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Folk Piety/Folk Religion

(6,308 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred | Krech, Volkhard | Lowenstein, Steven | Fuchs, Ottmar | Schieder, Rolf | Et al.
[German Version] I. Folk/Folk Religion – II. Religious Studies – III. Judaism – IV. Christianity – V. Islam I. Folk/Folk Religion In the English-speaking realm, the adjective “folk” marks common cultural pheonomena as expressions of a peas-¶ ant population. The superordinated term “folk-lore,” coined in 1846 by William John Thomas and popularized by the establishment of Folklore Societies (England 1878, USA 1888), in its customary, more restricted definition encompasses the pre-literary tradition, i.e. the narratives and songs…


(906 words)

Author(s): Ribhegge, Wilhelm | Schieder, Rolf
[German Version] I. Ethics – II. Practical Theology I. Ethics Conservatism as a political movement emerged as a reaction to the changes in European society brought about by the French Revolution. The contrast between right and left that today still shapes parliamentary parties manifested itself in two works that became classics: E. Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) and T. Paine's The Rights of Man (1791–1792). Burke condemned the revolutionary transformation of society on the basis of abstract (“metaphysical”) principles. In his r…

Civil Religion

(1,587 words)

Author(s): Schieder, Rolf
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Religious Studies – III. Sociology and Social Ethics – IV. Systematic Theology – V. Practical Theology I. Concept The term civil religion was coined in 1967 by the American sociologist Robert N. Bellah. As a student of the system theorist T. Parsons, Bellah understands civil religion as a collection of statements of faith, symbols, and rituals which – independent of the churches – is integrated into the political culture of a community. It entails the use …


(7,247 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Hutter, Manfred | Schieder, Rolf | Thiemann, Ronald | Badry, Roswitha | Et al.
[German Version] I. Social Sciences Since its Greek origins, politics has meant (a) an action with a specific object, aiming to achieve the best way for all the inhabitants of the ancient city-state ( pólis) to live together and hence achieve the common good of the ¶ community ( koinón), and (b) the theory of this action (Sellin; see also Political science). Given that we no longer live in small urban societies but in large, open, and functionally complex societies (Society), politics includes – but cannot be limited to – the system of state g…


(2,384 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Lütcke, Karl-Heinrich | Schieder, Rolf | Steck, Wolfgang
[German Version] I. Comparative Religion – II. History and Theology – III. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies In human societies, power is wielded by culture-specific structures of authority. Various dimensions of authority may be distinguished, such as the power to control daily matters (family, larger communal units), war, the sacral realm, etc. Segmentary societies distribute authority relative…

Social Change

(339 words)

Author(s): Schieder, Rolf
[German Version] This technical sociological term does not cover the multitude of change processes within a society but attempts to provide a theoretical framework for profound changes in the social structure itself. The first systematic presentation of the concept was published by William F. Ogburn (1886–1959), who deliberately isolated it from such concepts as evolution, development, and progress. He was unwilling to associate himself with any theory of development, optimistic or pessimistic, cy…

War Sermon

(295 words)

Author(s): Schieder, Rolf
[German Version] Study of war sermons has been able to identify the war sermon as a particular genre only in the context of World War I. Neither during World War II nor during the wars of the postwar period has there been a form of preaching involving what could appropriately be called war sermons. The content of war sermons is informed by the topoi of the just war and a clear conscience, along with appeals to duty and self-sacrifice. They interpret war as a formative and educational experience, i…


(931 words)

Author(s): Irons, William | Schieder, Rolf
[German Version] I. Science – II. Ethics I. Science During the 1960s, evolutionary biologists such as Hamilton and Williams developed the first theories concerning the evolution of altruism. These theories define altruism as any type of behavior that (1) diminishes the Darwinian fitness of its bearer and (2) increases the fitness of other organisms; this fitness is defined as the success of an …

Civil Society

(418 words)

Author(s): Schieder, Rolf
[German Version] In antiquity, societas civilis was understood as the non-despotic sphere of the politically active citizen and was considered to be civilized through the rule of law (Law and jurisprudence). In the 18th century, civil society referred to an independent socio-political entity that existed as a counterpart to the state. Primarily through the influence of K. Marx, the significance of the German concept of civil society ( Bürgertum, Bourgeoisie) is no longer programmatic, but only historical in nature. It was above all this programmatic quali…


(2,048 words)

Author(s): Schieder, Rolf | Meyer, Michael A. | Lienemann-Perrin, Christine
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Emancipation as a Socio-historical Process – III. The Significance of Emancipation in Judaism – IV. Emancipation of Women – V. Practical Theology and Education Theory I. Terminology The etymological meaning of emancipate is “to deliver from mancipium”; in Roman law, mancipium meant the solemn act of taking ownership through imposition of hands. As a technical term, emancipation meant the act of freeing a child from the authority of the pater familias, initially through performance of a ritual, later simply by a legal action. In the 17th and…