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Contraception

(383 words)

Author(s): Kreß, Hartmut
[German Version] Protestant ethics approves of a responsible and well-considered planning of pregnancy and family (Family planning). In an attempt to avoid negative connotations, it has become customary to speak of “birth control” rather than contraception. As a hormonal contraceptive preventing the fertilization of the ovum and thus pregnancy, the “pill” is one of the methods for birth control. Methods that block the nidation of an already fertilized ovum and provoke an early abortion are to be ¶ distinguished from the pill. The intra-uterine device, for instance,…

Celibacy

(375 words)

Author(s): Kreß, Hartmut
[German Version] In the history of Christianity celibacy has often been more highly valued than marriage. The Catholic Church's catechism of 1993 (no. 1618ff.) still praises celibacy and virginity. New Testament and Early Church statements form the background. For Paul it was the imminent eschatological expectation that gave celibacy and asceticism greater importance than marriage (1 Cor 7; cf. Matt 19:12). When celibacy is recommended in the New Testament, and especial…

Egoism

(707 words)

Author(s): Kreß, Hartmut
[German Version] The term originated in the 18 century. I. Kant described as moral egoists those who see only their own needs and happiness instead of seeking the basis for volitional decisions in moral obligations. The opposite of “egoism” for Kant was the mindset of a tolerant, cosmopolitan “pluralism” (Pluralism, altruism). Apart from the term, egoism, coined in the modern era, ancient religion and philosophy already discussed excessive love of self, unilateral selfishness or an internal “perver…

Notwehr

(1,021 words)

Author(s): Loos, Fritz | Kreß, Hartmut
[English Version] I. Begriff und rechtlich N. ist die erforderliche Verteidigung gegen einen gegenwärtigen rechtswidrigen Angriff (@ 32 Abs.2 StGB). Ein Handeln in N. ist gerechtfertigt (kein Unrecht) und kann deshalb nicht sanktioniert werden (nach @ 32 Abs.1 StGB keine Strafbarkeit, nach dem mit @ 32 StGB übereinstimmenden @ 227 BGB keine Schadensersatzpflicht). Der N. steht die Nothilfe, die Verteidigung Dritter gegen Angriffe, gleich. Voraussetzung der N. ist eine Notwehrlage. Diese erfordert eine von einem Menschen ausgehende Bedrohung von Rechtsgü…

Self-defense

(1,166 words)

Author(s): Loos, Fritz | Kreß, Hartmut
[German Version] I. Law In German law self-defense means any defensive action that is necessary to avert an imminent unlawful attack (German Criminal Code §32 para. 2). An action in self-defense is justified (not a crime) and therefore not subject to sanction (according to §32 para. 1 no culpability, according to German Civil Code §227, no liability for damages). In German law, the defense of a third party against attack is equivalent to self-defence. The condition for self-defense is a situation that makes it necessary. This requires a threat by another person agains…

Drugs

(1,338 words)

Author(s): Murken, Sebastian | Ulbrich, Paul | Kreß, Hartmut | Zweigle, Birgit
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Medicine – III. Ethics – IV. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies Drugs have been used since prehistoric times both for healing purposes and as a means of transcending the normal state of consciousness. The extraordinary state of consciousness induced by drugs (Intoxication, trance, ecstasy) facilitates the contact with the transcendent world and its be…

Homosexuality

(3,245 words)

Author(s): Carlsson, Bo Göran | Otto, Eckart | Kreß, Hartmut | Steinhäuser, Martin
[German Version] I. Religion – II. Biblical – III. Ethics – IV. Practical Theology I. Religion The present scientific classification of homosexuality in acts, preferences, and identity does not exist in religious documents or traditions. What these describe, and in some cases judge or condemn, is sexual acts between persons of the male sex. The presence in myths of homosexual activities between gods does not always correspond to what is sanctioned among men. In many religions with strong patterns of gender roles, polygamy or other conditions in society lead to ho…

Divorce

(4,531 words)

Author(s): Jackson, Bernard | Landmesser, Christof | Martin George | Gruber, Hans-Günter | Martin Petzolt | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament and Judaism – II. New Testament and Early Christianity – III. Church History – IV. Sociology – V. Systematic Theology and Social Ethics – VI. Law – VII. Practical Theology I. Old Testament and Judaism In the Hebrew Bible, the dissolution of a marriage is the husband's unilateral act. It was originally executed through a divorce formula, pronounced orally (Hos 2:4), but Deut 24:1, 3 knows of the practice of prepa…

Marriage

(10,960 words)

Author(s): Nehring, Andreas | Otto, Eckart | Deming, Willoughby Howard | Schäfer, Rolf | Nave-Herz, Rosemarie | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Sociology – VI. Systematic Theology – VII. Law – VIII. Practical Theology – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. Religious Studies The term marriage denotes a relationship entered into between two or more persons of different sex, ritually formalized, intended to be permanent, and recognized by society. In all cultures, definitions of economic and sexual rights and the conveyance of social status to children (Child/Childhood) are part of the socially ¶ defined framework of marriage…