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Sacred Sites

(2,374 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Dorothea | Reichert, Andreas | Dan, Joseph | Koch, Guntram
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Characterization of a place as “sacred” or “holy” lends it a special status vis-à-vis its environment. Usually specific regulations govern how it is entered and used. Traditionally this status has been grounded in the belief that the site is proper to a deity or another spiritual being, or that a special power emanates from it. Sacred sites are particularly common at the center and on the fringes of group territories: the “men’s house” or festival ground defines the center of a village, just as the temple complex on …


(2,042 words)

Author(s): Reichert, Andreas
The Book as a Medium 1. The book (from Middle English bok, derived in turn from bohiz, Proto-Germanic for ‘beech,’ or beechwood tablets with rune carvings), for the recording and transmittal of written content, had its forerunners in the high cultures of the ancient East, in various forms and materials: clay tablets in Babylon and Assyria, papyrus, leather, or parchment scrolls (Egyptians, Greeks, Romans), but also stone tablets and metal plates (with or without a wax coating). The field of ancient Eastern, Egy…

Film I: Christian Contexts

(3,091 words)

Author(s): Reichert, Andreas
1. Ever since the appearance of the new medium of film, film and religion have stood in a fertile tension. The relationship has held from the earliest silent films with biblical motifs, to the great Hollywood classics and the ‘religious’ films from the great directors of secular France, to the transferal of the subject to the new myths of cinema and television. One may ask why films with biblical motifs have belonged to the repertoire of the history of film across the board ever since the invent…


(1,778 words)

Author(s): Reichert, Andreas
Name 1. The name ‘Bible’ comes from the name of the city Byblos, the most important transshipment port for Egyptian papyrus on the eastern coast of the Levant. From this name the word biblion is derived—the Greek word for the written page of papyrus, as well as for the scroll or book which it composes. The plural, bíblia, usually meant all sacred and liturgical books, and was adopted by the Christians restrictively, as the name denoting their canonical writings. Now it could be used in Latin as a singular: biblia, ‘the book,’ simply, the ‘book of books’ or ‘writing of writings,’ sac…