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(2,576 words)

Author(s): Eberhard Simons
A. Notion In general, dualism, in contrast to monism, is used to describe the view which reduces reality to two equally primordial and mutually opposed principles. The various forms of dualism are determined by the ontological natures of these principles and by the manner of their opposition. Since the total reality can neither be simply two realities which have nothing at all to do with each other, and it cannot be simply one reality, the question of how the historical forms of dualism are to be …


(3,199 words)

Author(s): Eberhard Simons
A. Definition It would not be wise to include under personalism" every type of world-view or philosophy which accords significance to the human person. It should be reserved for the view which makes personal reality the universal key to philosophical interpretation. Such a basic importance is attributed to the person in a type of thinking which came to the fore at the end of the First World War in Europe and which styled itself the “new dialogal thought”. Its main representatives were Martin Buber…


(4,063 words)

Author(s): Eberhard Simons
A. The Augustinian Tradition Aurelius Augustinus (354—430) is one of the most remarkable figures in the history of the Western Church and in the development of Christian thought. He is one of those personalities whose influence upon antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times has been equally great and constant. It is to Augustine that men have gone again and again for insight into the question of their own selfunderstanding, so much so that in the course of the centuries an “Augustinian” dialogue …

Existence - Concept of Existence

(2,825 words)

Author(s): Eberhard Simons
Part of Existence: 1. Concept of Existence 2. Philosophy of Existence and Existential Philosophy 3. “The Existential” A. Introduction The word “existence” has become one of the signs of the times in modern thinking, having also given its name to one of the predominant trends of philosophy. It should, however, be noted that even in existentialism the term is understood so differently by such figures as Heidegger, Jaspers, Sartre and Marcel that what they have in common is hard to define briefly, in spite of the general accord of their interes…


(2,280 words)

Author(s): Eberhard Simons
1. Concept. The Greek term ϰηρύσσω was adopted by the NT writers (mostly in the form of the noun ϰήρυγμα) and used to signify in a specifically biblical way a central reality of Christianity. It can indeed be regarded as one of the key concepts for the description of revelation. Neither the ОТ (where the most frequent corresponding term was קּדא) nor the NT explain the term explicitly, but the usage is clear enough. The word, as a substantive, denotes both the act and the message, and ranges in meaning from “address” and “call out” to “summons”; in Engli…

Scholasticism - Nature and Approaches

(3,145 words)

Author(s): Eberhard Simons
Part of Scholasticism: 1. Nature and Approaches 2. Evolution Scholasticism is a philosophy, theology and jurisprudence which in the Middle Ages stood for all known science. From the 7th century on, scholasticism developed through the stages of pre-scholasticism and early scholasticism to the classical period of the 12th and 13th centuries, setting up then a tradition lasting for seven hundred years, down to the present day. Post-classical or later scholasticism again reached high-points in Baroque schola…

God - Knowability of God

(2,549 words)

Author(s): Eberhard Simons
Part of God: 1. The Divine 2. Knowability of God 3. Proofs of the Existence of God When the question of the knowability of God is consciously posed, it is seen to be inseparable from that of the proof of the existence of God, but not identical with it. It has the prior task of defining the framework within which alone a rational proof of the existence of God can be possible. 1. In the Bible. The texts which speak of a universal possibility of knowing God, even in non-Christians and pagans, are Wis 13:1-9 and Rom 1:18 — 21. Wis 13:I ff. affirms that God may be known fro…

Sacred Times and Places

(1,230 words)

Author(s): Eberhard Simons
1. History of religions. The misunderstanding of the holy and also of everything to do with the spirit meant for rationalism and inferior types of Idealism that the divine mdash if spoken of at all — was as an idea beyond the realm of the concrete human history and that its divinity consisted precisely in being always and everywhere unrelated to earthly reality. In contrast to this position the religions down through the history of man have, in spite of all their differences in detail, been unanimo…

Spirituality - Special Features

(7,628 words)

Author(s): Eberhard Simons | Jesús María Granero | Josef Sudbrack | Ernst Niermann | Friedrich Wulf
Part of Spirituality: 1. Concept 2. History of Christian Spirituality 3. Special Features A. Meditation 1. As opposed to the terms “mental prayer” and “contemplation”, the traditional terna “meditation” is increasingly employed nowadays, even outside the domain of Christian life and spirituality. Its meaning ranges from a psychosomatic technique and therapy acquired by yoga exercises and the practice of auto-suggestion, to ordinary intellectual and personal reflection, or even to advanced forms of religious an…