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Neology

(1,047 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. Term Originally coined to denote linguistic and literary innovation, “neology” came to be used from about 1770 as a term of reproach against theologians who were viewed as proposing new doctrines. The orthodox who were critical of the Enlightenment adopted it, but so too did many supporters (e.g., G. E. Lessing). The reference today is to the middle phase of Enlightenment Protestant theology after 1740. Advocates used it of themselves only rarely and with reservations, preferring “Enlightenment.” Nor is the meaning always uniform. It is i…

Physicotheology

(1,988 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
Physicotheology is theology that gathers evidences of purpose in nature. It arose in the early Enlightenment as a form of the older European natural theology. It made use of the same allegorical interpretation of nature and of the same teleological proof of God (God, Arguments for the Existence of, 2.5), deducing the existence of an all-powerful and all-wise builder of the universe from its perfect, purposeful, and beautiful order. 1. Roots 1.1. Scientific Physicotheology was an important factor in the development of modern science. By demystifying nature in a pious …

Zwei-Regimente-Lehre

(2,268 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. Begriff Der erst im späten 19. Jh. aufgekommene Begriff Z.-R.-L. bezieht sich auf die ältere, gemeinchristl. Überzeugung, dass Gott die Welt auf zweierlei Weise regiere, teils mit ewiger, teils mit nur zeitlicher Zielsetzung: zum einen mittels der Religion (der christl. Kirche) und zum anderen mittels der Politik. Der Begriff ist insofern missverständlich, als es sich weniger um eine einzelne theologische »Lehre« handelte als vielmehr um einen größeren Komplex, in dem sich theologische, staatsrechtliche, polit., geschichtsphilosophische …
Date: 2019-11-19

Sünde

(4,502 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. Begriff, KontexteS. (engl. sin, franz. péché) bezeichnet seit dem frühen MA eine schuldhafte und strafwürdige Verfehlung eines verantwortlichen Täters gegen ein göttliches Gebot bzw. gegen ein durch göttliches Gebot legitimiertes kirchl. Gesetz. Über den moralischen Begriff »Laster« hinaus meint das relig. bzw. theologische Wort S. immer eine Beschädigung des menschlichen Gottesverhältnisses. In diesem (engeren) Sinne übersetzt das Wort die Ausdrücke hamartía der griech. und peccatum der lat. Bibel. Verwandte, aber nicht immer klar unterschiedene Begriffe sind »Böses«…
Date: 2019-11-19

Endzeit

(893 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
Der Glaube, dass man in der E. lebe, weil »dieser Welt« ihr Ende bevorstehe, prägte die Nz. bis ins 18. Jh. ( Weltbilder). Seine religiöse Grundlage war die Annahme der christl. Apokalyptik, dass mit Jesus Christus die Heilsgeschichte an ihr Ziel gekommen sei. Die Zeit »nach Christus«, d. h. zwischen seinem Kommen und seiner Wiederkunft zum Weltgericht und zur universalen Aufrichtung des Reiches Gottes in einer neuen Welt (Eschatologie), ist danach eine letzte Zeit, die »E.« des alten Äon. Schon im Urchristentum musste die ursprüngliche Vorstellung, dass…
Date: 2019-11-19

Jesus Christus

(4,219 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. Allgemein »J. Ch.« ist ursprünglich kein Name, sondern das Bekenntnis, dass J. von Nazareth der Christós (griech. »Gesalbter«, Messias) Gottes sei. Als solcher war J. Ch. in der europ. Nz. eine maßgebliche Figur religiöser und kultureller Orientierung. Sie erfuhr jedoch tiefgreifende Veränderungen, die zugleich Indikatoren einer Ablösung von der fraglosen Autorität der christl. Tradition zugunsten der eigenständigen, kritisch modifizierenden Rezeption waren. Der Glaube, dass ein irdischer Mensch in seinem Leben und Sterben die Gegenwart Gottes selbst verkörpert ha…
Date: 2019-11-19

End time

(1,018 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
The sense of living in the end time because “this world” was coming to an end was a prevailing belief of the early modern period until the 18th century (World view). Its religious basis was the assumption in Christian apocalypticism that Jesus Christ heralded the end of the history of salvation. The time “after Christ,” that is, between his coming and his return for the Last Judgment and the universal establishment of the Kingdom of God in a new world (Eschatology), was accordingly seen as a fin…
Date: 2019-10-14

Apocalypticism

(2,218 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. Terminology and background 1.1. Apocalypticism and apocalypseThe term “apocalypticism” (German  Apokalyptik) was introduced in 1820 by the theologian K.I. Nitzsch for the conviction and conduct that views the coming course of the world as a sequence of dramatic events that expand to become a cosmic catastrophe, bring the world and time to an end. Such Weltanschauungen assume that: (1) the fate of the humankind is a part of cosmic history, which in turn has human history as its focus; (2) the drama of this history is governed not only by human v…
Date: 2019-10-14

Jesus Christ

(4,907 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. General observations “Jesus Christ” is not originally a name but the declaration that Jesus of Nazareth is the  christós (Greek: “anointed,” Messiah) of God. As such, in the European modern era, Jesus Christ was a prominent figure in religious and cultural orientation. However, these orientations underwent far-reaching changes amounting to a move away from the unquestioned authority of the Christian tradition toward a more independent, critically modifying reception. The belief (Faith) that God incarnated himse…
Date: 2019-10-14

Christology

(3,146 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. SignificanceThe theological term  Christology, coined in the 17th century, denotes normative reflection (Dogma) on the person and work of Jesus Christ and his enduring religious significance. This intellectual image of Christ in Christology is one among many, for devotion to Christ always found expression in symbolic, literary, visual, musical, and theatrical forms as well. Despite reciprocal influences, however, these images of Christ (Jesus Christ; Iconography) by no means always conformed to t…
Date: 2019-10-14

Lutheranism

(2,829 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. Definition, origin, and profileThe term  Lutheranism (German  Luthertum) was coined in 1544. Like the more common terms  die LutherischenLutherani, Lutheranismus, and so on, it was originally a pejorative exonym, implying the charge of heresy, applied to the adherents of the Reformation, who since the activities of Martin Luther in 1517 had been vigorously flexing their ecclesiastical and political muscles. Luther himself disliked the expression  Lutheran; therefore the churches that reorganized themselves on the basis of regional church orders (begin…
Date: 2019-10-14

Suárez, Francisco

(1,410 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] ( Jan 5, 1548, Granada – Sep 25, 1617, Lisbon), SJ, leading theologian, philosopher, and legal theorist of Spanish Scholasticism. Suárez studied in Salamanca. Initially rejected for lack of aptitude, he was accepted into the Jesuits in 1564. In 1571 he began teaching philosophy in Segovia; after 1574 he taught theology in Valladolid, Segovia, and Alcalá. In 1580 he began teaching at the Collegium Romanum in Rome. In 1585 sickness forced him to return to Alcalá, where he succeeded …

Hoffmann, Daniel

(219 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (c. 1538, Halle/Saale – Nov 30, 1611, Wolfenbüttel), Lutheran theologian. Hoffmann was appointed professor of philosophy in Helmstedt in 1574/1576 and professor of theology in 1578. In association with V. Strigel, S. Musäus, and T. Heßhus, Hoffmann attempted to preserve the integrity of Luther's doctrine against Philippistic (P. Melanchthon) and Flacian (M. Flacius) deviations, but also, while defending the Lutheran doctrine of the Eucharist, against the “new dogma” of ubiquity (J…

Hütter, Leonard

(417 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Hutterus; Jan 1563, Nellingen near Ulm – Oct 23, 1616, Wittenberg), after studying the arts and theology in Strasbourg (M.A. 1583), Heidelberg and Jena, he received the Dr.theol. in Leipzig (1593) and became professor of theology in Wittenberg (1596) alongside P. Leyser, Sr. and A. Hunn (Hunnius). Like them, Hütter was a policy advocate and theological interpreter of the Formula of Concord: as orthodox scriptural exegesis, it was the result, as was the Augsburg Confession ( Analysis, 1594), of the work of the Holy Spirit ( Libri Christianae Concordiae … explicatio, 16…

Gabler, Johann Philipp

(173 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Jun 4, 1753, Frankfurt am Main – Feb 17, 1826, Jena), Protestant theologian, became professor of OT at Altdorf in 1785, and at Jena in 1804, where he had studied OT and NT exegesis from 1772 to 1778 with J.G. Eichhorn and J.J. Griesbach. Linked with theological neology (Enlightenment: II, 4.c), but not a rationalist, Gabler successfully developed the program (Mar 30, 1787) for the methodological separation of a “biblical theology” set apart from variable dogmatics by historical e…

Horneius, Konrad

(199 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Hornejus, Horn; Nov 25, 1590, Braunschweig – Sep 26, 1649, Helmstedt), philosophy student of Johannes Caselius and, also theological student of Cornelius Martini. In 1619 he became extraordinary professor of logic and ethics; in 1622, of metaphysics as the successor of Martini; and in 1628, the second professor of theology beside Georg Calixtus. Less innovative than the latter but a successful academic, teacher, and author, philosophically and theologically, Horneius embodied the…

Werdenhagen, Johann Angelius (von)

(325 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (ennobled in 1637; Aug 1, 1581, Helmstedt – Dec 26, 1652, Ratzeburg). After studying philosophy (J. Caselius, C. Martini) and law at Helmstedt, he began teaching as an adjunct in 1601. In 1607 he went to Salzwedel as deputy rector; from 1616 to 1618 he taught as professor of ethics at Helmstedt. Finding that position unpromising, he entered the political service of Magdeburg, lived as a writer in Leiden and The Hague from 1627 to 1632, and then returned to the service of Bremen, M…

Quenstedt, Johann Andreas

(283 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Aug 13, 1617, Quedlinburg – May 22, 1688, Wittenberg). After the death of his uncle, J. Gerhard, this scion of a patrician family was forced by war to study in nearby Helmstedt ¶ (G. Calixtus, K. Horneius); in 1644, however, he did go to Wittenberg (W. Leyser, J. Hülsemann), where in 1649 he was appointed adjunct professor in the faculties of philosophy and theology. He wrote quite a few geographical and antiquarian works. After receiving his doctorate in 1650, in 1660 he was appointed to the fourth chair of the…

Schmidt, Johann Lorenz

(391 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
[German Version] (Nov 30, 1702, Zell am Main – Dec 19/20, 1749, Wolfenbüttel), translator of the so-called Wertheim Bible. The son of a clergyman, Schmidt studied philosophy and theology at Jena (with J.F. Buddeus) and was appointed tutor to the comital (i.e. Protestant) House of Löwenstein-Wertheim. In this position he worked on a Bible translation, the first portion of which, the Pentateuch, was published by his pupils in 1735 ( Die göttlichen Schriften vor den Zeiten des Messie Jesus...). It triggered four years of public debate throughout Germany. Primarily at the ins…

Kirchen und religiöse Kultur

(5,079 words)

Author(s): Sparn, Walter
1. »Christentum« und »Kirchen«Das Fachgebiet führt nicht den schlichten Titel »Christentum«, sondern wählte den komplexeren Titel »Kirchen und relig. Kultur«. Zweifellos hatte es die Aufgabe, die nzl. Geschichte des Christentums darzustellen: als einen der großen Wandlungsprozesse der Nz., der lange Zeit alle Lebensbereiche betraf, der hochfliegende Hoffnungen und bedrohliche Ängste hervorrief und der mit seinen Veränderungen und Neuerungen stark dazu beitrug, dass Europa um 1850 gegenüber der Zeit um 1450 als …
Date: 2019-11-19
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