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Christology

(3,146 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. SignificanceThe theological term  Christology, coined in the 17th century, denotes normative reflection (Dogma) on the person and work of Jesus Christ and his enduring religious significance. This intellectual image of Christ in Christology is one among many, for devotion to Christ always found expression in symbolic, literary, visual, musical, and theatrical forms as well. Despite reciprocal influences, however, these images of Christ (Jesus Christ; Iconography) by no means always conformed to t…
Date: 2019-10-14

Mysticism

(3,883 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter | Leppin, Volker | Bryner, Erich | Grözinger, Karl Erich
1. IntroductionThe noun mysticism, a general term dating from the 17th century, eluded all attempts of students of religion and the psychology of religion to define it in the 19th and early 20th century [1]; [3]; [5]. More recent researchers therefore use it only as a heuristic term for highly diverse phenomena of an intense individual experience of bonding or union (Latin  unio mystica) with God, the divine, the holy, etc. – always in specific cultural and social contexts. These phenomena are never accessible directly, since we know of them only through (…
Date: 2020-04-06

Church and state

(4,982 words)

Author(s): Unterburger, Klaus | Sparn, Walter | Schneider, Bernd Christian | Synek, Eva
1. Introduction The reciprocal but never symmetrical relationship between Church andState in early modern Europe was the result of a historical development that in some respects remained indebted to the political ethics of the New Testament (Rom 13; Rv 13), while in other respects confronting profound changes in both ecclesiastical and secular political institutions, specifically the emergence of the early modern territorial and nation state. At first, the underlying assumption was that the Europe…
Date: 2019-10-14

Atheism

(2,127 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Sparn, Walter
1. Terminology The word atheism (from Greek átheos, “without  God”, “godless”) denotes both a complex variety of interpretations of the world and life-designs shaped by conscious rejection of the existence of one or more gods, transcendent beings, or powers (positive atheism) and a conscious denial of the earthly influence of such gods or powers, while simultaneously recognizing the theoretical possibility of their existence (negative atheism). Terms such as “God,” “creator,” “absolute,” “supreme being…
Date: 2019-10-14

Lutheranism

(2,829 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. Definition, origin, and profileThe term  Lutheranism (German  Luthertum) was coined in 1544. Like the more common terms  die LutherischenLutherani, Lutheranismus, and so on, it was originally a pejorative exonym, implying the charge of heresy, applied to the adherents of the Reformation, who since the activities of Martin Luther in 1517 had been vigorously flexing their ecclesiastical and political muscles. Luther himself disliked the expression  Lutheran; therefore the churches that reorganized themselves on the basis of regional church orders (begin…
Date: 2019-10-14

Fundamentalism

(1,342 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Sparn, Walter
1. The term The term  fundamentalism is a product of the religious conflicts in North American during the early 20th century. It is relevant to the early modern period because the exploration of late modern religious conflicts can contribute to a better understanding of the religious conflicts, confessional antagonists, and theological controversies over the construction of religious identity typical of Eurpean societies in the early modern period.The term was coined around 1920 in the context of the religio-political conflicts between competing groups with…
Date: 2019-10-14

Body and soul

(2,099 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter | Wolff, Jens
1. Terminology and traditions At the beginning of the early modern period in Europe, the human experiences that give rise to belief in an asymmetrical duality of body and soul (sleep, dreams, ecstasy, grief, death, and childbirth [9]) had coalesced metaphysically, anthropologically, and epistemologically [12. ch. III and V]. What happens to individuals after their bodily death? How do animate beings differ from inanimate beings and from dead matter? How specifically is the cognitive element of the soul, the mind (Geist), related to the …
Date: 2019-10-14

Afterlife

(2,000 words)

Author(s): Hölscher, Lucian | Sparn, Walter
1. Term Ideas about life after death are to be found among nearly all peoples and in nearly every era. Yet, like its counterpart Diesseits (“this life”), the term Jenseits (“afterlife”, literally “the beyond”) in German has only existed since the turn of the 18th century. The noun Jenseits is only found, sporadically, in sources from the late 18th century, e.g. in the exclamation in Schiller’s Die Räuber (1781; The Robbers): “Sei wie du willst, namenloses Jenseits, wenn ich nur mich selbst mit hinübernehme” (“Be what you will, nameless World Beyond, as long as…
Date: 2019-10-14

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 …
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