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(303 words)

Author(s): Geerlings, Wilhelm
[German Version] In pagan antiquity, birthdays were celebrated not only as personal commemorations of an individual's genius but also to commemorate the birthday of the ruler, the inauguration of a new regime, or the day of an emperor's apotheosis. The days on which cities were founded or temples were dedicated were also celebrated. The Jews did not observe bi…

Aurelius, of Carthage (Saint)

(229 words)

Author(s): Geerlings, Wilhelm
[German Version] (place and date of birth unknown). When Augustine returned to Africa in 388, Aurelius was still a deacon, but by 391 he was already bishop of Carthage. With Augustine's support, he introduced the feast day of Cyprian (Sep 19/14). At the African synod in 401, he vigorously supported the importance of Sunday and the feasts of the martyrs. As pri…

XIII. Bishops and Patriarchs

(7,131 words)

Author(s): Geerlings, Wilhelm | Strothmann, Meret
The episcopate took shape relatively quickly in the old Church. Ignatius [1] of Antioch (around 120/175, precise dating debated) already defended the ideal of a single bishop (monoepiscopacy). In the Traditio Apostolica ( ca. 210, cf. Hippolytus [2]) the internal structure of the Church has reached its full complexity: the sole bishop is surrounded by presbyters and deacons and by holders of various non-clerical ( klḗros, Bd. 12/2) offices (widows, sub-deacons, ostiarii, etc.). This “monarchist episcopate” spread throughout the entire Church. The episcopate was further stren…

XIII. Bischöfe und Patriarchen

(6,569 words)

Author(s): Geerlings, Wilhelm | Strothmann, Meret
Das Bischofsamt bildete sich in der Alten Kirche relativ schnell aus. Bereits Ignatios [1] von Antiocheia (um 120/175, Datierung umstritten) propagierte das Ideal des Einzelbischofs (Monepiskopat). In der Traditio Apostolica (ca. 210, vgl. Hippolytos [2]) ist die Kirchenstruktur voll entwickelt: Der Einzelbischof ist umgeben von Presbytern und Diakonen sowie von verschiedenen, nicht zum Klerus ( klḗros, Bd. 12/2) gehörenden Diensten (Witwen, Subdiakonen, Ostiariern etc.). Dieser »monarchische Episkopat« setzte sich in der Gesamtkirche durch. Durch synodale Strukturen ( s…