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Male Society

(406 words)

Author(s): Brunotte, Ulrike
[German Version] With his study Altersklassen und Männerbünde [Initiation groups and men's associations], the folklorist Heinrich Schurtz initiated ethnological research on male-male bonds in indigenous societies in 1902. He systematized “voluntary” social forms of organization by men, standing alongside “natural” relationship groups such as the family or the clan: initiation groups, men's houses, clubs, and secret societies. This evolutionist hierarchy was refuted in recent research, while a close rel…


(459 words)

Author(s): Brunotte, Ulrike
[German Version] (“the breaking of images”) I The iconoclastic incidents that took place in the Byzantine state between 726 and 843 must be interpreted against the background of a highly differentiated Christian veneration of images (VI) which was capable of profoundly disturbing the power-political balance between the image of Christ and that of the emperor. The event marking the beginning of the first, imperially decreed iconoclastic phase in 726 was the removal, by Leo III, of the image of Christ fr…


(1,491 words)

Author(s): Brunotte, Ulrike
Concept 1. The word ‘initiation’ derives from the Latin initium, ‘entry,’ which also denotes ‘introduction’ or, precisely, ‘initiation.’ With the Romans, initia became a term for participation in Mysteries (→ Antiquity). The concept generally denominates a series of ritual acts, behavioral precepts, and instructions, ‘staging’ and creation of a radical transformation of the social and religious status of an individual or group (→ Ritual). It can refer to such varied forms as collective initiation into an age group, …