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(548 words)

Author(s): Wagner-Rau, Ulrike
[German Version] People seek comfort and consolation because their lives are inevitably linked to suffering. Experiences with boundaries and distress lead to the question as to the meaning and cause of suffering and the possibility of finding consolation. I. The Old Testament speaks of human and especially of divine consolation in the context of mourning and in other grievous life situations. The theme is dominant in the psalms of lament: Supplicants express their suffering and experience consolation through God…

Life Cycle

(2,663 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Wagner-Rau, Ulrike | Preul, Reiner | Goldberg, Sylvie Anne | Michaels, Axel
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Practical Theology – III. Ethics (Phases of Maturation) – IV. Judaism – V. Hinduism I. Religious Studies In almost all cultures and religions, a person apparently experiences his life not only as a straight line, but more as cyclically sequenced, more-or-less discontinuous phases with varied social status and role claims. The transition between these phases usually takes place as a controlled “growing process,” not only accompanied by so-called rites of passage, but in f…

Mourning and Grief

(1,085 words)

Author(s): Wagner-Rau, Ulrike
[German Version] are reactions to a loss, especially the loss of an important person through death or separation. But also the farewell to familiar circumstances and phases of life (Life, Cycle of), to ¶ physical and spiritual integrity, and – in the face of death – to life itself prompt grief and mourning. Grief is part of human existence. Because life depends upon relationship and leads to death, engagement with finitude and farewell cannot be avoided. I. Sociology places the beginning of any form of culture with the beginning of mourning for the dead. Every culture d…


(872 words)

Author(s): Wagner-Rau, Ulrike
Grief is the reaction to a loss. It is caused especially by the death of a loved one, but also by divorce (Marriage and Divorce 4), moving, the loss of a job, sickness, the loss of cultural elements, destruction of the normal conditions of life, and so forth. Animals can also experience grief. 1. Symptoms Those who grieve experience a profound shattering of their understanding of themselves and of their world (Identity). Each type of grief has its own form. In many cases it involves preoccupation with a former loved one who has died and withdrawal f…


(939 words)

Author(s): Wagner-Rau, Ulrike
[English Version] ist die Reaktion auf einen Verlust, bes. auf den Verlust eines bedeutsamen Menschen durch Tod oder Trennung. Aber auch der Abschied von vertrauten Lebensverhältnissen und Lebensphasen (Lebenszyklus), von körperlicher und seelischer Unversehrtheit und – angesichts des Todes – vom Leben überhaupt lösen T. aus. T. ist Teil der menschlichen Existenz. Weil das Leben auf Beziehung angewiesen ist und auf den Tod zuführt, kann die Auseinandersetzung mit Endlichkeit und Abschied nicht umgangen werden. I. Die Soziologie setzt den Beginn jeder Form von Kultur m…


(479 words)

Author(s): Wagner-Rau, Ulrike
[English Version] . Menschen suchen nach T., weil ihr Leben unweigerlich mit Leiden verbunden ist. Erfahrungen mit Grenzen und Not führen in die Frage nach Sinn und Ursache des Leidens und nach der Möglichkeit, T. zu finden. I. Das AT spricht von menschlichem und v.a. göttlichem T. in Trauer und anderen leidvollen Lebenssituationen. Zentral ist das Thema in den Klagepsalmen (Klage, Psalmen: II.,1., b und c): Die Beter bringen ihr Leiden zum Ausdruck und erfahren T. durch die Zuwendung Gottes. Jes 40–55 thematisiert den T. Israels d…