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Afghanistan

(3,022 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has a population of about 30 million. Next to the dominating Sunni Islam, there is a considerable Šīʿa minority of about 15% of the population. The non-Muslims in Afghanistan also include Hindus and Sikhs, but the total number of them in 2012 is only a guess and varies widely. Some sources calculate that there might be only 500 Sikhs and Hindus, others say there might be 1,100 Hindus and 4,900 Sikhs, or even more in recent years (Ballard, 2011, 9, 21-22). Geo…
Date: 2019-01-30

Vietnam

(2,926 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
While the main religious traditions in Vietnam focus on Sino-Vietnamese Buddhism and Confucianism; Roman Catholicism as a result of the French colonial rule; and more recent religions like Protestantism, Cao Dai or Hoa Hao Buddhism, and the veneration of Ho Chi Minh (see Taylor, 2007, 11f.), we also find two different groups of Hindus, which make up less than 0.1% of the country’s total population. On the one hand, this small group of Hindus living among people of other religions may signify the…
Date: 2019-01-30

Austria

(2,800 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
There have been contacts between Austria and the Indian subcontinent since the early 20th century, when some Indian students came mainly to Vienna. But these contacts were rather limited and remained restricted to individuals. When in 1963 an Austrian-Indian cultural society was established, some exchange in the fields of arts and music started, followed up by the creation of associations such as the World Malayalee Council, Kerala Cultural Society, and the Association of Nepalese in Austria. Be…
Date: 2019-01-30

Burma/Myanmar

(4,219 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
Legendary traditions say that contact between Burma and India already existed in the 3rd century BCE, when the Buddhist ruler Aśoka sent his missionaries to Suvarṇabhūmi (“Golden Land”), a part of Lower Burma, in order to spread Buddhism. This legend has twofold historical information, showing that Buddhism has always been more important than Hinduism in the process of “Indianization” of Burma and that the earliest contact between India and Burma had been established in Lower Burma. But such an…
Date: 2019-01-30

Thailand II

(3,268 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
Hindus in Thailand can be traced back to two very different origins – the old and very small group of Thai Brahmans and the more recent group of Hindus of Indian origin who started to migrate to Thailand in the middle of the 19th century. The exact number of Hindus living in Thailand today is only a guess; some say that there might be 100,000 Hindus among Thailand’s total population of 69 million, but other numbers are lower (compare Malik, 2003; Mani, 1993, 911; Poolthupya, 2008, 670; The Indian Diaspora, 2002, 269–270). About 75% of them live in Bangkok; the others concentrate in …
Date: 2019-01-30

Germany

(3,071 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, approximately 67,000 people of Indian origin lived in Germany with a German passport, and about 43,000 Indian citizens. Such data can only be a general estimate, because people who originally came as Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka or as “Indians” from Afghanistan are sometimes also included in such numbers. Another inaccuracy appears as persons of the second and partly already the third generation of migrants from the Indian subcontinent are inc…
Date: 2019-01-30

Grave/Tomb

(558 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
The grave or tomb is a place of repose for the dead, and a station along their journey. It has (1) the character of a defense in their regard, inasmuch as it preserves them from desecration by persons, from devastation by animals or natural catastrophes, and from hurtful assaults by demons: inscriptions or protective symbols reinforce this aspect. It has (2) a function of security for the living: the dead are kept in the tomb lest, frightening and terrorizing, they be able to penetrate the realm…

Manichaeism

(1,143 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
1. Manichaeism is a vanished world religion that once extended from Western Europe to China. Often simplistically attached to ‘Gnosis’ (→ Gnosticism), Manichaeism was a major threat to the early Christian church, and many misrepresentations are the result of interreligious conflicts. The dark ‘Manichean vision of the world,’ for instance, is a travesty concocted by the religion's conquerors, who themselves received more from it than they admitted. Mani 2. a) Although Manicheans themselves referred to their ‘church’ (Gk, ekklesia) as “Religion of Light,” as ‘Manichaeism’ t…

Baha'i

(1,121 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
Baha'i Today 1. The Baha'i religion rests on traditions of Iranian Islamic history of religion, as well as on interweavings with the more ancient revelatory religions Judaism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism. Thus, its type is that of a monotheistic prophetical religion. The cultural conditions of its appearance in Islamic Iran in the nineteenth century weigh upon relations between the Islamic world and Baha'i to this day. At present the religion extends across the globe, with some 6.5 million …

Funeral/Burial

(1,330 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
1. a) The purpose of a funeral is not only the ritual removal of the corpse, but also the ritual defeat or management of the experience of death and separation. The funeral ritual fulfills several functions in these categories. With reference to the dead, it excludes them, and sets them in their new context (the smoke of the funeral pyre indicates the route of the soul to the beyond; the grave marks the departed one's new residence and abode). But it can also render the memory of the dead a public affair, or account for the…

Death and Dying

(4,726 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
Death as a Boundary Rejected 1. a) Death and human attitudes that are to be observed in connection with it, underlie a transformation. Death concerns all human beings. The precise entry of death, and ‘life’ thereafter, has its own meaning for every culture. The scientific biological connections, the ‘itinerary’ of death, are, of course, available to documentation: Western school medicine can describe the gradation between clinical death as cessation of the circulation of the blood, as brain death, an…

Death (Personification of)

(1,333 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
1. “We must defeat death!” Arrogant illusion of an immortality to be achieved by technology? Surely. But out of the mouth of someone who is ill, it can express the conceptualization of death as a person attempting to lay hands on his victim and can lend courage for the battle against death and dying. That God will defeat death as ‘the last enemy’ is a religious proposition with a long pre-Christian history. This mythological figure is the subject that we here seek to address: death as a person. In the process of death and dying, physical death marks a caesura that can be variously …

Amulet

(353 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
By way of the French or the Italian, the words ‘amulet’ (Arab., hammālāt, ‘necklace’) and ‘talisman’ (arab., tilsamān, ‘magical images’) were adopted in European languages in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The character of the amulet tends rather to be protective and resistant (apotropaic), while that of the talisman is more positive and fortifying. The quality of an amulet, to be sure, depends on the ‘material’ (precious stones, noble metals, rare minerals, or striking appearance), but such quality is…

Tagewählerei

(104 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[English Version] . Als Technik der Divination/Mantik ist T. eine Praxis, die davon ausgeht, daß bestimmte Tage für die Durchführung mancher Handlungen günstig bzw. ungünstig sind. Hemerologien, die solche Tage verzeichnen, sind aus dem alten Ägypten und Mesopotamien, dem Raum der klassischen Antike, der jüd.-christl. Tradition genauso überliefert wie aus dem chinesischen und aztekischen Kulturkreis. Manfred Hutter Bibliography M. Kalinowski, Les traités de Shuihudi et l'hémérologie chinoise à la fin des Royaumes-Combattants (T'oung Pao 72, 1986, 175–228) Ch. Leitz, T. D…

Wettkampf

(414 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[English Version] Wettkampf, religionswissenschaftlich. Der an einem Kampfort ausgetragene W. mit dem Ziel des Sieges hat ausgehend von der griech. Antike auch innerhalb des Christentums als Agon in metaphorischer Verwendung Eingang gefunden. In einem weiteren Sinn sind aber W. und Sport in vielen rel. Kontexten bezeugt bzw. können rel. rezipiert und interpretiert werden. W. bleibt dabei grundsätzlich Wettbewerb mit dem Streben nach Sieg, während der seit dem 16.Jh. in England verwendete Begriff »s…

Parsismus

(962 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[English Version] . Als Parsen bez. man jene Angehörigen des Zoroastrismus (Zarathustra), die nach der Islamisierung des Iran von dort über mehrere Stationen in ihre nachmaligen Siedlungsgebiete in Gujarat (Indien) ausgewandert sind. Darauf nimmt in theol. interpretierender Form die Qessa-ye Sanjan, die »Erzählung über die Stadt Sanjan«, Bezug. Der 1599 oder 1600 geschriebene pers. Text ist die älteste Quelle bzgl. der Ankunft und Niederlassung der Zoroastrier in Indien, die wegen ihrer Herkunft a…

Moon

(1,832 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Archaeology I. History of Religion Owing to its high degree of observability, the moon (like the sun and Venus; cf. constellations, astrology, astral religion) plays an important role in various mythological traditions. Analogies to cosmological processes and to the sequence of life/fecundity and death were seen in the alternation of the lunar phases, but they also served as a paradigm for calendrical cycles (Calendar). The dates of the new moon and of the full…

Divine Messengers

(394 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] Divine messages may be imparted to human beings in a non-personal way (e.g. through omens, dreams) or through (semi-)divine beings or angels. Divine messengers are “religious border crossers” for they can cross the boundaries between the terrestrial-human and the extraterrestrial-divine cosmos; in this respect, angels in Judaism, Christianty and Islam also rank …

Gods, Groups of

(481 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] Gods, Groups of, in the history of religions. The assembly of individual gods into a group of gods serves to structure polytheistic panthea (Pantheon: I) and results from cosmological classification or priestly-theological speculation. Frequently, groups of gods are arranged binarily, triadically or according to some other simple number (dyads e.g.: heaven/earth; triads: heaven/earth/sea, sun/moon/morning star). Additional criteria for the assembly of gods include: (fictive) genea…

Hunters/Hunting Rites

(1,595 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] I. Definition – II. Distribution –III. Ideological Backgrounds – IV. Hunting as Life-Preserving Killing – V. Economic Change and the Continuation of Ritual I. Definition The hunter's task comprises the tracking down, trapping, and killing of free-living animals that are used for nourishment within the hunter's own society. In ideal/typical form, ethnology categorizes hunters, with hunter-gatherers and planters, as the simple economic forms. More developed are the means of production of agriculture an…

Rain

(352 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] The value accorded to rain is related to whether cultures practice agriculture based on irrigation or on rain. There may be a focus either on preventing uncontrolled flooding that destroys growth, or on anxiety lest there be no rain, and on desire for rain. Rain is seen as a gift of mountain and weather gods (e.g. in the Near East, where YHWH, too, displays traits of such gods; Indra in the Vedic pantheon [Vedic and Brahmanic religion]; Chac or Tlaloc [Aztec religion: V] in Centra…

Nomads

(476 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] Ideally, nomads are defined as living off the yield of their flocks and herds; they therefore move about as shepherds in response to climatic conditions, which dominate their animal husbandry, their livelihood, and their worldview. Pure nomadism is (or was) found primarily in three geographical regions. 1. The (semi)nomadic peoples of northern Eurasia (Finno-Ugrian religions) adapt to clear seasonal changes, with transhumance in the spring and fall. The basis of their livelihood is raising reindeer (Saami, Samoyeds, Evenk) or …

Statistics, Religion Adherence

(845 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] In the first instance, religious statistics report the data that provide information on the local or global distribution of individual religions or religious groups. They are one aspect of a larger “religiometrics,” which includes all measurable factors associated with religion (e.g. sacred buildings, production of religious books and media, endowments) in order to take these quantitative values into account in interpreting religious phenomena or developments. “Counting procedures” in the context of religion go back to the dawn of the 1st millennium bce, if Da…

Contest

(454 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] Originating in Greek antiquity, contest or competition carried out on a field with the objective of victory entered metaphorical usage, in Christianity as elsewhere, as Agon. In a broader sense, however, competition and sport are attested in many religious contexts or can be used and interpreted in religion. In this regard, competition continues essentially to be competition with the goal of victory, while the term “sports,” used in England since the 16th century (from Latin disportare, “to amuse, entertain oneself”), refers to physical training i…

Astral Religion

(537 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] (from Gk ἄστρα/ ástra, “stars”) refers to the cultic worship of heavenly bodies or deities associated with them. The relationship between a heavenly body and a deity may range from identification to mere association – the boundaries are fluid. There is no astral religion per se, but elements of astral religion appear within particular religious systems. Some scholars have attempted to trace the whole of mythology to astral religion or astral …

Israel and Asia Minor

(615 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] Its location between Egypt and northern Syria/ Asia Minor involved Canaan/ Israel in diplomatic relations beginning in the middle of the 2nd millennium. These relations increased after the peace treaty that followed the Battle of Kadesh (1274). Although there is archaeological evidence of diplomatic and cultural contacts between the Hittites and the region of Israel (e.g. discovery of Hittite seal [impressions] and ivory plaque with the Hurrian goddess Šawuška at Megiddo; gate lio…

Regenbogen

(223 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[English Version] Regenbogen, religionsgeschichtlich. Als Zeichen des Bundes Gottes (Gen 9,12–17; nach Zenger Gottes Kriegsbogen) nach der Sintflut hat der R. in der abendländischen Gesch. weitgehend positive Konnotationen, wodurch die griech.-antike Tradition, derzufolge der R. als unheilvolles Vorzeichen des Dauerregens gilt (Ov.met. I, 270), in den Hintergrund rückt. Die beiden Traditionen als Omen bzw. als Verbindung zw. den kosmischen Bereichen sind religionsgesch. weit verbreitet. Der R. gilt…

Proskynese

(158 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[English Version] . Als kommunikative Geste drückt P. (von griech. προσκυn̆ει˜n̆/proskynei´n, »zuküssen«; vgl. lat. adorare, venerari) Demut und Ehrerbietung aus, indem – verbunden mit Kniebeugung bzw. Sichniederwerfen – die Hand an den Mund gelegt und gegen den zu Ehrenden hin ausgestreckt wird. Als huldigende Begrüßung ist die P. im ass. und altir. Bereich vor Herrschern verbreitet; die griech. Religionsgesch. betrachtet die P. nur den Göttern gegenüber als angemessen. Seit der hell. Zeit findet P. Ein…

Religionsstatistik

(779 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[English Version] . Unter R. sind zunächst jene Zahlenangaben zu verstehen, die über die lokale oder globale Verbreitung einzelner Rel. oder rel. Gruppen Aufschluß geben. Dadurch ist die R. ein Teilaspekt einer größeren »Religiometrie«, die alle irgendwie meßbaren Faktoren hinsichtlich von Rel. erfaßt (z.B. Sakralbauten; Produktion rel. Bücher, Medien; Stiftungen), um diese quantitativen Werte bei der Interpretation rel. Erscheinungen oder Entwicklungen mitzuberücksichtigen. »Zählverfahren« mit Re…

Talisman

(174 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[English Version] . Seit dem 17.Jh. wird das Wort T. als Lehnwort im Dt. verwendet, wobei die etym. Herleitung bislang nicht eindeutig geklärt ist (Sefrin 163). Terminologisch und inhaltlich ist sowohl in der Umgangssprache als auch im wiss. Gebrauch eine exakte Differenzierung zu Amulett nicht möglich. Bei T. handelt es sich um künstliche oder natürliche Objekte, die von ihren Trägern bzw. Benutzern als »machtbeladen« (Mana) verstanden werden. Eine äußerliche Unterscheidung eines T. von bloßem Sc…

Nomaden

(406 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[English Version] Nomaden, religionsgeschichtlich. In idealtypischer Form leben N. von den Erträgen ihrer Herdentiere und ziehen entsprechend den klimatischen Bedingungen als Hirten umher. Diese Bedingungen bestimmen dabei Tierhaltung, Lebensgrundlage und Weltbild. Ausgeprägter Nomadismus existiert(e) v.a. in folgenden drei geographischen Bereichen: 1. Die (halb-)nomadisch lebenden Völker im Norden Eurasiens (finno-ugrische Religionen) werden vom deutlichen Wandel der Jahreszeiten und dem Wechsel der Weideplätze im Frühling und im Her…

Namenglaube

(275 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[English Version] Namenglaube, religionswissenschaftlich. Der Name einer Person oder Gottheit (Namen Gottes) drückt für viele Kulturen ein individuelles und unverwechselbares Wesensmerkmal dieser Person aus, woraus die Vorstellung erwächst, daß derjenige, der diesen Namen kennt, über die betreffende Person verfügen könne. Teilweise wird damit die Furcht verbunden, daß durch das Bekanntwerden des Namens Feinde oder Dämonen Macht über den Namenträger gewinnen können, so daß der wahre Name geheimgehal…

Regen

(343 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[English Version] Regen, religionswissenschaftlich. Die Bewertung des R. hängt damit zus., ob es sich um auf Bewässerungsfeldbau oder Regenfeldbau beruhende Kulturen handelt. Dabei betont man entweder die Abwehr des das Wachstum vernichtenden R., der unkontrollierte Überschwemmungen bringt, oder die Sorge um das Ausbleiben des R. sowie den Wunsch nach R. R. wird als Gabe von Berg- und Wettergöttern gesehen (z.B. im Vorderen Orient, wobei auch JHWH Züge solcher Götter aufweist; Indra im vedischen Pa…

Religionsgeschichte

(1,611 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[English Version] I. Definition Die R. befaßt sich deskriptiv und empirisch grundsätzlich mit allen Rel. der Vergangenheit und Gegenwart, wobei alle erfaßbaren Erscheinungen dieser Rel. Forschungsbereiche der R. sind: Lehren, Handlungen, Gemeinschaftsbildung und Gemeinschaftsformen, individuelle Glaubensäußerungen und kollektive Verhaltensweisen. Gegenstand der R. sind somit Rel. im Plural, in ihrer Entstehung, Entwicklung und in ihrem Wandel, wobei auch die unterschiedlichen »Christentümer« in gle…

Proskynesis

(160 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] As a communicative gesture, proskynesis (from Gk προσκυνεῖν/ proskyneín, “to kiss toward [someone]”; cf. Lat. adorare, venerari) expresses humility and deference: accompanied by genuflection or prostration, it consisted of placing one’s hand to one’s mouth and then extending it toward the person being honored. In Assyria and ancient Persia, it was common as a gesture of homage when entering a ruler’s presence; Greek religion considered proskynesis appropriate only when offered to the gods. During…

History of Religions

(1,831 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] I. Definition – II. History – III. Sources – IV. Challenges and Accomplishments I. Definition The history of religions deals descriptively and empirically with all religions, past and present. All observable manifestations of these religions are the subject matter of the discipline: teachings, actions, structures and forms of community, individual expressions of faith, and collective modes of behavior. The history of religions thus studies religions in the plural – their emergence, their dev…

Name, Belief in the

(332 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] The name of a person or divinity (Names of God) expresses in many cultures an individual and unmistakable mark of that person's essential being. From this the idea grows that anyone who knows that name can have authority over the person in question. Partly bound up with this is the fear that if the name is known, enemies or demons may gain power over the bearer of the name; thus the real name must be kept secret. The revelation of the name by a divinity (cf. Exod 3), the discovery…

Parsiism

(1,019 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] The Parsis (Parsees) are Zoroastrians (Zarathustra) who once lived in Iran. After Iran was Islamized, they emigrated via a complex route to their future home in Gujarat (India). Their emigration is recalled with a theological slant in the Qissa-i Sanjan, “The Story of Sanjan.” The Persian text, written in 1599 or 1600, is the earliest source describing the arrival and settlement of the Zoroastrians in India, where they were called Parsis because of their Persian background. The Parsi tradition dates the emigration in t…

Hemerology

(103 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] As a technique of divination/manticism, day-selection is a practice that assumes that specific days are auspicious or inauspicious for carrying out certain actions. Hemerologies containing lists of such days have come down to us from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the cultures of Classical Antiquity, and Judeo-¶ Christian tradition, as well as from the Chinese and Aztec cultures. Manfred Hutter Bibliography M. Kalinowski, “Les traités de Shuihudi et l'hémérologie chinoise à la fin des Royaumes-Combattants,” T'oung Pao 72, 1986, 175–228 C. Leitz, Tagewählerei. …

Rainbow

(242 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] As a sign of God’s covenant (Gen 9:12–17; according to Zenger, God’s war bow) after the Flood, the rainbow has largely positive connotations in Western history; this causes the ancient Greek tradition, according to which the rainbow is considered an ominous sign of future continuous rain (Ovid, Met. I, 270), to recede into the background. Both traditions, as omen and as link between the cosmic regions, are widespread in religious history. The rainbow is thought of as a bridge on which the gods walk across the sky, down to the …

Talisman

(171 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] The etymology of the word has not been explained satisfactorily (Sefrin, 163). In both popular and academic language, there is no precise difference in meaning or usage between a talisman and an amulet. A talisman is an artificial or natural object understood by the person who wears or uses it to be endowed with power (Mana). There is no visible distinction between a talisman and a piece of jewelry; as a result, there is a wide range of talismans in different cultures. Someone who uses a talisman expects either to be strengthened ¶ (and enabled to resist negative influenc…

Labyrinth

(700 words)

Author(s): Hiller, Stefan | Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] I. Minoan and Mycenaean Religion – II. Symbolism I. Minoan and Mycenaean Religion The Greek word λαβύρινϑος/ labýrinthos and the presumably cognate λάβρυς/ lábrys, “(double-headed) axe,” come from a non-Greek or pre-Greek language stratum, from which the Greeks borrowed them somewhere in the Aegean-Anatolian region. In Asia Minor the toponym Labranda in Caria, with its shrine and the archaic cultic image of Zeus wielding a labrys (“Zeus Labraundeus”), points to Crete, where myth identifies the labyrinth at Knossos, designed by …

Trees and Plants

(1,210 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred | Rüterswörden, Udo | Gemünden, Petra von
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The worldwide significance that trees and plants have in cultus and mythology is connected to the essential relationship between plants, animals and human beings. Trees and plants play an important part in archaic cultures and tribal religions. In religious studies three overlapping areas may be identified: 1. Cosmic connections. The world tree holds the cosmos together as axis mundi, with its roots in the underworld, its trunk in the human world, and its top in the ¶ world of the gods; for example Yggdrasil (Germanic peoples), Yaxche (Ma…

Zehntabgaben

(1,540 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred | Otto, Eckart | Reichman, Ronen | Strohm, Christoph
[English Version] I. ReligionsgeschichtlichAbgaben eines Teiles des Gewinns an die Götter sind aus den Rel. des AO und der klassischen Antike bekannt und ausgehend vom AT (z.B. Lev 27,32f.; 1Sam 8,15) kennen das Judentum und das Christentum Z. (s.u. III., IV.). Auch die in einem erweiterten Sinn in der bibl. Tradition stehende »Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage« (Mormonen) greift diese Vorstellung im Buch Mormon auf (vgl. Alma 13,14f.), begründet sie aber neu durch eine Offenbarung…

Weisheitsliteratur

(3,957 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred | Lange, Armin | v.Lips, Hermann | Bagordo, Andreas
[English Version] I. ReligionsgeschichtlichWörter für Weisheit zeigen eine große Bedeutungsbreite, die bei W. zu berücksichtigen ist. Etym. sind die dt. Wörter Weisheit und Wissen von *u[down_breve_bottom]eid- abgeleitet (vgl. sanskrit vid- mit den Ableitungen veda [»(rel.) Wissen«] und vidya, »Wiss.«; lat. videre, »sehen«). Griech. γn̆ω˜σις/gnō´sis, »Wissen« (einschließlich des Fachterminus Gnosis/Gnostizismus), sanskrit jñāna-, »Erkenntnis«, und dt. »kennen«, »können« haben eine gemeinsame Verbalwurzel *ĝen(ə)-. Entsprechungen zum hebr. Verbum חכם/ḥkm, »w…

Tithing

(1,866 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred | Otto, Eckart | Reichman, Ronen | Strohm, Christoph
[German Version] I. History of Religion Instances in which a certain share of a person’s gains were ceded to the gods are known from the religions of the ancient Near East and of Classical Antiquity; on the evidence of the Old Testament (e.g. Lev 27:32f.; 1 Sam 8:15), Judaism and Christianity were also familiar with tithing (see III, IV below). Even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), which only cultivates a loose relationship to biblical tradition, takes up this notion in the B…

Wisdom Literature

(4,476 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred | Lange, Armin | Lips, Hermann v. | Bagordo, Andreas
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Words for wisdom display a great range of meanings, which need to be taken into account in discussing Wisdom literature. Etymologically the words wise and wisdom ¶ (also Ger. Wissen, “knowledge”) derive from the Proto-Indo-European root * weid- (cf. Sanskrit vid- with its derivatives veda, “[religious] knowledge,” and vidya, “knowledge”; also Lat. videre, “see”). Gk γνῶσις/ gnṓsis, “knowledge” (including the technical term Gnosis), Sanskrit jñāna-, “knowledge,” and Eng. know have a common verbal root * jen( ə)-. Equivalents to the Heb. verb םכ…

Orakel

(1,381 words)

Author(s): Vollmer, Ulrich | Hutter, Manfred | Wandrey, Irina | Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich Der vom lat. Substantiv »oraculum« abgeleitete Begriff O. bez. zum einen in engem Anschluß an die urspr. Wortbedeutung die Orakelstätte, also den Ort, an dem ein Götterspruch (orare, »sprechen«) dem Menschen übermittelt wird (s. u. II., 3.), sodann, wie für den antiken Sprachgebrauch ebenfalls üblich, den Orakelspruch selber, ferner das Orakelwesen als Institution, in Einzelfällen schließlich auch eine konkrete, mit der Orakelerteilung befaßte Person (…

Oracle

(1,534 words)

Author(s): Vollmer, Ulrich | Hutter, Manfred | Wandrey, Irina | Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. History of Religion I. Religious Studies The term “oracle,” derived from the Latin noun oraculum, denotes, (1) in close connection with the original meaning of the word, the oracle site, i.e. the place at which a divine statement ( orare, “to speak”) was communicated to a person (see II, 3 below); (2) also common in ancient usage, the oracular statement itself; (3) the oracle as an institution; (4) in individual cases also a specific person involved in issuing the oracle (e.g. the medium of Nechun…

Politics

(7,247 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Hutter, Manfred | Schieder, Rolf | Thiemann, Ronald | Badry, Roswitha | Et al.
[German Version] I. Social Sciences Since its Greek origins, politics has meant (a) an action with a specific object, aiming to achieve the best way for all the inhabitants of the ancient city-state ( pólis) to live together and hence achieve the common good of the ¶ community ( koinón), and (b) the theory of this action (Sellin; see also Political science). Given that we no longer live in small urban societies but in large, open, and functionally complex societies (Society), politics includes – but cannot be limited to – the system of state g…
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