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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

Monotheism

(932 words)

Author(s): Ohst, Martin
1. DefinitionMonotheism denotes the religious belief in or metaphysical conviction of the unity, uniqueness, and singularity of one god (Faith). The neologism was coined in 1660 by the Anglican theologian Henry More, one of the Cambridge Platonists. Its original context was the effort, underway from the early Enlightenment, to arrive at a historical understanding of the diversity of positive religion and to position Christianity in the history of religion.The more historical knowledge developed, the clearer it became that the boundaries between polytheism…
Date: 2020-04-06

Justification, doctrine of

(835 words)

Author(s): Ohst, Martin
Building on the thought of the apostle Paul, c. 400 the church father Augustine developed his doctrine of election and grace: God qualifies those elected by him for eternal salvation before all time from the damned mass of sinful humanity by imparting his grace to them through the teaching of the church and the sacraments. This enables the elect to fulfill his law, something their own will, crippled by original sin, is incapable of. This left the question of how the justice of God as judge is re…
Date: 2019-10-14