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Visitation, Church

(772 words)

Author(s): Hein, Martin
[German Version] Visitation is both an expression and a means of responsible church governance. In the New Testament period, there was as yet no institutionalized visitation system, but correspondence and personal visits fulfilled similar functions. Discussion of questions concerning faith and doctrine, conduct of life (Lifestyle), worship, outward order, and pastoral care was intended to strengthen the churches and promote their cohesion. With the development of the monarchic episcopate, aspects of an episkopḗ within the larger church surfaced, which can be underst…

People’s Church (Volkskirche)

(1,695 words)

Author(s): Hein, Martin | Hüffmeier, Wilhelm | Preul, Reiner
[German Version] I. Concept The concept of the people’s church ( Volkskirche) plays a prominent role in debate on ecclesial conceptions, notably in German Protestantism. It is first attested in the writings of F.D.E. Schleiermacher in 1822/1823 (cf. Die christliche Sitte, ed. L. Jonas, 1843, 569) – in demarcation from the state church (requiring membership), and from a voluntary church based on subjective choice. While the New Testament gave a transnational interpretation of the church in its talk of the people of God (1 Pet 2:9f.), the subsequent historical…