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Jesus Christ

(4,907 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. General observations “Jesus Christ” is not originally a name but the declaration that Jesus of Nazareth is the  christós (Greek: “anointed,” Messiah) of God. As such, in the European modern era, Jesus Christ was a prominent figure in religious and cultural orientation. However, these orientations underwent far-reaching changes amounting to a move away from the unquestioned authority of the Christian tradition toward a more independent, critically modifying reception. The belief (Faith) that God incarnated himse…
Date: 2019-03-20

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: 2019-03-20

End time

(1,018 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
The sense of living in the end time because “this world” was coming to an end was a prevailing belief of the early modern period until the 18th century (World view). Its religious basis was the assumption in Christian apocalypticism that Jesus Christ heralded the end of the history of salvation. The time “after Christ,” that is, between his coming and his return for the Last Judgment and the universal establishment of the Kingdom of God in a new world (Eschatology), was accordingly seen as a fin…
Date: 2019-03-20

Apocalypticism

(2,218 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. Terminology and background 1.1. Apocalypticism and apocalypseThe term “apocalypticism” (German  Apokalyptik) was introduced in 1820 by the theologian K.I. Nitzsch for the conviction and conduct that views the coming course of the world as a sequence of dramatic events that expand to become a cosmic catastrophe, bring the world and time to an end. Such Weltanschauungen assume that: (1) the fate of the humankind is a part of cosmic history, which in turn has human history as its focus; (2) the drama of this history is governed not only by human v…
Date: 2019-03-20

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: 2019-03-20

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: 2019-03-20

Infinity

(3,304 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter | Scholz, Erhard
1. Metaphysics 1.1. Concept and prior historyThe term “infinity” (French infinité; German  Unendlichkeit) is often used figuratively (metaphorically) to denote very large or unknown values (“infinite depths of the ocean”), so that its literal use has faded into the background. “The infinite” (Latin  infinitum, Greek  ápeiron, “the boundless”, “the indeterminate”) in the strict sense, however, has since the first days of Greek philosophy been a precise term in both mathematics and metaphysics contrasted with the “finite.” What was often unc…
Date: 2019-03-20

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: 2019-03-20

Church interior

(2,275 words)

Author(s): Strohmaier-Wiederanders, Gerlinde | Sparn, Walter
1. DefinitionLike the sacral building itself (Church architecture), the church interiors in early modern Europe were all clearly recognizable as Christian. The most important features were the altar (or a table replacing it; see Altar design), font, and pulpit or lectern; from the late Middle Ages on, there was also an organ (initially in the larger churches, in the 19th century even in the smallest village churches; Organ music), as well as movable or permanent seating, e.g. choir stalls in mona…
Date: 2019-03-20

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: 2019-03-20

Church architecture

(5,651 words)

Author(s): Fürst, Ulrich | Strohmaier-Wiederanders, Gerlinde | Sparn, Walter | Faensen, Hubert
1. Introduction Theological and pastoral concepts continued to define early modern Church architecture that had shaped Christian sacral architecture since its very earliest days. The church was a meeting-place for the congregation that had to fulfill a function as the real venue and crucible of the divine service (Worship). Spatial forms and fittings had to support liturgical procedures and make their content available to experience. Still, changing cultural parameters and profound religious and c…
Date: 2019-03-20

Church year

(3,029 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian | Sparn, Walter | Petzolt, Martin | Bärsch, Jürgen
1. Introduction The term “church year,” probably first attested (as German Kirchenjahr) in the postil of the Lutheran pastor Johannes Pomarius (Magdeburg 1585) (see below, 4.1.), denotes the annual cycle of Christian festival and holiday. In the rhythm of the week and year, the church celebrates the memory of Jesus Christ (year of the Lord) [1], with the celebration of the saints’ days (Name day) taking a secondary role (year of the saints).The core and “origin” of the year was the Sunday on which the key events of Easter are celebrated (Passion Week) in the fe…
Date: 2019-03-20

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: 2019-03-20