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Agon

(312 words)

Author(s): Bader, Günter
[German Version] ᾽Αγών (contest), (a) a gathering (etym. ἀγω), a gathering-place and arena (b) chiefly for contests held for a prize; (c) multi-faceted metaphorical usage. – 1. Originally local contests accompanying funerals, agons developed into pan-Hellenic feasts (Olympia, Nemea [Zeus]; Pythia [Apollo]; Isthmia [Poseidon]). Almost anything, physical exercise, beauty, crafts, art, theater, singing, poetry and speaking, can become an agon according to the aristocratic principle of αἀὲν ἀριστεύειν καὶ ὑπείροχον ἔμμεναι ἄλλων (“always be the …

Affect

(767 words)

Author(s): Bader, Günter | Loder, James E.
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion and Ethics – II. Practical Theology I. Philosophy of Religion and Ethics I. The term affect (Gk: πάθος/ páthos) originates from the Greek and Latin tradition rather than the biblical (here: “heart”). The term, however, became very popular in the history of Christian theology and piety. While, unlike ἦθος ( ēthos), the term denotes the unregulated passion and suddenness of emotion, πάθη are experienced and described as the forceful essence of divine power. In mythical texts, therefore, Φόβος ( Phobos), ᾽Ελπίς ( Elpis) are for example found …

Vows

(2,357 words)

Author(s): Lorenz, Günther | Görg, Manfred | Avemarie, Friedrich | Riedel-Spangenberger, Ilona | Bader, Günter
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Voluntary promises to do something, either materially or ideally, in order to obtain the support of a divinity or ¶ some other metaphysical effects, are known as vows. Intended as an agreement in partnership with the gods ( do ut das, not always strictly), they are found worldwide as prominent forms of expressing partnership with the divine. They are to be distinguished from texts accompanying thankofferings for earlier gifts (notably in the Lat. ex voto or V[otum] S[olvit] L[ibens] M[erito]). They are made at times of personal or coll…

Evil

(4,189 words)

Author(s): Keller, Carl-A. | Miller, Patrick D. | Frankemölle, Hubert | Axt-Piscalar, Christine | Jüngel, Eberhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy of Religion – V. Dogmatics – VI. Ethics – VII. Judaism I. History of Religions From the standpoint of the study of religion, evil – which is offensive, threatens order and existence, and is therefore feared and avoided – is an aspect of hidden power that is uncontrollable and unfathomable, to which human beings feel exposed and by which the…

Asceticism

(6,235 words)

Author(s): Harich-Schwarzbauer, Henriette | Ries, Julien | Podella, Thomas | Niederwimmer, Kurt | Köpf, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Ethics – VI. Judaism – VII. Indian Religions I. Religious Studies 1. Greece and Rome. The term “asceticism,” the Western meaning of which was shaped by Christianity, derives from Gk ἄσκησις/ áskēsis, a noun denoting activity; ἄσκεῖν/ askeîn originally meant “to craft/to decorate.” In the 5th century bce, the primary meaning became “to train/to exercise.” The exercise was mostly physical (gymnastics, …

Fasting

(4,168 words)

Author(s): Freiberger, Oliver | Podella, Thomas | Böcher, Otto | Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich | Troickij, Aleksandr | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. Christianity – IV. Ethics – V. Judaism – VI. Islam I. History of Religions “Fasting” is a universally attested cultural technique to produce an expansion of mental and social control, power, or awareness (Asceticism) by restricting the intake of food. Many different types of and reasons for fasting can be found in the history of religions, and they are combined in various ways. Several studies have been produced with regard to individual religions …