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Cluny, Order of

(807 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
1. The Benedictine monastery of Cluny, northwest of Mâcon in Burgundy, was founded in 910 by Duke William III of Aquitaine. In the 10th and 11th centuries it became the center of a reforming movement that began as a return to the original goals of monasticism (i.e., renunciation of the world in anticipation of the life of paradise in adoration and prai…

Patristics, Patrology

(1,257 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A. | Wilken, Robert
1. Term Patristic theology came into use among Lutherans in the later 17th century (Orthodoxy 1) in an effort to provide evidence from early Christian tradition that the teaching of the Reformers was in agreement with that …


(1,363 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
1. The term “Benedictine” applies in a general sense to all monks who live communally according to the rule of Benedict of Nursia (ca. 480-ca. 547). More narrowly Benedictines are members of a Benedictine confederation set up in 1893 by Pope Leo XIII (1878–1903). To this group belong 21 autonomous congregations with some 9,000 male members and 18,500 female members under an abbot primate in Rome ( Catalogus monasteriorum OSB 17 [1990]). 2. Benedict composed the rule that would decisively shape Western monasticism originally for ¶ his own monastery at Monte Cassino (after 529). …

Catechesis and Catechetics

(3,702 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A. | Fraas, Hans-Jürgen | Schoberth, Ingrid | Schweitzer, Friedrich | Phan, Peter
[German Version] I. History – II. Practical Theology – III. Latin America, Asia, Africa I. History 1. Early Church. The verb κατήχειν/ katḗchein originally denoted the oral transmission of a message in the sense of “tell, inform.” In Paul and early Christian literature it usually means “teach, instruct” (Gal 6:6; Lat.

Liberius, Pope

(214 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[German Version] (episcopate May 17, 352 – Sep 24, 366). Liberius, the successor to Julius I as bishop of Rome, refused to sign the condemnation of Athanasius, because the proceedings against him had not followed ecclesiastical norms. He was therefore exiled to Beroea in Thra…

Peter of Alexandria

(238 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[German Version] (died 311, Alexandria), head of the “Catechetical School” of Alexandria (III), possibly together with Pierius and Achillas in the time of Bishop Theonas and his successor in the episcopate (300–311). During the Diocletianic persecution (Persecutions of Christians: I), which began soon afterward, there was a conflict with Bishop Melitius of Lycopolis in Upper Egypt over the question whether the “lapsed” could repent (Repentance) and be received back into the church; Peter advocated…

Schneemelcher, Wilhelm

(296 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[German Version] (Aug 21, 1914, Berlin – Aug 6, 2003, Königswinter), Protestant theologian (church historian, with a focus on patristics; student of H. Lietzmann), scholarly organizer, and ecumenist. He earned his Lic.theol. in 1940 in Berlin and received his habilitation in 1949 in Göttingen (documents on the history of the Arian conflict, Athanasian studies). In 1953 he was appointed professor of New Testament and church history (1954) at Bonn, a position he held until his retirement in 1979. Schneemelcher was known internationally for his two…


(244 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[German Version] (of Alexandria; died c. 312), presbyter and leader of the Alexandrian Didaskaleion from the time of Bishop Theonas (281/282–300), perhaps in conjunction with Theonas’s successor Peter of Alexandria (300–311) and the later bishop Achillas (c. 311–312). Eusebius of Caesarea, a contemporary, describes Pierius ( Hist. eccl. VII 32. 26f.) as an excellent preacher, and a scholarly and well-informed biblical exegete, who led the life of an ascetic. Jerome mentions that he was called “the younger Origen” ( Origenes iunior); he was also theologically close to Origen…

Junilius (Junillus) Africanus

(192 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[German Version] (born in North Africa), high official ( Quaestor sacri palatii) at the court of Justinian I (527–565). Around 542, he translated an exegetical handbook by the Nestorian (Nestorianism) Paul of Nisibis from the Greek into Latin and edited it as a textbook. The book especially emphasized the literal meaning of the Bible in the tradition of Theodore of Mopsuestia. Under the title Instituta regularia divini legis, this brief introduction to the study of the Bible, rather widely distributed in the Middle Ages, was often considered the work of an othe…

Nepos of Arsinoe

(193 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[German Version] Nepos of Arsinoe, Egyptian bishop (early 3rd cent.). He defended the millenarianism of the book of Revelation in a literal, physical sense in his writing Refutation of the Allegorists. A schismatic movement arising from this was led, after Nepos’s death, by a certain Korakion. Bishop Dionysius of Alexandria opposed the movement in discussions and in two books


(6,787 words)

Author(s): Bischofberger, Otto | Cancik, Hubert | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Zumstein, Jean | Bienert, Wolfgang A. | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Greco-Roman Antiquity – III. Bible – IV. Church History – V. Systematic Theology – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Missiology – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. History of Religions “Conversion” denotes the religiously interpreted process of total reorientation in which individuals or groups reinterpret their past lives, turn their backs on them, and reestablish and reshape their future lives in a new network of social relationships. The phenomenon was initially …


(13,995 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Cancik, Hubert | Seidl, Theodor | Schnelle, Udo | Bienert, Wolfgang A. | Et al.
[German Version] (Biblical Scholarship, Hermeneutics, Interpretation) I. Religious Studies – II. History of Religions – III. Greco Roman Antiquity – IV. Bible – V. Church History – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Biblical Scenes in Art – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. Religious Studies Exegesis (for etymology see III below) is the explanation, interpretation, or analysis of sacred or otherwise religiously central …


(609 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[German Version] Modalism, the opposite of tritheism, is a collective term for a heterodox interpretation of the Trinity; in order to maintain the unity of God, it understands the divine triad – Father, Son, and Spirit – not as truly distinct persons but merely as aspects or manifestations ( modi) of the one divine being. The term was already in common use in the 18th century (e.g. J.F. Buddeus, 1723). Since the 19th century, it has been used primarily in the history of dogma (Dogma, History of) to categorize certain early Christian heresies, …

Beryllus of Bostra,

(127 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[German Version] bishop of Bostra in Arabia (Jordan), was one of the “learned churchmen” (Eusebius Hist. eccl. VI, 20) of the 3rd century. His writings and letters were kept in the library established by Alexander of Jerusalem, but none have been preserved. Historical theology knows Beryllus for denying the pre-existence and Christ's independent divinity (so-called dyn…

Alexander of Jerusalem

(160 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[German Version] (Aelia Capitolina). Alexander, who came from Asia Minor, studied in Alexandria with Pantaenus and Clement of Alexandria (who dedicated one of his works to Alexander); initially he was a bishop in Cappadocia (later sources say bishop of Flavias in Cilicia). While in Jerusalem during a pilgrimage c. 212, he was elected coadjutor to assist the aged Narcissus, whom he succeeded c. 222. He suffered martyrdom in 250 during the Decian persecution (Persecutions of Christians). He was a particular admirer of Origen (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. VI, 14, 8f.). He was among the bishops who ordained Origen to the priesthood in Palestine, an act that brought him into conflict with the Alexandrian episcopate and led to the transfer of Origen's school of Caesarea (231). He himself established a famous library in Jerusalem. Eusebius preserved four fragments from his letters. Wolf…


(204 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[German Version] (died c. 200), a Stoic from Sicily (perhaps), who converted to Christianity. He is said to have carried the gospel to the peoples of the East, traveling as far as India. From about 180, he was a member of the Alexandria presbytery and led there, as one famous for his learning, “the school of the faithful” (Eus. Hist. eccl., V 10.1). Eusebius of Caesarea describes him as the leader of the Alexandrian Catechetical School (VI 6; Alexandrian theology), and names as his student and successor Clement of Alexandria, who was later followed by Origen. Clement speaks with great resp…


(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…

Didymus the Blind

(403 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[German Version] (c. 313–398) was a distinguished and influential teacher of theology in the tradition of Origen in Alexandria (III; Exegesis: V, 1) who wrote commentaries on almost all the books of the Bible. His students included Jerome, Palladius, and Rufinus. Didymus probably …

John of Jerusalem

(252 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[German Version] (c. 356 – Jan 10, 417). As a young monk, John succeeded Cyril of Jerusalem as bishop of this city in 387. In the Origenist controversies, he defended the position of Origen against Epiphanius of Salamis, Jerome and Theophilus of Alexandria. Rufinus, whom he had ordained to the priesthood in 390, supported him. When the British ascetic Pelagius, fleeing Rome, sought refuge in the East, John received him and …


(228 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[English Version] Schneemelcher, Wilhelm (21.8.1914 Berlin – 6.8.2003 Königswinter), ev. Theologe (Kirchenhistoriker, Schwerpunkt: Patristik; Schüler H. Lietzmanns), Wissenschaftsorganisator und Ökumeniker. Lic. theol. 1940 Berlin, Habil. 1949 Göttingen (Urkunden zur Gesch. des arianischen Streites; Athanasius-Forschung); 1953 Prof. für NT und Kirchengesch. (1954) in Bonn (bis zu seiner Emeritierung 1979). – International wurde Sch. …


(201 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[English Version] (Pantainos; gest. um 200), vielleicht aus Sizilien stammender Stoiker (Stoa), der zum Christentum übertrat. Es heißt, er sei als Verkündiger des Evangeliums zu den Völkern des Orients bis nach Indien gereist. Seit der Zeit um 180 war er Mitglied des Presbyteriums in Alexandrien und leitete dort, berühmt wegen seiner Gelehrsamkeit, »die Schule der Gläubigen« (Eus.h.e. V 10,1). Eusebius von Caesarea bez. ihn als Leiter der alexandrinischen »Katechetenschule« (VI 6; alexandrinische …


(292 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[English Version] . In den theol. Streitigkeiten des 4.Jh. war »Sabellianismus« häufig Bez. für den als Häresie verurteilten modalistischen Monarchianismus. V.a. Markell von Ancyra und seine Anhänger galten als »Sabellianer«, weil sie die Lehre von den drei göttlichen Hypostasen (vgl. Origenes) als Tritheismus verwarfen und statt dessen die Einheit Gottes unter Berufung auf Joh 10,30 als μοn̆α´ς/monás betonten. Eusebius von Caesarea sah in Markell einen »neuen S.«, teilte jedoch nichts näheres über den Urheber dieser Häresie mit, so daß in späterer …


(186 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[English Version] von Arsinoe¨, äg. Bischof (Anfang 3.Jh.), verteidigte mit seiner Schrift »Widerlegung der Allegoristen« den Chiliasmus der Apk im wörtl., leiblichen Sinne. Der daraus entstandenen schismatischen Bewegung, die nach seinem Tode von einem gewissen Korakion geleitet wurde, trat Bf. Dionysius von Alexandrien in Gesprächen und mit zwei Büchern »Über die Verheißungen« entgegen – u.a. mit einer philol. und hist. begründeten Unterscheidung zw. den Schriften des Apostels Johannes und der Ap…


(239 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[English Version] (I.) von Alexandrien (gest.311 Alexandrien), Leiter der alexandrinischen »Katechetenschule« (Alexandrien: III.), möglicherweise zusammen mit Pierius und Achillas z.Z. des Bf. Theonas und dessen Nachfolger im Bischofsamt (300–311). Während der bald darauf einsetzenden Diokletianischen Verfolgung (Christenverfolgungen: I.) kam es zum Konflikt mit Bf. Melitius von Lykopolis in Oberägypten über die Frage der Buße und der Wiederaufnahme der »Abgefallenen« (lapsi), in dem P. für eine mil…


(232 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[English Version] von Alexandrien (gest. ca.312), Presbyter und Leiter des alexandrinischen »Didaskaleions« seit der Zeit des Bf. Theonas (281/82–300), möglicherweise zusammen mit dessen Nachfolger Petrus (I.) von Alexandrien (300–311) und dem späteren Bf. Achillas (ca.311–312). Eusebius von Caesarea, ein Zeitgenosse, beschreibt P. (h.e. VII 32, 26f.) als hervorragenden Prediger, gelehrten und philos. gebildeten Bibelexegeten, der das Leben eines Asketen geführt habe. Hieronymus erwähnt, man habe i…
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