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Nestorianism

(956 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph
[German Version] The term Nestorianism can be used in two senses. First, it can designate the theology (and sometimes also the ecclesiastical organization) of today’s Holy Apostolic and Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, whose members are called Nestorians (or East Syrians or Chaldeans; Apostolic Church of the East) because in 484/486, in conscious departure from the Roman imperial church, they adopted the Christology of Nestorianism, which had been condemned at the Council of Ephesus in 431 (Nes…

Saturninus of Antioch

(162 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph
[German Version] Among the early Gnostic (Gnosis: III, 2) followers of Simon Magus, Irenaeus of Lyon mentions Saturninus of Antioch ( Haer. I 24.1f.), who probably lived in the early 2nd century. Irenaeus claims he taught that the world and humankind were created by seven individual angels and that humans were created in the image of “the supreme power,” which also gave them the “spark of life.” The angels in turn, according to Saturninus, were creatures of the supreme unknown father; the “God of the Jews” was one o…

Enhypostasis/Anhypostasis

(621 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph
[German Version] Leontius of Jerusalem and other neo-Chalcedonians (Neo-Chalcedonism) use the Greek adjective ἐνυπόστατος/ enhypóstatos from Late Antiquity to describe their view that the dogma of the human and divine natures of Christ as articulated by the Council of Chalcedon (Christology) is not referring to independent hypostases or persons, and that instead each of the two natures exists “enhypostatically” in relation to the one person of Christ and to the one hypostasis of the Trinity in three hypostases (Leontius, Adversus Nestorianos II 13 [PG 86, 1561 …

Origen

(3,010 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph
[German Version] I. Life – II. Works – III. Theology (c. 185/186 Alexandria – c. 253/254) I. Life In reconstructing the life of Origen, we must rely on information given by his grandson and pupil Eusebius of Caesarea ( Hist. eccl. VI 1–39). The relevant portions of the Apology for Origen of Pamphilus of Caesarea (CPG 1, 1715) were not translated into Latin by Tyrannius Rufinus and have been lost with the Greek original, but certain statements by Jerome, Rufinus, and Photius of Constantinople (Bibl. Codex 118) may derive from that source. The detailed section in Epiphanius of Salamis ( Haer. 64…

Traditio apostolica

(252 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph
[German Version] (also called the Church Order of Hippolytus). E. Schwartz (1910) and Richard Hugh Connolly (1916) discovered that a few Late Antique church orders could be treated stemmatically as editions or translations of a (lost) literary archetype. Both scholars theorized that it had the title (᾿Αποστολικὴ παράδοσις/ apostolikḗ parádosis, “Apostolic Tradition”) and had been written by Hippolytus. Today only a minority of scholars accept this double hypothesis. What has been confirmed is the hypothesis of a single archetype, probably in Greek, of these chur…

Christopher, Saint

(422 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph
[German Version] The earliest evidence for the veneration of a Christopher goes back to the year 452, when the honorific title Χριστόφορος/ Christóphoros (“Christ-bearer”) first came into use as a proper name ( ASS Nov. II/2, 396 no. 39). The Acts of Saint Christopher (BHG 309) date from the early 6th century. They apparently equate Christopher with Christianus, a dog-headed soldier saint from the Acts of Bartholomew, who was called Reprebos before his baptism and who came from the land of the cannibals. Early Byzantine iconography accordingly portrayed…

Congregational Order

(159 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph
[German Version] Norms for the life and theology of Christian communities in the first century were primarily set by the two-Testament Bible, which had become a collection of authoritative texts, but also by church orders in the true sense, by the developing confession (of faith), initially set down in free formulations, and by theology, condensed into dogmas since the imperial councils of the 4th century (Nicea, Constantinople: IV). Naturally, after the demise o…

Platonism

(4,813 words)

Author(s): Halfwassen, Jens | Markschies, Christoph
[German Version] I. Philosophy 1. General character.  The influence of Plato’s thought was unlike that of any other philosopher. With the Academy (I) (c. 385 bce), Plato was the first philosopher to found a school in the institutional sense and so establish a philosophical tradition. Moreover, his criticism of writing shows that he gave precedence to the oral transmission of his thought by his students over his Dialogues, which were mainly written to publicize the ¶ Academy. In this sense, Platonism in antiquity understood itself as the legitimate heir of Plato’s phil…

Jerome, Saint

(741 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Thümmel, Hans Georg
[German Version] I. Person – II. Art History I. Person (c. 347, Stridon – 419/420, Bethlehem). Jerome was from a landowning Christian family. After an excellent education in grammar and rhetoric in Rome, Jerome went to Trier in the mid-360s. There he became acquainted withmonasticism (II) and rejected a secular career. He spent the following years in upper Italy. Probably at the beginning of the 370s, he undertook a pilgrimage to the holy sites in the East. However, an illness forced him to stop in Antioch. After recovering, he set out into the “wilderness of Chalcis.” Jerome stylized ¶ th…

Pelagius/Pelagians/Semi-Pelagians

(2,236 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich | Markschies, Christoph | Holmes, Stephen R.
[German Version] I. Church History Pelagius was an ascetic and theological writer from Britain. Before 410 he taught in Rome, and in 411/412, following the capture of Rome by the Goths, went to Palestine after a short stay in North Africa. His teaching, according to which the possibility of sinlessness was an essential part of human nature, provoked the criticism of Augustine and Jerome. This teaching had its setting in the pastoral care of members of the Roman elite. Pelagius stated that when one re…

Image of God

(2,928 words)

Author(s): Janowski, Bernd | Markschies, Christoph | Wielandt, Rotraud
[German Version] I. Old Testament and Judaism – II. Christianity – III. Islam I. Old Testament and Judaism 1. Only in three passages does the Old Testament speak of humankind's being made in the image of God (collective use of הָ]אָדָם]/[ ] ʾādām in Gen 1; cf. Gen 1:27: male and female): in the relationship between God and human beings in Gen 1:26f. and 9:6, and in the relationship between human beings in Gen 5:1, 3 (all P). Substantially the same idea is conveyed in Ps 8:6–9*; for later treatment of the theme, Sir 17:3–7 and Wis 2…

Will

(3,711 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Loos, Fritz | Herms, Eilert | Hühn, Lore
[German Version] I. History of the Term The development and spread of the term will go hand in hand with the history of Christian theology. Classical Greek had no single, distinct term like will denoting an independent mental faculty. The voluntative dimension was contained in the terms used for rational deliberation, decision-making, willingness, and non-rational desire. For Aristotleβουλή/ boulḗ is conation (Striving) that ensues after deliberation and hence is guided by reason based on knowledge ( De anima III 10, 433a ¶ 20–23). In the Bible, especially in Paul, the phenom…

Inner Person

(1,567 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Burkert, Walter | Betz, Hans Dieter | Heesch, Matthias
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Antiquity – III. New Testament – IV. Early Church – V. Systematic Theology I. Concept The notion of a “real person” residing within the outer human being is widely attested in ancient literature and became part of a comprehensive system of metaphors by the time of Hellenism at the latest. However, this notion is conveyed through very different terms, corresponding also to conceptions of rather differing nature. The single English concept “inner person,” which cannot adequately …

Free Will

(7,479 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Loos, Fritz | Herms, Eilert | Fraenkel, Carlos | Nagel, Tilman
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Law – III. Church History – IV. Philosophy of Religion – V. Dogmatics – VI. Ethics – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. Terminology Classical Antiquity lacked a term for free will, a concept first popularized by Christians in Late Antiquity. Aristotle discussed the problem in the context of asking in what sense actions lie “within us” (ἐϕ᾿ ἡμῖν/ ephʾ hēmín; Arist. Eth. Nic. III 1, 1110a, 1–3). The Stoics called the concept τὸ αὐτεξούσιον/ to autexoúsion (“self-control”; ¶ cf. Chrysippus [ SVF II, 975–990]), translated into Latin as liberum arbitriu…

Succession, Apostolic

(3,002 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Wohlmuth, Josef | Felmy, Karl Christian | Campenhausen, Axel Frhr. v. | Neuner, Peter
[German Version] I. Terminology Especially in ecumenical discussion (Ecumene), there is a widespread assumption that the expression apostolic succession denotes a primitive and clearly defined attribute of ecclesiastical office. However, the notion that the marks of the church (Notae ecclesiae) include an unbroken chain of office holders going back to the apostles and that each of these office holders was placed in office through the laying-on of hands of another legitimate office holder appeared on the scene rel…

Gnosis/Gnosticism

(8,426 words)

Author(s): Filoramo, Giovanni | Markschies, Christoph | Logan, Alastair H.B. | Koslowski, Peter | Leicht, Reimund | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Christianity – III. Philosophy – IV. Judaism – V. Islam I. Religious Studies Gnosis (Gk γνῶσις/ gnṓsis, “knowledge”) is a particular form of religious knowledge that brings salvation per se. It is not dependent on a particular object but has its value and its justification in itself. It is total knowledge, since it overcomes the dichotomy between subject and object – in fact every dichotomy –, because it is absolute knowledge of the absolute. From the point of view of the history o…

Church History/Church Historiography

(14,105 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Plümacher, Eckhard | Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Beutel, Albrecht | Koschorke, Klaus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept, Presuppositions – II. Development – III. Middle Eastern Church History and Historiography – IV. Religious Education I. Concept, Presuppositions 1. Concept The concept of church history has not yet been studied sufficiently, but it is already clear that since antiquity extraordinarily different conceptions of Christian historiography have been in simultaneous competition over the interpretation of past, present, and future. Often the different methodological option…

Apostolic Succession

(2,883 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Wohlmuth, Josef | Felmy, Karl C. | Campenhausen, Axel Frhr. von | Neuner, Peter
[German Version] I. Terminology Ecumenical discussion (Ecumenicalism), in particular, assumes that the term “apostolic succession” refers to an original and clearly defined characteristic of the church office. However, the notion that the notae ecclesiae indicate an unbroken chain, going back to the apostles, of officeholders who have each come into office through the laying-on of hands by another legitimate officeholder, appeared only relatively late and is not the original meaning of the underlying Greek and Latin semantic field. The Greek and Latin terms διαδοχή/ diadochḗ/…

Christianity

(28,993 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Markschies, Christoph | Koschorke, Klaus | Neuner, Peter | Felmy, Karl Christian | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Church History – III. Survey of the Christian Confessions – IV. Systematic Theology I. Religious Studies For an overview of Christianity at the end of the second millennium of its development, it is reasonable to give a comparative presentation against the background of the world of religion. It must be remembered, however, that “religion” is not an immutable, ahistorical quantity: it is variable and controversial. The modern concept of religion is …

History/Concepts of History

(12,750 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Kurt | Görg, Manfred | Schlüter, Margarete | Römer, Nils | Cancik, Hubert | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Ancient Near East and Israel – III. Judaism – IV. Greece and Rome – V. New Testament – VI. Church History – VII. Dogmatics – VIII. Ethics – IX. Philosophy I. Religious Studies History is a major aspect of the study of religion. Apart from its roots in the Enlightenment idea of tolerance, it owes its scholarly development to the historicism of the 19th century. As a result, the expression history of religions ( Religionsgeschichte, histoire des religions, storia delle religioni) has remained dominant in continental Europe, in con…
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