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Lay Confession

(400 words)

Author(s): Sattler, Dorothea
[German Version] Since biblical times, the community of believers has considered the experience that sins hidden within the heart burden sinners, robbing them of vital energy and nurturing fears of divine judgment (Ps 32:3–6). Candid confession of guilt restores confidence and assurance. Talking about sins brings insight into implications that would otherwise remain hidden, opens paths to reconciliation, and gives comfort in situations of hopeless despair. Mutual confession of sins has therapeutic power (Jas 5:16). In the history of theology, lay confession has gone th…

Monastic Confession

(377 words)

Author(s): Sattler, Dorothea
[German Version] In the Early Church, monastic confession in the narrow sense denoted a strict unburdening of monks' or nuns' consciences before their spiritual father or mother. In a wider sense the term monastic confession can still refer to the living tradition in religious communities of experiencing and considering the salutary effect of publicly admitted guilt. The tradition of monastic confession emphasizes the therapeutic and pedagogical aspect of Christian penance. The theological ideas of Clement of ¶ Alexandria and Origen, who emphasized in their writings the …

Eucharistic Piety

(371 words)

Author(s): Sattler, Dorothea
[German Version] The concept of eucharistic piety refers (in the broadest sense) to any practice of faith that determines its content through reference to the mysterium of the loving self-sacrifice of Jesus Christ ¶ (Sacrifice: IV) celebrated in the Eucharist and his Spirit-produced presence in the sign of the meal. From an ecumenical perspective, the modes of (public or private) veneration of the elements of the eucharistic meal (bey…

Merit

(4,227 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Avemarie, Friedrich | Heiligenthal, Roman | Huxel, Kirsten | Sattler, Dorothea
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. History of Dogma – V. Dogmatics – VI. Ethics – VII. Ecumenics I. Religious Studies In European Christian theology the doctrine of merit (Lat. meritum) became a controversial subject, by which (at least on the Protestant side) it was thought possible to demonstrate with particular clarity the basic difference between Catholicism and Lutheranism (see IV below). Discussion in religious studies has shown that the use of such a theologically loaded conc…

Ecumenical Movement

(10,763 words)

Author(s): Wendebourg, Dorothea | Koschorke, Klaus | Sattler, Dorothea | Lippy, Charleas H. | Geldbach, Erich | Et al.
[German Version] I. 1st to 19th Century – II. 20th and 21st Centuries I. 1st to 19th Century 1. Early Church The concerns of the first centuries of the church were less with the establishing of fellowship than with its preservation – focused in the fellowship of the Lord's Supper – among Christians and congregations (Paul, Saint, Apostolic Council, Clement I (Romanus), Ignatius [Ignatian …

Sacraments

(10,176 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Nocke, Franz-Josef | Felmy, Karl Christian | Kandler, Karl-Hermann | Busch, Eberhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Church History In Christian usage, the term sacrament has two meanings: a broad meaning corresponding to the New Testament term μυστήριον/ mystḗrion (“mystery”), used as a term for mysteries of the faith in general, and a narrower meaning in the sense of certain liturgical actions that enable believers to share in the salvific grace effected by Christ. While medieval Scholastic theology in the West developed the narrower understanding of sacraments with increasingly precise and subtle definitions, …

Confession

(2,836 words)

Author(s): Gerlitz, Peter | Ohst, Martin | Sattler, Dorothea | Root, Michael | Ivanov, Vladimir | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics – IV. Practical Theology – V. Missiology I. Religious Studies Confession and absolution, expressive of the substantiality of guilt (I) and the impact of the spoken word with its magico-ritual power, are among the “most widespread means of structured confrontation of the ego with itself” (Hahn & Knapp, 7). They appear already in tribal societies (Kikuyu, Nuer, Acholi in East Africa) as part of purificati…

Eucharist/Communion

(26,590 words)

Author(s): Hahn, Ferdinand | Markschies, Christoph | Angenendt, Arnold | Kaufmann, Thomas | Koch, Ernst | Et al.
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics – IV. Liturgical History – V. Practical Theology – VI. Missiology I. New Testament 1. Background Sacred meals are common to all religions. Before examining them in the context of the NT, it is necessary first to inquire into their background in the OT and in Judaism, whereupon it becomes evident that sacrificial meals play no role in them. Only the dai…