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Moral Majority

(270 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard
[German Version] was the name of a religiously-oriented political organization in the United States, but the term itself is applied to any intolerant moralistic movement. Its founder, Jerry Falwell, a politically conservative Baptist pastor and television preacher from Lynchburg, Virginia, had a large following among fundamentalists (Electronic church). Courted by Republican Party functionaries who recognized the voting potential of conservative Christians, Falwell founded the Moral Majority, Inc.…

International Baptist Theological Seminary

(269 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard
[German Version] The Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board (FMB; Southern Baptist Convention [SBC]) founded the school in 1948 to provide leadership training. The FMB bought a villa in Zürich-Rüschlikon and opened the Baptist Theological Seminary in 1949. It offered a four-year Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) course but other programs were available. All its presidents, beginning with Norwegian-born Josef Nordenhaug (1903–1969), were Southern Baptists, while the FMB chose the trustees, many of whom w…

Separatism

(1,764 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard
[German Version] I. General The term separatism describes political and religious phenomena. In its political sense, separatism is understood to be the secession of a state or a political group with the aim of joining another group or becoming independent. Examples are the efforts of the Rhineland ¶ occupied after World War I to separate from the state of Germany, or the American Civil War of the American southern states who wished to secede from the confederate northern states (North America). Another form of separation is fought for by cult…

Moral Re-Armament (MRA)

(721 words)

Author(s): Nolte, Paul | Pierard, Richard
[German Version] I. Europe – II. North America I. Europe Moral Re-Armament (MRA) emerged from an evangelistic movement founded in 1921 by F.N.D. Buchman (from 1929 known as the “Oxford Group”), that in 1938 renamed itself Moral Re-Armament. From England it spread in the 1920s and 1930s to the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, Scandinavia (Den-¶ mark, Norway, Sweden), and to North America. It combined pietistic traditions with new fundamentalism (II, 2), and a striving for inner change of the human being through Christian resolve together with …

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Voluntary Work and Associations

(4,301 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard | Guder, Darrell | Schibilsky, Michael
[German Version] I. Importance in Europe A voluntary association (Ger. ehrenamtliche Vereinigung)serves the common interest of its members. Voluntarism has to do with the freedom of the will ( voluntas; Free will), and when individuals work together of their own free will in order to accomplish a task, this leads to the creation of a voluntary association. Membership in it is neither compulsory nor acquired by birth, and its activities do not contribute to the livelihood of its members. Since human beings have a natural dis…

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…

Regeneration

(2,576 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter | Frey, Jörg | Marquardt, Manfred | Thiede, Werner | Pierard, Richard
[German Version] I. Religious History 1. Since the dawn of time, human birth has been associated with many religious ideas, rituals, and customs, including the idea of rebirth or regeneration. As a rite of passage (Rites of passage), birth is not merely a natural process; it can repeat a previous birth, view death as a passage to new life, or distinguish within a lifetime between a corporeal and a spiritual birth, separated by a ritual death. The Greek terminology is not uniform, using ἀναγεννᾶν/ anagennán, ἀναβιοῦν/ anabioún, μεταγεννᾶν/ metagennán, πάλιν γίνεσϑαι/ pálingínesthai, an…