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Feast of Asses

(festum asinorum). 1. Another name for Feast* of Fools. 2 Festival of the Flight to Egypt, within the Epiphany* octave.* Perhaps innocent in origin; but by 13th c. burlesque elements were prominent. Braying by participants at mass, bringing ass into ch., use of the so-called Prose of the Ass were made part of mass and canonical office. 3. The ass at times also figured in Palm* Sun, processions and commemorating the story of Balaam's ass.

Feast of Fools.

1. Feast* of Asses. 2. Mock religious festival begun ca. 12th c. by subdeacons of cathedrals and held ca. the Feast of the Circumcision (January 1). 3. Name also given collectively to the series of mock festivals in the Christmas season (by deacons on Feast of St. Stephen [December 26], priests on St. John's Day [December 27], choir boys on Holy Innocents [December 28], and subdeacons on or about Circumcision [January l]). Perhaps a Christian adaptation of the Roman Saturnalia, the celebrations were characterized by masquerades, extravagances, excesses. Council of Basel* imposed severe penalties for the observances 1435.


Movement in the RC Ch. in Ger. to undergird nationalization of the ch. Real power of the ch. was to reside in bps. Johann Nikolaus von Hontheim (1701–90), leader of the movement, wrote De statu ecclesiae et legitima potestate Romani pontificis under pseudonym Justinus Febronius. See also Roman Catholic Church, The, D 2; Ultramontanism.

Fechner, Gustav Theodor

(1801–87). Ger. philos., physicist, and psychol.; formulated Fechner's law: “In order that the intensity of a sensation may increase in arithmetic progression, the stimulus must increase in geometric progression”; considered God the soul of the universe and natural laws the modes of the unfolding of His perfection. See also Psychology, G 3.

Fecht, Johannes

(1636–1716). B. Sulzburg, near Freiburg, Baden, Ger.; Luth. theol., and opponent of Pietism*; gen. supt. Baden-Durlach 1688; prof. and supt. Rostock 1690. Works include Philocalia sacra; De vera rerum sacrarum notitia; De origine et superstitione missarum, in honorem sanctorum celebratarum.

Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America.

Organized in Philadelphia December 1908; 30 denominations represented; combined membership ca. 25 million. Purpose, according to the constitution: 1. to express the fellowship and catholic unity of the Christian church; 2. to bring the Christian bodies of America into united service for Christ and the world; 3. to encourage devotional fellowship and mutual counsel concerning the spiritual life and religious activities of the churches; 4. to secure a larger combined influence for the churches of Christ in all matters affecting the moral and social condition of the people, so as to promote the application of the law of Christ in every relation to human life; 5. to assist in the organization of local branches of the Federal Council, to promote its aim in their communities. The constitution stated that the Council was to have “no authority over the constituent bodies adhering to it. It has no authority to draw up a common creed or form of government or of worship, or in any way to limit the full autonomy of the Christian bodies adhering to it.” Various depts, dealt with missions, research, educ., race relations, radio, soc. service, armed services, prisoners of war, etc. It was absorbed 1950 into the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America (see Union Movements, 13).

E. B. Sanford, Origin and History of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America (Hartford, Connecticut, 1916); J. A. Hutchison, We Are Not Divided: A Critical and Historical Study of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America (New York, 1941).

Federal Theology

(Föderaltheologie; from Lat. foedus and theologia). Covenant theol.; roots traced by some to concepts in Epistle of Barnabas (see Apostolic Fathers, 6), Irenaeus,* Clement* of Alexandria, and Augustine* of Hippo; reached its apex in the theol. of J. Cocceius.*

H. Zwingli* speaks of a covenant of God with Adam, renewed with Noah and Abraham. He emphasizes esp. the covenant with Abraham in which God promises grace and requires righteousness of life. This covenant is one and the same as the NT covenant. The sacraments are signs of the covenant. Zwingli's thought is developed by J. H. Bullinger.* Both emphasized the covenant role of sacraments. P. Melanchthon* in Examen ordinandorum made baptism a mutuum foedus and mutua obligatio bet. God and the person baptized. J. Calvin* also makes the covenant a part of his system. Other Ref. theologians followed the lead of Zwingli, Bullinger, and Calvin. The covenant idea is found in early Ref. confessions and is prominent in the Heidelberg Catechism (see Reformed Confessions, D 2) and the Westminster Confession (see Presbyterian Confessions, 3–4). M. Martini* and J. Cloppenburg,* teachers of Cocceius, distinguished a “natural covenant” (old covenant of the Law) and a “covenant of grace” (new covenant of the Gospel).

The classic treatment of fed. theol., is J. Cocceius' Summa doctrina de foedere et testamento Dei. A foedus is a covenant in which both parties (conjurati) bind themselves; it has visible signs (signa notabilia) and command and promise. When God establishes a covenant it involves Law and promise. The covenant is initially not mutual, as human covenants are, but is est. by God. It becomes mutual when man agrees to it. The covenant of works (natural covenant) was made before the Fall; its Law was written in Adam's heart. The command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the beginning of all of God's commandments; the promise of life bound man to believe and love God. The tree of life is a sacrament of justification by works. There are 5 nullifications (Abschaffungen) of the covenant of works. The first 2: sin and the covenant of grace. The covenant of grace commands contrition and faith. In eternity the Father made a compact with the Son in which the Son binds Himself to obedience unto death and the Father promises Him a kingdom and a spiritual seed. Salvation is offered the elect by the command to believe in Christ and by the promise of life. After the fall man is by nature dead in sin; rebirth is wrought by Christ. This new covenant of grace is immutable and eternal. The final goal of the covenant is the glory of God. The 3d nullification of the covenant of works is by the proclamation of the New Testament. The covenant of grace is divided into 2 economies: in expectatione Christi (OT) and in fide Christi revelati (NT). OT sacraments: circumcision and the Passover lamb. NT sacraments: Baptism and the Lord's Supper. The 4th nullification of the covenant of works is the death of the body. The 5th is the resurrection of the body.

Anabaptists used the term covenants for brotherhoods whose mems. dedicated themselves in faith to the Lord's service.

Covenant theol. of Luth., Ref., and Anabap. origin was later modified.

See also Braun, Johannes; Burman, Frans; New England Theology.

G. Schrenk, Gottesreich und Bund im älteren Protestantismus (Gütersloh, 1923); P. Y. De Jong, The Covenant Idea in New England Theology, 1620–1847 (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1945). EL

Federated Churches.

Congs. composed of 2 or more denominational units conducting local work together but maintaining separate denominational affiliation. A fed. ch. was formed 1887 in Massachusetts Federated chs. usually have 1 minister and joint S. S., services, policy, and governing bd.

Federation for Authentic Lutheranism.

Formed November 1971 Libertyville, Illinois, by a small group of pastors and congs., most of whom had been LCMS mems.

Felgenhauer, Paul

(1593–ca. 1677). B. Pu(t)schwitz, Boh.; educ. Wittenberg; influenced by K. v. Schwenkfeld,* V. Weigel,* and J. Böhme.* Exponent of a type of mysticism, tolerance, and pacifism.

Felicissimus, Schism of.

Arose from the hostility of certain presbyters under leadership of Novatus* against Cyprian, bp. Carthage. During Cyprian's absence in the Decian persecution, and without his knowledge and consent, Novatus ordained Felicissimus deacon 250. Felicissimus and others challenged Cyprian's strictness by indulgence toward the lapsed and refused to comply with an order for ch. visitation and offering for poor issued by absent Cyprian. The schismatics were condemned by a council at Carthage 251.


(Lat. felicitas, “happiness; good fortune”). 1. Roman martyr (2d c.); according to legend, martyred with 7 sons. 2. Afr. martyr (d. ca. 202); companion of Perpetua,* who also suffered martyrdom. See also Acta martyrum.

Félix of Urgel.

(ca. 750–ca. 816–818). Ep Urgel (or Urgelis), Sp., 791; championed a form of adoptionism.*

Fell, John

(1625–86). Bp. Oxford. Ed. “Oxford text” of Cyprian.


A. Nature of Christian Fellowship. Christian fellowship is common sharing in the Gospel (Ph 1:5), in faith (Phmn 6), and in other spiritual and mutual gifts. God creates it by calling us into fellowship or partnership with His Son so that we share in all Christ's works, blessings, glory, and goods (1 Co 1:9; 10:16; 1 Jn 1:3, 6, 7). It is a union of believers in Christ through fellowship of the Spirit (2 Co 13:13 [14]; 1 Jn 1:7). This communion of believers is unity or “oneness” in Christ (Jn 17:11, 21–22) which transcends race, soc. position (Gl 3:28; Ja 2:1), and death (1 Th 4:13–18). Non-relatives are called father, mother, brother, and sister (Mt 12:49–50; 1 Ti 5:1–2).

Christian fellowship involves participation in the experiences of Christ (Jn 14:9; Ro 6:1–8; 14:8; Ph 1:21; 3:10) and of fellow Christians. Out of basic communion in the Gospel of Christ comes the communication of spiritual and material gifts (Acts 2:42–45; Ro 15:25; 2 Co 8:4; 9:13; Heb 13:16).

As faith always produces fruit, so fellowship of the Spirit in Christ manifests itself in action. Christian fellowship is activity in the Gospel (Gl 2:9). Its mark is love (1 Co 13; 1 Ptr 1:22; 1 Jn). It causes Christians to treat each other as close relatives (1 Ti 5:1–2). It is a fellowship of feelings (2 Co 11:29), burdens (Gl 6:2; Heb 13:3), and a communication of help (Acts 20:35; Ja 1:27). It is activated by desire to bring others into its fellowship (1 Jn 1:3) and avoid or heal schism within itself (1 Co 1; 3:1–11; Eph 4:3). A climax is in the Lord's Supper (1 Co 10:16).

The ideal of fellowship was portrayed by Christ when He spoke of the ch. as one flock under one Shepherd (Jn 10:16) and of individual Christians and chs. as branches growing on one Vine (Jn 15:1–6). In His great prayer on the eve of His death the Savior prayed for unity among His followers (Jn 17:20–23).

The apostles tried to maintain Christian fellowship (1 Co 12:12–27; Eph 4:1–16; cf. also Acts 2:42; Ro 12:5; 1 Co 1:10; 10:17; 2 Co 13:11; Gl 3:28; Ph 1:27; 1 Ptr 3:8; 1 Jn 1:7), condemned schisms under various leaders (1 Co 1:10–17; 3:3–9), and tried to solve difficulties through deliberation and discussion (Acts 15:1–35).

B. Fellowship of Churches. In the early ch., unity was exemplified by fellowship in worship. Pastors in one part of the ch. were recognized in other parts and, if present at a service, were invited to take part (cf. custom of Judaism in NT times: Mt 9:35; Lk 4:16–27; Acts 13:5, 15; 14:1–3; 16:13; 18:24–28). Rise of heretics and impostors led to rules and safeguards, e.g., Apostolic* Constitutions and Canons. Cf. Mt 7:15–23; Gl 1:8–9; 1 Ti 1:5–7; 4:1–7; 6:3–5; 2 Ti 4:3–4; Tts 1:10–16; 2 Ptr 2. The schismatic spirit continued to be condemned (cf. 1 Clement) and unity praised. Ignatius makes unity flow from loyalty to the bp., e.g., Ad Ephesios, IV; Ad Trallianos, III; cf. Cyprian, De unitate ecclesiae.

With the growth of the hierarchical system, fellowship was more and more determined by the hierarchy. Disagreement was revolt and for hundreds of yrs. a capital crime.

The schism bet. E and W (see Schism, 4, 6) destroyed fellowship that could not be restored at Lyons 1274 (see Lyons, Councils of) and Florence 1439 (see Florence, Council of). The traditional RC position made fellowship depend on unity of faith, govt., worship, and acknowledgment of the supreme authority of Rome. The 2d Vatican* Council recognized chs. and ecclesiastical communities outside the RC Ch. and fostered an ecumenical spirit.

M. Luther* at first tried to maintain fellowship with the RC Ch., but his excommunication made it impossible (see Reformation, Lutheran, 7–9). Fellowship bet. Luther and the Ref. was not hastily cut off. The ideal of a unified ch. is strongly emphasized in the preface to the AC Luther's own efforts for peace are shown in his letter to Cardinal Albrecht of Mainz (WA 30 II, 397–412; cf. WA 30 II, 268–356).

The statement of AC VII, “to the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments,” is variously stated in Luther's writings (e.g., unity springs from agreement in Word and doctrine, WA 34 II, 387; it springs from the inner spirit, WA 10 II, 219; 22, 57–59; from the sacraments, WA 10 II, 219–220. Love avails nothing where unity in faith and spirit are lacking, WA 40 II, 136–137).

Beginning 1530 the AC was considered by those who subscribed to it a unifying document, criterion of fellowship, and safeguard against Ref. and RC teaching. Fellowship was usually not denied whole Luth. state chs. that held this confession but did not formally subscribe to the whole Book of Concord. Later efforts at restoring fellowship with the Ref. were unsuccessful (Wittenberg* Concord 1536; Thirteen Articles 1538 [see Anglican Confessions, 4]; Regensburg* Conference 1541; Interims* 1548; Thorn Conference 1645 [see Reformed Confessions, D 3 c]; Prussian* Union 1817; modern movements). Decisions of the Council of Trent* completed the breach bet. Luths. and RCs (see Counter Reformation; Roman Catholic Confessions, A).

Early Luths. in Am. had few or no bonds of union, no important rules regarding fellowship with other Christians. They were a prey of many religious propagandists. H. M. Mühlenberg* strove to est. consciousness of Luth. unity and loyalty to the Luth. Confessions. But in this period limited fellowship with other bodies (esp. Episcopalians) was practiced. Then followed a period in which confessional distinctions were more and more disregarded and wider fellowship with other chs. sought (often following cultural or language lines). Beginning ca. 1820, S. S. Schmucker* labored to reunite Luths. and reintroduce the AC and subscription to its “fundamental” doctrines.

Reactions to the Prussian Union, immigration of Luths. from Eur., and other things led to gradual formulation of fellowship rules in the 19th c. Growth of confessional consciousness by mid-c. is indicated by widespread opposition to the Definite Platform (see Definite Synodical Platform). When the General* Council of the Luth. Ch. in N. Am. was formed 1867, the Mo. Syn., the Joint Syn. of Ohio, and the Ger. Syn. of Iowa had misgivings. The Joint Syn. of Ohio asked the Gen. Council for a statement on chiliasm, altar* fellowship, pulpit fellowship, and secret societies; this led to the Pittsburgh Declaration 1868, Akron Rule 1872, Galesburg* Rule 1875, and the action taken at Pittsburgh 1889 (see also Four Points). C. F. W. Walther* and others at the Free* Luth. Conferences tried to est. gen. Luth. fellowship based on loyalty to the AC, holding that the other Luth. confessions were not sufficiently known in Am. to serve as basis.

Doctrinal controversies among Luths. in the 2d half of the 19th c. underlined doctrinal differences, alienated Luths. from each other, strengthened syn. walls, and occasioned restatements of the boundaries of fellowship. The Mo. Syn. instructed its delegates to the Syn. Conf. not to deliberate with persons who had accused the Mo. Syn. of Calvinism (1881 Synodal-Bericht, p. 45). L. u. W., LI (February–March 1905), 49–53, 97–115, citing Jer 23:31–32; Mt 7:15; Lk 21:17; Ro 16:17; 2 Co 6; 1 Ti 6:3, 5; Tts 3:10; 2 Jn 10–11; and other passages, upheld refusal of Mo. Syn. delegates to pray with those of the Iowa and Ohio syns. at the Free Conference at Detroit, Michigan, April 6–8, 1904.

While the gen. trend in Am. Lutheranism at the end of the 19th c. was to make confessional loyalty the basis of fellowship, there was no complete unanimity. Some, emphasizing the unity of the ch., advocated gen. Christian fellowship. This view was strenuously opposed, esp. by those who emphasized the confessional nature of altar fellowship.

The 1st half of the 20th c. was marked by many efforts toward Luth. unity and fellowship. Many statements were issued to show doctrinal positions as well as doctrinal agreement or disagreement. Principles and methods varied. Some tried to adhere to the principles of M. Luther and C. F. W. Walther. Others demanded agreement on all formulated doctrines and such as are to be formulated, holding that all joint work and worship is indicative of indifference toward, or agreement with, error. Selective* fellowship has been advocated by some; others oppose it for the sake of order and hold that the individual pastor or ch. has foregone the right of selective fellowship. Distinctions are also made bet. various types of fellowship (e.g., work, private and pub. prayer, pulpit, altar). Following the precedent set by C. F. W. Walther, the Mo. Syn. Coll. of Presidents called for free Luth. conferences 1949.

The ALC, LCA, and AELC began “Interim Eucharistic Sharing” with the Protestant* Episc. Ch. in January 1983

See also Church; Ecumenical Movement, Fundamental Doctrines; Lutheran Confessions; Union and Unity Movements, in the United States; Lutheran; Union Movements; Unionism. EL

Patristic writings; standard ch. histories; Luther's works; V. Ferm, The Crisis in American Lutheran Theology (New York, 1927); F. Pieper, “Einige Sätze über den Unionismus,” in 1924 Synodal-Bericht, Oregon and Washington District, Mo. Syn., pp. 4–39; C. P. Krauth, Theses on the Galesburg Declaration on Pulpit and Altar Fellowship, prepared by an 1876 order of the General Council, dated Philadelphia 1877, and reprint. in The Lutheran Church Review, XXVI (July and October 1907), 515–527, 740–748; XXVII (January and April 1908), 129–137, 321–330; F. Bente, Was steht der Vereinigung der lutherischen Synoden Amerikas im Wege? (St. Louis, 1917); The Distinctive Doctrines and Usages of the General Bodies of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States, 4th ed. (Philadelphia, 1914); T. C. Graebner, The Problem of Lutheran Union and Other Essays (St. Louis, 1935); T. F. Gullixson, The Fellowship Question (Minneapolis, Minnesota, n. d.); T. C. Graebner and P. E. Kretzmann, Toward Lutheran Union (St. Louis, 1943); M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity (Columbus, Ohio, 1940); H. E. Jacobs, “Some Considerations Involved in the Discussion of the Fellowship Question,” The Lutheran Church Review, VIII (October 1889), 243–279; M. V.[alentine], “Altar-Fellowship” and H. E. J.[acobs], “Pulpit Fellowship,” The Lutheran Cyclopedia, ed. H. E. Jacobs and J. A. W. Haas (New York, 1899), pp. 9, 399–400; W. Brenner, Dangerous Alliances or Some Peace Snags (Toledo, Ohio, n. d.); J. H. C. Fritz, Union or Unity? (St. Louis, n. d.); C. A. Hardt, “Christian Fellowship,” CTM, XVI (July 1945), 433–466; W. A. Arndt, “Selective Fellowship,” CTM, XVII (June 1946), 455–457, and “Missouri's Insistence on Acceptance of the Word of God and the Confessions of the Lutheran Church as a Condition of Church Fellowship,” CTM, XVIII (March 1947), 171–177; R. T. DuBrau, “New Testament Fellowship: A Study in Semantics,” CTM, XXII (May 1951), 334–342; M. Schulz, “The Question of Altar Fellowship According to the Halle Resolutions,” tr. and condensed by F. E. M.[ayer], CTM, XVIII (July 1947), 534–537; E. L. Lueker, “Walther and the Free Lutheran Conferences of 1856–1859,” CTM, XV (August 1944), 529–563; W. G. Polack, “Lutheran Unity: The Present Status,” The Lutheran Witness, LXVIII, (June 14, 1949), 194–196; What Lutherans Are Thinking, ed. E. C. Fendt (Columbus, Ohio, 1947); E. Rinderknecht, “Lutheran Unity and Union from the Point of View of the United Lutheran Church,” The Lutheran Church Quarterly, XIX (January 1946), 13–34; A. H. Grumm, “Church Fellowship,” The Abiding Word, II (St. Louis, 1947), 517–537; W. Elert, Abendmahl und Kirchengemeinschaft in der alten Kirche hauptsächlich des Ostens (Berlin, 1954), tr. N. E. Nagel, Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries (St. Louis, 1966); Four Statements on Fellowship, presented by the constituent synods of the Synodical Conference for study and discussion (St. Louis, 1960); Church in Fellowship, ed. V. Vajta (Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1963); “Theology of Fellowship,” Mo. Syn. Proceedings 1965, pp. 264–291 (adopted, Proceedings 1967, p. 91).

Fellowship Following Buddha, The.

Group supporting efforts of Dwight Goddard of Thetford, Vermont, to circulate Buddhist scriptures and enable “homeless brothers” (Buddhist monks) to follow the path of Buddha. See also Buddhism.

Fellowship of Divine Truth, The.

Founded 1934 by “Hilarion, The Master of Wisdom,” in Philadelphia; assoc. with New* Thought Alliance.

Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius.

Soc. chiefly of Anglicans and exiled Orthodox; founded 1928 to cultivate cordial relations among denominations represented by its mems.

Fellowship of the Order of Christian Mystics, The.

Founded by F. Homer Curtis and wife; awaits the appearance of Avatar, a great spiritual world teacher. See also Hinduism, 4.

Fendt, Leonhard

(1881–1957). B. Baiershofen, Swabia; prof. RC dogmatics Dillingen; became Luth. 1918; prof. practical theol. Berlin 1934. Wrote on liturgics, catechetics, and practical theol.

Fénelon, Francois de Salignac de la Mothe

(1651–1715). B. château Fenelon, Perigord. Fr.; miss. to Huguenots* 1685–87; adopted ideas of Madame Guyon*; abp. Cambrai 1695. Works include Les Avantures de Télémaque, fils d'Ulysse. See also Bossuet, Jacques Bénigne.

Fenton, Ferrar

(1832–1920). B. Waltham (18 mi. SE of Hull), Lincolnshire, Eng.; Angl. Layman; educ. privately; opposed higher* criticism. Works include Bible in Modern English with Critical Notes. See also Bible Versions, L 13.

Ferdinand II

(1578–1637). Grandson of Ferdinand I (see Reformed Confessions, E 3). King of Boh. 1617–19, 1620–37; of Hung. 1621–37. Holy Roman emp. 1619–37; educ. by Jesuits to hate Protestantism; whole reign occupied in 1st part of Thirty* Years' War, beginning with persecution of Prots. 1617.

Ferdinand V of Castile

(Ferdinand II of Aragon). See Inquisition, 6.

Ferguson, Samuel David

(1842–1916). B. Charleston, SC; Negro pastor Prot. Episc. Ch., Liberia (see Africa, C 7); bp. 1884; est. educ. system including village and ch. schools; developed a trained nat. ministry.


Classical Lat. “feast day; holiday.” Ecclesiastical usage applies the term to days (other than Saturday [Sabbatum*] and Sunday [Dies* dominica]) on which no feast falls; this practice perhaps originated in the custom of calling the day after Easter “Easter Monday,” regarding it as the 2d feria or feast day of that week. Since every Sunday is a little Easter, every Monday is a “feria secunda,” Tuesday “feria tertia,” etc.

Ferrandus, Fulgentius

(d. ca. 546). Deacon of Carthage; opposed condemnation of Three Chapters (see Three Chapters, Controversy of). Works include Breviatio canonum; a life of C. G. Fulgentius* is ascribed to him. MPL, 67, 877–962.

Ferry, Paul

(1591–1669). B. Metz, Fr.; Huguenot preacher and defender of the Ref. faith in Fr.; worked for union of Prots. and for fusion of RCs and Prots.

Fesch, Joseph

(1763–1839). B. Ajaccio, Corsica; half-brother of Napoleon I's mother; representative of Napoleon I at the Vatican: abp. Lyon 1802; cardinal 1803; served on Ecclesiastical Commission, on which his activity was not always satisfactory to Napoleon I.

Fessler, Ignaz Aurelius

(1756–1839). B. Zurány (Zurndorf; Zürndorf; Czurendorf), Hung. (Burgenland); orientalist; historian; converted from RCm to Lutheranism 1791; gen. supt. St. Petersburg 1833; interested in moral* philos., Kantianism (see Kant, Immanuel), panentheism.*

Feth, John Henry Frederick

(February 10, 1861–July 29, 1927). B. Cleveland, Ohio; educ. Fort Wayne and Conc. Sem., St. Louis; asst. pastor St. Matthew, NYC, 1883–85; pastor New Haven, Connecticut, and miss. at large 1885–88; prof. Conc. Collegiate Inst., Bronxville, New York, 1888–1927, pres. 1895–1918.


(from Port. feitiço, “something artificial, done or made by art; sorcery”; Lat. facticious, “factitious”). Term used variously by anthropologists, e.g., to denote rivers, springs and other objects of nature; often understood to mean belief that a spirit may dwell temporarily or permanently in some material object, making it an object of reverence or worship; connected with animism. A fetish may be any object (e.g., claws, teeth, horns, bones, or other parts of animals; shells, stones, leaves, pieces of wood or metal, rags, refuse) thought to be inhabited by a spirit or endowed with preternatural power and which its possessor therefore tries to use for his own purposes. A savage will pray to it, anoint it with oil, and sprinkle it with blood. If he has great success with it, it may become the fetish of an entire tribe and the owner its priest. If it does not serve, it may be scolded, punished, and finally discarded. Fetishes may be found by chance, or certain objects may become fetishes by incantation or by simple invitation extended to a spirit to dwell in the object. Fetishism is found around the world, esp. in W Afr.

See also Africa, A 3; Primitive Religion.

Feuerbach, Ludwig Andreas

(1804–72). B. Landshut, Bavaria; philos.; pupil of G. W. F. Hegel*; abandoned Hegelian idealism*; adopted atheism*; explained religion anthropologically; God, heaven, eternal life, are merely human desires; propagated sensualism. Works include Das Wesen des Christentums; Grundsätze der Philosophie der Zukunft; Das Wesen der Religion. See also Ethics, 4.

Feuerborn, Justus

(Feurborn; 1587–1656). B. Herford, Ger.; ev. theol.; prof. Giessen 1617, Marburg ca. 1624; supt. Marburg 1650; supported B. Mentzer* against Tübingen theologians in Cryptokenotic Controversy.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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