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Church Government

(5,330 words)

Author(s): Roloff, Jürgen | Frost, Herbert | Thon, Nikolaus | Link, Christoph
1. Early Church Tendencies 1.1. Two Fundamental Convictions Two fundamental convictions concerning the nature of the church, which are of great significance for the later development of church government, become evident in the NT writings. 1.1.1. The church has its origin in God’s actions in Jesus Christ. It is ekklēsia, or the people of the end time chosen and sanctified by God, to whom belongs the sphere of the sacred. Because he alone exercises his dominion over the church through the Holy Spirit, the church does not stand at the disposal of any human control or power (1 Cor. 3:16–17). Th…

Collegialism

(511 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
According to the traditional understanding, collegialism designates a theory advanced in justification of (Protestant) territorial church government (the last of such older theories after the territorial and episcopal systems). Unlike earlier theories, however, it includes both a sociological and a theological theory of the church and of church law. The basis is the view, derived from natural law and the Enlightenment, of the social nature of the church (as a collegium, as for S. Pufendorf and J. H. Boehmer). In the middle of the 18th century early collegialists (e.g., C. M. Pfaff…

Freedom of Religion

(3,650 words)

Author(s): Schlenke, Dorothee | Kronauer, Ulrich | Link, Christoph | Ohst, Martin | Witte, John | Et al.
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics – III. Philisophy – V. History – VI. Mission I. Dogmatics Freedom of religion, as generally understood, combines freedom of belief, of conscience, and creed, as well as freedom to practice one's religion (cf. German Basic Law, art. 4, §§1, 2), in one fundamental right. Dogmatics needs to clarify the relationship between religious certainty and freedom. A statement consonant with Reformation belief would run as follows: If Christian certainty, as certainty about the …

Reservatrechte (Reserved Rights in German Empire)

(187 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] In the Holy Roman Empire, reserved rights were the epitome of the (historically varying) rights enjoyed by the emperor without any requirement of approval by electors and the Reichstag. Borrowing from this usage, in the 19th century Reservatsrechte were those rights of church governance, rooted in the summepiscopate of the territorial prince, that he had reserved to be exercised personally (i.e. not by church officials acting in his name). The most important were: approbation of ecclesiastical legislation passed by synods, in ¶ some cases including the right to…

Church and Media

(751 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] I. From the very beginning, the church has always existed on the basis of communication. All human lives spent within it are realized in the communicative justification of human community. In all periods, therefore, it has placed every available means of communication in the service of its mission. The modern transition to an information-based society, however, represents a particular challenge. In many episcopal and papal statements going back as far as…

Grotius, Hugo

(875 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] (Huig de Groot; Apr 10, 1583, Delft, The Netherlands – Aug 28, 1645, Rostock), an impor-¶ tant jurist and theologian. From a patrician Delft family, Grotius attended the University of Leiden already as an eleven-year-old. After studying classical philology, history, theology, and law, he received the Dr.iur. in Orléans on an ambassadorial journey in 1598 and became a lawyer in 1599. An expert's opinion in the conflict of the sea-trade interests of Holland and Portugal contained the pioneering chapter De mare libero (1604; ET: The Free Sea, 2004), in which Grotius j…

Exclusion, Right of

(199 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] ( ius exclusivae) denotes the right of a civil ruler or state in Catholic church law to exclude as undesirable a certain candidate from being elected or appointed to church office. Papal exclusion, which the sovereigns of major Catholic powers (German and – later – Austrian emperors, kings of France and Spain) claimed for themselves with no formal recognition by th…

State Religion

(245 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] The term state religion denotes a religious element unifying the collectivity of subjects, considered indispensable for the existence of the state (“un roi, une loi, une foi”). It was taken for granted as the foundation of nearly every early form of the state. To the extent that religion is considered an element of public order, religious pluralism is perceived as a threat to the unity of the state, since it bears the seed of civil war, or at least qualified loyalty on the part of th…

Teaching, Duties and Freedom in

(1,125 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph | Rees, Wilhelm | Germann, Michael
[German Version] I. German Law Along with artistic freedom, Basic Law art. 5 § 3 guarantees freedom of “scholarship, research, and teaching.” The association of freedom of teaching with scholarship and research shows that the guarantee of the Basic Law applies only to scholarly teaching, i.e. teaching that presents the findings of one’s own research (and examines critically the findings of others). Freedom of teaching thus relates (albeit not exclusively) to teaching in public and private universitie…

Excommunication

(2,394 words)

Author(s): Wohlmuth, Josef | Ohme, Heinz | Link, Christoph | Oppenheimer, Aharon
[German Version] I. Catholic – II. Orthodox – III. Protestantism – IV. Judaism I. Catholic Excommunication must be defined as a privative term from communicatio and κοινωνíα/ koinōnía (cf. 1 Cor 10:16: sharing and participating in the body and blood of Jesus ¶ Christ; cf. 2 Cor 13:13: communion in the Holy Spirit). The word excommunication does not occur in the New Testament. The competence of the church to excommunicate is traced back to Matt 16:18f.…

Potestas directa/indirecta/directiva

(444 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] refers to modalities of the medieval and modern Catholic claim to ecclesial (and esp. papal) authority in temporal (worldly) matters ( in temporalibus). Invoking older doctrinal tra-¶ ditions, the medieval papacy in particular claimed papal supremacy over all secular powers (most strongly articulated in the Unam sanctam bull of Boniface VIII [1302], doctrine of the two swords), and thus not only the supreme legislative authority in spiritualibus et temporalibus but also a right to intervene directly in the legal order of states through the repeali…

Heckel

(688 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph | Friedrich, Norbert
[German Version] 1. Johannes (Nov 24, 1889, Kammerstein, Middle Franconia – Dec 15, 1965, Tübingen), Protestant teacher of constitutional and church law. After service in the church in Munich and later in Berlin, he became a private lecturer in 1923, and supernumerary professor in Berlin in 1926; in 1928, he was a full professor of public law and church law in Bonn, and in Munich from 1934 (with an interruption), until his retirement in 1957. After his initial labors in the history of church law as …

Sehling, Emil

(115 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] (July 9,1860, Essen – Nov 30, 1928, Erlangen), Protestant legal scholar. After associate professorships in Leipzig and Kiel, he was appointed to a full professorship in Erlangen in 1888. After numerous works on other legal topics, he devoted himself primarily to marriage law and church law, which he discussed without “any religious or theological consideration.” His monumental magnum opus, an edition of the Protestant church orders of the Reformation period (5 vols., 1902–1913; continued after 1951 by the Kirchenrechtliches Institut of t…

Prussian Civil Code

(672 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] The Prussian Civil Code ( Preußisches Allgemeines Landrecht) went into effect on Jun 1, 1794, as a law code for the unified Prussian monarchy. It was drafted at the behest of Frederick the Great by the new chancellor, Casimir v. Carmer (1780); among those contributing to its content, Carl Gottlieb Svarez and Ernst Ferdinand Klein stand out. Completed in 1791, after Frederick’s death, it was to have taken effect in 1792 as the Allgemeines Gesetzbuch für die Preußischen Staaten [Civil code for the Prussian states]. Not least in reaction to the French Revoluti…

Church Schools

(977 words)

Author(s): Schreiner, Martin | Link, Christoph
[German Version] I. Practical Theology – II. Law I. Practical Theology Basing themselves on the Christian conception of the human being, church schools attempt to dispense and configurate school education in such a way that the power of the gospel as well as the significance of Christian faith and its understanding of life can become experienceable in the pedagogical interaction of a shared conduct of life. Their legitimation is thus both theological and pedagogical. In their …

Ius in sacra / ius circa sacra

(329 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] The expressions ius in sacra and ius circa sacra came into use in the 17th century but were not clearly distinguished until the 19th century. They denote the legal authority of the territorial ruler by virtue of his supervisory authority over all corporations and religious bodies (Secular supremacy: ius in sacra), grounded in his secular authority, and his authority as summepiscopus (Summepiscopate of the princes) of the Protestant church ( ius in sacris). Episcopalist theology (Episcopalism: I) developed a graduated theory of secular authority, in co…

Hontheim, Johann Nikolaus von

(499 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] (Jan 27, 1701, Trier – Sep 2, 1790, Montquintin Castle, Luxemburg), Catholic historian and canonist. Hontheim was from a patrician family in Trier. He studied law, theology and classical philology in Trier, Leuven and Leiden. He received the Dr.iur.utr. in 1724 and became a priest and canonist in 1728, first in Trier then in Coblenz in 1740. He was professor of Roman law in Trier (1733–1738), administrator of the diocesan court in Coblenz (1738) and auxiliary bishop and pro-chancellor of the University in Trier (1748). Despite ecclesial and political success in th…

Territorialism/Territorial System

(492 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] Territorialism is a theory of the legal relationship between the state and the church, according to which the all-embracing sovereignty of the prince includes sovereignty over the church and the public practice of religion in his territory; this means that all leadership authority in the church derives from the territorial lord. Chronologically the territorial system gradually gave way to episcopalism (which was influenced increasingly by territorialist arguments as it emerged); i…

Itio in partes

(204 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] refers to the division of the Reichstag according to religious parties ( Corpus Catholicorum and Corpus Evangelicorum ) when one side declared the question at issue to be a matter of religion. Deliberations then began first within the confessional blocks – separated according to curias. If these separately reached decisions differed from one another, only the path of compromise, the amicabilis compositio remained. Matters of religion could not, therefore, be decided in a plenary session according to the majority principle. Exercised de facto as early as 1526, b…

Privilege

(1,856 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph | Korioth, Stefan | Magin, Christine
[German Version] I. Law In contrast with its imprecise meaning in general usage, which also includes social disparities, in law the term “privilege” has a more clearly defined meaning, which became increasingly precise in the course of history. It denotes a special right granted to an individual or majority group by sovereign act of a responsible authority. As a legal term it has its origin in Roman law; in the Middle Ages it was developed essentially by the church, but used also by the emperor. In…
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