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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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