Religion Past and Present

Get access Subject: Religious Studies
Edited by: Hans Dieter Betz, Don S. Browning†, Bernd Janowski and Eberhard Jüngel

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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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(290 words)

Author(s): Lorenz, Sönke
[German Version] since the 1st century ce a Roman settlement (Lat. Aquis, Aquisgrani) with thermal baths (hot springs). In the Frankish Period, the town became a royal possession. After King Pippin spent the winter of 765/766 there, it became a palatinate and was expanded by Charlemagne, who resided there more often and longer as he grew older. He also convoked imperial assemblies and church synods there next to the palace, …

Aalto, Alvar

(266 words)

Author(s): Kallmeyer, Lothar
[German Version] (Hugo Alvar Henrik; Feb 3, 1898, Kuortane, Finland - May 11, 1976, Helsinki), architect. After studying at the Helsinki University of Technology, from 1923 he practiced as a free-lance architect. From 1946 to 1948 he was a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and from 1963 to 1968 he served as president of …


(576 words)

Author(s): Schaper, Joachim | Jacobs, Martin
[German Version] I. Old Testament - II. Early Judaism I. Old Testament The origin of the name is uncertain. In the Old Testament Aaron is the brother of Mose and his spokesman (Exod 4:14f.). He was reputed to be a “Levite” (priest; Exod 4:14), and the traveling companion and deputy of Moses (Exod 7:1–7), a miracle-worker (Exod 8:1f.), a charismatic leader (Exod 17:10–12…

Aaronic Blessing

(431 words)

Author(s): Seybold, Klaus | Jacobs, Martin | Saliers, Don E.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Early Judaism – III. Liturgy I. Old Testament The priestly Blessing, transmitted within the framework of the so-called Priestly Source (Pentateuch) in Num 6:23-26, which is also attested in some inscriptions (e.g. in Ketef Hinnom near Jerusalem), consist of traditional blessing formulae, linked together in three stair-stepped lines. …


(290 words)

Author(s): Schelbert, Georg
[German Version] represents the Greek transliteration (ἀββά) of the Aramaic address to God as Father in three bilingual invocations, Mark 14:36, Gal 4:6, and Rom 8:15. Since J. Jeremias explained it in 1953 as a unique, diminutive address to God in the language of small children, it has been attributed particular theological and christological significance as an e…

Abbadie, Jacques

(128 words)

Author(s): Ohst, Martin
[German Version] (1656, Nay, Béarn – Nov 25, 1727, London). Educated in Huguenot academies (Huguenots), Abbadie was an important leader of the refugee community in Berlin from 1680 to 1689. As a field chaplain, he participated in the Ireland campaign of William III of England, and lived thereafter on benefices of the Anglican Church (beginning in 1699, he was …


(281 words)

Author(s): Meier, Dominicus
[German Version] From the 7th century, the word abbatia originally designated the office of the abbot/abbess of a cloister or a non-monastic basilica. From the 9th century onward, it often referred to the cloister's property as a benefice. Additionally, it acquired the connotations of monastery and coenobium as the designation for the buildings and the living space of a community. They ere usu…

Abbo of Fleury

(123 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, Wilfried
[German Version] (940/945 - Nov 13, 1004) was from 965 on the head of the school and the abbot from 988 on of the monastery of Fleury (St.-Benoît-sur-Loire, east of Orléans). Abbo authored, inter alia, lives of saints and a collection of canons, as well as works of grammar and chronology whose major significance for the scholarship of his time only became evident through the recently published critical editions. In chu…


(431 words)

Author(s): Engelbert, Pius
[German Version] The head of an independent monastery or nunnery under Rule of St. Benedict, sometimes, also, of other communities, in the East of almost all monasteries. Abbás (Gk άββάς; Aram. abba, Copt. apa) originally designated the experienced monk as a spiritual father, although Pachomius was already also a superior. At first charismatic in character (still so in Basil the Great), the abbot concept …

Abbot, George

(121 words)

Author(s): Allison, Christopher Fitzsimons
[German Version] (Oct 10, 1562, Guildford - Aug 4, 1633, Croydon), from 1611 archbishop of Canterbury, Abbot played a leading role in the translation of the Authorized Version of the (King James) Bible, convinced the Scottish Church (Church of Scotland) to adopt the office of bishop and sent a delegation to the Synod of Dort (1618). His critical attitude toward the party of W. Laud, his refusal to yield to one of the king's favorites in the so-called Essex nullity suit (1616), and the accidental shooting of a warden during a hunt robbed him of his influence. Christopher FitzSimons Allison Bibl…

Abbott, Edwin

(127 words)

Author(s): Hinson, E. Glenn
[German Version] (Dec 20, 1838, London – Dec 10, 1926, Hampstead), teacher and scholar. He studied at St. John's College in Cambridge (1857–1861), became fellow in St. John's in 1862, resigning the office, however, when he married in 1863. Ordained a deacon in the Church of England in 1862 and a priest in 1863, he dedicated his life, however, primarily to educ…

Abbott, Lyman

(74 words)

Author(s): Szasz, Ferenc
[German Version] (Dec 18, 1825, Roxbury, MA – Oct 22, 1922, New York) was a Congregationalist pastor (Congregational Christian Churches) and perhaps America's most influential proponent of liberal Protestantism. The lawyer who had not studied theology at university continually downplayed religious and confessional differences in order to seek fellowship with all who were engaged for a better society. Ferenc Szasz Bibliography Works include: The Theology of an Evolutionist, 1897 Reminiscences, 1923.


(541 words)

Author(s): Schmid, Anne | Heim, Manfred
[German Version] I. Medieval Abbreviations – II. Catholic Orders I. Medieval Abbreviations Medieval abbreviations are based on the principles of suspension and contraction developed in antiquity (epigraphical, juridical-administrative abbreviations, sacred names). In the 6th–7th/9th centuries, the book scripts that developed variously by region (Printing and publishing) developed different traditi…


(8 words)

[German Version] Cain and Abel

Abelard, Peter

(922 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (Abailardus, Baiolardus; “Peripateticus Palatinus”) was born in 1079 in Le Pallet near Nantes, and died on Apr 21, 1142 in St-Marcel near Chalon-sur-Saône. In order to devote himself to scholarship, he renounced his rights as firstborn in his equestrian family. From 1095 to 1102, he studied logic under Roscelin of Compiègne and under …

Abercius, Inscription of

(390 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram
[German Version] In 1883, two fragments of an altar slab with portions of a lengthy Greek epitaph of a certain Abercius were discovered at Hieropolis on the Glaucus, near Synnada in Phrygia (western Turkey). The fragments were given to Pope Leo X by Sultan Abdülhamid II in 1888 and are now in the Museo Pio Cristiano in the Vatican, with a reconstruction of the altar. The inscription comprises 18 incomplete lines, with nine verses (7–15). The entire inscription (a distich and 20 hexameters) is preserved in the legendary Life of a Bishop Abercius, which may go back to …

Aberhart, William

(96 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Dec 30, 1878, Kippen, Ontario – May 23, 1943, Vancouver), fundamentalist minister, radio preacher, and politician. Having established a reputation in Calgary, Alberta, as a representative of Darbyite evangelical theology (Plymouth Brethren), he shifted to politics during the depression of the 1930s. He supported the “social credit” program of Clifford Hugh Douglas (1879–1952) as a means of redistributing wealth. As leader of the Social Credit Party, Aberhart was twice elected (1935, 1940) prime minister of the province of Alberta. Mark A. Noll Bibliography D.R.…


(77 words)

Author(s): Rees, Wilhelm
[German Version] designates in canon law renunciation in cases of apostasy (Apostate), heresy and schism (c. 2314 CIC/1917), as well as the conversion of a non-Catholic Christian (Church membership). Today, reconciliation in offences of the faith, leaving the church, and conversion, as regulated by local church law (cc. 751 and 1364 CIC), requires the deposition of a confession of faith. Wilhelm Rees Bibliography W. Rees, “Die Strafgewalt der Kirche,” KStT 41, 1993, 88–96, 228f., 426–429.


(7 words)

[German Version] Purification

Ablutions, Ritual

(9 words)

[German Version] Clean and Unclean
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