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France, Theology in

(2,551 words)

Author(s): Birmelé, André
[German Version] I. 19th century – II. 20th century I. 19th century Not until the 19th century did a distinctive French theology appear. French theology of the 19th century reflects the memory of the French Revolution (1789) as well as the unanswered questions of the Enlightenment (Voltaire, D. Diderot, J.-J. Rousseau). 1. Catholic …

Pay and Reward

(2,609 words)

Author(s): Birmelé, André | Oechsler, Walter A.
[German Version] I. Dogmatics


(2,452 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Martin | Felmy, Karl Christian | Birmelé, André
[German Version] I. Catholic Theology – II. Orthodox Theology – III. Protestant Theology I. Catholic Theology The semantic field of mysterium in Catholic theology exhibits two characteristic poles; though they cannot be separated, there is some tension in their relationship. One pole is the dialectic of God's revelation and hiddenness in his action of revelation and salvation. This semantic pole has its roots in the biblical use of the term (esp. in the Pauline, deutero-Pauline, and trito-Pauline ¶ material), but it is still dominant in formal scholastic usage in the 1…


(2,940 words)

Author(s): Beinert, Wolfgang | Felmy, Karl Christian | Birmelé, André
[German Version] I. History – II. Systematic Theology I. History The term “Mariology,” used to refer to theological interest in the Mother of Jesus Christ (Mary) − and to the systematic subdiscipline of dogmatics that developed out of this interest − first appeared in the title of the work Summa sacrae Mariologiae by Placido Nigido (Palermo 1602, 21623); the variant “Marialogy” was introduced by Vincent Contenson (see below) in 1669. Thereafter, the concept disappeared until the 19th century. The matter itself has, for christological reasons, been t…

Conciliar Theory

(1,651 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans | Wohlmuth, Josef | Birmelé, André | Becker, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] I. Church History – II. Dogmatics – III. Church Law I. Church History Conciliarism (conciliar theory) is the doctrine that the general council is the highest ecclesial authority such that even the pope is subject to its supremacy. Its roots lie primarily in the discussions of medieval canon law concerning the relationship between papal immunity and responsibility. A discussion concerning the relationship of the infallibility of the church promised Peter (Matt 16:18) to …


(573 words)

Author(s): Birmelé, André
The term “oikoumene,” from the present passive participle of the Gk. verb oikeō, “inhabit,” and used from the time of Herodotus (d. between 430 and 420 b.c.), means “the inhabited earth.” In the 20th century the Swedish archbishop N. Söderblom (1866–1931) was the first to use the term to describe the work of reconciling and uniting the separated churches (Reconciliation). The term caught on and resulted in its present use in the ecumenical movement (Ecumenism, Ecumenical Movement). In a basic study of the history and meaning of the term “ecumenical” (1953), W. A. Viss…


(3,257 words)

Author(s): Birmelé, André | Monsarrat, Jean-Pierre
1. The Church in France It is hard to say how many of the nearly 60 …