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Sacred Times

(1,513 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Dorothea | Metzger, Marcel | Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Sacred times are ritually observed periods of time of varying duration that serve to modulate life w…

Ethology of Religion

(724 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Dorothea
[German Version] is a relatively new subdiscipline of religious studies that examines the anthropological bases of religiou…

Shame

(1,346 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Dorothea | Huxel, Kirsten
[German Version] I. Religious Studies A sense of shame is a fundamental element of being human. It is a social feeling that ensues when one becomes aware of a shortcoming that might offend others.…

Sacred Sites

(2,374 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Dorothea | Reichert, Andreas | Dan, Joseph | Koch, Guntram
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Characterization of a place as “sacred” or “holy” lends it a special status vis-à-vis its environment. Usually specific regulations govern how it is entered and used. Traditionally this status has been grounded in the belief that the site is proper to a deity or another spiritual being, or that a special power emanates from it. Sacred sites are particularly common at the center and on the fringes of g…

Chastity

(2,198 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Dorothea | Geissner, Hellmut K. | Schlosser, Marianne
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Ethics – III. Church History I. Religious Studies All cultures subject human reproductive behavior to certain norms; certain situations or periods of life require sexual abstinence. In traditional societies, chastity as an ethical value (Asceticism) is usually an integral part of the religious symbol system. Young people in particular are restricted in their sexual behavior; only when they are able to be economically independent are they permitted to establish a family. Occasionally, representatives of divinity such as young male and female virgins retain this status permanently, although in real life it is usually temporary. Initiation rites (Rites of passage) – often staged as a breach of taboo – mark the transition from youthful virginity (esp. in the case of girls) to responsible sexuality reflecting the norms of society. Women are often subject to specific chastity conditions (e.g. domestic segregation, veiling, prohibition of remarriage for widows). Special taboos are also associated with certain times of life such as pregnancy and birth. Traditionally, though, chastity is not considered an ideal in itself but rather a precondition for fertility within a legal marriage. Therefore, temporary abstinence can be one of the annual rites that focus on the desire for children, often associated with a desire that f…

Cult/Worship

(8,783 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Dorothea | Xella, Paolo | Ego, Beate | Niebuhr, Karl-Wilhelm | Lehmkühler, Karsten | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. History of Scholarship – III. Ancient Near East – IV. Old Testament and Early Judaism – V. New Testament – VI. Philosophy of Religion – VII. Christianity – VIII. Liturgical Practice – IX. Ethics I. Religious Studies 1. Concept The word “cult” comes from Lat. cultus. Cicero ( De senectute 56) uses the phrase cultus deorum in the sense of “worship of the gods.” It invariably refers to acts of “care and tending”; in secular contexts the word denotes agrarian work (cf. agriculture). There are analogous words in other ancient languages…

Omen

(2,294 words)

Author(s): Lorenz, Günther | Albani, Matthias | Baudy, Dorothea | Iwersen, Julia
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Ancient Near East and Old Testament – III. Greco-Roman Antiquity – IV. The Milieu of Modern Alternative Religions I. Religious Studies An omen (Lat. omen, rela…