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Blessing

(1,740 words)

Author(s): Knobloch, Stefan | Thöle, Reinhard | Greiner, Dorothea
[German Version] I. Catholicism – II. Orthodox Church– III. Protestantism I. Catholicism Blessings are said to come from above.” This persistent conviction seems to be gaining ground in the context of the re-sacralization of contemporary life which can be observed in esoteric religion (Esotericism), magic rituals (Rite and ritual: I), and occult and spiritualist practices …

Mary, Veneration of

(2,277 words)

Author(s): Petri, Heinrich | Thöle, Reinhard | Merz, Birgit
[German Version] I. Catholicism – II. Orthodox – III. Protestantism I. Catholicism In the Catholic Church veneration of the Mother of Jesus has always played a special role. One can distinguish between the praise of Mary (Mary, Mother of Jesus), and calling on her for help and intercession with God and his Son. Veneration of Mary is an expression of the piety of the believing people, and a reflection of belief in Mary's function in the divine work of salvation. Conditions of religious psychology and paga…

Japan

(7,003 words)

Author(s): Pye, Michael | Dohi, Akio | Thöle, Reinhard | Repp, Martin
[German Version] I. General Facts – II. History and Culture – III. History of Religion – IV. History of Christianity – V. Orthodox Church – VI. Japanese Religions, Missiology I. General Facts The Japanese archipelago ( nippon rettō) consists of four main islands and several smaller ones with a total area of 373,534 km2. Honshū, the largest island by far (227,414 km2), is the country's geographical middle. All the political power centers of Japanese history (Nara, Kyōto, Kamakura, and Edo/Tokyo) are situated here. Owing to its proximity to the southe…

Stephen the Great, Saint

(170 words)

Author(s): Thöle, Reinhard
[German Version] (c. 1430 – Jul 2, 1504), prince of Moldavia. Popular tradition called him a “defender of Christendom” and saint; after the political reversal of 1989, the Synodic Council of the Romanian Orthodox Church canonized him as “Stephen the Great and Saint” on Jun 20/21, 1992, to reinforce the national religious identity of the Romanian people, especially outside the state of Romania. His reign, beginning on Apr 12, 1457, represented a cultural, economic, and political highpoint in the hi…

Orthodox Churches

(9,446 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter | Thöle, Reinhard | Felmy, Karl Christian
[German Version] I. Church History – II. The Branches of Orthodoxy – III. Orthodoxy throughout the World – IV. History of Orthodox Theology I. Church History 1. Terminology. The term orthodox (cf. also Orthodoxy: I) goes back to Hellenistic Judaism. Flavius Josephus, for example, commends τὴν ὀρϑὴν δόξαν περὶ Θεοῦ/ tḗn orthḗn dóxan perí Theoú instead of Greek myths and reports that the Essenes viewed other Jews as ἑτερόδοξοι/ heteródoxoi ( Apion. II 256; Bell. II 129). ¶ This idiom passed into Christian usage in the 2nd century. The critical moment for its ecclesiastica…