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Ashrams, Christian

(499 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
[German Version] (cf. Āśrama) Christian ashrams are found in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. They are places for religious observance, reflection, and a spiritual life deepened by prayer and meditation. They involve small groups of men and/or women who give concrete shape to the Christian faith in the context of their own culture and social environment. They prac…

Monotheism and Polytheism

(5,621 words)

Author(s): Ahn, Gregor | Müller, Hans-Peter | Hübner, Hans | Gunton, Colin
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament. – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy of Religion – V. Dogmatics I. Religious Studies Monotheistic ideas of God, which take as their starting point the existence and activity of a single God, have long dominated the understanding of religion in historically Christian Europe. The term monotheism itself is a modern coinage, first appearing in 1660 in the work of the English philosopher Henry More. As a contrast ¶ to the term polytheism, which goes back originally to Philo of Alexandria and was rediscovered for the…

Myth and Mythology

(12,158 words)

Author(s): Segal, Robert Alan | Kamel, Susan | Müller, Hans-Peter | Graf, Fritz | Cancik, Hubert | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. History – III. Philosophy of Religion – IV. Fundamental Theology. – V. Missiology I. Religious Studies 1. The Concept and Its History Myth may be defined by either content or function. Defined by content, myth is a belief about something significant, such as the world or society. Defined by function, myth accomplishes something significant, such as explaining the world or supporting society. Most theories of myth are concerned with the function of myth, but many are also concerned with either the origin or the subject matter of myth. Myt…

Vivekānanda

(297 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
[German Version] Swāmī (born Narendranāth Datta; Jan 12, 1863, Calcutta – Jul 4, 1902, Belur, Karnataka). As a member of the upcoming middle class, the multi-talented youth attended English colleges. Plunged into an existential crisis by the death of his father, he turned increasingly to the sainted Rāmakrishna and became his disciple. In 1887 he performed the ritual of renouncing the world and dedicated himself to the study of the religious literature of India. From 1890 to 1893 he traveled throu…

Roy, Raja Rammohun

(412 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
[German Version] (May 22, Radhanagar, Bengal – Sep 27, 1833, Bristol, England). During the era of British colonial rule in India, Roy was an advocate of religious and social reforms in Hinduism. Drawing on Vedānta and the Upaniṣads while appealing to reason and common sense, Roy argued for aniconic worship of the one God and a philanthropic ethics, which he defended against both Western and Hindu traditionalist critics as original, authentic features of Hinduism. At the same time, he called for o…

Olcott, Henry Steel

(294 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
[German Version] (Aug 2, 1832, Orange, NJ – Feb 17, 1907, Adyar near Madras). Olcott grew up in a Presbyterian family. As a young man he turned to spiritualist circles (Spiritualism). Following a career as a journalist (from 1853), he was an agricultural expert, an officer of the Union in the American Civil War (1861–1865), and an attorney (from 1868). In 1875, he, together with H.P. Blavatsky, founded in New York the ¶ Theosophical Society (Theosophy) for scientific research into paranormal experiences. Two additional aims appeared later: to spread in the West the “…

Bible

(23,143 words)

Author(s): Schnelle, Udo | Fischer, Georg | Becker, Hans-Jürgen | Fischer Georg | Müller, Hans-Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics – V. Practical Theology – VI. Missiology – VII. Judaism – VIII. Cultural History I.  Concept “Bible” is the predominant designation in church, theology, and society for the collection of OT and NT scriptures recognized by the church. The word “Bible” and its close equivalents in other European languages derive from the middle Latin “biblia.” This Latin feminine derives from the Greek neuter plural τὰ βιβλία/ tá biblía. Grammatically, the sg. βιβλίον/ biblíon is a diminu¶ tive form of ἡ βίβλος/ hē b…

Semitic Languages

(2,070 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter | Knauf, Ernst Axel
[German Version] I. General Survey 1. Origin and classification. Like the Indo-European and Hamitic languages, the Semitic languages are inflectional; in contrast to isolating and agglutinative languages, they can change the form of a root, for example Arabic singular rūḥ, “spirit, breath,” plural ʾ arwāḥ. The relationship between the Semitic and Hamitic languages is clearly the product of prehistoric migrations of groups speaking proto-Afro-Asiatic (formerly called Hamito-Semitic) from North Africa – from a Sahara still “green” from the …

Gandhi, Mahātmā

(493 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
[German Version] (honorific title meaning “great self,” actual name: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi; Oct 2, 1869, Porbandar, India – Jan 30, 1948, New Delhi). Gandhi's parents were Vaiṇava Hindus and belonged to the merchant caste of the Banias in Rajkot and Porbandar, where Gandhi's father was a government minister. Gandhi studied law in London from 1888 to 1891. While living in South Africa (1893–1914), he gradually assumed the role of civil rights attorney for the Indian minority and organized thei…

Westermann, Claus

(453 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
[German Version] (Oct 7, 1909, Berlin – Jun 11, 2000, Heidelberg), Old Testament scholar. His father Diedrich Westermann was a specialist in African languages. After schooling and university studies, he served in the Confessing Church; after military service and imprisonment, he served as a pastor in (West) Berlin, where after 1949 he also taught as a lecturer in the theological seminary, being appointed professor in 1954. From 1958 until his retirement in 1977, he was a professor in the faculty o…

Eschatology

(22,095 words)

Author(s): Filoramo, Giovanni | Müller, Hans-Peter | Lindemann, Andreas | Sautter, Gerhard | Rosenau, Hartmut | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. History of Dogma – V. Dogmatics – VI. Ethics – VII. Philosophy of Religion – VIII. Judaism – IX. Islam (cf. Present and Future Eschatology, Consistent Eschatology) I. Religious Studies 1. The Problem of Terminology Eschatology (“discourse” or “doctrine” [Gk λόγος/ lógos] concerning the “last things” [Gk ἔσχατα/ éschata]) is a neologism that was introduced in the late 18th century in the con- text of the definition of the “last things,” i.e. of the novissima of medieval theology (death, …

Song of Songs, The

(1,290 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter | Otto, Eckart
[German Version] I. Place and Date While individual poems like Song 1:9–11 may go back to the preexilic period, collections, redaction(s), and linguistic revision(s) date from just before and especially during the 3rd century bce. The text contains several loanwords: pardēs (4:13: “orchard,” from Old Iranian), ¶ ʾ appiryôn (3:9: “palanquin,” most likely from Gk), and qinnāmôn (4:14: “cinnamon,” ultimately from Malay kayu manis, “sweet wood”), along with several words borrowed from Old Indic. Beside numerous lexical and grammatical Aramaisms, it exhibits fea…

Tilak, Nārāyan Vāman

(244 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
[German Version] (1862, Karazgāon, Ratnāgiri district – May 9, 1919, Bombay [Mumbai]). Tilak’s father, a Chitpavan-Brahmin, was a registrar. Tilak studied Sanskrit with a Vedic scholar and attended an English highschool for two years. His literary gifts were apparent early on. In 1880 he married Manubai (later Kakshmibai), an 11-year-old from the Brahmin family of the Gokhales. He spent the next ten years traveling through India, visiting holy men and working as a reciter and teacher. In 1893 he b…

Upadhyaya, Brahmabandhab

(325 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
[German Version] (real name Bhavani Charan Banerjee; Feb 11, 1861, Khanyan, Bengal – Oct 27, 1907, Calcutta [Kolkata]). Upadhyaya’s father, a Brahmin, was a police inspector in British service. Upadhyaya attended English schools and colleges as well as a traditional Sanskrit school. He became familiar with Christianity through his uncle, the Protestant pastor Kalicharan Banerjee (1847–1907) and the Brāhmo Samāj, which he joined in 1887. He worked as a teacher and journalist, publishing his own per…

Christ, Johann Friedrich

(1,606 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
German philologist, historian and art historian. Born Coburg 26.(?). 4. 1701, died Leipzig 3. 9. 1756. 1720–1723 studied philosophy and law at Univ. of Jena; 1723–1725 Hofmeister there. 1725 Cabinet Secretary of Saxe-Meiningen; 1726 Hofmeister at Univ. of Halle a. d. S.; 1728 Magister, 1731 habil. and prof. ext. of history at Univ. of Leipzig. 1733–1735 tour of Europe. From 1739 prof. ord. of poetry at Leipzig. Scholarly background C. was born into a wealthy family of civil servants, the son of a Coburg Consistorial Councillor, and he enjoyed an all-round educati…

Christ, Johann Friedrich

(1,461 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter
Dt. Philologe, Historiker und Kunsthistoriker. Geb. am 26.(?).4.1701 in Coburg, gest. am 3. 9. 1756 in Leipzig. 1720–1723 Studium von Philosophie und Jura an der Univ. in Jena; 1723–1725 ebda. als Hofmeister. 1725 Kabinettssekretär in Sachsen-Meiningen; 1726 als Hofmeister an der Univ. in Halle a. d. S.; 1728 Magister, 1731 Habil. und ao.Prof. für Gesch. an der Univ. Leipzig. 1733–1735 Reisen durch Europa; ab 1739 o.Prof. für Dichtkunst in Leipzig. Wissenschaftlicher Werdegang Ch. wurde als Sohn eines Coburger Konsistorialrats und Schuldirektors in eine begütert…