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Human Dignity

(1,961 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Historical Background – II. Theology I. Historical Background 1. Important terminology of modern legal culture was formed in antiquity: natural law , freedom , equality , justice , etc. Some terms, however, appeared in a different context in antiquity, or were less central and widespread than in the modern period. This is true of human rights ( ius humanum), freedom of religion ( libertas religionis), person ( persona; self), as well as human dignity ( dignitas hominis; dignity, dignity of life). The latter expression first appears in Cicero ( De officiis I 30.106;…

Myth and Mythology

(12,158 words)

Author(s): Segal, Robert Alan | Kamel, Susan | Müller, Hans-Peter | Graf, Fritz | Cancik, Hubert | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. History – III. Philosophy of Religion – IV. Fundamental Theology. – V. Missiology I. Religious Studies 1. The Concept and Its History Myth may be defined by either content or function. Defined by content, myth is a belief about something significant, such as the world or society. Defined by function, myth accomplishes something significant, such as explaining the world or supporting society. Most theories of myth are concerned with the function of myth, but many are also concerned with either the origin or the subject matter of myth. Myt…

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…

Rohde, Erwin

(197 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] (Oct 9, 1845, Hamburg – Jan 11, 1898, Heidelberg), taught classical philology in Kiel, Jena, Tübingen (1878–1886), Leipzig, and Heidelberg (prorector 1894/1895). Starting from novels and romance poetics of the modern period, Rohde, an antimodernist of refined sensitivity, researched the history of the novel in antiquity. Psyche (1890–1894, 9/101925; ET: Psyche: The Cult of Souls and the Belief in Immortality among the Greeks, 1925), his major contribution to the history of religion, offers a comprehensive presentation of the “development” of…

Theologia

(1,653 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. The Term 1. Earliest occurrence. The word ϑεολογ-/ theolog- (and its derivatives) appeared late in the history of the Greek language and was initially rare. The earliest witness dates from the late classical period, where we find the noun ϑεολογία/ theología. Plato criticized using fictional, mendacious, and immoral myths in the education of children. He names Homer, Hesiod, and the other poets who describe theogonies, theomachies, and battles between giants. Philosophers must specify guidelines (“types,” frames, feat…

Conversion

(6,787 words)

Author(s): Bischofberger, Otto | Cancik, Hubert | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Zumstein, Jean | Bienert, Wolfgang A. | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Greco-Roman Antiquity – III. Bible – IV. Church History – V. Systematic Theology – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Missiology – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. History of Religions “Conversion” denotes the religiously interpreted process of total reorientation in which individuals or groups reinterpret their past lives, turn their backs on them, and reestablish and reshape their future lives in a new network of social relationships. The phenomenon was initially …

Paradoxography

(418 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] (a post-classical coinage) is a genre of classical texts that recount wonders (Gk ϑαύματα/ tháumata; Lat. mirabilia) from the realm of nature and from history – extraordinary phenomena that are incredible and contrary to all expectations (Paradox). Paradoxography is a subdivision of natural history ( naturalis historia) and historiography. Its materials are considered empirical and historical; though unusual and hidden on the fringes of the known world, they are not myths from antiquity. In the Parallela minora of Pseudo-Plutarch, for example, “paradoxica…

Exegesis

(13,995 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Cancik, Hubert | Seidl, Theodor | Schnelle, Udo | Bienert, Wolfgang A. | Et al.
[German Version] (Biblical Scholarship, Hermeneutics, Interpretation) I. Religious Studies – II. History of Religions – III. Greco Roman Antiquity – IV. Bible – V. Church History – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Biblical Scenes in Art – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. Religious Studies Exegesis (for etymology see III below) is the explanation, interpretation, or analysis of sacred or otherwise religiously central documents by experts; it enables and encourages the access of a …

Hauer, Jakob Wilhelm

(241 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] (Apr 4, 1881, Ditzingen – Feb 18, 1962, Tübingen), educated in the Basel Mission and, after 1907, a missionary in India. Hauer was shaped by Wurttembergian Pietism, studied Indology and taught as professor of Indology (and general history of religions) in Marburg after 1925 (cooperation with F. Heiler, R. Otto), then in Tübingen beginning in 1927 ( Glaube und Blut, 1938). Chancellor of the Köngener Bund from 1920, co-founder (1933), then leader of the Deutsche Glaubensbewegung (German Faith Movement) (1934–1936), and editor of the journal Deutscher Glaube (1933–194…

Caesar, Gaius Julius

(717 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] The word “Caesar” has three senses: (a) a branch of the Julian clan ( gens Julia), which traced its genealogy through Aeneas back to Aphrodite; (b) a title (cf. Mark 12:13–17; Acts 25:11) and the office of supreme ruler (cf. OHG keisar, Russian Tsar); (c) the personification of a modern conception of antique greatness, drive, and genius, which can be interpreted as the antithesis of Christian humility, passivity, and “foolishness” (F. Nietzsche: “Caesar figure,” “Jesus figure”; Gundolf). The best-known representative of the gens Julia is C. Julius Caesar (100–44 bce).…

Jupiter

(525 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. Name and Image – II. Cult I. Name and Image 1. In the Roman pantheon (II), the name Jupiter denotes the “father of heaven” ( Diespiter, Jovis Pater; vocative: Ju-piter), the highest position, the power and the right (not war and violence), the principle of sovereignty and legitimacy in all spheres of life, the family, the state, history. He is the “grandest and best” ( optimus maximus), the “king,” the “father.” The name and the connection with the light of heaven (cf. dies, “day”) and to divination through the flight of birds ( auspicium) are common to Italian religion…

Orient and Occident

(1,016 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. The Cliché – II. The Classical Paradigms I. The Cliché 1. The words Orient and Occident (“the rising/setting sun”; Lat. ortus/occasus, Gk ἀνατολή/ anatolē/ δύσις/ dýsis) denote either (a) an East (cf. Matt 2:1: “Magi from the East”; also Anatolia/Turkey) or West (cf. the Hesperides), always relative, or (b) a geographical fiction, a construct of “mythic geography,” an ideological stereotype. The administrative language of the Roman Empire was clearer. After the reorganization of the Empire by Diocletian, the praefectus praetorio per Orientem (there was no an…

Progress

(963 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. The Term The word progress, ultimately from Lat. pro-gressus (cf. progressio, processus, profectus) and its Greek prototypes (προκοπή/ prokopḗ, προαγωγ ή/ proagōgḗ, προέρχεσϑαι/ proérchesthai); all have the basic meaning “move forward,” with the figurative sense of “change for the better (through human agency)” (like Ger. Fortschritt). In their figurative sense, these words are very rare in the ¶ Bible (Phil 1:12; 1:25). In the Middle Ages, the lexical field played only a modest role (Zorn, 341). Besides the “image of the road” (Bec…

Linear and Cyclical

(663 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] I. Metaphor and Stereotype – II. History of Ancient Religion and Ideas I. Metaphor and Stereotype The image of the straight line and the circle is used to describe experiences and conceptions of time and history (History/Concepts of History) in a simple and graphic manner, though not necessarily clearly and correctly. In a “pre-philosophical” system of classification and valuation, thought patterns, artistic styles, and even entire cultures are labeled as linear or cyclical. The history of huma…

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…
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