Religion Past and Present

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Subject: Religious Studies

Edited by: Hans Dieter Betz, Don S. Browning†, Bernd Janowski and Eberhard Jüngel

Religion Past and Present (RPP) Online is the online version of the updated English translation of the 4th edition of the definitive encyclopedia of religion worldwide: the peerless Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (RGG). This great resource, now at last available in English and Online, Religion Past and Present Online continues the tradition of deep knowledge and authority relied upon by generations of scholars in religious, theological, and biblical studies. Including the latest developments in research, Religion Past and Present Online encompasses a vast range of subjects connected with religion.

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(518 words)

Author(s): Schumann, Olaf
[German Version] derives from Arabic ʾāda, “the constantly recurring,” custom, tradition, customary law. The term spread with Islam; in its Persian form, ʾādat, it came to designate pre-Islamic legal traditions, as well as cultural and even religious traditions, especially in Southeast Asia. In other Islamic areas, the equivalent term is ʾurf. Adat is rooted in the original worldview of the peoples of the Malayo-Polynesian cultural sphere, including the mountain peoples of Taiwan. Thus it …

Addams, Jane

(104 words)

Author(s): Lamberts Bendroth, Margaret
[German Version] (Sep 6, 1860, Cedarville, IL – May 21, 1935, Chicago), social reformer, humanist, and leader of the peace movement. With the opening of Hull House in Chicago in 1889 Addams founded the Settlement House Movement, an initiative to establish social centers in the big cities. She campaigned for women's voting rights and worked in the pacifistic women's movement. Addams wrote many works on social ethics and set up a campaign for the legislative reform of factory labor laws. In 1931 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Margaret Lamberts Bendroth Bibliography Works include: Tw…


(9 words)

[German Version] Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Adelard of Bath

(165 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] This English translator and natural philosopher was a Benedict, who lived between 1070 and 1160 and was probably from Bath, to which he returned in 1130; he studied in Tours, probably taught in Laon, and undertook extensive journeys in the Mediterranean region, where he became acquainted with Arab science. His chief merit consists in his mediation of ancient and Arab natural philosophy of Antiquity to the West. He translated Euclid's Elements, the introduction to astrology by Abu Mashar, and the astronomical tables of al-…


(1,901 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Theology – III. Social Ethics The expression (Gk ἀδιάφορα semantic equivalents: intermediates, Gk μέση, mesē-, that which is permitted) designates phenomena of human life that are neither positive (good, bonum) nor negative (evil, malum) in the ethical realm (i.e. with regard to the attainment of human destiny). In the strict sense, then, adiaphora occur only in ethical systems whose guiding understanding of humani…

Adiaphorist Controversy

(234 words)

Author(s): Koch, Ernst
[German Version] Adiaphoron ἀδιάφορον, in the context of the Adiaphorist Controversy, indicates the assessment of the requirements laid upon the Protestants after their defeat in the Schmalkaldic War by the Augsburg Interim: the reintroduction of organizational elements from liturgy and church law that had fallen by the wayside or come under …

Ādi Granth

(315 words)

Author(s): Horstmann, Monika
[German Version] This Ādi Granth is the holy scripture of the Sikhs (Sikhism), also called Gurū-Granth. The standard version (see below) is titled Ādi Srī Gurū Granth Sāhibjī, "The guru in first position in the form of the book." He was appointed by the 10th and final guru, Gobind Singh (period of office: 1675-1708), to continue the human succession of gurus since its founder, Nānak (1469-1539) and as the ultima…

Adler, Alfred

(198 words)

Author(s): Heimbrock, Hans-Günter
[German Version] (Feb 7, 1870, Vienna – May 28, 1937, Aberdeen), of Jewish parentage, converted to Protestantism in 1904; physician, psychotherapist, social educationalist, and professor of clinical psychology; beside C.G. Jung, one of the most important students of S. Freud, who, with his (socio-psychologically and socio-medically oriented) …

Adler, Felix

(91 words)

Author(s): Kraut, Benny
[German Version] (Aug 13, 1851, Alzey – Apr 24, 1933, New York), social and educational reformer who also worked for religious reform. After earning his doctorate at Heidelberg in 1873, Adler rejected theism and in 1876 founded in America the “New York Society for Ethical Culture,” in which he sought to develop an ethical philosophy that would serve as a foundation for concrete social reforms. He became a professor of political and social ethics at Columbia University. Benny Kraut Bibliography F. Adler, An Ethical Philosophy of Life, 1918

Adler, Jakob Georg Christian

(140 words)

Author(s): Jakubowski-Tiessen, Manfred
[German Version] (Dec 8, 1756, Arnis, Schleswig – Aug 22, 1834, Giekau, Holstein), studied theology and Middle Eastern languages in Kiel, Bützow, Rostock, and Copenhagen. In 1780–1782 he began text-critical research on Greek and Middle Eastern manuscripts of the Bible in European libraries, including Rome. In 1783 he became professor of Syriac, in 1788 of theo…


(4,925 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst A. | Brauneder, Wilhelm | Germann, Michael | Ahme, Michael
[German Version] I. Bible – II. History – III. Law – IV. Church Administration – V. Ethics I. Bible 1. In Israel and Judah . From the 10th into the 8th century bce, only a rudimentary administration can be assumed in Israel and Judah in comparison to Egypt and Mesopotamia. State income was basically produced by the royal demesne, which at the time of Hezekiah supplied provisions for fortresses (royal seal). The royal demesne was under the control of a major-domo or steward ( 'šr ʿl hbyt; 1 Kgs 4:6, passim; epigraphic evidence in ReRö II, 113f.; in a private household: Gen 43:16, passim). The desi…

Administrative Act, Church

(278 words)

Author(s): Germann, Michael
[German Version] I. In keeping with the vocabulary of civil law, ecclesiastical administrative acts can be described as decisions which an ecclesiastical body takes to regulate a specific case in ecclesiastical law. By definition, such decisions are only treated as administrative acts under civil law to the extent that in the applicable church-state system they have a share in the sovereignty of the state. II. The 1983 Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law gives detailed regulations in c. 35–93 for the presuppositions, forms, and effects of “s…

Administrative Union

(316 words)

Author(s): Winter, Jörg
[German Version] This concept has its origin in the efforts to overcome the confessional schism of German Protestantism at the beginning of the 19th century. The aspired union (Unions, Church) between the Lutheran and the Reformed confessional churches was realized in various ways, either in the form of a confessional …


(112 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] In the Roman Catholic Church, the administrator, as apostolic administrator, is leader of a church entity similar to a diocese and is called apostolic administrator. In the law, he is equal to the diocesan bishop (c. 381 2 CIC/1983) and is usually a titular bishop (Episcopal titles). He exercises his office as a representative of the pope (c. 371 2 CIC/1983). The diocesan administrator was formerly called chapter vicar. He leads a vacant diocese. In this regard, the principle sede vacante nihil innovetur pertains. Other administrators include the pastoral …

Admission to Church Membership

(10 words)

[German Version] Church Membership

Admonition to Parliament, The (1572)

(125 words)

Author(s): Hinson, E. Glenn
[German Version] A Puritan manifesto, demanding a non-episcopal constitution for the Church of England. It condemned the Book of Common Prayer both in general and on specific points as “papist”. It called for the abolition of the entire leadership of the Church of England with its non-residences, pluralities, episcopal hierarchy, and power. It also called for its replacement by a Presbyterian government of ministers, elders, and deacons. The authors justified the reorganization as a restoration of the church to its pristine purity. A Second Admonition was necessary to describe …


(6 words)

[German Version] Youth/Adolescence


(402 words)

Author(s): Bartelmus, Rüdiger
[German Version] is a Hebrew title for God (אֲדׂנָי/ʾa donay) which appears frequently – 217 times in Ezekiel alone – in combination with the name יהוה ( Yahweh), which it gradually supplanted in early Judaism (cf. e.g. Exod 15:11 with 1QH 7.28). The latter phenomenon appears above all in the qere perpetuum of the divine name in the Masoretic manuscripts of the OT (Masoretes), in which – except in the double construction mentioned above – the consonants of יהוה were combined with the vowel points of אֲדׂנָי (leading in Christian circles to the erroneou…


(403 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Gerhard
[German Version] (West Semitic “lord”), a young malegod worshiped by the Greeks – attested from the 6th century bce onward – and borrowed by the Phoenicians. In the Greek myth, Adonis was begotten in Phoenicia in an incestuous father-daughter relationship. The goddesses Persephone and Aphrodite quarreled over the newborn Adonis, who became Aphrodite's lover as a young shepherd. The jealous Ares killed h…


(395 words)

Author(s): Jackson, Timothy P.
[German Version] There is no endorsement, or even explicit mention, of adoption as an ongoing practice in Old Testament law. There are, in effect, three references to acts of adoption – of Moses (Ex 2:10), Genubath (1 Kgs 11:20), and Esther (Esth 2:7, 15) – but, as is often noted, these all take place outside of Palestine and thus in contexts foreign to Jewish rule and custom. Torah tradition as such simply does…
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