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Jesuits

(1,576 words)

Author(s): Bayreuther, Sabine
1. ‘Jesuits’ is the general designation for the Catholic community and → order founded by Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), the ‘Society of Jesus’ (Lat., Societas Jesu, abbr. ‘S. J.’; in Span., Compañia de Jesús). The Order's principal concern is worldwide apostolic and missionary activity. To this end, the Order has placed itself directly under the Pope as representative of the Church as a whole—in contradistinction from the regional church or diocese (fourth vow: obedience to the Pope). Further characteristics are a centralized…

Zen Buddhism

(2,668 words)

Author(s): Bayreuther, Sabine
1. Zen is the Japanese designation for the Chinese ch'an (in Sanskrit, dhyāna, ‘meditation,’ ‘immersion’), and denotes a tradition of Mahayana Buddhism for which the key religious practice is ‘→ meditation sitting’ (in Jap., zazen). What is characteristic of Zen can be summarized in four brief enunciations: (1) Zen understands itself as a special tradition outside of orthodox teaching; it emphasizes (2) independence of the authority of sacred scriptures; (3) a transmission of the teaching ‘from heart to heart,’ from master to pu…