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Genocide

(535 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. Concept and History – II. International Criminal Law I. Concept and History The German term Völkermord refers to a variety of actions undertaken to annihilate various social groups; the element of “murder” need not be fulfilled nor a ¶ “people” be the sole victims. The term “genocide,” coined by Raphael Lemkin (from Gk γένος/ génos: kind, people, tribe; Lat. caedere: to annihilate, kill) is more precise. Prompted by his study of the T…

Conscription/National Service

(2,668 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard | Ennuschat, Jörg
[German Version] I. Concept and History – II. Current Legal Situation – III. Ethics – IV. Conscription/National Service of Ministers I. Concept and History 1. Concept Conscription refers to a system of military recruiting based (in contrast to voluntary military ser¶ vice in an army of professional and/or regular soldiers) on the public, legal duty of all citizens capable of serving. Depending on the respective composition of the state's military, conscripted military service can be performed either in militia units or in a standing mobile troop. 2. History The basic notion of …

Church Politics

(595 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. The term “church politics” usually means either the politics of the state (or a party or social organization) toward the churches, or internal church politics. In a pluralistic community, the former meaning falls under ¶ the heading of religious politics and will therefore not be considered here. In both uses, the origins of the term (though not of the phenomenon itself) a…

United Nations

(831 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. Origin Soon after the outbreak of World War II, the collapse of the League of Nations led to plans for a new world peace organization, as described in the Atlantic Charter, the joint declaration of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill published on Aug 14, 1941. On Jan 1, 1942, its goals were affirmed in the Declaration by United Nations (UN) signed by 26 countries at war with the so-called Axis Powers. The Charter, worked out by representatives of 50 countries, took effect on Oct 24, 1945. II. Goals and Principles According to article 1 of the Charter, the prim…

Holy War

(1,736 words)

Author(s): Weippert, Manfred | van Ess, Josef | Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. Ancient Near East and Old Testament – II. Islam – III. Ethics I. Ancient Near East and Old Testament The theory that ancient Israel was, under certain circumstances, accustomed to wage “holy wars” in addition to profane ones goes back to G. v. Rad (1947/1951), at least in the form that became a milestone of scholarly research. Drawing on the depictions of war in the OT, he developed a “theory of the holy war” based on three constitutive features: 1. the embedding of the war in rituals that made…

Weapons

(906 words)

Author(s): Bräunlein, Peter J. | Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. Religion and Mythology The evolution of language and the intelligent use of tools and weapons ran parallel courses. Technologically, weapons for hunting and weapons of war were initially identical. Weapons as funerary goods go back to the Upper Paleolithic (Burial: I; Dead, Cult of the: I). The deadly power of weapons explains their unique place in the history of religion. Specially designed knives are used in sacrificial rituals (Human sacrifice, Sacrifice, Ritual killing); their crafting and use is reserved to religious specialists. Daggers and swords are also employed in magic as well as in initiation rituals (…

Public Duty of the German Protestant Church

(1,118 words)

Author(s): Reuter , Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. Concept The formation of this concept goes back to the experience of the Kirchenkampf during the Third Reich and to the social significance that was ascribed to the churches in Germany after 1945. Talk of the public duty ( Öffentlichkeitsauftrag) of the German Protestant church affirms that church action is relevant not only to individual salvation but also, beyond that, to the common good. What exactly was meant by it was variable, and still is. This has to do, on the one hand, with the fact that the formula not on…

Security, Internal and External

(567 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. Security – from Latin securitas < s( in) e cura – subjectively means the sense of safety or freedom from apprehension; objectively it means a condition of safety and protection. With the emergence of the modern sovereign state, (public) security became a key concept for justifying the state’s monopoly on force (N. Machiavelli, T. Hobbes). The use of the abstract noun coincides generally with the emergence of the centralistic territorial state. Almost immediately there was a sharp terminological distinction between internal and external secur…

League of Nations

(394 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] The notion of a league of nations – drawn in part from motifs of Judeo-Christian eschatology (Isa 2:2–4) – goes back to widely broadcast plans for an organization devoted to world peace that were developed in the early 14th century (Pierre Dubois), in the 17th century (Maximilien de Sully, W. Penn), and at the beginning of the 18th century (Abbé de St. Pierre), but above all in I. Kant's philosophical tract Zum ewigen Frieden (1795; ET: Perpetual Peace, 1915). Against this back…

Resistance, Right of

(2,921 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph | de Wall, Heinrich | Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. History Ever since classical antiquity, the theory of resistance and the right of resistance have been linked inseparably to the understanding of sovereignty and its limits in both civil society and the church. 1. In the Germanic tribal kingdom of Western, Central, and Northern Europe, three overlapping legal concepts legitimated a right of resistance: (1) the conviction that the ruler is not above the law but subject to the law (grounded in the tradition of the administration of justice by the community of all …

Deterrence

(592 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] refers to the threat of force by which another person is to be restrained from transgressing a social norm. Deterrence as a function of the state monopoly on force becomes at first a topic of domestic polit…

War

(3,738 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard | Rüpke, Jörg | Rosenberger, Veit | Otto, Eckart | Holmberg, Bengt
[German Version] I. Social Sciences 1. Concept. War is conflict between large groups, peoples, nations, and states conducted by force of arms. The more precise definition of the term and its differentiation from peace are disputed. Behavioral science tends toward a broad definition: war is a specifically human form of intergroup aggression, funct…

World Peace Order

(499 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] The project of a world peace order has been on the political agenda since the early 20th century, when a classic war between states twice transmogrified into a world war. After 1945 realization of a world peace order was blocked initially because world peace was enforced by a balance of mutually ass…

International Law

(3,761 words)

Author(s): Hillgruber, Christian | Reuter, Hans-Richard | Schiemann, Gottfried | Otto, Eckart | Krawietz, Birgit
[German Version] I. Conception – II. Greco-Roman Antiquity – III. Ancient Near East and Israel – IV. Church History – V. Fundamental Theology – VI. Ethics – VII. Church in International Law – VIII. Islam I. Conception 1. Legal conception International law is the quintessence of the legal norms that regulate sovereign relations between the international legal subjects. International legal subjects are primarily states, traditionally also the Apostolic See, the internat…

Conscientious Objection

(1,284 words)

Author(s): Grube, Andreas | Reuter, Hans-Richard | Hennig, Martin
[German Version] I. Law – II. Ethics – III. Practical Theology I. Law The right to conscientious objection in Germany, which long existed only as a special privilege granted to the members of the historic peace churches (e.g. the Mennonites in Prussia; see II below), today enjoys special constitutional protection through art. 4 III of German Basic Law (“No one may be forced into armed military service against his conscience”) as the most common example of freedom of conscience (Freedom of belief). The constitution thus gra…

Church Taxes

(1,135 words)

Author(s): Marré, Heinier | Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] I. History and Law – II. Theological Assessment I. History and Law

Peace

(3,762 words)

Author(s): Schmidt-Leukel, Perry | Otto, Eckart | Wengst, Klaus | Strohm, Christoph | Link, Christian | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Peace (negatively: absence of fighting and war; positively: security, wellbeing, and harmony) is considered desirable in all traditional religions, although they also have their specific legitimations of war. In archaic religions, peace is primarily related to the community and understood as a present reality. However, from the beginning of the Christian era, religious developments produced stronger differentiations. Peace is no longer seen as a social phenomenon…
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