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(3,414 words)

Author(s): Britz, Gabriele | Baumann, Martin | Fleischmann-Bisten, Walter | Wendehorst, Stephan | Malik, Jamal
[German Version] I. Social Sciences – II. Religious Studies – III. Christianity – IV. Judaism – V. Islam I. Social Sciences Minorities are groups whose members perceive themselves or are perceived by others as a (related) portion of society distinct from the rest. The distinction is based on actual or supposed features divergent from the characteristics of the rest, often with negative connotations. Sometimes relative powerlessness in comparison to the dominant group, exclusion, and discrimination are considered constitutive. The term is used in different ways. (1) I…

Free Religious Associations in Germany

(466 words)

Author(s): Fleischmann-Bisten, Walter
[German Version] Free religious associations are a fruit of the Enlightenment and have their roots in 19th-century Catholic and Protestant protest movements. Although they reject Christian dogmas and ecclesial organizations, they still hold religious events that vary locally: dedications or celebrations with a preacher's sermon, name givings and youth initiations, marriages and funerals. The development and impact of these associations must be seen in connection with the history of the free thought (Free Thinker) and religious criticism. The free religious associations i…

Eisenach Union

(215 words)

Author(s): Fleischmann-Bisten, Walter
[German Version] The origins of the Eisenach Union, which was founded in 1905, go back to the “Eisenach Conferences” that were organized in 1902 by J. Lepsius with the support of H. Cremer, M. Kähler and A. Schlatter, though the latter should not be confused with the homonymous association for the administration of the Protestant churches that was founded in 1852. While it initially sought to establish a dialogue between the church-oriented representatives of the Gemeinschaftsbewegung Community movement/Gemeinschaftsbewegung and those representatives of the regional chur…

Evangelischer Bund

(1,805 words)

Author(s): Fleischmann-Bisten, Walter
[German Version] (Evangelical Union) I. Establishment – II. History – III. Status at the end of the 20th Century I. Establishment A Protestant church (Protestantism) splintered into 27 regional churches and divided by theological and church-political issues had, by 1848/9, been unable to address some needed reforms. These reforms were then taken up by so-called free church associations. The establishmen…

Evangelical Free Church Congregations, Union of

(356 words)

Author(s): Fleischmann-Bisten, Walter
[German Version] The Bund Evangelisch-Freikirchlicher Gemeinden in Deutschland (BEFG) is the product of the 1941/1942 merger of the union of Baptist churches, which arose in 1849 from the first congregations of Baptists in Germany and bordering nations and included the Pentecostally-oriented Elim churches in 1938, with the Bund Freikirchlicher Christen (Union of Free-Church Christians) founded in 1937, …


(2,671 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin | Rajak, Tessa | Dan, Joseph | Fleischmann-Bisten, Walter | Gerloff, Roswith
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Jewish Diaspora – III. Christian Diaspora I. History of Religions The Greek noun διασπορά/ diasporá derives from the composite verb διασπείρω/ dia-speírō, translated “to disperse, scatter, be separated.” Epicurus, following Plutarch, used diasporá in the context of his philosophical doctrine of the atom in the sense of “dissolution down to the last units, to have become without context.” The Jewish tran…