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Television

(2,582 words)

Author(s): Bernard, Jutta

Macrocosm

(153 words)

Author(s): Bernard, Jutta
The microcosm/macrocosm analogy regards the human being as a ‘little world’ and as an image of the ‘big world’ (the cosmos) that stands in relationship with it or is influenced by it (thus, by way of example, that certain constellations of stars determine human destiny; → Astrology). Various religions, and Weltanschauung traditions, host a conception of these chains of laws: by way of example, in → Buddhism and → Lamaism they are present in the correspondences of the cosmos or stars and the energy channels in the human body; they also prevail in ritual practice (Tantrism, Yoga), and in the Tibetan → Mandala. In the alchemical symbol of the egg God's creation is rehearsed ‘in little.’ The purpose of microcosm and macrocosm analogies…

Televangelism

(1,016 words)

Author(s): Bernard, Jutta
Elements of Televangelism 1. ‘Tele-church,’ or ‘electronic church,’ designates a North American phenomenon, and denotes the evangelization of believers, with the assistance of the medium of television, by preachers who are usually from the conservative Protestant camp. This programming is the basis of another term, ‘televangelism.’ Various elements are presupposed for this special form of interior missionizing, or, better, ‘awakening.’ The principal elements in question are: • A special religious tradition is supported by a particular conceptualization of salvatio…

Fool

(162 words)

Author(s): Bernard, Jutta
The fool, as ‘fool pope’ and ‘boy-bishop’ (or ‘ass-bishop’), was closely connected with Christmas (‘feast of …

Media

(3,885 words)

Author(s): Bernard, Jutta
Transmittal of Religion 1. Religions are complex, culturally conditioned systems of communication and symbol. Their ‘messages’ (of the will of God, of the gods, of the ancestors) and their signs are often accessible to and interpretable by only a few specialists. Religions therefore need to shape and develop certain strategies of transmittal. This means that, even per se, → communication has a medial aspect of conveyance of infor…

Oracle

(679 words)

Author(s): Bernard, Jutta
The concept ‘oracle’ (from Lat., oraculum; from orare, ‘to speak’) is strongly marked by the ancient system of prophecy. It designates, as a way of entering into contact and → communication with gods or powers, two meanings: (1) the ‘verdict,’ or answer of the deity to a concrete question, usually posed in a received formulation; and (2) the place where this sentence is pronounced, usually in ‘sacred’ locales, such as springs or glades. Thus, oracles are always the phenomenon of a particular place (as …

Mormons

(1,203 words)

Author(s): Bernard, Jutta | Kehrer, Günter
Foundational Myth: The Book of Mormon 1. a) The Mormon Church (official name: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), founded on April 6, 1830 in New York State, can be regarded as a part of the Second Great Awakening movement in the United States. Its founder, Joseph Smith (1805–1844), claimed …

Unification Church

(1,339 words)

Author(s): Bernard, Jutta | Kehrer, Günter
The Beginnings 1. The Unification Church, popularly known under the designations ‘Moon Sect,’ or even ‘Moon Movement,’ stands among the new religious movements (→ New Religions). It emerged from elements of → Confucianism and Korean → Protestantism. Its founder is Sun Myung Mun (in English, ‘Moon,’ whence the coarse name for his followers, ‘Moonies’), whose family stems from Chon-gin (North Korea). In 1930, the family converted to Presbyterianism, when Moon was just ten years old. As early as 1936…

Charisma

(713 words)

Author(s): Bernard, Jutta | Kehrer, Günter
1. The concept charisma (Gk., ‘kindness,’ ‘complaisance,’ ‘gift’; from cháris, ‘amiability,’ ‘charm,’ ‘benevolence,’ ‘physical attractiveness’), has undergone a change of meaning in its history. Originally it is to be t…

Theodicy

(658 words)

Author(s): Bernard, Jutta | Hartmann, Stefan
The question of the meaning of this world's → evil—of natural evil (natural catastrophes), of moral evil, in the sense of war and crime, and of personal suffering (hunger, disease, death)—is encountered by every human being. It seems to have become fundamental for personal meaning. Thus, for some religions, the fact that there is such a thing as ‘bad’ poses problems of no little significance. How is a good and caring God to be reconciled with blind fate, and evil? The believer feels frequently e…