philosophy – III. Greco-Roman Antiquity – IV. Bible – V. Church History – VI. Ethics – VII. Practical Theology and Pedagogy – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. Concept Traditionally, “education” has denoted the intentional interaction of adults with the younger generation in order-usually-to influence them positively; whether it makes sense to speak of education when negative goals are deliberately pursued is …