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Obermayer, Klaus

(209 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] (May 5, 1916, Wiesbaden – Aug 14, 1988, Erlangen), Protestant jurist. He served as an officer from the first days of the war. After 1945 he studied and completed his professional qualification, and then practiced as a lawyer for several years in state and church administration. In 1958 he gained his Habilitation. From 1960 until h…

Sehling, Emil

(115 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] (July 9,1860, Essen – Nov 30, 1928, Erlangen), Protestant legal scholar. After associate professorships in Leipzig and Kiel, he was appointed to a full professorship in Erlangen in 1888. After numerous works on other legal topics, he devoted himself primarily to marriage law and church law, which h…

Prussian Civil Code

(672 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] The Prussian Civil Code ( Preußisches Allgemeines Landrecht) went into effect on Jun 1, 1794, as a law code for the unified Prussian monarchy. It was drafted at the behest of Frederick the Great by the new chancellor, Casimir v. Carmer (1780); among those contributing to its content, Carl Gottlieb Svarez and Ernst Ferdinand Klein stand out. Completed in 1791, after Frederick’s death, it was to have taken effect in 1792 as the Allgemeines Gesetzbuch für die Preußischen Staaten [Civil code for the Prussian states]. Not least in reaction to the French Revoluti…

Ius in sacra / ius circa sacra

(329 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] The expressions ius in sacra and ius circa sacra came into use in the 17th century but were not clearly distinguished until the 19th century. They denote the legal authority of the territorial ruler by virtue of his supervisory authority over all corporations and religious bodies (Secular supremacy: ius in sacra), grounded in his secular authority, and his authority as summepiscopus (Summepiscopate of the princes) of the Protestant church ( ius in sacris). Episcopalist theology (Episcopalism: I) developed a graduated theory of secular authority, in co…

Hontheim, Johann Nikolaus von

(499 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] (Jan 27, 1701, Trier – Sep 2, 1790, Montquintin Castle, Luxemburg), Catholic historian and canonist. Hontheim was from a patrician family in Trier. He studied law, theology and classical philology in Trier, Leuven and Leiden. He received the Dr.iur.utr. in 1724 and became a priest and canonist in 1728, first in Trier then in Coblenz in 1740. He was professor of Roman law in Trier (1733–1738), administrator of the diocesan court in Coblenz (1738) and auxiliary bishop and pro-chancellor of the University in Trier (1748).…

Territorialism/Territorial System

(492 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] Territorialism is a theory of the legal relationship between the state and the church, according to which the all-embracing sovereignty of the prince includes sovereignty over the church and the public practice of religion in his territory; this means that all leadership authority in the church derives from the territorial lord. Chronologically the territorial system gradually gave way to episcopalism (which was influenced increasingly by territorialist arguments as it emerged); i…

Itio in partes

(204 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] refers to the division of the Reichstag according to religious parties ( Corpus Catholicorum and Corpus Evangelicorum ) when one side declared the question at issue to be a matter of religion. Deliberations then began first within the confessional blocks – separated according to curias. If these separately reached decisions differed from one another, only the path of compromise, the amicabilis compositio remained. Matters of religion could not, therefore, be decided in a plenary session according to the majority principle. Exercised de facto as early as 1526, b…

Ius emigrandi

(246 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] refers to the right under imperial law to emigrate for religious reasons. The Peace of Augsburg (1555) guaranteed the estates of the empire the ¶ ius reformandi , i.e. the authority to determine the confession of their territory (religious ban). Subjects of other confessions were granted as a legal benefit ( beneficium) a qualified right to emigrate (i.e. taking along family and belongings) to a territory of their confession – and, the…

Liermann, Hans

(269 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] (Apr 23, 1893, Frankfurt am Main – Feb 22, 1976, Erlangen) was a Protestant historian of law, and lectured in state and canon law. After studies in Freiburg im Breisgau and Halle, and military service from 1914 to 1918, Liermann gained his Habilitation in Freiburg in 1926. Initially appointed associate professor in 1929, he held a chair in Erlangen from 1931 to 1961. In addition to numerous works on the history of law, Liermann exerted a f…

Recursus ab abusu

(415 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] ( appel comme d’abus) is an appeal of civil authorities against an abuse of power by an ecclesiastical authority transgressing the boundaries drawn by civil law; it was thus (along with the placet) a particularly effective instrument of secular supremacy. It achieved its distinctive form in France in 1539, when it served primarily as a defense against encroachments on Gallican liberties (Gallicanism). The French model also inspired its use in Spain and the Netherlands. Initially legal title was vested in royal church advocacy (Church advocate). The recursus came in…

Weber, Werner

(434 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] (Aug 31, 1904, Wülfrath – Nov 29, 1976, Göttingen), teacher of constitutional and administrative law. After studying in Marburg, Berlin, and Bonn (doctorate under C. Schmitt), Weber entered the Prussian ministry of education and cultural affairs, initially in the religious division, later in the division for national culture. In addition he was appointed lecturer at the Berlin School of Commerce in 1931 and promoted ¶ to full professor in 1935. In 1942 he be…

Religious Societies (Germany)

(948 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] 1. History. The concept originated in the rational Enlightenment doctrine of natural law (IV), and especially in the state-church law theory of collegialism. “Religious societies” is thus a short formula for the outside view of the churches, and later of all religious confessional societies from the vantage point of the religiously neutral state, which no longer concerns itself with the issue of religious truth and is therefore committed in principle to equal treatment. It was in this form that the concept found its way via the Prussian Civil Code, the Paulskirchenverfassung (“Constitution of St. Paul’s Church”) of 1849, and the Prussian Constitution (1850), into the church articles of the Weimar Constitution of 1919, which were themselves incorporated into German Basic Law in 1949. 2. Definition. Religious societies are defined in German state-church law (Church and state) as associations that exist on the basis of a shared religious ¶ consensu…

Placet

(566 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] (“it pleases”; also placetum regium, exequatur regium) is the formula expressing assent by the local prince to ecclesiastical legislation, especially papal legislation. It was both a requirement before the law could take effect in the ruler’s territory and authorization to promulgate it (Publication). First put into practice in England and in French Gallicanism, it was introduced after the 17th century in many countries of western and southern Europe. In the German Empire, initially onl…

Reinking, Dietrich

(292 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] (Reinkingk, since 1650: v. Reinking; Mar 10, 1590, Windau, Courland [today Ventspils, Latvia] – Dec 15, 1664, Glückstadt), outstanding Lutheran politician and scholar of constitutional law. After occupying a chair at Giessen, from 1618 he held high offices of state in Hesse-Darmstadt, Mecklenburg, archepiscopal Bremen (representing the archdiocese at the 1648 peace negotiations in Osnabrück), and Denmark. His most important academic work, Tractatus de regimine seculari et ecclesiastico (1619, 71717), characterizes the Empire as a monarchy of the em…

Reservatrechte (Reserved Rights in German Empire)

(187 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] In the Holy Roman Empire, reserved rights were the epitome of the (historically varying) rights enjoyed by the emperor without any requirement of approval by electors and the Reichstag. Borrowing from this usage, in the 19th century Reservatsrechte were those rights of church governance, rooted in the summepiscopate of the territorial prince, that he had reserved to be exercised personally (i.e. not by church officials acting in his name). The most important were: approbation of ecclesiastical legislation passed by synods, in ¶ some cases including the right to…

Church and Media

(751 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] I. From the very beginning, the church has always existed on the basis of communication. All human lives spent within it are realized in the communicative justification of human community. In all periods, therefore, it has placed every available means of communication in the service of its mission. The modern transition to an information-based society, however, represents a particular challenge. In many episcopal and papal statements going back as far as…

Grotius, Hugo

(875 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] (Huig de Groot; Apr 10, 1583, Delft, The Netherlands – Aug 28, 1645, Rostock), an impor-¶ tant jurist and theologian. From a patrician Delft family, Grotius attended the University of Leiden already as an eleven-year-old. After studying classical philology, history, theology, and law, he received the Dr.iur. in Orléans on an ambassadorial journey in 1598 and became a lawyer in 1599. An expert's opinion in the conflict of the sea-trade interests of Holland and Portugal contained the pioneering chapter De mare libero (1604; ET: The Free Sea, 2004), in which Grotius j…

Exclusion, Right of

(199 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] ( ius exclusivae) denotes the right of a civil ruler or state in Catholic church law to exclude as undesirable a certain candidate from being elected or appointed to church office. Papal exclusion, which the sovereigns of major Catholic powers (German and – later – Austrian emperors, kings of France and Spain) claimed for themselves with no formal recognition by th…

State Religion

(245 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] The term state religion denotes a religious element unifying the collectivity of subjects, considered indispensable for the existence of the state (“un roi, une loi, une foi”). It was taken for granted as the foundation of nearly every early form of the state. To the extent that religion is considered an element of public order, religious pluralism is perceived as a threat to the unity of the state, since it bears the seed of civil war, or at least qualified loyalty on the part of th…
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