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Germany

(3,071 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, approximately 67,000 people of Indian origin lived in Germany with a German passport, and about 43,000 Indian citizens. Such data can only be a general estimate, because people who originally came as Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka or as “Indians” from Afghanistan are sometimes also included in such numbers. Another inaccuracy appears as persons of the second and partly already the third generation of migrants from the Indian subcontinent are inc…
Date: 2019-01-30

Vietnam

(2,926 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
While the main religious traditions in Vietnam focus on Sino-Vietnamese Buddhism and Confucianism; Roman Catholicism as a result of the French colonial rule; and more recent religions like Protestantism, Cao Dai or Hoa Hao Buddhism, and the veneration of Ho Chi Minh (see Taylor, 2007, 11f.), we also find two different groups of Hindus, which make up less than 0.1% of the country’s total population. On the one hand, this small group of Hindus living among people of other religions may signify the…
Date: 2019-01-30

Afghanistan

(3,022 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has a population of about 30 million. Next to the dominating Sunni Islam, there is a considerable Šīʿa minority of about 15% of the population. The non-Muslims in Afghanistan also include Hindus and Sikhs, but the total number of them in 2012 is only a guess and varies widely. Some sources calculate that there might be only 500 Sikhs and Hindus, others say there might be 1,100 Hindus and 4,900 Sikhs, or even more in recent years (Ballard, 2011, 9, 21-22). Geo…
Date: 2019-01-30

Thailand II

(3,268 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
Hindus in Thailand can be traced back to two very different origins – the old and very small group of Thai Brahmans and the more recent group of Hindus of Indian origin who started to migrate to Thailand in the middle of the 19th century. The exact number of Hindus living in Thailand today is only a guess; some say that there might be 100,000 Hindus among Thailand’s total population of 69 million, but other numbers are lower (compare Malik, 2003; Mani, 1993, 911; Poolthupya, 2008, 670; The Indian Diaspora, 2002, 269–270). About 75% of them live in Bangkok; the others concentrate in …
Date: 2019-01-30

Austria

(2,800 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
There have been contacts between Austria and the Indian subcontinent since the early 20th century, when some Indian students came mainly to Vienna. But these contacts were rather limited and remained restricted to individuals. When in 1963 an Austrian-Indian cultural society was established, some exchange in the fields of arts and music started, followed up by the creation of associations such as the World Malayalee Council, Kerala Cultural Society, and the Association of Nepalese in Austria. Be…
Date: 2019-01-30

Burma/Myanmar

(4,219 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
Legendary traditions say that contact between Burma and India already existed in the 3rd century BCE, when the Buddhist ruler Aśoka sent his missionaries to Suvarṇabhūmi (“Golden Land”), a part of Lower Burma, in order to spread Buddhism. This legend has twofold historical information, showing that Buddhism has always been more important than Hinduism in the process of “Indianization” of Burma and that the earliest contact between India and Burma had been established in Lower Burma. But such an…
Date: 2019-01-30

Grave/Tomb

(558 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
The grave or tomb is a place of repose for the dead, and a station along their journey. It has (1) the character of a defense in their regard, inasmuch as it preserves them from desecration by persons, from devastation by animals or natural catastrophes, and from hurtful assaults by demons: inscriptions or protective symbols reinforce this aspect. It has (2) a function of security for the living: the dead are kept in the tomb lest, frightening and terrorizing, they be able to penetrate the realm…

Manichaeism

(1,143 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
1. Manichaeism is a vanished world religion that once extended from Western Europe to China. Often simplistically attached to ‘Gnosis’ (→ Gnosticism), Manichaeism was a major threat to the early Christian church, and many misrepresentations are the result of interreligious conflicts. The dark ‘Manichean vision of the world,’ for instance, is a travesty concocted by the religion's conquerors, who themselves received more from it than they admitted. Mani 2. a) Although Manicheans themselves referred to their ‘church’ (Gk, ekklesia) as “Religion of Light,” as ‘Manichaeism’ t…

Amulet

(353 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
By way of the French or the Italian, the words ‘amulet’ (Arab., hammālāt, ‘necklace’) and ‘talisman’ (arab., tilsamān, ‘magical images’) were adopted in European languages in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The character of the amulet tends rather to be protective and resistant (apotropaic), while that of the talisman is more positive and fortifying. The quality of an amulet, to be sure, depends on the ‘material’ (precious stones, noble metals, rare minerals, or striking appearance), but such quality is…

Funeral/Burial

(1,330 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
1. a) The purpose of a funeral is not only the ritual removal of the corpse, but also the ritual defeat or management of the experience of death and separation. The funeral ritual fulfills several functions in these categories. With reference to the dead, it excludes them, and sets them in their new context (the smoke of the funeral pyre indicates the route of the soul to the beyond; the grave marks the departed one's new residence and abode). But it can also render the memory of the dead a public affair, or account for the…

Death and Dying

(4,726 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
Death as a Boundary Rejected 1. a) Death and human attitudes that are to be observed in connection with it, underlie a transformation. Death concerns all human beings. The precise entry of death, and ‘life’ thereafter, has its own meaning for every culture. The scientific biological connections, the ‘itinerary’ of death, are, of course, available to documentation: Western school medicine can describe the gradation between clinical death as cessation of the circulation of the blood, as brain death, an…

Baha'i

(1,121 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
Baha'i Today 1. The Baha'i religion rests on traditions of Iranian Islamic history of religion, as well as on interweavings with the more ancient revelatory religions Judaism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism. Thus, its type is that of a monotheistic prophetical religion. The cultural conditions of its appearance in Islamic Iran in the nineteenth century weigh upon relations between the Islamic world and Baha'i to this day. At present the religion extends across the globe, with some 6.5 million …

Death (Personification of)

(1,333 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
1. “We must defeat death!” Arrogant illusion of an immortality to be achieved by technology? Surely. But out of the mouth of someone who is ill, it can express the conceptualization of death as a person attempting to lay hands on his victim and can lend courage for the battle against death and dying. That God will defeat death as ‘the last enemy’ is a religious proposition with a long pre-Christian history. This mythological figure is the subject that we here seek to address: death as a person. In the process of death and dying, physical death marks a caesura that can be variously …

Nomaden

(406 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[English Version] Nomaden, religionsgeschichtlich. In idealtypischer Form leben N. von den Erträgen ihrer Herdentiere und ziehen entsprechend den klimatischen Bedingungen als Hirten umher. Diese Bedingungen bestimmen dabei Tierhaltung, Lebensgrundlage und Weltbild. Ausgeprägter Nomadismus existiert(e) v.a. in folgenden drei geographischen Bereichen: 1. Die (halb-)nomadisch lebenden Völker im Norden Eurasiens (finno-ugrische Religionen) werden vom deutlichen Wandel der Jahreszeiten und dem Wechsel der Weideplätze im Frühling und im Her…

Wettkampf

(414 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[English Version] Wettkampf, religionswissenschaftlich. Der an einem Kampfort ausgetragene W. mit dem Ziel des Sieges hat ausgehend von der griech. Antike auch innerhalb des Christentums als Agon in metaphorischer Verwendung Eingang gefunden. In einem weiteren Sinn sind aber W. und Sport in vielen rel. Kontexten bezeugt bzw. können rel. rezipiert und interpretiert werden. W. bleibt dabei grundsätzlich Wettbewerb mit dem Streben nach Sieg, während der seit dem 16.Jh. in England verwendete Begriff »s…

Talisman

(174 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[English Version] . Seit dem 17.Jh. wird das Wort T. als Lehnwort im Dt. verwendet, wobei die etym. Herleitung bislang nicht eindeutig geklärt ist (Sefrin 163). Terminologisch und inhaltlich ist sowohl in der Umgangssprache als auch im wiss. Gebrauch eine exakte Differenzierung zu Amulett nicht möglich. Bei T. handelt es sich um künstliche oder natürliche Objekte, die von ihren Trägern bzw. Benutzern als »machtbeladen« (Mana) verstanden werden. Eine äußerliche Unterscheidung eines T. von bloßem Sc…

Regen

(343 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[English Version] Regen, religionswissenschaftlich. Die Bewertung des R. hängt damit zus., ob es sich um auf Bewässerungsfeldbau oder Regenfeldbau beruhende Kulturen handelt. Dabei betont man entweder die Abwehr des das Wachstum vernichtenden R., der unkontrollierte Überschwemmungen bringt, oder die Sorge um das Ausbleiben des R. sowie den Wunsch nach R. R. wird als Gabe von Berg- und Wettergöttern gesehen (z.B. im Vorderen Orient, wobei auch JHWH Züge solcher Götter aufweist; Indra im vedischen Pa…

Gods, Groups of

(481 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] Gods, Groups of, in the history of religions. The assembly of individual gods into a group of gods serves to structure polytheistic panthea (Pantheon: I) and results from cosmological classification or priestly-theological speculation. Frequently, groups of gods are arranged binarily, triadically or according to some other simple number (dyads e.g.: heaven/earth; triads: heaven/earth/sea, sun/moon/morning star). Additional criteria for the assembly of gods include: (fictive) genea…

Hemerology

(103 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] As a technique of divination/manticism, day-selection is a practice that assumes that specific days are auspicious or inauspicious for carrying out certain actions. Hemerologies containing lists of such days have come down to us from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the cultures of Classical Antiquity, and Judeo-¶ Christian tradition, as well as from the Chinese and Aztec cultures. Manfred Hutter Bibliography M. Kalinowski, “Les traités de Shuihudi et l'hémérologie chinoise à la fin des Royaumes-Combattants,” T'oung Pao 72, 1986, 175–228 C. Leitz, Tagewählerei. …

Divine Messengers

(394 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] Divine messages may be imparted to human beings in a non-personal way (e.g. through omens, dreams) or through (semi-)divine beings or angels. Divine messengers are “religious border crossers” for they can cross the boundaries between the terrestrial-human and the extraterrestrial-divine cosmos; in this respect, angels in Judaism, Christianty and Islam also rank …
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