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(591 words)

Author(s): Winkler, Klaus
The idea that humor is laughing in spite of one’s circumstances carries an essential point. Dealing humorously with difficult inner or outer realities is a way of controlling life. As distinct from wit, mockery, or irony, humor deals nonaggressively with circumstances of trouble or conflict. Its affinity to grinning or laughing finds clearest expression where such forms of psychological release are found to relieve tension or bring liberation and where they can be an “infectious” aid to communication. The modern use of the term must be seen against a significant change in…

Laughing and Crying

(717 words)

Author(s): Winkler, Klaus
Laughing and crying reveal a person’s inner feelings and emotional capacities. It is not surprising, then, that from antiquity they have been the theme of philosophical reflection and adduced in interpretation of what is human. In keeping with modern differentiation of the academic disciplines, they have been taken up in interdisciplinary studies making use of philosophy, theology, aesthetics, literary studies, psychology, and sociology. They bring out both the comic and the tragic aspects of human life. In all the detailed inquiries the main concern must be to see in l…


(571 words)

Author(s): Winkler, Klaus
In wrestling with the concept of friendship, theology and the church must do some rethinking. They must begin at the point where, in the tension between isolation with limited contacts (Anonymity) and self-alienating life in the mass (Masses, The), the question arises afresh concerning what forms of relationship can both promote fellowship and establish identity. The paradigm of friendship can help us understand how the following relations condition each other and can become less moralistic: tho…


(619 words)

Author(s): Winkler, Klaus
1. Infants and small children express joy in life by spontaneous movements and cries. Adults gradually become aware that a feeling of delight corresponds to happy situations, not only in the physical sphere, but also intellectually and spiritually. It must be learned that the state of joy is only one very limited state alongside other possible feelings (Childhood; Adulthood). For some individuals the dealings with various spiritual states in the course of life that affect attitudes and conduct are joyless and frustrating. Thus in the history of philosop…