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Crossroads

(414 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
[German Version] The construction, extension, and maintenance of roadway networks correlate with the emergence of settlements, towns, and cities (Town and city) and are among the early achievements of advanced civilizations. In ancient Greece, a dense and easily usable network of roads linked city states separated by impassable mountains. Crossroads were often marked by herms intended both to protect against the risks of travel and to serve as landmarks. The …

Conscience

(4,604 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund | Käppel, Lutz | Dautzenberg, Gerhard | Härle, Wilfried | Mokrosch, Reinhold
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Greco-Roman Antiquity – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics and Ethics – V. Practical Theology I. History of Religion The original meaning of the word, (divine) “joint knowledge, knowledge, consciousness, and self-consciousness” (Gk syneídēsis, Lat. conscientia), had already changed in antiquity to refer to an evaluative consciousness of one's own actions. Western philosophical and theological discourse formed various metaphors: the internal; the inner voiced ( daimónion; daimon), also interpreted as the voice …

Wundt, Wilhelm Maximilian

(360 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
[German Version] (Aug 16, 1832, Neckarau [Mannheim] – Aug 31, 1920, Großbothen, near Leipzig) is regarded as the father of experimental psychology, who created the critical conditions for the successful development of psychology as an autonomous discipline. After studying physiology with Hermann v. Helmholtz in Heidelberg, while Helmholtz’s assistant he lectured on psychology as a natural science (1862), with the goal of explaining mental processes on the basis of physiological changes. In his Grundzüge der physiologischen Psychology (1874/1875; ET: Principles of Physiolog…

Unconscious, The

(1,756 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund | Rosenau, Hartmut | Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] I. Religious Studies S. Freud claimed credit for discovering the unconscious as a key concept for psychoanalysis, but much older concepts of the unconscious are found in religious and philosophical systems: (a) in the works of Plato(ἀνάμνησις/ anámnēsis as the unconscious condition for conscious mental activity) and Plotinus, (b) in Indian Vedānta and Buddhism ( avidyā, “ignorance,” inducing māyā), and (c) in the medieval Christian mysticism of Meister Eckhart ( Seligkeit) and the 14th-century English mystical text The Cloud of Unknow…

Subculture

(345 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund
[German Version] A subculture is a partial culture of a society that differs from the socially dominant (primary) culture in its values, norms, attitudes, needs, lifestyles, and symbols, as well as its behavior patterns, organizations, institutions, and traditions. Subcultures presuppose differentiated and pluralistic societies. The term itself goes back to the sociological study of delinquency in the 1940s: the deviant but internally strictly codified behavior of juvenile delinquents could be explained as the result of social discrimination and lack ¶ of opportunities for …