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Good Works

(1,920 words)

Author(s): Beltz, Walter | Krötke, Wolf | Ulrich, Hans G.
[German Version] I. Comparative Religion – II. Dogmatics – III. Ethics I. Comparative Religion In the vocabulary of comparative religious studies, the expression good works (Lat. opera bona) is a metalinguistic concept borrowed from the 16th-century debates of ¶ confessional Christian theologians. It falls within the ethical aspect of religion and presupposes innumerable object-language verifications. Good works are human acts that are assessed positively by a religious community. The criteria are social assent and subjective doctrinal assent. No…

Vocation

(5,411 words)

Author(s): Heesch, Matthias | Klöcker, Michael | Ulrich, Hans G. | Sprondel, Walter M. | Drehsen, Volker | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology No term equivalent to vocation is found in classical Greek and Latin. An officium was exercised by virtue of a preexisting status, usually by birth. Trades (including medicine) fulfilled the conditions of a regular vocation (τέχνη/ téchnē), but had no self-awareness reflected in terminology. In the New Testament, κλῆσις/ klḗsis mostly refers to the “calling” of a Christian (1 Cor 7:20); in the national church of Late Antiquity, it referred primarily to the call to the religious life ( vocatio) in contrast to lay status. In Middle High German mys…

Discipleship, Christian

(4,235 words)

Author(s): Sim, David | Köpf, Ulrich | Ulrich, Hans G.
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Church History – III. Ethics I. New Testament 1. Discipleship of Jesus in the Gospels An important aspect of the description of Jesus' activity in the Gospels is his call to discipleship. This call is issued unconditionally and requires an immediate decision. When the disciples hear Jesus' invitation to follow him, they obey at once and follow him (ἀκολουϑεῖν/ akoloutheín; Mark 1:16–20 parr.; 2:13–14 parr.; cf. Luke 5:1–11; John 1:35–51). Others, however,…