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Compensation Theory

(461 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann
[German Version] Derived from the Latin compensatio (“balance/balancing”), the term “compensation” found its way into various historical areas of culture and religion as well as into a number of scholarly disciplines (theology, jurisprudence, education, [individual] psychology, ecology, economics, etc.). In the study of religions, “compensation theory” refers to a critical theory of religion according to which religion represents a form of compensation, and notions o…

Solidarity

(1,545 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann | Zürcher, Markus Daniel | Baumgartner, Alois
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The term solidarity (from neo-Lat. solidaritas, derived from solidus, “solid, firm”; Fr. solidarité) denotes the cohesiveness of a “group,” ultimately society, expressed in a generally ethical sense of cohesion. In the history of the term, originally borrowed from legal usage (Wildt, Baumgartner), É. Durkheim (1893) distinguishes the “organic solidarity” of a differentiated modern society from the “mechanical solidarity” …

Materialism

(2,549 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann | Hüttemann, Andreas | Evers, Dirk
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Philosophy – III. Theology I. History of Religion In one of the earliest usages in the German language, materialism was described as an “error,” i.e. “when a person denies the spiritual substance and refuses to recognize any other than the physical” (J.G. Walch, Philosophisches Lexikon, 1726, quoted from HWP V, 1980, 842). This negative characterization is the result of the philosophical and theological belief in the existence of spiritual entities (God, soul, eternal life) that transcend matter by virtue of their essence. Materialism as a position opposing this vi…

Monism

(2,182 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann | Schütt, Hans-Peter | Rosenau, Hartmut
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy – III. Philosophy of Religion – IV. Dogmatics I. Religious Studies In the study of religion, the term “monism” denotes concepts that relate the whole of reality to a single principle, and understand diversity and plurality as an all- unity. Monism, from the Gk μόνος/ monos (“alone, single”) is thus also in religious studies to be understoo…

Structuralism

(1,443 words)

Author(s): Rese, Friederike | Heidermanns, Frank | Figl, Johann
[German Version] I. The Term The term structuralism is a collective name for an intellectual movement that shaped the human sciences and intellectual life in general, especially in France, in the 1950…

Universalism and Particularism

(2,366 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann | Rüterswörden, Udo | Wander, Bernd
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In the classical phenomenology of religion, the universalism/particularism dichotomy denotes the difference between universal religions (Typology of religion) and so-called folk religions (Folk piety); the latter are “limited to a single people,” whereas the former “spread to include many peoples” (Mensching, 286f.) and proclaim a “universal” message, addressed in principle to all humanity. The universal religions are primarily those with founding figures: Buddhi…

Speculation

(1,498 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann | Schnepf, Robert | Danz, Christian
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. The use of the term speculation in religious studies is not divorced from its use in philosophy (see II below) and everyday language, but – especially in the phenomenology of religion – it has been used in a sense specific to religious studies, particularly to denote reflective, rationalizing, and …

Transcendence and Immanence

(3,184 words)

Author(s): Gregersen, Niels Henrik | Figl, Johann | Steinmann, Michael | Danz, Christian
[German Version] I. Natural Sciences

Atheism

(4,492 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann | Dietz, Walter R. | Clayton, John | Henkys, Jürgen | Hoedemaker, Bert
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Church History – III. Philosophy of Religion – IV. Practical Theology – V. Missiology I. Religious Studies 1. Preliminary Considerations. “Atheism” is a Lati-nized term, current since …

Revelation

(13,059 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann | Schwöbel, Christoph | Kaiser, Otto | Bockmuehl, Markus | Werbick, Jürgen | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Conc…