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Utopians

(1,343 words)

Author(s): Heesch, Matthias | Pierard, Richard V.
[German Version] I. Terminology and History Utopians aspire to achieve fundamental improvement of human life from a rational, religious, or technological perspective – often in combination. To present their ideas, they frequently make use of a form somewhere between a philosophical or theological treatise and a narrative account, called a utopia after the eponymous Utopia of T. More (1516). But the theme is much earlier, going back to Plato’s Politicus: society should correlate with the three divisions of the soul, in such a way that representatives of the nous (philosophers) are i…

Peale, Norman Vincent

(214 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
[German Version] (May 31, 1898, Bowersville, OH – Dec 24, 1993, Pawley, NY), American preacher and promoter of “positive thinking.” The son of a Methodist minister, Peale was educated at Ohio Wesleyan University (B.A. 1920), and studied theology at Boston University. After graduating in 1924, he was assigned to a Methodist parish in Brooklyn, New York. Following great success Peale took a church in Syracuse, ¶ NY, in 1927. In 1932 he was called to Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, where he spent the remainder of his ministerial career. Through the Ins…

Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State

(187 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V
[German Version] Formed in 1947 and now known as Americans United, this is the foremost advocacy group in the United States for freedom of religion and the constitutional separation of church and state (I, 5). It is a nonsectarian organization that draws support from mainline and Evangelical denominations, Baptists, Seventh-Day Adventists, Unitarians, ¶ and Jews. Its original objective was that of combating Roman Catholic efforts to secure public funding for their parochial schools, but its focus quickly widened to encompass a wide variety of thre…

World’s Parliament of Religions

(431 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
[German Version] The World Parliament of Religions took place in Chicago, Sep 11–27, 1893. Many conventions of secular and religious groups were held alongside the World’s Columbian Exposition in summer 1893, and this congress was planned to be the culminating event. Chaired by Presbyterian minister John Henry Barrows, it was to be a forum that ¶ would, on the basis of the Golden Rule, unite religions against irreligion and promote the spirit of human brotherhood (Love of one’s neighbor). The common aims of the religions of the world would be set for…

Nationalism

(5,477 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Pierard, Richard V.
[German Version] I. The Concept Nationalism may be described as an integrative ideology that claims that loyalty to the inclusive body of the ¶ nation has absolute priority over all other commitments. Such competing loyalties include loyalty to a particular estate or social class, a dynasty, a local state, a region, a tribe, a denomination, or a religion. While the concept of a nation played a role in political debates in medieval Europe, its reference was not to the totality of the people but to the ruling class (the nationes of the nobility and the clergy). Modern nationalism emer…

World Evangelical Fellowship

(265 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard V.
[German Version] (WEF). The WEF is an Evangelical Alliance, founded in 1846 to promote Christian unity, soon divided into national branches. The US body declined after 1900, but the formation of the National Association of Evangelicals (1943) revived interest in closer ties among evangelicals (Evangelicalism: I; II) in Europe and North America. In 1951 the WEF was formed at Woudschoten, the Netherlands. Its purposes were witnessing to historic Christianity and encouraging fellowship, theological reflection, and united effort in evangelism…

Trade Unions

(3,524 words)

Author(s): Brakelmann, Günter | Jähnichen, Traugott | Pierard, Richard V.
[German Version] I. History The emergence of trade unions is associated with the development of modern capitalistic industrial society. The nascent unions considered themselves primarily representatives of the economic and social interests of their organized members but also as representatives of the unorganized workers in the various trades and professions. By virtue of their organizational goals and structures, they were organized as opponents to the employers and thus formed an integral part of t…