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Good Shepherd

(835 words)

Author(s): Schroer, Silvia | Thümmel, Hans Georg
[German Version] I. Ancient Near East and Ancient Art – II. Christian Art I. Ancient Near East and Ancient Art Shepherds and their flocks were variously depicted in ancient cultures from the 3rd millennium bce, but there was no real “good shepherd” typos. Pre-imperial images of men with a sheep or ram around their shoulders or an animal on their arms are usually to be interpreted as carrying a sacrificial animal (exception, see below). In the Egyptian tombs of the Old Kingdom, besides depictions of other, purely realistic scen…

Human Form in Art

(3,499 words)

Author(s): Schroer, Silvia | Andreae, Bernard | Koch, Guntram | Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] I. Ancient Near Eastern Art – II. Greco-Roman Art – III. Christian Art I. Ancient Near Eastern Art The earliest datable representations of animals in ancient Near Eastern art stem from the Mesolithic Period, and the oldest representations of the human form from the Neolithic Period (reworked male skulls or imitations of the same, cf. Kenyon; stylized or three-dimensional figurines of sitting, corpulent women). Anthropomorphic ¶ (Anthropomorphism) deities are usually distinguished from humans through attributes (for the exception of the “naked…

Sun

(2,816 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Hartenstein, Friedhelm | Cancik, Hubert | Schroer, Silvia | Wallraff, Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The sun is omnipresent; in the phenomenal world, it marks and accentuates the course of our chronological and spatial lifeworld. The range of associated structures, interpretations, and ambivalences (light and dark, life-giving and life-consuming) makes it only natural that the sun should acquire religious symbolisms and orientations in many ways and in many areas: (1) orientation in time (annual calendrical cycle, identification of sacral seasons and hours of th…

Hand of God and Hand of Humans in Art

(952 words)

Author(s): Schroer, Silvia | Koch, Guntram
[German Version] I. Ancient to Pre-Roman Times – II. From Roman Times I. Ancient to Pre-Roman Times From its earliest beginnings, ancient art reflected the central role of the hand in sign language. Hands were raised in prayer, incantation, greeting, blessing, and in delivering a blow. Hands were raised in entreaty and in mourning, or were thrown in the air in triumph. Hostility was averted with an extended hand and fingers or the fist. Parties to a contract shook the right hand as a sign of binding commitment…

Tree of Life

(2,095 words)

Author(s): Schaper, Joachim | Schroer, Silvia | Zchomelidse, Nino
[German Version] I. Old Testament The motif of the tree of life (םייִּחַהַ ץעֵ/ ʿeṣ haḥayyîm), a variation of the idea of the “sacred tree” that appears in Canaanite, Mesopotamian and Egyptian texts, and also in the Indo-European area, is found in Gen 2:9; 3:22,24; Prov 3:18; 11:30; 13:12; 15:4 and Isa 65:22 LXX. The tree, on the basis of its cyclical sef-renewal, functions as a symbol of the regeneration of the cosmos, as an image of fertility, and thus also of immortality (Gen 3:22). The related concept of a …

Sonne

(2,413 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Hartenstein, Friedhelm | Cancik, Hubert | Schroer, Silvia | Wallraff, Martin | Et al.
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich Die S. markiert und akzentuiert aufgrund ihrer Omnipräsenz in der Wahrnehmungswelt die zeitlichen und räumlichen Verlaufsformen der natürlichen und kulturellen Lebenswelt des Menschen. Die hiermit einhergehenden möglichen Ordnungsstrukturen, Deutungspotentiale, aber auch Ambivalenzen (hell und dunkel, Leben spendend und zerstörend) prädestinieren die S. auf mannigfaltige Weise, rel. Symbolisierungs- und Orientierungsleistungen in den verschiedensten Be…