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Wundt, Wilhelm Maximilian

(360 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
[German Version] (Aug 16, 1832, Neckarau [Mannheim] – Aug 31, 1920, Großbothen, near Leipzig) is regarded as the father of experimental psychology, who created the critical conditions for the successful development of psychology as an autonomous discipline. After studying physiology with Hermann v. Helmholtz in Heidelberg, while Helmholtz’s assistant he lectured on psychology as a natural science (1862), with the goal of explaining mental processes on the basis of physiological changes. In his Grundzüge der physiologischen Psychology (1874/1875; ET: Principles of Physiolog…

Unconscious, The

(1,756 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund | Rosenau, Hartmut | Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] I. Religious Studies S. Freud claimed credit for discovering the unconscious as a key concept for psychoanalysis, but much older concepts of the unconscious are found in religious and philosophical systems: (a) in the works of Plato(ἀνάμνησις/ anámnēsis as the unconscious condition for conscious mental activity) and Plotinus, (b) in Indian Vedānta and Buddhism ( avidyā, “ignorance,” inducing māyā), and (c) in the medieval Christian mysticism of Meister Eckhart ( Seligkeit) and the 14th-century English mystical text The Cloud of Unknow…


(345 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
[German Version] A subculture is a partial culture of a society that differs from the socially dominant (primary) culture in its values, norms, attitudes, needs, lifestyles, and symbols, as well as its behavior patterns, organizations, institutions, and traditions. Subcultures presuppose differentiated and pluralistic societies. The term itself goes back to the sociological study of delinquency in the 1940s: the deviant but internally strictly codified behavior of juvenile delinquents could be explained as the result of social discrimination and lack ¶ of opportunities for …


(414 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
[German Version] The construction, extension, and maintenance of roadway networks correlate with the emergence of settlements, towns, and cities (Town and city) and are among the early achievements of advanced civilizations. In ancient Greece, a dense and easily usable network of roads linked city states separated by impassable mountains. Crossroads were often marked by herms intended both to protect against the risks of travel and to serve as landmarks. The …


(4,604 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund | Käppel, Lutz | Dautzenberg, Gerhard | Härle, Wilfried | Mokrosch, Reinhold
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Greco-Roman Antiquity – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics and Ethics – V. Practical Theology I. History of Religion The original meaning of the word, (divine) “joint knowledge, knowledge, consciousness, and self-consciousness” (Gk syneídēsis, Lat. conscientia), had already changed in antiquity to refer to an evaluative consciousness of one's own actions. Western philosophical and theological discourse formed various metaphors: the internal; the inner voiced ( daimónion; daimon), also interpreted as the voice …

Egypt/Ancient Near East: Time Chart

(3,148 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
Chronologies 1 a) Chronology of Egypt (Following Jürgen von Beckerath: Chronologie des Pharaonischen Ägypten, Mainz 1997) c. 6000 BCE Badari cultures (A + B) in Egypt Neolithic cultural groups; agriculture; ceramics; cemeteries with corpses on stools, and burial gifts. c. 4000 Naqada cultures (I–III) Continuation of burial cult; ceramics with images of animals; female idols, illustrations of ships; palace and ritual installations. c. 3150 0 Dynasty (some 150 years) Direct transition from the Naqada culture to the first pan-Egyptian rulers. 3032–2707 Ancient era: First and Se…


(1,307 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
1. Mummification is far from being an exclusive phenomenon of ancient Egypt. But it is the mummies of → Egypt, along with gods with animal heads, pyramids, and the Sphinx, that have perhaps the greatest power of attraction on Europe. The word ‘mummy’ derives immediately from the Italian mummia (‘mummy’), but it is originally ancient Persian, and denotes the bitumen or earth-pitch used for the preservation of a dead → body. This kind of mummification was an attempt to use the natural desiccation process to prevent the natural corruption of the corpse. 2. The special climate and geograph…


(555 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
1. The (male!) sphinx, in Egypt, consists of a recumbent lion with the head of a Pharaoh (androsphinx). The lion has been the royal beast since time immemorial, so that, in the sphinx, the brute strength of the mighty predator is linked with the wisdom of the human governor, as a phenomenal image of royalty, and beyond this, as a divine → composite being. In the sphinxes watching at the entrances of temples or necropolises, the power of the Pharaoh is mightily displayed as guardian and defender …


(4,793 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
Concept of ‘Soul’ 1. The designation psyché (Gk., ‘breath’ ‘life breath’; cf. Lat. anima) is first found in the opening lines of the Iliad. According to Homer (eighth century BCE), the psyche appears only after a person's death: thus, psyché denotes the soul of someone who has died, not that of a living being. The life processes of the body are managed by the thymós (in Lat., animus), the principle of the vitality of the body and at the same time of its consciousness. In antiquity, the psyché is personified as a winged female being; in Apuleius's Metamorphoses (c. 170 CE), she is the beloved of Amor…


(1,486 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
Egypt in Western Memory 1. Egypt has been present in Europe's cultural memory from the beginning. European identity rests on the two broad religious and cultural bases of Greece and Israel (→ Palestine/Israel). Each culture, in confrontation with Egypt, developed contrasting images of its own that came to be of key meaning and importance, for both the Hellenistic and the Israelite self-concepts, respectively. The contradictory reception of Egypt has gained entry into European awareness of history, a…


(1,511 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund | Rosenau, Hartmut | Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich Die Entdeckung des U. als Schlüsselkonzept für die Psychoanalyse schrieb S. Freud sich selbst zu. Es finden sich aber in rel. und philos. Systemen Konzepte des U., die weitaus älter sind. So lassen sich etwa: a) schon bei Plato (α᾿n̆α´μn̆ησις/anámnēsis als unbewußte Bedingung für bewußte Geistestätigkeit) und Plotin, b) im indischen Vedānta und Buddhismus (avidyā, »Nichtwissen«, bedingt māyā) und c) in der ma. christl. Mystik bei Meister Eckhart (»Seligkeit«) oder im engl. myst. Text The C…

Subkultur, religiöse

(319 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
[English Version] Subkultur, religiöse, eine gesellschaftliche Teilkultur, die sich sowohl in ihren Werten, Normen, Einstellungen, Bedürfnissen, Lebensstilen und Zeichen als auch in ihren Verhaltensstrukturen, Organisationen, Institutionen und Traditionen von einer gesellschaftlich dominierenden (Haupt-) Kultur abgrenzt. S. setzen differenzierte und pluralistische Gesellschaften voraus. Der Begriff »S.« entstammt der soziologischen Delinquenzforschung der 40er Jahre des 20.Jh. Das abweichende, abe…


(370 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
[English Version] Wegkreuzungen/Weggabelungen, religionsgeschichtlich. Anlage, Ausbau und Erhalt eines Straßen- und Wegenetzes korrelieren mit der Entstehung von Siedlungen sowie Städten und zählen zu den Errungenschaften früher Hochkulturen. Bereits im antiken Griechenland verband ein dichtes und gut nutzbares Straßennetz die durch unzugängliches Bergland getrennten Stadtstaaten. Die Wegkreuzungen (W.) waren häufig durch Hermen markiert, die sowohl den Risiken des Reisens vorbeugen als auch Gebiet…


(295 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
[English Version] , Wilhelm Maximilian (16.8.1832 Neckarau [Mannheim] – 31.8.1920 Großbothen bei Leipzig). W. gilt als Vater der experimentellen Psychologie, der entscheidende Voraussetzungen für die erfolgreiche Entwicklung der Psychologie als eigenständiger Fachdisziplin geschaffen hat. W., der bei Hermann v. Helmholtz in Heidelberg Physiologie studiert hatte, entwarf als Assistent seine »Psychologie vom naturwiss. Standpunkte aus« (1862) mit dem Ziel, seelische Vorgänge auf der Grundlage physiol…