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Council of Trent

(1,962 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter
1. Definition and backgroundThe Council of Trent (Latin  Concilium Tridentinum) was the definitive ecclesiastical council (Council [ecclesiastical]) of the early modern period. With interruptions, it met in Trent (Latin Tridentum, Italian Trento) from 1545 to 1563. Its decrees, approved by the papacy, were too late to stem the tide of the Reformation, but it put its stamp on the Roman Catholic Church of the centuries that followed (Confessionalization).When Martin Luther, condemned by the pope in 1520, appealed to a general council to give him justice, he wa…
Date: 2019-03-20

Heresy

(1,791 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Leppin, Volker
1. DefinitionThe term heresy (from Greek  haíresis, “school (of thought),” “faction”) denotes a serious deviation in the faith (“false doctrine”), resulting in exclusion from the church (Excommunication). The German synonym Ketzerei is derived from the name of the medieval mass movement of the Cathars (Greek  katharoí, “pure ones”), which formed an anti-church in the 12th century and were persecuted relentlessly. Heresy, as a violation of the integrity of the faith by individuals or groups, must be distinguished from apostasy (Greek  apostasía) as “renunciation” of the fa…
Date: 2019-03-20

Jesuits

(2,994 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Wald, Melanie
1. Establishment and constitutionJesuits is the abbreviated name for members of the  Societas Iesu (“Society of Jesus”), the largest, most important, and also the most controversial male order of the Roman Catholic Church in the early modern era.The Jesuits were established by the Basque nobleman Iñigo López de Loyola, who later went by the Latin version of his name, Ignatius. Originally a soldier, after being severely wounded in 1521 he changed his life’s direction and began a course of study that culminated in Paris with the de…
Date: 2019-03-20

Episcopate

(2,112 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Wendebourg, Dorothea
1. Catholicism 1.1. The Catholic episcopateThe word bishop (from Greek  epískopos, “overseer”) denotes (1) in the New Testament a member of a community’s governing body; (2) beginning in the 2nd century, the head of an urban Christian congregation, who governs it with the help of presbyters and deacons; (3) from late antiquity to the present, the head of a sizable district (Diocese), the diocesan bishop. Besides governance of their own dioceses, bishops in the third sense also have responsibilities withi…
Date: 2019-03-20

Dogma

(1,071 words)

Author(s): Nüssel, Friederike | Walter, Peter
1. DefinitionThe term  dogma (Greek: “tenet, proposition”) in early modern usage, as in antiquity, the early church, and scholasticism, was used to denote doctrines and opinions of diverse content. The label can be applied to both church doctrines generally accepted as true and to disputed philosophical opinions, and even to Christian heresies. Since the term could definitely have a pejorative sense, it is understandable that until well into the early modern period the Christian theology of the Lat…
Date: 2019-03-20

Dogmatics

(2,781 words)

Author(s): Nüssel, Friederike | Walter, Peter | Wasmuth, Jennifer
1. DefinitionAlthough theologians in the early church like Origen (3rd century CE) engaged  de facto in dogmatics, the term dogmatics itself (Latin  theologica dogmatica, from Greek dogmatikḗ, “teaching regarding the church’s teaching –  dógma – i.e. “theological teaching, doctrine”) did not gain currency until the theology of the 17th century. During the early Enlightenment, J.F. Buddeus was the first to offer a definition, in his encyclopedic introduction to theology (1727) [11]: the term  dogmatics denotes the portion of theology that explains and demonst…
Date: 2019-03-20

Bible translation

(4,031 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht | Walter, Peter | Bryner, Erich
1. Protestantism The Reformers saw the Bible as the complete, self-evident revelation of God. This meant a rejection of a spiritualistic appeal to additional inner revelations as well as the Catholic view that God has revealed himself equally in the Bible and in Church tradition so that the Bible can only be properly understood and interpreted by ecclesiastical ministers of the teaching tradition (Ministry [ecclesiastical]), and under no circumstances by just anyone. This difference in revelation …
Date: 2019-03-20

Confession

(2,565 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Ohst, Martin | Ivanov, Vladimir
1. Definition and meaningConfession (from Latin  confessio) has been the most common form of the church’s penitential discipline from the early Middle Ages until (to some extent) the present. The German equivalent is  Beichte, from MHG  bigiht, contracted  bīht[e]: “declaration, avowal”. The debate over whether it should be recognized as a sacrament and how it should be formally regulated and practiced by the church became a major bone of contention among the three main Christian religious groups. These differences have had not only…
Date: 2019-03-20

Education

(5,400 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | Becker, Rainald | Putz, Hannelore | Roggenkamp, Antje | Bryner, Erich
1. General See Childhood; Pedagogy; SchoolPeter Walter2. Late medieval religious education and HumanismDuring the Middle Ages, transmission of at least the rudiments of religious teaching and practice was considered primarily the task of the family. Contrary to the assumption of earlier researchers, however, besides their own religious practice and the preaching of the church (Sermon), there do not appear to have been sermons addressed specifically to children [6. 278]). The tools available to parents included brief written guides, which could be acquired an…
Date: 2019-03-20