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Ashrams, Christian

(499 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
[German Version] (cf. Āśrama) Christian ashrams are found in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. They are places for religious observance, reflection, and a spiritual life deepened by prayer and meditation. They involve small groups of men and/or women who give concrete shape to the Christian faith in the context of their own culture a…

Bible

(23,143 words)

Author(s): Schnelle, Udo | Fischer, Georg | Becker, Hans-Jürgen | Fischer Georg | Müller, Hans-Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Old Testament – III. New …

Westermann, Claus

(453 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
[German Version] (Oct 7, 1909, Berlin – Jun 11, 2000, Heidelberg), Old Testament scholar. His father Diedrich Westermann was a specialist in African languages. After schooling and university studies, he served in the Confessing Church; after military service and imprisonment, he served as a pastor in (West) Berlin, where after 1949 he also taught as a lecturer in the theological seminary, being appointed professor in 1954. From 1958 until his retirement in 1977, he was a pro…

Song of Songs, The

(1,290 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter | Otto, Eckart
[German Version] I. Place and Date While individual poems like Song 1:9–11 may go back to the preexilic period, collections, redaction(s), and linguistic revision(s) date from just before and especially during the 3rd century bce. The text contains several loanwords: pardēs (4:13: “orchard,” from Old Iranian), ¶ ʾ appiryôn (3:9: “palanquin,” most likely from Gk), and qinnām…

Semitic Languages

(2,070 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter | Knauf, Ernst Axel
[German Version] I. General Survey 1. Origin and classification. Like the Indo-European and Hamitic languages, the Semitic languages are inflectional; in contrast to isolating and agglutinative languages, they can change the form of a root, for example Arabic singular rūḥ, “spirit, breath,” plural ʾ arwāḥ. The relationship between the Semitic and Hamitic languages is clearly the product of prehistoric migrations of groups speaking proto-Afro-Asiatic (formerly called Hamito-Semitic) from North Africa – from a Sahara still “green” from the 7th through the 4th millennia …

Monotheism and Polytheism

(5,621 words)

Author(s): Ahn, Gregor | Müller, Hans-Peter | Hübner, Hans | Gunton, Colin
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament. – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy of Religion – V. Dogmatics I. Religious Studies Monotheistic ideas of God, which take as their starting point the existence and activity of a single God, have long dominated the understanding of religion in historically Christian Europe. The term monotheism itself is a modern coinage, first appearing in 1660 in the work of the English philosopher Henry More. As a contrast ¶ to the term polytheism, which goes back originally to Philo of Alexandria and was rediscovered for the European tradition by J. Bodin in 1580, monotheism was introduced into the 17th- and 18th-century discussion of the origins of belief in God. From then until the mid-20th century, the emergence of monotheism was explained either in the context of evolutionary models (Evolution) as the culmination of a chain of development comprising at least two stages (e.g. animism, totemism, fetishism, polythei…

Myth and Mythology

(12,158 words)

Author(s): Segal, Robert Alan | Kamel, Susan | Müller, Hans-Peter | Graf, Fritz | Cancik, Hubert | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. History – III. Philosophy of Religion – IV. Fundamental Theology. – V. Missiology I. Religious Studies 1. The Concept and Its History Myth may be defined by either content or function. Def…

Vivekānanda

(297 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter

Roy, Raja Rammohun

(412 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
[German Version] (May 22, Radhanagar, Bengal – Sep 27, 1833, Bristol, England). During the era of British colonial rule in India, Roy was an advocate of religious and social reforms in Hinduism. Drawing on Vedānta and the Upaniṣads while appealing to reason and common sense, Roy argued for aniconic worship of the one God and a philanthropic ethics, which he defended against both Western and Hindu traditionalist critics as original, authentic features of Hinduism. At the same time, he called for o…

Olcott, Henry Steel

(294 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
[German Version] (Aug 2, 1832, Orange, NJ – Feb 17, 1907, Adyar near Madras). Olcott grew up in a Presbyterian family. As a young man he turned to spiritualist circles (Spiritualism). Following a career as a journalist (from 1853), he was an agricultural expert, an officer of the Union in th…

Tilak, Nārāyan Vāman

(244 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
[German Version] (1862, Karazgāon, Ratnāgiri district – May 9, 1919, Bombay [Mumbai]). Tilak’s father, a Chitpavan-Brahmin, was a registrar. Tilak studied Sanskrit with a Vedic scholar and attended an English highschool for two years. His literary gifts were apparent early on. In 1880 he married Manubai (later Kakshmibai), an 11-year-old from the Brahmin family of the Gokhale…

Upadhyaya, Brahmabandhab

(325 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
[German Version] (real name Bhavani Charan Banerjee; Feb 11, 1861, Khanyan, Bengal – Oct 27, 1907, Calcutta [Kolkata]). Upadhyaya’s father, a Brahmin, was a police inspector in British service. Upadhyaya attended English schools and colleges as well as a traditional Sanskrit school. He became familiar with Christianity through his uncle, the Protestant pastor Kalicharan Banerjee (1847–1907) and the Brāhmo Samāj, which he joined in 1887. He worked as a teacher and journalist, publishing his own per…

Gandhi, Mahātmā

(493 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
[German Version] (honorific title meaning “great self,” actual name: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi; Oct 2, 1869, Porbandar, India – Jan 30, 1948, New Delhi). Gandhi's parents were Vaiṇava Hindus and belonged to the merchant caste of the Banias in Rajkot and Porbandar, where Gandhi's father was a government minister. Gandhi studied law in London from 188…