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(6,793 words)

Author(s): Sattler, Dorothea
1. Problem of Definition When we try to define the term “sacrament” generally, that is, to grasp conceptually what theological presuppositions are accepted in calling certain things sacraments, whether baptism and the Eucharist in the Reformation tradition, or also confirmation (or chrismation), penance (Penitence), matrimony (Marriage and Divorce), holy orders, and anointing of the sick (Laying on of Hands) in that of Roman Catholics and the Orthodox, we run up against many obstacles. The challengi…

Eucharistic Piety

(371 words)

Author(s): Sattler, Dorothea
[German Version] The concept of eucharistic piety refers (in the broadest sense) to any practice of faith that determines its content through reference to the mysterium of the loving self-sacrifice of Jesus Christ ¶ (Sacrifice: IV) celebrated in the Eucharist and his Spirit-produced presence in the sign of the meal. From an ecumenical perspective, the modes of (public or private) veneration of the elements of the eucharistic meal (bey…

Monastic Confession

(377 words)

Author(s): Sattler, Dorothea
[German Version] In the Early Church, monastic confession in the narrow sense denoted a strict unburdening of monks' or nuns' consciences before their spiritual father or mother. In a wider sense the term monastic confession can still refer to the living tradition in religious communities of experiencing and considering the salutary effect of publicly admitted guilt. The tradition of monastic confession emphasizes the therapeutic and pedagogical aspect of Christian penance. The theological ideas of Clement of ¶ Alexandria and Origen, who emphasized in their writings the …

Lay Confession

(400 words)

Author(s): Sattler, Dorothea
[German Version] Since biblical times, the community of believers has considered the experience that sins hidden within the heart burden sinners, robbing them of vital energy and nurturing fears of divine judgment (Ps 32:3–6). Candid confession of guilt restores confidence and assurance. Talking about sins brings insight into implications that would otherwise remain hidden, opens paths to reconciliation, and gives comfort in situations of hopeless despair. Mutual confession of sins has therapeutic power (Jas 5:16). In the history of theology, lay confession has gone th…

Systematic Theology

(8,308 words)

Author(s): Ritschl, Dietrich | Sattler, Dorothea
1. Term The attempt is made here to describe systematic theology by comparing its understanding in Protestant and in Roman Catholic thought. 1.1. The term “systematic” as an attribute of theology is often viewed as unfortunate because it seems to imply that the full truth of the living God can be summarized in a system. The Anglican ¶ Church (Anglican Communion) did not use it for fear of theological system-building, but in Roman Catholic theology it encompasses the various disciplines of dogmatics, fundamental theology, moral theology, and canon law. …


(3,700 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Avemarie, Friedrich | Heiligenthal, Roman | Huxel, Kirsten | Sattler, Dorothea
[English Version] I. ReligionsgeschichtlichIn der eur. christl. Theol. wurde die Lehre vom V. (lat. meritum) zu einem kontroverstheol. Thema, an dem man (zumindest auf prot. Seite) glaubte, den grundlegenden Unterschied zw. Katholizismus und Luthertum bes. deutlich festmachen zu können (s.u. IV.). Die religionswiss. Diskussion hat gezeigt, daß die Verwendung eines derart theol. aufgeladenen Begriffes als analytische Kategorie des Religionsvergleiches auf kaum zu lösende Probleme stößt. Von daher w…


(4,227 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Avemarie, Friedrich | Heiligenthal, Roman | Huxel, Kirsten | Sattler, Dorothea
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. History of Dogma – V. Dogmatics – VI. Ethics – VII. Ecumenics I. Religious Studies In European Christian theology the doctrine of merit (Lat. meritum) became a controversial subject, by which (at least on the Protestant side) it was thought possible to demonstrate with particular clarity the basic difference between Catholicism and Lutheranism (see IV below). Discussion in religious studies has shown that the use of such a theologically loaded conc…

Ökumenische Bewegung

(9,339 words)

Author(s): Wendebourg, Dorothea | Wendebourg, Dorothea, | Koschorke, Klaus | Sattler, Dorothea | Lipp, Charles H. | Et al.
[English Version] I. 1. bis 19. Jahrhundert 1.Alte Kirche Die Sorge der ersten Jh. der Kirche galt weniger der Herstellung als der Bewahrung der – zentral in der Abendmahlsgemeinschaft gegebenen – Gemeinschaft unter Christen und Gemeinden (Paulus, Apostelkonzil, Clemens I. [Romanus], Ignatius [Ignatiusbriefe], Irenaeus von Lyon, Cyprian von Karthago u.a.) und der Ausscheidung falsche Lehre oder Praxis vertretender Theologen und Gruppen. Dabei führten meist erst diese Ausscheidungsprozesse zur Klärung …

Ecumenical Movement

(10,763 words)

Author(s): Wendebourg, Dorothea | Koschorke, Klaus | Sattler, Dorothea | Lippy, Charleas H. | Geldbach, Erich | Et al.
[German Version] I. 1st to 19th Century – II. 20th and 21st Centuries I. 1st to 19th Century 1. Early Church The concerns of the first centuries of the church were less with the establishing of fellowship than with its preservation – focused in the fellowship of the Lord's Supper – among Christians and congregations (Paul, Saint, Apostolic Council, Clement I (Romanus), Ignatius [Ignatian …


(9,159 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Nocke, Franz-Josef | Felmy, Karl Christian | Kandler, Karl-Hermann | Busch, Eberhard | Et al.
[English Version] I. Kirchengeschichtlich Der Begriff S. hat im christl. Sprachgebrauch eine doppelte Bedeutung: eine weite, die dem ntl. Begriff μυστη´ριοn̆/mystē´rion (»Geheimnis«) entspricht und sich als Bez. von Glaubensgeheimnissen allg. behauptet hat, und eine engere im Sinne bestimmter gottesdienstlicher Handlungen, die dem Gläubigen Anteil an der von Christus bewirkten heilbringenden Gnade geben. Während die ma. Schultheol. des Abendlandes das engere Verständnis der S. in wachsender Präzisierung und Differ…


(10,176 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Nocke, Franz-Josef | Felmy, Karl Christian | Kandler, Karl-Hermann | Busch, Eberhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Church History In Christian usage, the term sacrament has two meanings: a broad meaning corresponding to the New Testament term μυστήριον/ mystḗrion (“mystery”), used as a term for mysteries of the faith in general, and a narrower meaning in the sense of certain liturgical actions that enable believers to share in the salvific grace effected by Christ. While medieval Scholastic theology in the West developed the narrower understanding of sacraments with increasingly precise and subtle definitions, …


(2,836 words)

Author(s): Gerlitz, Peter | Ohst, Martin | Sattler, Dorothea | Root, Michael | Ivanov, Vladimir | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics – IV. Practical Theology – V. Missiology I. Religious Studies Confession and absolution, expressive of the substantiality of guilt (I) and the impact of the spoken word with its magico-ritual power, are among the “most widespread means of structured confrontation of the ego with itself” (Hahn & Knapp, 7). They appear already in tribal societies (Kikuyu, Nuer, Acholi in East Africa) as part of purificati…


(26,590 words)

Author(s): Hahn, Ferdinand | Markschies, Christoph | Angenendt, Arnold | Kaufmann, Thomas | Koch, Ernst | Et al.
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics – IV. Liturgical History – V. Practical Theology – VI. Missiology I. New Testament 1. Background Sacred meals are common to all religions. Before examining them in the context of the NT, it is necessary first to inquire into their background in the OT and in Judaism, whereupon it becomes evident that sacrificial meals play no role in them. Only the dai…