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The Theologische Realenzyklopädie (TRE) [Theological Encyclopedia] is a modern specialist encyclopaedia comprising 36 volumes of text (1976–2004) representing the present state of theological research as a whole. More than a generation of scholars have collaborated in its production, to create a unique internationally-oriented reference work containing more than 2,500 articles (on over 28,000 pages of text) which stands as a document of the history of scholarship. The TRE is an indispensable tool for research, study and teaching, principally in theology, but also in its neighbouring disciplines such as history, philosophy, Jewish studies and religious studies.
The Theologische Realenzyklopädie treats the whole range of ecclesiastical and theological subjects from an ecumenical and international perspective; it deals with faith and thought, theology and church, acknowledgement and, if possible, understanding, beyond the boundaries of Christianity. Thus, in addition to the disciplines of the Old and New Testaments, church history, systematic and practical theology, the work also integrates Jewish studies, religious studies and philosophy – or rather, sees them as integral to theological study.
The users find central theological keywords (e.g. Eucharist, faith, Easter, sin, baptism) ethical topics (abortion, sexuality, death penalty), historical events (e.g. Crusades, National Socialism, Reformation) and people (from Abraham, Adam and Eve through Martin Luther, Mary, Friedrich Nietzsche to Teresa of Avila and Ulrich Zwingli) in addition to historical religious and religious studies overviews of all regions of the world (New Age, Siberian religions, Re-incarnation) and keywords from the history of religion (plant symbolism, literature and religion, pictorial arts).
Besides an exact reproduction of the complete text, the online version presents all the illustrations, maps, graphics and tables included in the printed volumes. A comprehensive search engine allows detailed researches which extend the bounds set by the systematic referencing of the two volumes of the overall index (published 2006 and 2007).
Links to the encyclopaedia Encyclopaedia of the Bible and Its Reception (EBR ), to de Gruyter's theological journals and to external sources will gradually create an unparalleled expanding electronic corpus of theological knowledge.