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Mass Media

(1,677 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian | Schenk, Michael
[German Version] I. Practical Theology – II. Sociology I. Practical Theology Mass media, i.e. “all the institutions within society that employ technical means of duplication for the spreading of communication” (Luhmann, 10), have become a general prerequisite of public and private communication throughout the world. They represent non-personal media that usually exclude a direct, personally mediated interaction (III) between sender and receiver; however, computer technology enables the linking of various…

Dedication of Children

(363 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] The Synoptic Gospels explicitly report that Jesus blessed children (Mark 10:13– 16 parr.). Whether an early Christian practice lies behind this report is an open question (Hahn). Later, the pericope was naturally employed at the baptism of children (Baptism) and was also used for its theological legitimization (e.g. Luther in WA 17/II, 72–88; Calvin in CR 45, 534–536). Against the background of the theological critique of pedobaptism by K. Barth ( KD IV/4), recent pedagogical objections (Stuhlmann), and the emerging …

Worship

(20,376 words)

Author(s): Dondelinger, Patrick | Auffarth, Christoph | Braulik, Georg | Reif, Stefan C. | Johnson, Luke T. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The German word Gottesdienst (“worship,” lit. “service of God”) is attested since the 13th/14th century as a German translation of Latin cultus (Cult/Worship). It came into common use in the 16th century, especially in Luther’s works. Starting with an ethical understanding of the word, Luther himself used it as a technical term for the common celebration of the Word of God, as it evolved from the evangelical reform of the Catholic sacrifice (IV) of the mass. For centuries the term Gottesdienst remained limited to this specific form of worship of …

Le Seur, Paul

(190 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] (Jul 18, 1877, Berlin – Mar 13, 1963, Potsdam). Following theological studies in Berlin, during which he developed a lifelong attachment to the CVJM (YMCA equivalent), and after short temporary employments as a private tutor and curate, Le Seur was appointed mission inspector of the Berlin City Mission by A. Stoecker in 1905 and later became his successor. It was in the course of these activities – which were only interrupted by a military chaplaincy in Brussels during World War I…

Crisis

(817 words)

Author(s): Huxel, Kirsten | Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] I. Ethics – II. Practical Theology I. Ethics The Greek noun κρίσις/ krísis originally denoted the action derived from the verb κρίνειν/ krínein: (a) “sepa¶ ration, quarrel”; (b) “selection”; (c) “decision, judgment, verdict”; (d) “turning point (in a battle or disease)” (cf. also criticism, kairology). The adoption of the forensic sense in the LXX added a theological dimension to the term. In the NT, krísis stands for the verdict of the judge, the court of judgment, and especially the eschatological Divine Judgment, the ultimate separ…

Spirituality

(5,031 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth | Grethlein, Christian | Kim, Kirsteen | Mendes-Flohr, Paul
[German Version] I. Terminology The growing popularity of the term spirituality and its equivalents in other Western languages in religious and theological literature is a 20th-century phenomenon. Although the adjective spiritalis (or spiritualis) appeared in early Christian Latin, translating Pauline πνευματικός/ pneumatikós (1 Cor 2:13–3:1, etc.), along with its antonym carnalis (for σαρκικός/ sarkikós) and rapidly became common, the noun spiritualitas did not appear until the 5th century and then only sporadically. In the 12th century, it began to app…

Statistics, Church

(566 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] Church statistics record the measurable data of the church’s life and circumstances. Such statistics, in a preliminary stage, begin to appear in the 14th century, in the form of registers recording baptisms, marriages, and burials (Ministerial offices). In the Churches of the Reformation, too, we soon find church registers with similar entries. The beginning of modern statistics was signaled by the numerical recording of data to identify regularities (political arithmetic). As the…

Folklore

(3,078 words)

Author(s): Bräunlein, Peter J. | Hirschfelder, Gunther | Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] I. The Term and the Academic Discipline – II. Religious Studies – III. Social Science – IV. Practical Theology I. The Term and the Academic Discipline Folklore is concerned with material and linguistic traditions (e.g. dwellings, costumes, dialects, fairy tales), the spiritual and religious life of the “common people” (Customs, Piety), as well as with historical and contemporary phenomena of everyday culture. Unlike ethnology, folklore is regionally limited to Europe. During the formative stage, folklo…

Family Service

(794 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] A family service in the narrower sense refers to a form of worship that generally replaces the normal Sunday morning church service (including children's church), is usually prepared and organized by a team, and focuses on special needs, problems, as well as on the hopes and joys of families. After initial precursors, especially in the German Democratic Republic (Eichenberg) and not least because of problems that had arisen with the children's service there, the concept of family services emerged the late 1960s and early 1970s i…

Religious Education

(5,807 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian | Lachmann, Rainer | Link, Christoph | Schröder, Bernd | Heine, Peter
[German Version] I. History Religious education (RE) in schools, in modern usage of the term (for RE in a broader sense see Christian doctrine classes, Confirmation classes), is the result of the general differentiation process that led to the promotion of religious learning beyond the contexts of family and worship. The schools of the European cultural sphere arose largely in the area of the church (School and church, Church schools, Monastery schools); for a long time, schooling was essentially based on religious texts. Since each country established its own particular forms…

Baptism

(22,186 words)

Author(s): Alles, Gregory D. | Avemarie, Friedrich | Wallraff, Martin | Grethlein, Christian | Koch, Günter | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. New Testament – III. Church History – IV. Dogmatics – V. Practical Theology – VI. History of Liturgy – VII. Law – VIII. Missions – IX. Art I. History of Religion From the standpoint of the history of religion, baptism is not a general type of rite (Rite and ritual) but a lustration ritual that is carried out not only in Christianity but also in historically related religions such as …

Halieutica

(355 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] Halieutica, derived from Mark 1:17 (Gk ἁλιεὺς ἀνϑρώπων/ halieús anthrṓpôn, “fisher of men”), was the term for a sub-discipline of practical theology in the 19th century. G.A.F. Sickel introduced it in 1829. Against the background of the loss of pastoral effectiveness, he wanted to establish a “science… that, with greater attention to the inner being of a person, would instruct young theologians in how one could win people for the Kingdom of God through preaching that followed the laws of …

Church Admission

(373 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] In areas where children are traditionally baptized shortly after birth, and where baptism is still effectively coterminous with social location, admission to the church is regarded as self-evident. Churches requiring so-called “believer's baptism” (or “credobaptism”) have also developed routines for church admission, for example in the form of blessing and presentation ceremonies or of a customary age for baptism, often without awareness of the a…

Practical Theology

(3,867 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian | Meyer-Blanck, Michael
[German Version] I. Definition In the Middle Ages, it was common to call theology practica in contrast to speculativa (e.g. Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae I/I q. 4f.; but contrast Luther, ¶ WA.TR, 153). In German Protestantism today, the term practical theology ( Praktische Theologie) denotes a discipline within academic theology that was established in the early 19th century. Introduced encyclopaedically by F.D.E. Schleiermacher for the “proper approach to dealing with all the functions that come under the heading of church leadership” ( Kurze Darstellung des theologische…

Night

(878 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] The night (Day and night) has particular significance for the feeling of human beings and thus also for their religious practice (on the findings of the phenomenology of religion, see Reimbold). In all cultures, not only those without electricity, the night is a realm of ambivalent experience, in which – as the symbolic use of night demonstrates – anxiety and fear of the dark (Light and darkness) and destruction predominate, but, on the other hand, the stillness of the night, for …

Drews, Paul Gottfried

(296 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] (May 8, 1858, Eibenstock, Saxony – Aug 1, 1912, Halle an der Saale). In 1894, after several years of parish ministry, Drews was appointed associate professor of pastoral theology at Jena; in 1901 he was appointed professor at Giessen and in 1908 at Halle. He was a cofounder of Die Christliche Welt (1887); his initial work was in church history, especially historical liturgics. Together with F. Niebergall and O. Baumgarten, he championed reform of “impractical practical theology.” In his programmatic Das Problem der praktischen Theologie. Zugleich ein …

Piety (Pietas)

(402 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] The term piety, from Lat. pietas, largely synonymous with Gk εὐσέβεια/ eusébeia, OHG and Gothic fruma, and modern Ger. Frömmigkeit stands on the borderline between ethics and religion. It denotes an obedient and respectful attitude toward a person or object, usually considered a positive trait. Today it is often reduced to a person’s attitude toward the departed. A shift of meaning is already visible in Latin: on the one hand, pietas denotes behavior in the interpersonal sphere, especially toward one’s parents (Cic. Partitiones oratoriae 78; De inventione 2.66); on…

Marriage Counseling

(1,076 words)

Author(s): Browning, Don S. | Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] I. In the United States – II. In Germany I. In the United States Marriage counseling in the United States can be clarified by making three distinctions: (1) counseling for engaged couples (pre-marital counseling) and married couples (marriage counseling); (2) counseling informed by the social sciences and purely theological counseling; (3) counseling that is primarily educational or remedial or curative in intent. Most marriage counseling today combines theological with social scientific perspectives. Conservative and liberal churches diff…

Marriage Ceremonies

(4,074 words)

Author(s): Idelberger, Petra | Grethlein, Christian | Hofhansl, Ernst W. | Steck, Wolfgang | Winter, Jörg | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Church History – III. Practical Theology – IV. Liturgics – V. Law – VI. Orthodox Church – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. History of Religion In Christendom marriage was considered a secular act until well into the Middle Ages, before it was declared a sacrament in 1184. Many religions view marriage as a religious duty, and nuptial rites (Rites of passage; see III below) often have sacral character, but civil marriages are also obligatory in certain countries. Regulations gover…

Church year

(3,111 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian | Sparn, Walter | Petzolt, Martin | Bärsch, Jürgen
1. Introduction The term “church year,” probably first attested (as German Kirchenjahr) in the postil of the Lutheran pastor Johannes Pomarius (Magdeburg 1585) (see below, 4.1.), denotes the annual cycle of Christian festival and holiday. In the rhythm of the week and year, the church celebrates the memory of Jesus Christ (year of the Lord) [1], with the celebration of the saints’ days (Name day) taking a secondary role (year of the saints).The core and “origin” of the year was the Sunday on which the key events of Easter are celebrated (Passion Week) in the fe…
Date: 2019-10-14
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