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Council of Trent

(1,962 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter
1. Definition and backgroundThe Council of Trent (Latin  Concilium Tridentinum) was the definitive ecclesiastical council (Council [ecclesiastical]) of the early modern period. With interruptions, it met in Trent (Latin Tridentum, Italian Trento) from 1545 to 1563. Its decrees, approved by the papacy, were too late to stem the tide of the Reformation, but it put its stamp on the Roman Catholic Church of the centuries that followed (Confessionalization).When Martin Luther, condemned by the pope in 1520, appealed to a general council to give him justice, he wa…
Date: 2019-10-14

Office

(10,095 words)

Author(s): Carl, Horst | Schmidt, Patrick | Troßbach, Werner | Synek, Eva | Walter, Peter
1. Introduction 1.1. Definition and backgroundEven today the term  office (German  Amt) still covers a broad semantic spectrum that preserves the manifold references and contexts of premodern administrative activity (Government). It extends from the exercise of a specific function through the designation of a territorial administrative district to a local authority or even a building in which lower-ranking administrative bodies are housed. As a result of developments at the beginning of the early modern period, this semantic richness can be documented, for example, in the  Deu…
Date: 2020-10-06

Dogma

(1,175 words)

Author(s): Nüssel, Friederike | Walter, Peter
1. DefinitionThe term  dogma (Greek: “tenet, proposition”) in early modern usage, as in antiquity, the early church, and scholasticism, was used to denote doctrines and opinions of diverse content. The label can be applied to both church doctrines generally accepted as true and to disputed philosophical opinions, and even to Christian heresies. Since the term could definitely have a pejorative sense, it is understandable that until well into the early modern period the Christian theology of the Lat…
Date: 2019-10-14

Moral theology

(1,829 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter
1. DefinitionMoral theology (Latin  theologia moralis) is a subdiscipline within theology, which was becoming increasingly specialized during the early modern period. In the light of faith, moral theology deals with conduct (Ethics) in contrast to cognition (Dogmatics). While the word  moralis [ philosophia] appears already in Cicero, who used it to translate Greek  ḗthos (“custom”;  De fato) and was common in the Middle Ages, the phrase  theologia moralis does not appear until the early modern period (exception: [8. 45 f.]). It first appears in a book title in the lat…
Date: 2020-04-06

Pastoral care

(3,956 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Möller, Christian | Schneider, Johann
1. IntroductionPastoral care refers to the assistance church officials (pastors) provide for individuals and groups of the faithful in questions of faith and the religious conduct of life. The  Regula pastoralis (“Pastoral Rule,” c. 590) of Pope Gregory I, the normative guide to pastoral care well into the early modern period, uses the Latin terms  cura pastoralis (“pastoral care,” French  la pastorale) and regimen animarum (“guidance of souls”). The literal Latin equivalent of German Seelsorgecura animarum (“care/cure of souls”), does not occur until the earl…
Date: 2020-10-06

Priesthood

(1,747 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter
1. TerminologyThe English word  priest, like its equivalents in other Western European languages (French  prêtre, German  Priester, Italian  prete), goes back etymologically to Church Latin  presbyter (from Greek  presbýteros, “elder”). Its semantic content varies. In general religious studies and in English translations of the Old Testament, the term  priest denotes a religious specialist or functionary, especially in the sphere of the cult ( priest in the sense of Latin  sacerdos), but the New Testament totally avoids priestly terminology. There the function…
Date: 2021-03-15

Heresy

(1,791 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Leppin, Volker
1. DefinitionThe term heresy (from Greek  haíresis, “school (of thought),” “faction”) denotes a serious deviation in the faith (“false doctrine”), resulting in exclusion from the church (Excommunication). The German synonym Ketzerei is derived from the name of the medieval mass movement of the Cathars (Greek  katharoí, “pure ones”), which formed an anti-church in the 12th century and were persecuted relentlessly. Heresy, as a violation of the integrity of the faith by individuals or groups, must be distinguished from apostasy (Greek  apostasía) as “renunciation” of the fa…
Date: 2019-10-14

Dogmatics

(2,905 words)

Author(s): Nüssel, Friederike | Walter, Peter | Wasmuth, Jennifer
1. DefinitionAlthough theologians in the early church like Origen (3rd century CE) engaged  de facto in dogmatics, the term dogmatics itself (Latin  theologica dogmatica, from Greek dogmatikḗ, “teaching regarding the church’s teaching –  dógma – i.e. “theological teaching, doctrine”) did not gain currency until the theology of the 17th century. During the early Enlightenment, J.F. Buddeus was the first to offer a definition, in his encyclopedic introduction to theology (1727) [11]: the term  dogmatics denotes the portion of theology that explains and demonst…
Date: 2019-10-14

Pastorate

(2,146 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Weyel, Birgit | Oswalt, Julia | Schneider, Johann
1. To the 15th centuryThe term “pastorate” in English refers to the office of pastor, but the German term Pfarramt encompasses in a kind of personal union both the pastorate and the  rectory or parish house as the administrative center of a parish, which comprises either the faithful within a specific area (territorial parish) or belonging to a specific group (personal parish). (On the etymology of the German words  Pfarrei, “parish,” and  Pfarrer, “pastor,” see [4. 153]).The Christian parish (Congregation) of Roman late antiquity, whose territory was coextens…
Date: 2020-10-06

Confession

(2,565 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Ohst, Martin | Ivanov, Vladimir
1. Definition and meaningConfession (from Latin  confessio) has been the most common form of the church’s penitential discipline from the early Middle Ages until (to some extent) the present. The German equivalent is  Beichte, from MHG  bigiht, contracted  bīht[e]: “declaration, avowal”. The debate over whether it should be recognized as a sacrament and how it should be formally regulated and practiced by the church became a major bone of contention among the three main Christian religious groups. These differences have had not only…
Date: 2019-10-14

Jesuits

(3,268 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Wald, Melanie
1. Establishment and constitutionJesuits is the abbreviated name for members of the  Societas Iesu (“Society of Jesus”), the largest, most important, and also the most controversial male order of the Roman Catholic Church in the early modern era.The Jesuits were established by the Basque nobleman Iñigo López de Loyola, who later went by the Latin version of his name, Ignatius. Originally a soldier, after being severely wounded in 1521 he changed his life’s direction and began a course of study that culminated in Paris with the de…
Date: 2019-10-14

Marian devotion

(2,973 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | König, Hans-Joachim
1. BasicsFrom the 2nd century on, numerous legends grew up around Mary, the mother of Jesus, whose life is only briefly sketched in the NT. Especially after the divine sonship of Jesus Christ was defined dogmatically in the 4th and 5th centuries, she was venerated privately and liturgically. Particularly in the Middle Ages, a growing number of Marian feasts were established and distributed throughout the church year, while churches and pilgrimage sites (Pilgrimage, local) were dedicated to the Mother of God (see 2.2. below).In the Middle Ages, she was also seen as an exempl…
Date: 2019-10-14

Education

(5,400 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Becker, Rainald | Putz, Hannelore | Roggenkamp, Antje | Bryner, Erich
1. General See Childhood; Pedagogy; SchoolPeter Walter2. Late medieval religious education and HumanismDuring the Middle Ages, transmission of at least the rudiments of religious teaching and practice was considered primarily the task of the family. Contrary to the assumption of earlier researchers, however, besides their own religious practice and the preaching of the church (Sermon), there do not appear to have been sermons addressed specifically to children [6. 278]). The tools available to parents included brief written guides, which could be acquired an…
Date: 2019-10-14

Bible translation

(4,210 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht | Walter, Peter | Bryner, Erich
1. Protestantism The Reformers saw the Bible as the complete, self-evident revelation of God. This meant a rejection of a spiritualistic appeal to additional inner revelations as well as the Catholic view that God has revealed himself equally in the Bible and in Church tradition so that the Bible can only be properly understood and interpreted by ecclesiastical ministers of the teaching tradition (Ministry [ecclesiastical]), and under no circumstances by just anyone. This difference in revelation …
Date: 2019-10-14

Mission

(7,623 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Huber, Friedrich | Rinke, Stefan | Rüther, Kirsten
1. IntroductionMission (Neolatin  missio, “[act of sending]”; “dispatch”) denotes what was originally an exclusively Christian phenomenon: the active propagation of a religion, Christianity, by annunciation and sacramental incorporation into the church. A distinction is drawn between this “outer mission” ( missio externa) and the “inner mission” ( missio interna) that aims to recruit or recover to the faith people in already Christian countries.The literate religions that existed before and alongside Christianity did spread through migration, like Judaism…
Date: 2020-04-06

Patriarchate

(2,873 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Gahbauer, Ferdinand | Kraft, Ekkehard
1. Terminology In ecclesiastical usage,  patriarchate denotes the administrative sphere of a patriarch. Since late antiquity,  patriarch (Greek  patriárches - a compound of  patḗr, “father,” and árchein, “be a commander,” “rule” – originally meaning “clan chief” or “progenitor”) was a title of senior Christian clergy. As early as the first ecumenical Council of Nicaea (325), we can see a regional structure of the church with centers at Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch; they were joined in 381 by the new capital, Constantinople, and in 451 by Jerusalem.These five episcopal sees, …
Date: 2020-10-06

Episcopate

(2,112 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Wendebourg, Dorothea
1. Catholicism 1.1. The Catholic episcopateThe word bishop (from Greek  epískopos, “overseer”) denotes (1) in the New Testament a member of a community’s governing body; (2) beginning in the 2nd century, the head of an urban Christian congregation, who governs it with the help of presbyters and deacons; (3) from late antiquity to the present, the head of a sizable district (Diocese), the diocesan bishop. Besides governance of their own dioceses, bishops in the third sense also have responsibilities withi…
Date: 2019-10-14

Dogma

(1,142 words)

Author(s): Nüssel, Friederike | Walter, Peter
1. DefinitionÄhnlich wie im antiken, altkirchlichen und scholastischen Sprachgebrauch wird der Begriff D. (griech.; »Lehrsatz«) in der Nz. zur Bezeichnung von Lehren und Schulmeinungen unterschiedlichen Inhalts gebraucht. Dabei können sowohl die allgemein als wahr geltenden kirchlichen Lehren als auch umstrittene philosophische Schulmeinungen und sogar christl. Irrlehren als D. etikettiert werden. Da der Begriff somit durchaus abwertende Bedeutung haben konnte, ist zu verstehen, dass die in der christl. Theologie des lat. Westens als verbindlich angesehenen Gla…
Date: 2019-11-19

Amt

(9,112 words)

Author(s): Carl, Horst | Schmidt, Patrick | Troßbach, Werner | Walter, Peter | Synek, Eva
1. Einleitung 1.1. Begriff und GrundlagenDen dt. Begriff A. zeichnet bis heute ein weites Bedeutungsspektrum aus, das die vielfältigen Bezüge und Kontexte vormodernen Verwaltungshandelns bewahrt (Verwaltung). Es reicht von der Wahrnehmung einer spezifischen Funktion über die Bezeichnung eines territorialen Verwaltungsbezirks bis hin zu einer Behörde oder einem Gebäude, in dem nachgeordnete Verwaltungsbehörden residieren. Als Resultat frühnzl. Entwicklungen lässt sich diese semantische Vielfalt beispielsweise im Deutschen Wörterbuch der Gebrüder Grimm dokumentie…
Date: 2019-11-19

Bischofsamt

(1,865 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Wendebourg, Dorothea
1. Katholizismus 1.1. Das katholische BischofsamtBischof (= Bf.; von griech. epískopos: »Aufseher«) bezeichnet (1) im NT das Mitglied eines gemeindlichen Leitungsgremiums; (2) seit dem 2. Jh. den Vorsteher einer christl. Stadtgemeinde, der diese unter Mitarbeit von Presbytern (Priesteramt) und Diakonen leitet; (3) seit der Spätantike bis heute den Vorsteher eines größeren Bezirks (Bistum), den Diözesan-Bf. Das B. im zuletzt genannten Sinn beinhaltet neben der Leitung des eigenen Sprengels auch gesamtkirchliche Aufgaben, die kollegial wahrgenommen w…
Date: 2019-11-19
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