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Demonic, The

(2,174 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Sparn, Walter
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Dogmatics – III. Philosophy of Religion I. Religious Studies R. Otto used the concept of the demonic in close association with the concept of the numinous, which occupied the center of his theory of religion. The essence of the numinous includes the element of the tremendum, the unnerving or unsettling element corresponding on the human side to numinous or religious awe – whose “preliminary stage” according to Otto is demonic awe ( Das Heilige, ch. 4.a). This understanding corresponds to a similar un…

Eclecticism

(769 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Albrecht, Michael
[German Version] I. Comparative Religion – II. Philosophy I. Comparative Religion The term “eclecticism” denotes philosophical or religious systems in which elements of various provenance have been deliberately combined; it was already used in this sense by ancient writers (Diogenes Laertius; cf. II below). In modern usage, the term usually carries a negative connotation, based on the assumptio…

Incarnation

(4,457 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Williams, Rowan D. | Fahlbusch, Erwin
1. Religious Aspect 1.1. Term The term “incarnation,” which is now used in religious discussion as well as Christian theology, is not always plainly distinct from related terms like “manifestation” or “epiphany.” There is thus no uniform usage, and the employment of the word is much debated. It seems best to limit its use to the idea that a ¶ divine being has embodied itself in human form and in this form lived on earth. A distinction might be made between continuous incarnation in an institutions or dynasty and a discontinuous incarnation in single individuals. 1.2. Non-Christian Examples I…

Hope

(4,048 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Kaiser, Otto | du Toit, Andrie | Beißer, Friedrich | Moxter, Michael
[German Version] I. Religious Studies / History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics – V. Ethics I. Religious Studies / History of Religions Various versions of the Greek Prometheus myth characterize hope ( elpís) as one of the requirements for human existence (Hesiod Opera et dies V 96; Aesch. Prometheus V 250). In Roman religion, hope ( spes) is one of the concepts personified and venerated as divine powers (Cic. De legibus II 28). It seems reasonable to assume that religious hope differs from nonreligious hope in extending its time…

Synkretismus

(4,646 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Hutter, Manfred | Auffarth, Christoph | Leicht, Reimund | Roxborogh, John | Et al.
[English Version] I. Zum Begriff Das Wort »S.« in seiner weitesten Bedeutung bez. jede Verbindung oder Mischung verschiedener kultureller Phänomene. Diese Verwendung erklärt sich aus der scheinbar naheliegenden, falschen Etym.: »S.« ist meistens von dem griech. Verbum συn̆κερα´n̆n̆υμι/synkeránnymi, »mischen«, abgeleitet worden. Tatsächlich handelt es sich aber um eine Wortschöpfung Plutarchs (mor. 490b), der das Verhalten der Kreter, die sich gegenüber äußeren Feinden zusammenschließen, als »synkretismos« bez. Durch Erasmus von Ro…

Syncretism

(5,112 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Hutter, Manfred | Auffarth, Christoph | Leicht, Reimund | Roxborogh, John | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The word syncretism in its broadest sense denotes any blend or combination of diverse cultural phenomena. This usage derives from an apparently reasonable but false etymology: syncretism is commonly derived from the Greek verb συνκεράννυμι/ synkeránnymi, “mix.” In fact, however, it is a neologism coined by Plutarch ( Mor. 490b), who called the way Cretans came together in the face of external enemies synkretismos. Erasmus of Rotterdam than borrowed the term and introduced it into the language of Christian theology. In theology th…

Symbol/Symbole/Symboltheorien

(7,938 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Cancik-Lindemaier, Hildegard | Recki, Birgit | Schlenke, Dorothee | Biehl, Peter | Et al.
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich Eine religionswiss. relevante Verwendung des griech. Wortes συ´μβολοn̆/sýmbolon findet sich schon früh in der eur. Religionsgesch., z.B. bei Dion von Prusa (1./2.Jh. n.Chr.) in seiner Rede über die Zeus-Statue des Pheidias in Olympia (Oratio 12,59). Der griech. Symbolbegriff verweist in diesem Zusammenhang auf die Problematik der Götterbilder, die darin besteht, daß das, was eigentlich der menschlichen Anschauung entzogen ist, dem Menschen anschaulich vergegenwärtigt werden soll. In der Religionswiss., v.a. in der R…

Symbols/Symbol Theory

(9,049 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Cancik-Lindemaier, Hildegard | Recki, Birgit | Schlenke, Dorothee | Biehl, Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Use of the Greek word σύμβολον/ sýmbolon in a sense relevant to religious studies is attested quite early in the history of European religions; Dio of Prusa (1st/2nd cent. ce), for example, used it in his speech on Phidias’s statue of Zeus in Olympia ( Oratio 12.59). In this context, the Greek term reflects the problem posed by images of the gods: what is intrinsically inaccessible to human vision (Vision/Intuition) is somehow to be represented visually. In religious studies, especially in the phenomenology of religion, the concept of sy…