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Edifying Literature

(3,117 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Weismayer, Josef | Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] I. To the Reformation – II. Modern Era – III. Present I. To the Reformation The term “edifying literature” (or “devotional literature”) embraces all Christian literature that is not liturgical, juristic, merely informative, or scholarly (history, theology) but is meant to edify and encourage piety and Christian conduct. But the boundaries distinguishing e…

Ficino, Marsilio

(391 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Oct 19, 1433, Figline Valdarno, Italy – Oct 1, 1499, Careggi, Italy). Ficino was the son of the personal physician of Cosimo de' Medici; the latter supported Ficino and prompted him to change his course of studies from medicine to philosophy. He acquired an extremely thorough knowledge of Greek and produced annotated translations of esp. Plato (1463–1469), Plotinus (1484–1486), and a series of other neo-Platonic authors. In Florence he founded a Platonic Academy (I, 5) in which h…

Liechtenstein

(293 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The principality of Liechtenstein is a microstate (160 km2) between the Swiss cantons of Sankt Gallen and Grisons (Graubünden) to the west and the Austrian state of Vorarlberg to the east. It is a hereditary constitutional monarchy with a population of 35,300 (2007), 80% Catholic, 7.4% Protestant (1996). Rulers of Liechtenstein are first mentioned in the 12th century, with two lines possessing lands in Styria and Moravia. When the Styrian line died out in 1619, the Moravian lord of Nikols…

Relics

(5,513 words)

Author(s): Felber, Anneliese | Köpf, Ulrich | Plank, Peter | Hafner, Johann Ev. | Mohr, Hubert
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Relics are the remains (Lat. reliquiae) of individuals endowed with power, such as warriors, chiefs, sorcerers, heroes, prophets, martyrs, and saints – their bodies, their clothing, or objects they have used. Veneration of relics reflects the belief that these forces continue beyond the grave; the intent is to benefit from this power or blessing by erecting structures over the grave, lighting candles or leaving flowers, processions, touching or kissing, or burial near…

Controversial Theology

(1,053 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] is a branch of theology that judges differences between various Christian Churches from a polemical and argumentative point of view rather than analyzing them from a historically critical perspective. The “controversy” involved relates both to the object and the method of this discipline. Theological positions are discussed when they become significant in disturbing or dividing the church community, and not so much as contributions to an open scholarly debate. I. Although the term controversial theology did not become common until the 20th century, …

Peter Cantor

(242 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Petrus; first half of the 12th cent., Hosdenc, near Beauvais – 1197, Cistercian abbey of Longpont, near Soissons). Sometime before 1173, after studying at the cathedral school in Reims, he began teaching at the cathedral school in Paris as a canon; in 1183 he was appointed to the post of cantor. He refused his election as bishop of Paris in 1196. In 1197 he was elected dean of the cathedral chapter of Reims, but died on his journey from Paris. Numerous works, some still unpublished, bear witness to his teaching activity: glosses on the Old and New Testaments; Distinctiones or S…

Cathedral Schools

(471 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] were educational originally institutions for training clergy, administered by the episcopal curia. In the Early Church, learned bishops (preeminently Augustine) already gave instruction to their clergy. From the second Council of Toledo (527/531) onward, the Church repeatedly urged the establishment of episcopal schools; in 789, they were ¶ enjoined by Charlemagne, and in 1076 by Gregory VII. Nevertheless, down to the Reformation numerous councils deplored the educational level of the clergy – a sign of the great dispari…

Reform, Idea of

(2,727 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] In classical Latin, the verb reformare and the associated noun reformatio already denoted a transformation for the better: restoration of an earlier human condition, since lost (morality e.g. Pliny the Younger Panegyricus 53.1: “corruptos depravatosque mores . . . reformare et corrigere”; bodily health e.g. Theodorus Priscianus Euproiston 1.38: “oculorum aciem reformare”), or physical objects (e.g. Solinus, Collectanea rerum memorabilium 40.5: “templum reformare”) or improvement without regard to the past (e.g. Sen. Ep. 58.26: “reformatio morum”; Ep. 94.5…

Jesus Christ

(19,624 words)

Author(s): Roloff, Jürgen | Pokorný, Petr | Köpf, Ulrich | Lathrop, Gordon W. | Krötke, Wolf | Et al.
[German Version] I. Name and Titles – II. Jesus Christ in the History of Christianity – III. Jesus Christ in Other Religions – IV. Jesus Christ in Jewish Perspective – V. Jesus Christ in Islamic Perspective – VI. Jesus Christ in Art I. Name and Titles 1. Jesus of Nazareth a. Terminology The appellation Jesus Christ signals a significant tension regarding the figure in question. Although generally understood as a double name, it originated as a fusion of two heterogeneous elements: the theophoric personal name Joshua/Jeshua (Heb. “the Lord help…

Recluses/Hermits

(442 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] Recluses or hermits are men and women who do penance by shutting themselves (or having themselves shut) into a cell, either for a specific period (usually at the beginning of their lives as ascetics) or for the rest of their lives. This extreme form of asceticism surfaced in the Early Church in all regions of the East where there were monastic settlements (e.g. in Egypt, John of Lycopolis; esp. common in Syria) and came to the West in the 6th century, but it reached its climax in …

Vikings

(188 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The Vikings were marauding seafarers from Scandinavia, who plagued large sections of Europe from ¶ the 8th century to the 11th century. Swedes descended on Novgorod and Kiev via the Gulf of Finland, advancing as far as the Black Sea (Varangians). Norwegians conquered Scotland and the northern and eastern parts of Ireland, settled Iceland, and sailed as far as Greenland, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia. Danes settled between the mouths of the Oder and Vistula and landed on the southern and eastern …

Remigius of Auxerre (Saint)

(119 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (after 841 – May 2, probably 908, Paris), a monk from the monastery of St. Germain in Auxerre, where he succeeded his teacher Heiric ( Heiricus). Remigius was involved in the renewal of the school of Reims around 893 and taught in Paris from 900 onward. He authored more than 20 works that were widely read in the Middle Ages, although most of them have never been printed: commentaries on ancient and early medieval grammarians and poets, on Genesis and the Psalms, and on Boethius’s De consolatione philosophiae and Opuscula sacra; he also wrote an exposition of the mass. Ulrich Kö…

Libri sententiarum

(992 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] Authoritative dicta with significant content (Gk γνώμη/ gnṓmē [earliest: Sophoc. Ajax 1091] alongside more specialized terms; Lat. sententia [since Cicero]) were already in use in pre-Christian times in literary and rhetorical contexts; later they were collected for more convenient use ( gnomology, similar to anthology [Florilegium]). Examples are Μενάνδρου γνώμαι μονόστιχοι/ Menándrou gnṓmai monóstichoi ¶ (probably begun in the 2nd cent. bce; continued into the Byzantine period) and Σέξτου γνώμαι/ Séxtou gnṓmai (c. 200 ce). During the Trinitarian contr…

Literature, History of

(11,666 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Utzschneider, Helmut | Reiser, Marius | Hezser, Catherine | Heinzmann, Michael
[German Version] I. The Concept and its Problems – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Judaism – V. Church History I. The Concept and its Problems Since the emergence of historical consciousness in the late 18th and early 19th century, literary historiography has attempted to present literary phenomena not simply as a sequential chronological or lexical (alphabetical) list but in their internal, substantial coherence and its historical development. The notion of literary history goes back to antiquity, but to …

Quaestio

(422 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] A true (as opposed to “rhetorical”) question (Gk ζήτημα/ zḗtēma, πρόβλημα/ próblēma, ἀπορία/ aporía, Lat. quaestio), seeking an answer that will solve a problem, is a fundamental tool for rational argumentation. It was used already by the ancient Greeks (beginning with the questions of Socrates in the dialogues of Plato) and rabbinic Judaism (in give and take between teacher and student). Formulation of questions became common early on in the theology of the Early Church (reaching a high point in Augustine, e.g. De diversis quaestionibus ad Simplicianum; Quaestione…

Oxford University

(900 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The city is first mentioned in 912. It was founded in the Anglo-Saxon period and walled by the Normans, and lies at the intersection of important routes. As early as the 12th century there were schools for the artes liberales , law and theology, from which the university developed by the beginning of the 13th century. Following a conflict with the townspeople, most masters and students left Oxford in 1209; some of them founded Cambridge University. When others returned to Oxford in 1214 the university…

Carmelites

(510 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The Carmelite Order goes back to a community of occidental hermits on Mount Carmel, who were granted a rule by the patriarch of Jerusalem in 1210. It obligated them to a strict contemplative life. The spirituality of the community, led by a prior, was marked by anachoretic traditions, the example of the prophet Elijah, and veneration of the Virgin Mary. In 1240, the Carmelites fled before the growing threat of the Saracens into their European homelands, where …

Ireland

(2,091 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Richter, Michael
[German Version] I. General Facts – II. Christianity I. General Facts Lying west of Great Britain in the North Atlantic, Ireland belongs to the British Isles and covers an area of 84,421 km2. Its (esp. in the west) strongly cleft coastline has a total length of 3,173 km. Numerous small offshore islands and reefs played an important role in the history of Ireland as places of refuge, bridgeheads, and the like. The island's interior is relatively flat with a general altitude of approx. 60–120 m above sea level. Mountains, whic…

Pico della Mirandola

(799 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] 1. Giovanni (Feb 24, 1463, Mirandola near Modena – Nov 17, 1494, Florence), son of the count of Mirandola. From 1477, he studied canon law, artes liberales, philosophy, and literature, especially in Bologna, Ferrara, Padua, Paris, and Perugia. In addition to Greek, he learned Hebrew and Arabic. He paid several visits to Florence, where he made friends with Lorenzo de’ Medici and his circle, especially with M. Ficino, Angelo Poliziano (1454–1494), and Girolamo Benivieni (1453–1542). …

Universities

(5,637 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | vom Bruch, Rüdiger | Roxborogh, John
[German Version] I. History 1. Middle Ages and Reformation. The university, the most important academic institution devoted to teach-¶ ing (Education/Formation) and research today, is a creation of the medieval West. Its appearance marked a deep caesura in the history of Western science, especially in the history of theology (Theology, History/Historiography of). The multiplicity of institutions involved in acquiring and transmitting knowledge (monasteries, cathedral schools, monastery schools, schools run by inde…
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