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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

Laity

(1,337 words)

Author(s): Wolff, Jens
1. TerminologyThe early modern terms laicism and  laicity, like laity itself, go back to Greek  laós (“people”), but belong to the context of the specifically early modern process of secularization. The English words translated the 19th-century French neologism laïcité and its negative variant  laïcisme [1]. In Romance countries,  laicity is synonymous with “secularization,” but in the English-, Scandinavian-, and German-speaking world it generally denotes its political aspect, namely the distinction between the secular and religious sp…
Date: 2019-10-14

Kulturkampf

(996 words)

Author(s): Wolff, Jens
1. Semantic field Kulturkampf (German: “culture struggle”) was one of many neologisms that came into general use in Germany in connection with the career of  Kultur (Culture) as a concept in the 19th century. The term breathed new life into the metaphor of combat in rhetorical, political, and activist terms - a metaphor that had been widespread during the early modern period in other cultural contexts [8]. In the intensifying conflict situation of the late 19th century in particular, it became a catchword for secularizing processes of separation between th…
Date: 2019-10-14