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Death

(11,861 words)

Author(s): Heller, Birgit | Cancik, Hubert | Liess, Kathrin | Necker, Gerold | Goldberg, Sylvie-Anne | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies and History of Religions – II. Death and the Realm of the Dead in the Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Philosophy – VI. Philosophy of Religion – VII. History of Dogma and Dogmatics – VIII. Ethics – IX. Practical Theology – X. Art – XI. Islam – XII. Buddhism – XIII. Hinduism I. Religious Studies and History of Religions 1. General Modern religious criticism regards religion as compensation for human anxiety in the face of death. …

Ritual Books (libri rituales)

(647 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. Ritual books are collections of rituals in written form (Rite and ritual), of prescriptive and descriptive texts for use in cult/worship, sometimes during the cultic act. They prescribe “with what animal sacrifices, on which days, in which temples a holy thing is to be made, and whence money might be requested for these expenses” (Livy I 19, 5; Sacrifice : II, 3). The ritual books provide instruction on the relation between action and word in ancient cult and worship, and are a…

Person

(5,668 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert | Schütt, Hans-Peter | Grube, Andreas | Herms, Eilert | Schmidt, Heinz
[German Version] I. Concept 1. The origin of the Latin word persona (“mask, role, status”) is unknown; it may be Etruscan. The philologist Gavius Bassus (1st cent. bce) traced the “origin” of the word to the function of the ancient theater mask, namely that of a megaphone which concentrated the voice and caused it to “sound through” ( per-sonare; cf. Gellius, Noctes Atticae V 7) in a more sonorous way. The corresponding Greek word is πρόσωπον/ prósōpon, “face, mask, front.” The word “persona” is employed in grammar, rhetoric, jurisprudence, and philosophy. What the mode…

Primordial History

(2,632 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas | Arneth, Martin | Cancik, Hubert | Strutwolf, Holger
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The concept of a primeval or primordial history (Ger. Urgeschichte), as used in scholarly discourse, starts with the biblical text of Gen 1–11, but may be transferred to other contexts in religious studies. However, this makes sense only where identity-forming narratives proceed on a chronological basis (History/Concepts of history) in their notions of time, and where they are guided by the idea of a special quality in the origin of the world and/or their own society and…

Renaissance

(9,034 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Cancik, Hubert | Buttler, Karen | Imorde, Joseph | Mohr, Hubert
[German Version] I. Concept The French term “Renaissance,” which was also borrowed by German and English, belongs to the large group of organic metaphors applied to historical occurrences. Used from the 19th century in sole reference to animal/human life and understood in the sense of “rebirth,” it is assigned in recent research (since Jost Trier) more appropriately to the botanical sphere and explained as “renewed growth,” i.e. as a renewed sprouting of shoots ¶ from felled trees and bushes. Pre-Christian Latin already employed renasci (from nasci, “to be born, to become, to ar…

Sun

(2,816 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Hartenstein, Friedhelm | Cancik, Hubert | Schroer, Silvia | Wallraff, Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The sun is omnipresent; in the phenomenal world, it marks and accentuates the course of our chronological and spatial lifeworld. The range of associated structures, interpretations, and ambivalences (light and dark, life-giving and life-consuming) makes it only natural that the sun should acquire religious symbolisms and orientations in many ways and in many areas: (1) orientation in time (annual calendrical cycle, identification of sacral seasons and hours of th…

History/Concepts of History

(12,750 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Kurt | Görg, Manfred | Schlüter, Margarete | Römer, Nils | Cancik, Hubert | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Ancient Near East and Israel – III. Judaism – IV. Greece and Rome – V. New Testament – VI. Church History – VII. Dogmatics – VIII. Ethics – IX. Philosophy I. Religious Studies History is a major aspect of the study of religion. Apart from its roots in the Enlightenment idea of tolerance, it owes its scholarly development to the historicism of the 19th century. As a result, the expression history of religions ( Religionsgeschichte, histoire des religions, storia delle religioni) has remained dominant in continental Europe, in con…

Pre-Socratics

(2,301 words)

Author(s): Hülser, Karlheinz | Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. Historiography of Philosophy The Pre-Socratics include all Greek thinkers prior to c. 400 bce who contributed something to what was later called philosophy, above all Thales, Anaximan­der, Anaximenes, Pythagoras and his school, Xenophanes of Colophon, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Zenon, Melissus, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, the atomists (Atomism: I) and other natural philosophers (Natural philosophy), and the Sophistic school. The term first appeared in the late 18th century and occupied an important place in the 19th-century histories of ¶ philosophy. It firs…

Antiquity

(3,085 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Antiquity as Epoch – III. Religion and Antique Culture I. Concept 1. English – Latin – French. a. The English word “antiquity”, like the German word Antike, borrowed from the French antique, denotes an epoch and a norm. “Classical” antiquity is the culture of the “ancient” Greeks and Romans; predecessors (Mycenaeans, Phoenicians, Lydians), neighbors (Celts, Thracians, Etruscans), and …

World

(7,847 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert | Figal, Günter | Herms, Eilert | Worthing, Mark
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Cosmos a. There are various ways of expressing the concept of the “world” in Greek and Latin: as the world as a whole, with the bipolar hendiadys heaven and earth (e.g. Diodorus Siculus I 7.7); as the world of human beings, with Greek οἰκουμένη/ oikouménē (sc. γῆ/ gḗ, “earth”; e.g. Diodorus Siculus I 1.3; cf. Lat. orbis terrarum, “circle of the earth”; genus humanum, “human world”); with emphasis on the world’s order, beauty, and completeness, with κόσμος/ kósmos (Cosmology) and universum or πᾶν/ pán, ὅλον/ hólon; or with emphasis on its self-a…

Purification

(2,436 words)

Author(s): Stausberg, Michael | Cancik, Hubert | Seidl, Theodor | Kollmann, Bernd | Schneider-Ludorff, Gury | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies As with many animals, purification is a basic area of human behavior. Mutual purifying implies and generates expectations, trust, solidarity, and hierarchy. Religious actions (e.g. the purifying of statues and pictures of gods) go back to identical structures. Purifying is a fundamental element of ritual actions. Ritual objects, but also the actors themselves, are purified. This process is often self-referential: purification happens not with regard to something unclean, but for the ritual. Purifica…

Historiography

(5,830 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Karl | Cancik, Hubert | Dietrich, Walter | Plümacher, Eckhard | Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Et al.
[German Version] I. Ancient Near East – II. Greece – III. Rome – IV. The Bible – V. Christianity – VI. Judaism I. Ancient Near East Historiography in the classic sense, with a reflective account of historical linkages, developed rudimentarily at best in the cuneiform cultures of the ancient Near East in Hittite and Neo-Assyrian annals and the introductions to treaties; even these documents were usually written to justify the political actions. Around the middle of the 3rd millennium bce, however, there appeared an immense number of all sorts of texts containing more …

Virgil

(711 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] (Publius Vergilius [later Virgilius] Maro; Oct 15, 70 bce, near Mantua – Sep 21, 19 ce, in Brundisium [Brindisi]; buried in Naples). Virgil was born in humble circumstances. The erudite but sickly poet, a friend of Horace ( Carm. 1.3), was patronized by Asinius Pollio, Maecenas, and Augustus. Virgil’s Eclogae (written between 39 and 37) are 10 bucolic (“lyric”) poems of classical perfection in language, composition, subject matter, and metrics. Faced with an acute threat in the fall of the Roman republic, shepherds, mythical figures, and real figures with much ¶ love an…

Rome, The Idea of

(904 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert | Wallraff, Martin | Schimmelpfennig, Bernhard
[German Version] I. Greco-Roman Antiquity 1. The picture (imaginaire, myth, idea) that the Romans developed of themselves, their city, and their rule (Imperium Romanum) has an exemplary early period, with its founders – “pious father Aeneas” (Virgil, Aen.), Romulus, and Numa, founder of the city and founder of religion (Livy, Book I); its type – “the good old Roman” in a toga, beardless (Cicero, Cato maior), and its distinctions from its rivals in Greece (Athens). Might and right are contrasted with learning, art, and philosophy: excudent alii... / tu regere imperio populos, Romane; “o…

Tacitus, Publius Cornelius

(671 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] (c. 55 – after 116 ce). Life and works. Tacitus was praetor (88) and quindecimvir (?), suffect consul (97), and proconsul of the province of Asia (112/113). The biography of his father-in-law Gnaeus Julius Agricola (d. 93) combines the laudatio funebris (Dead, Cult of the: III) with an ethnography of Britain. The ethnography of the free, i.e. non-Roman (or not yet Roman) Germania (written around 100) draws a typecast and idealizing picture of an unspoiled primitive people and dangerous neighbor. His Dialogus de oratoribus (written around 105) discusses the relat…

Cult Authors

(489 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. The term cult authors refers to a group of authors who collected and explicated the primary documents of the cults of the Greeks and Romans (rituals, calendars, cultic laws, priestly regulations, protocols, etc.). The group, which cannot be easily differentiated from local historians, periegetes, antiquarians, and theologians, includes about 100 authors (5th cent. bce to the end of the 4th cent. ce). Their themes and titles are: a. On Days (Gk perí hēmerón), On Months, On Feasts; b. On Sacrifices (Gk perí thysión), On Mysteries, On Dedications, On Purification…

Roman Religion

(3,922 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
1. Definition 1.1. Distinctions In their classic epoch the Romans clearly distinguished their religion—the cultus deorum (cult of the gods), religiones (pl. religions), but also religio (sing.)—from other parts of their culture. Thus they maintained the difference between sacer and profanus (Sacred and Profane), ius divinum and ius humanum (divine and human law), and dies fasti, dies comitiales, and dies nefasti (days for business, for public assemblies, and for neither). The Romans structured religion from different angles: 1. legally, by nature, place, and time, as w…
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