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Protestantism

(2,626 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Sparn, Walter
1. The term and its historical contextThe collective singular noun Protestantism and its French equivalent  protestantisme were already in use in the 16th century; the German  Protestantismus did not come into use until the 18th century. The term refers to the protest and reform movements of the 16th-century Reformation and denotes all the Christian churches, free churches, and groups that emerged from it, most of which appealed to the Reformers Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon, Martin Bucer, Huldrych Zwingli, and Jo…
Date: 2021-03-15

World view

(4,273 words)

Author(s): Beuttler, Ulrich | Sparn, Walter
1. DefinitionThe term world view was coined in the Middle Ages as a translation of Latin  forma ideaque mundi (form and idea of the world) or  imago mundi (image of the world), but it remained marginal in the early modern period. Other terms were used or introduced for the coherent totality of the manifold phenomena of the world: in scientific contexts, people spoke of physics, natural philosophy, or  cosmologia generalis (general theory of the world, 1731; Christian Wolff), in pedagogical contexts of  orbis sensualium pictus (“Sensible World Painted,” 1658; in German edit…
Date: 2023-11-14

Lutheranism

(2,829 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. Definition, origin, and profileThe term  Lutheranism (German  Luthertum) was coined in 1544. Like the more common terms  die LutherischenLutherani, Lutheranismus, and so on, it was originally a pejorative exonym, implying the charge of heresy, applied to the adherents of the Reformation, who since the activities of Martin Luther in 1517 had been vigorously flexing their ecclesiastical and political muscles. Luther himself disliked the expression  Lutheran; therefore the churches that reorganized themselves on the basis of regional church orders (begin…
Date: 2019-10-14

Fundamentalism

(1,342 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Sparn, Walter
1. The term The term  fundamentalism is a product of the religious conflicts in North American during the early 20th century. It is relevant to the early modern period because the exploration of late modern religious conflicts can contribute to a better understanding of the religious conflicts, confessional antagonists, and theological controversies over the construction of religious identity typical of Eurpean societies in the early modern period.The term was coined around 1920 in the context of the religio-political conflicts between competing groups with…
Date: 2019-10-14

Body and soul

(2,099 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter | Wolff, Jens
1. Terminology and traditions At the beginning of the early modern period in Europe, the human experiences that give rise to belief in an asymmetrical duality of body and soul (sleep, dreams, ecstasy, grief, death, and childbirth [9]) had coalesced metaphysically, anthropologically, and epistemologically [12. ch. III and V]. What happens to individuals after their bodily death? How do animate beings differ from inanimate beings and from dead matter? How specifically is the cognitive element of the soul, the mind (Geist), related to the …
Date: 2019-10-14

Person

(3,976 words)

Author(s): Schaede, Stephan | Sparn, Walter | Hofer, Sibylle
1. Philosophy and theology 1.1. Definition and cultural contextThe word person (Latin  persona) originates from ancient theater, where it was used to indicate the mask worn by an actor and hence also the identity of his role; in institutional contexts, the word was transferred to the individual holder of rights and duties, as well as to political and (since the Middle Ages) ecclesiastical officials and dignitaries. In grammar, the word is used for the three possible speakers of a verb, that is, the 1st, 2nd…
Date: 2020-10-06

End time

(1,018 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
The sense of living in the end time because “this world” was coming to an end was a prevailing belief of the early modern period until the 18th century (World view). Its religious basis was the assumption in Christian apocalypticism that Jesus Christ heralded the end of the history of salvation. The time “after Christ,” that is, between his coming and his return for the Last Judgment and the universal establishment of the Kingdom of God in a new world (Eschatology), was accordingly seen as a fin…
Date: 2019-10-14

Apocalypticism

(2,218 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. Terminology and background 1.1. Apocalypticism and apocalypseThe term “apocalypticism” (German  Apokalyptik) was introduced in 1820 by the theologian K.I. Nitzsch for the conviction and conduct that views the coming course of the world as a sequence of dramatic events that expand to become a cosmic catastrophe, bring the world and time to an end. Such Weltanschauungen assume that: (1) the fate of the humankind is a part of cosmic history, which in turn has human history as its focus; (2) the drama of this history is governed not only by human v…
Date: 2019-10-14

Music, ecclesiastical

(7,037 words)

Author(s): Kremer, Joachim | Sparn, Walter | Fischer, Michael | Petzoldt, Martin | Totzke, Irenaeus
1. IntroductionThe term ecclesiastical or church music encompasses all music that is heard within Christian churches. This purely functional sense implies no musical genres or stylistic properties. The abundance of manifestations of music in the Catholic (see below, 5.2.), Protestant (see below, 5.3.), and Orthodox churches (see below, 5.4.) precludes an absolute definition valid across the whole of history. Using the term “spiritual music” makes matters no easier, for spiritual music need not be…
Date: 2020-04-06

World

(4,339 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. The complexity of the conceptThe term world (German  die Welt, French le monde) is extremely ambiguous and modifiable (see, for example, Ages of the world; Weltanschauung; World view; World perception; World literature; Topsy-Turvy World). Current usage includes both the plural  worlds, that is, supposedly meaningful totalities (“the art world,” the “afterworld”), and  the world as the totality of all that is real and possible, that is, the unlimited horizon of our “being in the world.”The first centuries of the early modern period also spoke of worlds in the s…
Date: 2023-11-14

Afterlife

(2,000 words)

Author(s): Hölscher, Lucian | Sparn, Walter
1. Term Ideas about life after death are to be found among nearly all peoples and in nearly every era. Yet, like its counterpart Diesseits (“this life”), the term Jenseits (“afterlife”, literally “the beyond”) in German has only existed since the turn of the 18th century. The noun Jenseits is only found, sporadically, in sources from the late 18th century, e.g. in the exclamation in Schiller’s Die Räuber (1781; The Robbers): “Sei wie du willst, namenloses Jenseits, wenn ich nur mich selbst mit hinübernehme” (“Be what you will, nameless World Beyond, as long as…
Date: 2019-10-14
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