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Natur und Kultur

(517 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard
[English Version] Natur und Kultur, religionswissenschaftlich. Eine Religionsgesch. des Verhältnisses von N. und K. ist selbst Teil einer kulturellen Ausdifferenzierung mit wechselnden Konnotationen. Die zunehmend konsequentere Trennung beider Bereiche läßt sich dabei als Abschluß einer Entwicklung interpretieren, die beginnende Naturbeherrschung (Natur) und sich parallel etablierende kulturelle Organisationsformen miteinander zu verbinden sucht. Wenn Naturbereiche als göttlich oder von Göttern beherrscht gesehen werden, unterliegt damit »Natur«…

Healing Gods

(438 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard
[German Version] Among different activities and capabilities, the capacity to heal has also been attributed to gods (Gods, Groups of). Protecting, preserving, delivering and healing are part of a broad spectrum of concepts about the activity of the gods. Healing gods in the more restricted sense, legitimized as the sons or daughters of the great gods, exercise specific activities and sometimes bear reference to their medical activity in their names (Mesopotamia, Syria). In accordance with the soci…

Nature and Culture

(554 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard
[German Version] A religious history of the relationship between nature and culture is itself part of a cultural differentiation with varying connotations. The increasingly rigorous separation of the two areas may be interpreted as the conclusion of a development that seeks to link together the incipient domination of nature and the parallel establishment of cultural forms of organization. If areas of nature are seen as divine or dominated by gods, this first implies that “nature” is subject to the concepts of order of polytheistic (Monotheism and poly…

Asclepius (Greek God)

(588 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard
[German Version] The figure of Asclepius – divine healer and healing god – reveals a specific transitional potential in Mediterranean polytheism (Monotheism). As the son of Apollo and of a mortal woman, Asclepius is himself mortal, and is indeed faced with death; because Asclepius raises a dead man to life through his skill as a phy…

Nature Piety

(717 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard
Religion in Romanticism 1. Since Schleiermacher's new definition of religion as “contemplation and feeling of the universe,” or as a “sense of and taste for the infinite,” concepts arise that no longer seek to grasp religion only through the definitions of Christian theology—or through its attempted destruction at the hands of criticism of religion—but to ascribe it “its own province in the heart and soul” (Schleiermacher). With this new approach, possibilities open up for the injection of a romant…


(1,488 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard
Multiplicity of Souls 1. After the idea of God, the idea that a human person has one or more souls became a widespread driving force of religious orientation and cultic instruction books. By way of extremely different conceptualizations, the soul is bound up with, especially, the whole history of religion, but without being exhausted in the area of religion. In view of the broad spectrum of cultural constructions, different demands and needs present themselves by way of notions of the soul. Concept…

Science Fiction

(1,497 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard
Mythic Reports 1. Mythic reports of gods and heroes, such as Gilgamesh, Odysseus, or Thoth, who had come to the boundaries of the world and of their own existence, have, over millennia, formed the narrative style that connects a mythic geography with reflections on ‘other gods and other persons.’ The fundamental enclosure of the traditional world thus remains preserved, even if, in journeys to the beyond, and heaven, or to ‘new realms,’ frontiers are overcome in narrative, and new spaces of existe…

Natural Science

(1,490 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard
1. Natural science as a subject in a dictionary bearing on religion seems to combine leading concepts of two divided ‘cultures.’ In a framework of European history of religion, not only have ‘religion’ and ‘science’—at first sight—developed in irreversible distinction from each other, but especially the natural sciences have postulated an object of knowledge and sketched a method that seemed to exclude ‘religion’ as a ‘subject.’ Indeed, when both fields undertook to speak on the same matters, their propositions see…


(1,431 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard
Needs for Security 1. From prehistoric times, security and shelter from the hardships of nature, from threats by hostile animals and human enemies, and from the risks of illness and death, have been among the key concerns of cultural practice. As civilizing and cultural achievements have multiplied, certain elements of security and expectations of safety, in various areas of that civilization and culture, have multiplied as well, and determinable risks have been reduced. Attire and housing, nutriti…


(802 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard
Two Scientists 1. “That conviction of reason—bound up with deep feeling—that is revealed in the experiential world, forms my concept of God. Thus, it can also be designated, in the customary manner of expression, as pantheistic (Spinoza).” So wrote Albert Einstein in 1934, thereby inserting his ‘relation to the world’—that, in another connection, he also designated as ‘cosmic piety’—into the tradition of Jewish philosopher Baruch de Spinoza (1632–1677).1 Spinoza's formulation, sive deus sive natura (Lat., ‘god or nature’) had delivered for subsequent times the patter…


(3,025 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard
State of the Problem 1. For the religious dimensions of the relationship between the human being and nature, between human beings and their environment, the seventeenth century offers the decisive reorientation that takes up ancient, medieval, and current positions of a Christian confessionalism. Sketching a religious history of nature also means addressing the question of how the concept of nature has been applied to the structuring of modern discourse on the human being, God, and the world. Modern…


(2,844 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard
Modern Discovery of Polytheism 1. In a letter to Jacobi of January 6, 1813,1 Goethe states that as poet and artist he is a polytheist, as a natural scientist he is a pantheist, and as a moral person he is a Christian. With this sovereign religious self-classification, Goethe has allocated a relative, and at the same time positive, evaluation to the theologically negatively composed concept of “polytheism.” And there is more: to maintain that one can be at once a monotheist and a polytheist, and both of these…


(3,296 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard
1. “One who asks the meaning of life is sick,” wrote Sigmund Freud in 1937 in a letter to Marie Bonaparte. Viktor Frankl's later response is, “One who does not ask the meaning of life gets sick.”1 Behind these two neat accentuations stands—among other things—the question of the transition from an unquestioning consciousness of a meaningful and meaning-filled life, to its crisis-attended questioning. The historical locus of the question of the ‘meaning of life’ can be broadly defined in terms of two modern conditions. The one is gr…


(1,118 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard
1. With the discovery of electricity and magnetism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the → European history of religion changed, too, with the new bands of attachment between the sciences on the one side and religious patterns on the other. Attraction or repulsion, energy working at a distance (or arriving via other objects), and, finally, even experimental little bolts of lightning could now be generated, and they supplied fundamentally new ‘plausibility schemata’ for areas until now…


(1,333 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard | Scholz, Oliver R. | Huizing, Klaas
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy – III. Philosophy of Religion I. Religious Studies Images are among the oldest and simplest human expressions which can “survive” their original communicative setting. It is this relative independence of their origin which in religious contexts has led to attribute an efficacy to sketches, colorful murals (Art and Religion, Prehistoric art), as well as to the three-dimensional statue, which significantly exceeds the possibilities and intentions of the pr…


(3,841 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard | Scriba, Albrecht | Lührmann, Dieter | Förster, Hans
[German Version] I. Comparative Religion – II. History of Religion – III. Old Testament – IV. New Testament – V. Early Church History I. Comparative Religion Epiphany is a descriptive term borrowed from the phenomenology of Greek religion. In the terminology of the comparative study of religions, “epiphany” stands for the widespread conception that gods are accustomed to “appear” under certain conditions …


(1,527 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard | Dunn, James D.G. | Hempelmann, Reinhard
[German Version] I. Greco-Roman Antiquity – II. Bible – III. Dogmatics I. Greco-Roman Antiquity In the Greek realm, enthusiasm refers to a person's special relationship to a god, as was made apparent to others. The term offers something like an implicit theory for those alterations of behavior and claim that would otherwise be described as ékstasis or manía (see also Ecstasy). Linguistically, the relationship is encompassed within the bounds of “to enter into a person” ( éntheon eínai), to inspire a person ( empnoeín), or to take possession of a person ( katochḗ, katokōchḗ, Lat. posses…

Veneration of Images

(6,489 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard | Uehlinger, Christoph | Levine, Lee I. | Barrucand, Marianne | Ohme, Heinz
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Veneration of gods in the form of man-made images (I) is part of the development of human ideas about God. The nature of such images varies widely, from natural objects with little or no human work involved (rocks, posts, trees) to professionally produced works of “art.” For the structure of the idea of God reflected in images, the crucial question is whether they “merely” facilitate epiphany rituals or whether the gods regularly manifest themselves in the images through ritual guarantee, i.e. are made prese…