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Authority

(2,384 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Lütcke, Karl-Heinrich | Schieder, Rolf | Steck, Wolfgang
[German Version] I. Comparative Religion – II. History and Theology – III. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies In human societies, power is wielded by culture-specific structures of authority. Various dimensions of authority may be distinguished, such as the power to control daily matters (family, larger communal units), war, the sacral realm, etc. Segmentary societies distribute authority relative…

Exclusion, Rites of

(323 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz
[German Version] In the history of religions, eliminatory rites, or rites of exclusion, serve to neutralize a dangerous or disturbing complex of experiences coming from “within” the social, moral, cosmic, or politico- historical orders of life (in contrast to apotropaic rites, which are meant to ward off external evil). The disruption can affect the individual or society as a…

Substitutionary Gift

(223 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz
[German Version] In human societies, exchange transactions always involve exchanging different things, of equal or unequal value; the symmetry or asymmetry of the exchange is an expression of a particular relationship. This holds not just for exchanges of goods but for other types of exchange, for example in the system of justice (Blood revenge), and not least in contacts with the powers that dominate life, articulated in part by exchanges of gifts. In special cases, the “normal” gifts given by hu…

Superstition

(3,603 words)

Author(s): Küenzlen, Gottfried | Sparn, Walter | Stolz, Fritz | Hollenweger, Walter J.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Terminology. Like the equivalent German term Aberglaube, the word superstition is pejorative in tone and so is inherently critical and polemical: to speak of superstition as a perverted belief implies that the speaker is doing so from the perspective of correct belief or knowledge. 2. Semantic history. The normative, judgmental character of the term shaped its semantic history. In ancient Rome, superstitio was used to describe an exaggerated religious anxiety, just as Greek δεισιδαιμονία/ deisidaimonía meant anxious servility toward …

Sexual Intercourse

(407 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz
[German Version] Because of the biological nature of human beings, sexual intercourse is the goal of a fundamental drive (Drive theory); at the same time, it is influenced by precise cultural rules. The biological unity of pleasure and procreation is often dissolved: the pursuit of pleasure is diverted into art or commerce (with various religious and cultural assessments); occasionally procreation is defined as the only religiously legitimate purpose of intercourse (as is still true in Catholicism…

Allegory

(3,568 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Most, Glenn W. | Klauck, Hans-Josef | Bienert, Wolfgang A. | Rieger, Reinhold | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Classical Antiquity – III. Bible– IV. Church History – V. Systematics – VI. Practical Exegesis– VII. Religious Art I. History of Religions Allegory (from Gk ἀλληγορέω/ allēgoreō, “say something other [than the literal meaning]”), is a hermeneutical technique (Hermeneutics). The moment a religious message becomes fixed (esp. in writing), a need for interpretation arises. One way to meet this need is t…

Birth

(529 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz
[German Version] Human birth – like death – is not regarded as a “natural” phenomenon in any human society; it is ¶ an event that is treated and processed culturally (and religiously). It is important to distinguish between the actions that shape birth (as well as the pregnancy preceding it and the phase immediately following) and the ideas that accompany these actions. The actions have both a functional and a symbolic aspect. There are often certain things that pregnant women must avoid; when they give birth, …

Christianity

(28,993 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Markschies, Christoph | Koschorke, Klaus | Neuner, Peter | Felmy, Karl Christian | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Church History – III. Survey of the Christian Confessions – IV. Systematic Theology I. Religious Studies For an overview of Christianity at the end of the second millennium of its development, it is reasonable to give a comparative presentation against the background of the world of religion. It must be remembered, however, that “religion” is not an immutable, ahistorical quantity: it is variable and controversial. The modern concept of religion is …

Dema Deities

(177 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz
[German Version] were venerated by the Marind-Anim (Irian Jaya [Papua]). On the one hand, they were considered the predecessors of today's people, who populated the earth in primordial times and are described in the myths as human-, animal- and plant-like, for example, the myth of Hainuwele (the “coconut girl”). On the other hand, they are deities who delivere…

Brotherhoods

(2,906 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Dörfler-Dierken, Angelika | Oswalt, Julia | Daiber, Karl-Fritz
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Church History – III. Current Situation I. History of Religions Brotherhoods are a special form of community, not constituted by traditional forms of relationship (Covenant). They are mono-gendered groupings (also “sisterhoods”) distinguished by certain homogeneous characteristics. Initiation groups are often the origin of brotherhoods …

Colors

(569 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Saliers, Don E.
[German Version] I. Comparative Religion – II. Liturgy I. Comparative Religion Individual cultures perceive colors and assign religiou…

Covenant

(6,223 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Gertz, Jan Christian | Backhaus, Knut | Sanders, E.P. | Amir, Yehoyada | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Judaism – V. Christianity I. History of Religions Immediate and comprehensive solidarity appertains only in the most elementary form of human society (in the “family,” which can be variously structured according to culture); all other forms of solidarity are “artificial,” determined by more or less explicit rules; one can subsume this under the term “covenant,” in which the purposes, realms of socialization, and regulating mechanisms of an artificial establishment of …

Spirit

(3,560 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Clayton, Philip | Stolzenberg, Jürgen | Rosenau, Hartmut
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Since time immemorial, the use of the term

Spirit/Holy Spirit

(8,121 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Oeming, Manfred | Dunn, James D.G. | Ritter, Adolf Martin | Leppin, Volker | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies and History of Philosophy The dogmatic definition of the Holy Spirit as a person within the one divine substance (Trinity/Doctrine of the Trinity) presupposes not only a particular philosophical context but also a religio-historical horizon. A formative influence on the conceptualization of the Holy Spirit was exercised by the various anthropomorphic interpretations of elemental anthropological or normative qualities in the context of polytheistic interpretations of …

Supreme Being

(391 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz
[German Version] a term that entered religious studies in the 19th century; rejecting evolutionary theories of all kinds, scholars used it to denote universal supreme deities (or in some cases divine couples) even among peoples with very simple social organizations. Andrew Lang in particular considered belief in a supreme being a basic component of all human religions: polytheism (Monotheism and polytheism), magic, etc. are secondary developments. The primitive monotheism theory of W. Schmidt and…

Agriculture and Stock-farming

(2,368 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Hopkins, David C.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Palestine – III. In Literature I. History of Religion 1. The forms of economy consisting of agriculture and stock-farming do not influence the formation of systems of religious symbols in such a way as to constitute a consistent pattern for specific historical religions. Nonetheless, systems of religious symbols in all societies not structured according to …

Firstlings

(745 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Borowski, Oded
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament I. Religious Studies A sense of “firstness” plays a role in every culture. In the life cycle of the individual, in the annual cycle of nature, and in history, something occurring for the first time (and likewise something occurring for the last time) is celebrated as deserving special attention. “Firstlings” are part of this range of phenomena. The firstfruits produced by various realms of nature are consecrated and ¶ sacrificed, or possibly just destroyed, but in any case removed from everyday use (Sacrifice). I…

Alter ego

(99 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz
[German Version] represents (in comparative religion) the concept that a “counterpart to the self” is assigned to a person in the extra-human sphere. Often, it is imagined that a kind of soul parts from persons and takes form in animals, plants, etc., or else can seek a “dwelling” – temporarily or permanently. Other concepts grow out of the notion that an alter ego exists in the uncontrollable environment with which one is fatefully linked (nagualism). The concept can also be integrated into theistic systems (alter ego as guardian angel, etc.). Fritz Stolz Bibliography Bibl.: Soul.

Frustration

(1,300 words)

Author(s): Winkler, Klaus | Stolz, Fritz
[German Version] I. Concept and Theories – II. Religious Studies – III. Ethics I. Concept and Theories Frustration is a common term in everyday use. As a rule, the phenomenon is identified by its symptoms: people feel reluctant and listless, their customary demeanor disturbed because a frustrating experience has had a sustained effect on the way they feel and think. This may lead to resignation and feelings of paralysis. People feel restricted in some of their actions. In terms of scientific behavioral resear…
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