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Theodicy

(8,171 words)

Author(s): Weßler, Heinz Werner | Barton, John | Klaiber, Walter | Sarot, Marcel | Sparn, Walter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In archaic cultures, the wellbeing of the community is determined by a fatal power that can be influenced by religious rituals but is ultimately incalculable. In the context of advanced early urban cultures, however, there emerged religious worldviews in which universal concepts of order played a central role. In this historical context, a “functioning world order” (Klimkeit) became the structural principle for models explaining the world. The connection between …

Alienation

(1,490 words)

Author(s): Zenkert, Georg | Sparn, Walter | Stock, Konrad | Dober, Hans Martin
[German Version] I. Philosophy - II. Dogmatics - III. Ethics - IV. Practical Theology I. Philosophy The term “alienation,” made particularly prominent through the influence of Marxist literature, takes its philosophical sense from the work of G.W.F. Hegel. Etymologically, it derives from Lat. alienatio and Gk. ἀλλοτρίωσις/ allotriōsis. Besides “estrangement” in general, it can also denote a legal transfer of title (Aristotle, Rhet. 1361 a 22). The term occurs in various contexts in Christian theology, denoting both …

Hoffmann, Daniel

(219 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (c. 1538, Halle/Saale – Nov 30, 1611, Wolfenbüttel), Lutheran theologian. Hoffmann was appointed professor of philosophy in Helmstedt in 1574/1576 and professor of theology in 1578. In association with V. Strigel, S. Musäus, and T. Heßhus, Hoffmann attempted to preserve the integrity of Luther's doctrine against Philippistic (P. Melanchthon) and Flacian (M. Flacius) deviations, but also, while defending the Lutheran doctrine of the Eucharist, against the “new dogma” of ubiquity (J…

Hütter, Leonard

(417 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Hutterus; Jan 1563, Nellingen near Ulm – Oct 23, 1616, Wittenberg), after studying the arts and theology in Strasbourg (M.A. 1583), Heidelberg and Jena, he received the Dr.theol. in Leipzig (1593) and became professor of theology in Wittenberg (1596) alongside P. Leyser, Sr. and A. Hunn (Hunnius). Like them, Hütter was a policy advocate and theological interpreter of the Formula of Concord: as orthodox scriptural exegesis, it was the result, as was the Augsburg Confession ( Analysis, 1594), of the work of the Holy Spirit ( Libri Christianae Concordiae … explicatio, 16…

Gabler, Johann Philipp

(173 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Jun 4, 1753, Frankfurt am Main – Feb 17, 1826, Jena), Protestant theologian, became professor of OT at Altdorf in 1785, and at Jena in 1804, where he had studied OT and NT exegesis from 1772 to 1778 with J.G. Eichhorn and J.J. Griesbach. Linked with theological neology (Enlightenment: II, 4.c), but not a rationalist, Gabler successfully developed the program (Mar 30, 1787) for the methodological separation of a “biblical theology” set apart from variable dogmatics by historical e…

Calling

(3,654 words)

Author(s): Hjelde, Sigurd | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Wilhelm Horn, Friedrich | Sparn, Walter | Martin Müller, Hans
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics – V. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies The term calling or “call” refers to a person's experience of being grasped by a divine or other superhuman power and being taken into its service. The concept thus relates closely to that of election; at the same time, a calling can be seen as a kind of initiation that can precede or follow a longer period of instruction and maturation. The early…

Superstition

(3,603 words)

Author(s): Küenzlen, Gottfried | Sparn, Walter | Stolz, Fritz | Hollenweger, Walter J.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Terminology. Like the equivalent German term Aberglaube, the word superstition is pejorative in tone and so is inherently critical and polemical: to speak of superstition as a perverted belief implies that the speaker is doing so from the perspective of correct belief or knowledge. 2. Semantic history. The normative, judgmental character of the term shaped its semantic history. In ancient Rome, superstitio was used to describe an exaggerated religious anxiety, just as Greek δεισιδαιμονία/ deisidaimonía meant anxious servility toward …

Horneius, Konrad

(199 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Hornejus, Horn; Nov 25, 1590, Braunschweig – Sep 26, 1649, Helmstedt), philosophy student of Johannes Caselius and, also theological student of Cornelius Martini. In 1619 he became extraordinary professor of logic and ethics; in 1622, of metaphysics as the successor of Martini; and in 1628, the second professor of theology beside Georg Calixtus. Less innovative than the latter but a successful academic, teacher, and author, philosophically and theologically, Horneius embodied the…

Gutke, Georg

(183 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Oct 1, 1589, Cölln an der Spree – Aug 19[?], 1634, Berlin) was rector of the Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster in Berlin from 1618 onward. As a philosophical author he professed the Wittenberg Aristotelianism of his teacher J. Martini in Logik (1626) and Metaphysik (1628/1630) and logically conceived a new discipline of Intelligentia. The cognition-enabling habitus primorum principiorum (1625) accordingly rests on the “subtility” of things, i.e. on their relationality with respect to each other, to God, and to the cognitive intellect, to wh…

Life

(7,317 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Liess, Kathrin | Zumstein, Jean | Sparn, Walter | Gander, Hans-Helmuth | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Fundamental Theology and Dogmatics – IV. Philosophy – V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Natural Sciences – VII. Ethics I. Religious Studies Religious ideas and rituals focus fundamentally on life in this world and the next (Here and now, and the hereafter), i.e., coping with life and death (I). Through an immense range of variations, certain returning elements are discernible. Because of its numinous origin (Creation), life is usually felt to be “owed,” but because …

Scheibler, Christoph

(198 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Dec 6, 1589, Armsfeld, Waldeck – Nov 10, 1653, Dortmund), Lutheran philosopher and theologian. In 1610 he was appointed professor of Greek, logic, and metaphysics at Gießen and served as rector. In 1625 he was appointed superintendent and gymnasiarch in Dortmund. A prolific writer, Scheibler gave Lutheran Scholastic Aristotelianism a distinctive character vis-à-vis Wittenberg (J. Martini): in its more didactic logic, which included Ramist motifs ( Opus logicum, 1613), and in its metaphysics, which was oriented sapientially as well as ontological…

Suárez, Francisco

(1,410 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] ( Jan 5, 1548, Granada – Sep 25, 1617, Lisbon), SJ, leading theologian, philosopher, and legal theorist of Spanish Scholasticism. Suárez studied in Salamanca. Initially rejected for lack of aptitude, he was accepted into the Jesuits in 1564. In 1571 he began teaching philosophy in Segovia; after 1574 he taught theology in Valladolid, Segovia, and Alcalá. In 1580 he began teaching at the Collegium Romanum in Rome. In 1585 sickness forced him to return to Alcalá, where he succeeded …

Religious Experience

(2,499 words)

Author(s): von Brück, Michael | Sparn, Walter | Stock, Konrad
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Experience is a process occurring directly in the conscious mind, whereby the perceiving subject and internal as well as external objects of the conscious mind link up to form an experience, representing a separate category, which is connected episodically with the moment in which a particular perception occurs. (Religious) experience (Ger. Erlebnis) is the subjective perception of an experience (Ger. Erfahrung). An experience is participation in an event; the accumulation of experiences generates knowledge. An event is c…

Angels

(5,988 words)

Author(s): Woschitz, Karl M. | Görg, Manfred | Wischmeyer, Oda | Sparn, Walter | Lohberg, Gabriele | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament– IV. Church History – V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Dogmatics – VII. Art History – VIII. Practical Theology – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. Religious Studies Religious conceptions include numinous intermediary beings of the most varied types and origins that mediate between the divine sphere and humanity and also serve higher powers. These are sometimes …

Demonic, The

(2,174 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Sparn, Walter
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Dogmatics – III. Philosophy of Religion I. Religious Studies R. Otto used the concept of the demonic in close association with the concept of the numinous, which occupied the center of his theory of religion. The essence of the numinous includes the element of the tremendum, the unnerving or unsettling element corresponding on the human side to numinous or religious awe – whose “preliminary stage” according to Otto is demonic awe ( Das Heilige, ch. 4.a). This understanding corresponds to a similar un…

Friendship

(3,210 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Berges, Ulrich | Fitzgerald, John T. | Gandler, Hans-Helmuth | Vowinckel, Gerhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy – V. Social Sciences – VI. Systematic Theology I. Religious Studies Religious studies have paid little attention to friendship, since it appears initially not to be a phenomenon of primary relevance to religion but to denote simply a personal relationship between individuals, culturally conditioned and codified, that represents a form of identityforming social life. As a result, very different understandings of friendship…

Descent into Hell

(2,415 words)

Author(s): Böcher, Otto | Sparn, Walter | Felmy, Karl Christian
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Dogma and the History of Dogma – III. Art History I. New Testament Christ's descent into hell, i.e. his descent to the underworld, the realm of the dead, is, as Descensus ad inferos, one of the christological statements of the early and medieval church's confession of faith (Apostles' Creed, Athanasian Creed; Confession (of faith): III). Nonetheless, the NT does not offer a single certain text for this notion; at most, 1 Pet 4:6 may be interpreted as preaching by Jesus to the dead, before his resurrection (cf. Ign. Magn. 9.2; Gos. Pet. 10.41f.; Iren. H…

Piety

(3,477 words)

Author(s): Jödicke, Ansgar | Sparn, Walter | Koch, Traugott | Seiferlein, Alfred | Weismayer, Josef | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Piety (recently often also “spirituality”) is understood, first, as the forms of expression of lived religiosity; research in this area is particularly the subject of folklore studies and church history for the idividual, secondly, piety has to do with particular qualities of feeling, such as reverence, with which the psychology of religion (Gruehn, Sundén) is concerned. Objective and subjective components are combined in various ways in the historical developme…

Antichrist

(2,868 words)

Author(s): Klauck, Hans-Josef | Leppin, Volker | George, Martin | Sparn, Walter
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Church History – III. Theology I. New Testament 1. The term ἀντίχριστος appears in Christian literature only in 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7, and, dependent on these texts, Pol. Phil 7:1. There it refers to someone who turns against Christ and the confession of Christ, not – as would be linguistically possible – someone who seeks to take the place of Christ; in context, it refers to theological opponents collectively. …

Thomasius, Christian

(594 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] ( Jan 1, 1655, Leipzig – Sep 23, 1728, Halle), was a prominent philosopher of law during the early German Enlightenment. Born into a Lutheran family of scholars (father Jakob Thomasius), Christian Thomasius studied philosophy in Leipzig from 1669 onward; from 1672 onward, after having read the works of H. Grotius and S. Pufendorf, he studied jurisprudence in Frankfurt an der Oder (Samuel Stryk), where he was awarded a doctoral degree in 1679. Enjoying little success as a lawyer, T…
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