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(888 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Wannenwetsch, Bernd
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Social Ethics – III. Sociology I. Religious Studies The term “kinship” refers to the genealogical relationships (Genealogy) that an individual inherits from both his parents (Generational relationships), and also the behavioral rules and expectations that are inherent in these relationships. Kinship comes into existence when natural processes (esp. partnership and birth) are overlaid with ritual significance and associated with a culturally determined morality. Es…


(5,614 words)

Author(s): Becker, Dieter | Gerstenberger, Erhard S. | Osiek, Carolyn | Klein, Birgit | Heun, Werner | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Medieval and Modern Judaism – V. The Law – VI. History and Sociology – VII. Social Ethics – VIII.  Socialization Theory – IX. Education – X. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies The term family describes a varied network of relationships between parents, children and other persons in a social system. In ethnically shaped small-scale societies, family groups are bearers of religious rituals (Rite and Ritual) and centers of religious community. Family should not be understood as an exclusively biological given. In matrilinear relations (Matriarchate), in particular, the role of father may pass onto another male. In ¶ many religions, fatherhood, motherhood and childhood are a metaphor …


(520 words)

Author(s): Wannenwetsch, Bernd
[German Version] In antiquity gratiam referre as a retributive obligation after receiving a benefaction was considered a fundamental principle of justice; it was an absolute duty, for which a regular casuistry could be developed (Seneca, De beneficiis; Cicero, De officiis). In line with the maxim that “virtue makes itself known more in rendering a benefaction than in receiving it,” Aristotle focused less on thanks than on an action that generates the thanks of others as an expression of one’s own superiority. Thus the high-minded man “returns a ser…

Family Planning

(555 words)

Author(s): Wannenwetsch, Bernd
[German Version] Even though the concept and phenomenon of family planning owes its existence largely to modern technology and the invention, widespread distribution, and marketing of contraceptives and the concomitant interruption in the basic connection between sexuality and procreation, the concept of family planning as understood by Christian ethics should not be reduced to the negative connotat…

Women and Men

(1,896 words)

Author(s): Bird, Phyllis | Wischmeyer, Oda | Wannenwetsch, Bernd | Kuhlmann, Helga
[German Version] I. Old Testament The Genesis creation accounts present humankind (םדָאָ/ ʾādām) as irreducibly male-and-female (Gen 1:26f.; 5:1–2). But they also recount the subordination of woman to man and introduce an account of origins borne by male lineages and male actors (Gen 2–3; 5:1,3ff.). The story of the “Fall” (Gen 3) “explains” and universalizes the patriarchal social order of the author’s day: the disobedience of the primal pair has disrupted their original and intended relationship, so that …


(754 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Wannenwetsch, Bernd
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich Der Begriff »V.« meint die genealogischen Beziehungen (Genealogie), die einem Individuum über seine beiden Eltern vermittelt werden (Generationenverhältnis), und die Verhaltensvorschriften und -erwartungen, die diesen Verbindungen innewohnen. V. entsteht, wenn natürliche Vorgänge (bes. Partnerschaft, Geburt) rituell überformt und mit einer kulturell festgelegten …