Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia





Exaposteilaria

(from Gk. for “send forth”). Part of E Orthodox matins; subject: sending forth of the apostles.

Exapsalmos.

Six psalms at beginning of E Orthodox matins.

Exarch.

In the E Ch.: head of a chief see or province in the early ch.; bp. lower than a patriarch but higher than a metropolitan; patriarch's deputy; head of an indep. ch.

Ex cathedra

(Lat. “from the chair”), In the exercise of or by virtue of one's office, e.g., when the pope is said to speak infallibly ex cathedra. See also Infallibility, Papal.

Exclusive Particles.

Words that exclude from conversion and justification all cooperation of unconverted man. “ 'Exclusive terms,' that is, … words of the holy apostle Paul which separate the merit of Christ completely from our own works and give all glory to Christ alone. Thus the holy apostle Paul uses such expressions as 'by grace,' 'without merit,' 'without the law,' 'without works,' 'not by works,' etc. All these expressions say in effect that we become righteous and are saved 'alone by faith' in Christ.” (FC Ep III 7).

Excommunication.

Act whereby one is excluded from the communion of the ch.; SA-III regards “the greater excommunication [Ger. den grosse Bann], as the pope calls it,” only as “a civil penalty.”

See also Ban; Keys, Office of the.

Ex corde

(Lat. “from the heart”). Extemporaneous.

Execrabilis.

1. Constitution (some call it a bull) issued 1317 by John XXII (see Popes, 13); restricted pluralism (one clergyman holding two or more benefices at one time) by limiting each clergyman to two benefices (one with, one without care of souls), cardinals and kings' sons excepted; expanded and consolidated practice of reservation.*

2. At an assembly of Christian princes at Mantua 1459 Gregory of Heimburg opposed the crusade proposed by the pope against the Turks. When the pope saw how things were going, he issued the bull Execrabilis January 1460. Gregory appealed from the pope to a gen. council. The bull, which excommunicated such appellants, was applied against Gregory. See also Popes, 15.

Exegesis.

1. The Gk. word exegesis is used of the art of Biblical interpretation or exposition. Hermeneutics* studies principles and formulates rules for interpretation; exegesis uses the principles and rules to determine the meaning of the text. The Bible is a clear book (see Perspicuity of Scripture). But it was written long ago in languages and in a cultural situation strange to most of us, who live in a different kind of society, with concepts and values other than those of old Palestine. Even people who stood much closer to the sacred authors in terms of language, culture, and time needed explanations. Philip interpreted Is 53 for the eunuch of Ethiopia (Acts 8:26–35). Jesus explained the OT to His disciples (Lk 24:27).

2. Several tendencies in exegesis soon developed in the early ch. By the end of the 1st c. divergent modes of interpretation were current.

3. The School of Alexandria (Clement* of Alexandria is regarded as the founder of the theol. school; Pantaenus* was the 1st teacher of the catechetical school), esp. Origen,* sponsored allegorical interpretation. It held that the passages of Scripture that relate hist. events or speak of earthly things have deep meaning other than literal. Accordingly we must distinguish bet. the literal, the allegorical or mystical, and the moral sense. The literal sense, it was held, is at times unworthy of the Scriptures, e.g., in the story of Noah's drunkenness (Gn 9:20–27); hence we must assume that a deeper meaning was intended. The existence of a literal sense was not denied, but it was held that this sense often must be disregarded or discarded. See also Alexandria, School of; Millennium, 3.

4. Allegorical interpretation was opposed by the School of Antioch, whose representatives included J. Chrysostom,* Diodorus* of Tarsus, John* of Antioch, Lucian* of Antioch, Paul* of Samosata, Theodore* of Mopsuestia, and Theodoret* of Cyrrhus. They held that the literal sense is usually the intended sense and must be adhered to unless it is plain that an allegory is intended, e.g., in parables. Influenced School of Edessa.* See also Antioch, School of.

5. In the Middle Ages, up to the Reformation, the allegorical method was gen. followed and even extended. Passages were declared to have a 4-fold meaning: literal, allegorical or mystical, moral, and anagogic. The anagogic (from Gk. for “lead upwards”) meaning involved the hope of heaven; e.g., the Sabbath law (Ex 20:8) signifies (a) the 7th day must be kept as a day of rest; (b) Christ rested in the grave; (c) the Christian must rest from sin; (d) true rest awaits us in heaven. Much ingenuity and nonsense entered into this kind of exegesis.

6. The revival of learning and study of Heb. and Gk. introd. a change. M. Luther* freed himself of the spell of allegorical interpretation and became an interpreter honored throughout Christendom. Calvin also rejected the medieval system and became an exegete of extraordinary ability. Through the reformers the principle that the native, natural sense, is the sense intended by God was vindicated and became the directive for Prot. theologians. Thus the foundation was laid for later achievements in exegesis.

7. Unfortunately, some exegetical insights of the Reformation were soon lost. Luth. orthodoxy (see Lutheran Theology After 1580) developed a dogmatic kind of exegesis, whose method consisted of applying categories of doctrine to the art of interpretation. In that period the analogy* of faith was identified with the doctrinal content of summaries extracted from clusters of passages put together without full regard to their context. Pietism* revolted against this kind of exegesis and returned interpretation to the practice of such obvious principles as letting the sacred documents speak for themselves. J. A. Bengel* was an early exponent of Heilsgeschichte,* careful grammatical analysis, textual* criticism, quest for the hist. Jesus, millennialism,* and an interest in concepts and terms of the kind that led to G. Kittel's* Theologisches Wörterbttch zum Neuen Testament. Other and later pietists resorted to devotional interpretation that looked for spiritual incentive in every passage and influenced other devotional writing.

8. Ref. 17th-c. exegesis suffered for a time from the excessive typology of men like J. Cocceius.* Among more moderate practitioners of this art were P. Fairbairn* and M. S. Terry.* There is revival of interest in typology modified in form, depending largely on recapitulation in the Biblical account of God's revelatory activity.

9. Recent decades have been marked by emphasis on the historicocritical* method that followed the Enlightenment* and its concern for determining the actual nature of the events recorded in the Scriptures. Proponents of this method (e.g., K. H. Graf,* J. Wellhausen,* and H. E. Fosdick*) at first attempted to apply principles, derived in a gen. way from biological evolution, to interpretation of Scripture. In the 20th c. the view became prominent that the worshiping and teaching community of Israel and the early ch. produced the Biblical documents, as we know them, on the basis of oral tradition and earlier liturgical, catechetical, and homiletical materials.

10. Interest in comparative religion as part of preparation for Biblical interpretation has been abandoned in favor of emphasis on Biblical theol. in its uniqueness. In recent yrs. the RC Ch. has concentrated on Biblical interpretation, with the way prepared by Pius XII's (see Popes, 33) 1943 encyclical Divino afflante Spiritu. Counterpart to this encyclical is the World Council's Guiding Principles for the Interpretation of the Bible accepted by the ecumenical Study Conference 1949. WA, MHS

See also Theology.

R. H. Grant, A Short History of the Interpretation of the Bible, rev. ed. (New York, 1963); J. Wood, The Interpretation of the Bible (London, 1958); R. M. Grant, J. T. McNeill, and S. Terrien, “History of the Interpretation of the Bible,” The Interpreter's Bible, I, ed. G. A. Buttrick et al. (New York, 1952), pp. 106–141.

Exemplarism.

Doctrine that divine ideas are the ontological bases of finite realities.

Exhorters.

Lay persons licensed to exhort but usually not to preach. They may hold meetings for prayer and exhortation wherever opportunity is afforded.

Existentialism.

1. Existentialism is a technical philos. position popularized in the thought of S. A. Kierkegaard.* It developed with the aid of insights derived from the skeptical epistemology* of Brit. empiricism* and influenced by the phenomenology* of E. Husserl.* Principal doctrines of existentialism concern the epistemological, axiological, and psychological aspects of human being or reality. Modern exponents include Gabriel Marcel (1889–1973; Fr. RC teacher and writer). J.-P. Sartre,* M. Heidegger,* and K. Jaspers.* Some theologians (e.g., R. K. Bultmann* and K. Barth*) have been influenced by one or more phases of it.

2. Though existentialists develop views in divergent ways and complex jargon, there are some common basic features in their views which may be regarded as necessary conditions of a developed existential philosophy. The following deals primarily with these features.

a. Existence and essence. Contrary to the deterministic Aristotelian view which holds that objects of thought have an essence, or defining constituents (genus and differentia), which can be known through rational processes of reflection or inquiry, existentialists gen. insist that in the case of man no such essence is prior in time to the actual existence of human consciousness. Though the blueprint or concept of an artifact may precede its manufacture, thus determining its essence prior to its actual existence, man's being is not so determined. Here existentialist views diverge, depending on the theistic or atheistic orientation of the writer. For Kierkegaard, man's essence is known by God. But since we cannot know by processes of reason that which God knows, we can discover only the essence we have made for ourselves after coming to exist. Atheistic existentialists agree with this conclusion, not on the grounds of skepticism regarding our knowledge of God, but on the ground that God does not exist. In this case man has no essence at all except that which he himself creates by means of his conscious choices after he has come to exist. Since each new choice alters his “essence,” it is always incomplete until he is dead. This incompleteness of human reality and its irrevocable termination is gen. assoc. with existentialist emphasis on the contingency and frailty of human life.

b. Freedom. The denial of any human essence ontologically prior to concrete human beings is the source of the emphasis on human freedom. If no such essence objectively exists or is known, man is free to make of himself what he chooses to be. Present choices merely limit the range of future possibilities but do not determine which of the remaining possibilities he will choose. No other person, no environment or passion can thus be claimed to be the causal determinant of one's being what he is. Hence man is his freedom and is responsible for his nature and all his choices.

c. Anxiety (Angst). Such freedom is the ground of the existentialists' preoccupation with anxiety or anguish. Facing an undetermined future, man becomes anxious because he is responsible but cannot know the consequences of his decisions. Man is thus a subject “condemned to be free” (Sartre). In such circumstances some men make a leap (Ger. “Sprung”) at a certain stage in life (Kierkegaard), committing themselves to Jesus Christ, whom they cannot intellectually grasp (and who is therefore called “absurd”) as their only hope. For most existentialists man tries to flee from freedom and responsibility in various ways, e.g., by sensual pursuits or belief in some form of psychological determinism. This is “bad faith” (Sartre) or “inauthenticity” (Heidegger); man then refuses to accept himself and his responsibility for what he has made of himself.

d. Subjective source of value. To be an authentic person requires that one realize and courageously accept the fact that human freedom necessarily gives rise to anxiety, which affects all one's knowledge and volition. Authentic man is therefore an unhappy consciousness (Sartre). Even for the Christian, sickness is a natural state (Kierkegaard). Once man accepts this fact, his conscious decisions are intensified and his choices made with passionate inwardness (Kierkegaard) that attends the freely chosen acts of the total personality. Such decision-processes, accompanied by the values of courage and fortitude, exhibit man as the source of value.

e. Human solidarity. If man acts as an authentic person, he also chooses to do what accords with his image of man as he ought to be; for men are together in the world and are intuitively aware of this fact of human existence, as the experience of shame shows. Since human existence implies communion (Marcel) or being with others, each man is responsible for all. This fact also explains why each man is regarded as a threat to the existence of others. The choices he makes invariably affect others. Choices desirable for the individual are therefore regarded as those that strengthen human solidarity (Marcel) or those that are appropriate in the situation (Sartre). In the latter view, others are injured in some way by one's choices, and so “hell is other people.” Kierkegaard's existentialism is not incompatible with this latter view. But Marcel more eloquently expresses the humanistic concern of existentialism by emphasis on the benefits of human coexistence, cooperation, and concern for others. CEH

Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript, tr. D. F. Swenson and W. Lowrie (Princeton, 1941); M. Heidegger, Being and Time, tr. J. Macquarrie and E. Robinson (New York, 1962); J.-P. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, tr. E. Barnes (New York, 1956) and Existentialism, tr. B. Frechtmann (New York, 1947); E. Mounier, Existentialist Philosophies, tr. E. Blow (London, 1948); H. J. Blackham, Six Existentialist Thinkers (New York, 1952); R. G. Olson, An Introduction to Existentialism (New York, 1962); Christianity and the Existentialists, ed. C. Michaelson (New York, 1956).

Exogamy.

Marriage outside a group, esp. as required by custom or law, in distinction from endogamy.*

Ex opere operantis

(Lat. “by deed of doer”). Term used to present the view that the condition of the person performing an act affects its efficacy; thus the moral condition of the administrant or recipient has a role and value in causing or receiving-sacramental grace. Not to be confused with ex opere operantis ecclesiae, which refers to the efficacy of liturgical prayer due to the action of the ch.

Exorcism

(from Gk. for “out” and “adjure”). Expelling or banning of evil spirits. Exorcism in the broad sense by rite and ritual is widely practiced in many religious cults. In the narrow sense it is a Christian ceremony.

Jesus expelled demons with a simple command (Mk 1:23–26; 9:14–29; Lk 11:14–26). The apostles continued the practice with the power and in the name of Jesus (Mt 10:1; Acts 19:11–16).

Special formulas of exorcism were developed in the early ch. The practice was early assoc. with baptism and preceded it. The RC Ch. and the E Orthodox Ch. preserved the rite of exorcism. The Luth. Ch., following M. Luther's* “Taufbüchlein,” gen. kept exorcism until the 18th c. S. S. Schmucker* and others rejected exorcism. C. F. W. Walther* advised congs. that practiced exorcism not to abolish it in haste and those that did not have it not to reintroduce it.

See also Baptism, Liturgical, 2, 3.

Exsultet.

1. Exsultet iam angelica turba (Lat. “Now let the angelic host rejoice”; first words of the praeconium paschale [“paschal praise”] or laus [consecratio, benedictio] cerei [“praise (consecration, blessing) of the candle”]). RC hymn originating ca. 7th c. or earlier; sung by deacon on Holy Saturday (see Church Year, 4) at blessing of candle into which are inserted 5 grains of incense representing the wounds of Jesus. 2. Exsultet orbis gaudiis (Lat. “Let the earth with joy resound”). RC hymn in divine office for vespers and lauds on feasts of apostles and evangelists outside the Easter season.


Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod


Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

Stay Connected! Join the LCMS Network:

Contact Us Online
800-248-1930
(Staff Switchboard)
888-843-5267
(Church Info Center)
1333 S Kirkwood Rd
Saint Louis, MO 63122-7226 | Directions

 

Featured Publication

The Lutheran Witness

LCMS Communications

Interpreting the contemporary world from a Lutheran Christian perspective.
Visit TLW Online