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Ordination

(8,047 words)

Author(s): Hartenstein, Friedhelm | Sänger, Dieter | Peters, Christian | Brandt, Reinhard | Meßner, Reinhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Church History – IV. Dogmatics – V. Liturgy – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Law and Legal History – VIII. Judaism I. Old Testament The search, mainly from a Protestant perspective, for antecedents of ordination in the Old Testament does not seem very promising, since no direct equivalent to Christian ordination as public commissioning of office-bearers by the community is to be found in the Hebrew Bible. Relevant research is mainly limited to the OT Jewish background of…

Jerusalem

(8,314 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Hezser, Catherine | Dan, Joseph | Küchler, Max | Bieberstein, Klaus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Early Church – V. Patriarchates – VI. Islam – VII. Religious and Political Situation Today – VIII. Archaeology I. Old Testament Jerusalem (ירושׁלם/ yerûšālēm, MT yerûšālayim) was founded c. 1800 bce as a fortified town in the central Palestinian uplands at a strategic point for transportation between northern and southern Palestine. Outside the Bible, the name appears from the 18th century on in the Egyptian execration texts and the Amarna letters (as Akkad. uruu-ru-sa-lim). It derives from the verb yrh I…

Yahrzeit

(297 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
[German Version] In Judaism yahrzeit denotes the anniversary of a parent’s death, observed every year. The word itself appears to have been borrowed from the language of the church in the Middle Ages by Ashkenazic Jews (Judaism: II). According to Rashi (on b. Yebam. 122a), the anniversary of the death of famous rabbis was already being solemnly observed in the talmudic period, when their students and the people would make a pilgrimage to the rabbi’s burial site. Although the Talmud ( b. Ned. 12a; 14a) already speaks of fasting on the day of a parent’s death and its anniversar…

Tradition

(8,661 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin | Hezser, Catherine | Liss, Hanna | Schröter, Jens | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In general usage, tradition (from Lat. transdare/ tradere, “hand on, transmit”) connotes retention and safeguarding, understood as a conservative handing down of mores, customs, norms, rules, and knowledge. The emphasis is on continuity with the past. Jan Assmann interprets tradition as an exemplary case of “cultural memory,” an enduring cultural construction of identity. In religions appeal to tradition is a prominent element justifying interpretations, practices, clai…

Heresy

(7,453 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas | Mell, Ulrich | le Boulluec, Alain | Jorissen, Hans | Schuck, Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Philosophy and Religious Studies – II. Christianity – III. Practical Theology – IV. Church Law – V. Judaism – VI. Islam I. Philosophy and Religious Studies The word “heresy” derives from Gk αἵρεσις/ haíresis (“act of choice,” “decision”). In the Hellenistic period, when a plurality of philosophical schools had developed, the word was used to express the need of budding philosophers to choose between these schools. Hence it came to be used to denote both a philosophical school and the school's teaching; in…

Hillel/School of Hillel

(331 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
[German Version] According to rabbinic traditions, Hillel was from Babylonia and lived at the time of Herod. Since the earliest traditions associated with Hillel first occur in the Mishnah, which was probably edited at the beginning of the 3rd century ce, and since these traditions are not regarded as historically reliable, it is impossible to reconstruct the life of Hillel and his precise words and teachings. The opinions and rules attributed to Hillel in the Mishnah may trace back to Hillel's students who transmitted Hillel's teachi…

Society

(6,607 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Kippenberg, Hans G. | Thiel, Winfried | Wehr, Lothar | Münch, Richard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The word society ( societas, société) has changed from a term denoting particular forms and modes of human coexistence to a term (in both sg. and pl.) denoting the totality of human coexistence; it has thus become the basic term of the theoretical sciences that deal with human coexistence. The German equivalent, Gesellschaft (from OHG sal, “room,” and selida, “dwelling place”), suggests ties that arise from sharing the same room (cf. Geselle, “apprentice,” etymologically “someone ¶ sharing accommodations” with a master) or belonging to the sa…

Amoraim

(236 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
[German Version] The Talmud and Midrash already use the term amoraim for “reciters” (from 'mr, “speak, recite”) associated with certain rabbis; their exact function is unknown. It is also used for rabbis of the talmudic period who are not tannaim or saboraim. Abraham Ibn Daud introduced the division of the Palestinian amoraim into five generations and of the Babylonian into seven. Neither the Palestinian nor the Babylonian amoraim expounded normative doctrine. Their major functions involved study of the Torah and instruction, as well…

Human Beings

(18,165 words)

Author(s): Gregersen, Niels H. | Grünschloß, Andreas | Figal, Günter | Janowski, Bernd | Lichtenberger, Hermann | Et al.
[German Version] I. Natural Sciences and Psychology – II. Religious Studies – III. Philosophy – IV. Old Testament – V. New Testament – VI. Church History – VII. Dogmatics and Ethics – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam I. Natural Sciences and Psychology 1. Evolution From the perspective of the natural sciences, the theory of evolution offers the most comprehensive framework for understanding human beings. It views the human species as a late product of a biogenetic process that began with the origin of life (VI) on earth some 3.8 billion …

Hakhamim

(156 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
[German Version] In Wisdom and Sirach, Palestinian students of the Torah are already referred to as ḥakhamim, “wise men,” since wisdom is identified with the Torah (cf. e.g. Sir 24:19–29). The same meaning is attached to the term “wise” in the Qumran texts (Qumran) and in the NT. In rabbinic literature, ḥakhamim appears as a self-designation of the Tannaim. In the Mishnah and the Tosefta, halakhic teachings (Halakhah) are handed down in the name of these Hakhamim, who are presented as teachers of the Torah. They are regarded as moral authorities…

Community

(5,842 words)

Author(s): Kehrer, Günter | Rüterswörden, Udo | Banks, Robert J. | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Marquardt, Manfred | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Dogmatics – VI. Ethics – VII. Practical Theology – VIII. Church Law – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. History of Religion In the following comments the term community will refer exclusively to a religiously motivated association of people. From the standpoint of the history of religion, the formation of communities is more the exception than the rule. The fact that associations such as tribes, as well, howe…

Social History

(4,845 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph | Schaper, Joachim | Hezser, Catherine | Leutzsch, Martin | Herrmann, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology and Theory In its scientific exploration of the past, all historiography aims at a synthesis in the sense of a valid overview of what has gone before. At best, however, the quest can succeed only paradigmatically and typically, because any reconstruction of an histoire totale is doomed to failure. Nevertheless historiography cannot abandon the ven-¶ ture of viewing history (History/Concepts of history) as a whole, because otherwise the incalculable mass of detail would rule out any interpretation of historical processes. …

Mitzvot

(324 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
[German Version] The Hebrew term mitzvah (“law,” pl. mitzvot) denotes a central and basic concept of Judaism that characterizes and appropriately expresses Jewish religiousness. The extremely frequent use of the term in Hebrew and Yiddish religious, philosophical, and literary texts points to the significance of the concept of mitzvah in Judaism from antiquity to the present day. The term mitzvah is not only used for biblical and rab-¶ binic laws and regulations, or good deeds done by one person to another; it refers much more widely to the basic stance of obedi…

Yavne

(519 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
[German Version] (Jabne, Jamnia). Situated in the Judean coastal plain, the town of Yavne became an important center after the First Jewish Revolt against Rome. After the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, according to Josephus ( Bell. IV 444), Vespasian (69–79 ce) settled the Jews who had surrendered to the Romans without a struggle in Yavne (and Lydda). Rabbinic literature has preserved several versions of the story of Yohanan ben Zakkai’s flight to Yavne and his founding of a school there ( ARN A 4, ARN B 6, 13, b.Giṭ. 56b, Lam. Rab. 1.31). This story claims that Yohanan had pr…

Property

(6,503 words)

Author(s): Elwert, Georg | Frick, Frank S. | Meggitt, Justin J. | Honecker, Martin | Hezser, Catherine | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Property ownership is a social convention that allows and restricts access to physical or socially constructed objects and links that access with certain obligations. In many societies, the obligations of and restrictions on use, especially in connection with land, are managed by a separate supervisory office. Such an office can be vested in a priest, as in the Tobriand Islands…

Literature, History of

(11,666 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Utzschneider, Helmut | Reiser, Marius | Hezser, Catherine | Heinzmann, Michael
[German Version] I. The Concept and its Problems – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Judaism – V. Church History I. The Concept and its Problems Since the emergence of historical consciousness in the late 18th and early 19th century, literary historiography has attempted to present literary phenomena not simply as a sequential chronological or lexical (alphabetical) list but in their internal, substantial coherence and its historical development. The notion of literary history goes back to antiquity, but to …

Scribes

(2,781 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
Throughout antiquity, scribes were professional writers of manuscripts and documents (Roberts, 1970; Haines-Eitzen, 2000; Hezser, 2001). Since writing was a technical skill that required special training, it was usually done by professionals who practiced their trade to make a living. In First and Second Temple times, scribes who were experts in writing Torah scrolls were associated with the Temple. The Temple would also have needed administrative scribes trained in writing documents, sales rece…
Date: 2019-08-09

Sozialgeschichte

(4,188 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph | Schaper, Joachim | Hezser, Catherine | Leutzsch, Martin | Herrmann, Ulrich | Et al.
[English Version] I. Zum Begriff; Theorieprobleme Alle Geschichtsschreibung zielt in ihrer wiss. Erforschung der Vergangenheit auf Synthese im Sinne einer gültigen Gesamtschau des Gewesenen. Doch kann ihr dies höchstens paradigmatisch und idealtypisch gelingen, weil jede Rekonstruktion einer histoire totale zum Scheitern verurteilt ist. Gleichwohl darf Historiographie nicht auf das Wagnis verzichten, Geschichte als Ganzes in den Blick zu nehmen, weil ihr angesichts unüberschaubarer Details sonst jede…

Ordination

(6,887 words)

Author(s): Hartenstein, Friedhelm | Sänger, Dieter | Peters, Christian | Brandt, Reinhard | Meßner, Reinhard | Et al.
[English Version] I. Altes TestamentDie v.a. aus prot. Perspektive unternommene Suche nach Vorformen der O. im AT erscheint wenig aussichtsreich, da sich in der HB keine direkten Äquivalente zur christl. O. als öfftl. Beauftragung von Amtsträgern durch die Gemeinde finden. Entsprechende Untersuchungen beschränken sich vorwiegend auf den atl.-jüd. Hintergrund der frühchristl. O. (Lohse). Ntl. Berichte über die Einsetzung in Gemeindeämter (Apg 6,1–6; 13,1–3; 2Tim 1,6f.; s.u. II.) und rabb. Stellen zu…

Tradition

(7,687 words)

Author(s): Baumann, Martin | Hezser, Catherine | Liss, Hanna | Schröter, Jens | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Et al.
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich Im allg. Sprachgebrauch ist »T.« (lat. transdare, »weiterreichen, übergeben, überliefern«) als ein Festhalten und Bewahren konnotiert; als ein konservierendes Weiterreichen von Sitten, Bräuchen, Normen, Regeln und Wissen verstanden. Im Vordergrund steht der Aspekt der Kontinuität von Hergebrachtem. Jan Assmann interpretiert T. als einen exemplarischen Fall des »kulturellen Gedächtnisses«, als eine auf Dauer gestellte kulturelle Konstruktion von Identit…