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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(449 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
[German Version] is the conventional term for a Christological conception that denies Christ's preexistence and generation before all time, maintaining instead that God adopted the human Jesus as Son. I. Two theologians from Asia Minor are mentioned as exponents of Adoptionism in early Christianity: Theodotus the Money-Changer (or Banker) and Theodotus (or Theodotus of Byzantium). As heads of schools in Rome in th…

Adorno, Theodor Wiesengrund

(425 words)

Author(s): Figal, Günter
[German Version] (Sep 11, 1893, Frankfurt am Main – Aug 6, 1969, Visp, Canton Wallis) is along with M. Horkheimer the most significant representative of the first generation of critical theory. The focus of his thought is a radical critique of the rationalism that was then manifesting itself academically, technically and socially. Adorno studied in Frankfurt am Main and, after receiving his PhD in philosophy in 1924, he studied composition under Alban Berg in Vienna. In 1930 he gained his Habilitation with a thesis on S. Kierkegaard in Frankfurt …

Adriani, Nicolaus

(103 words)

Author(s): Jongeneel, Jan A.B.
[German Version] (Sep 15, 1865, Oud-Loosdrecht, The Netherlands – May 1, 1926, Poso, Indonesia), defended his dissertation in 1893 and worked for the Netherlands Bible Society in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, from 1895 to 1926. He wrote a book on church growth in Central Sulawesi as well as a grammar and dictionary of the Bare'e language. He also translated a l…


(79 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (c. 910–992), reforming abbot of Montier-en-Der (from 967/68) and St. Bénigne (c. 982–985). Adso composed lives of various saints and (between 949 and 954) an influential summary of the Antichrist tradition in biographical form. In it, Adso categorized the West Frankish Carolingians (to whom his patron Gerberga was related by marriage) as the heirs of Rome in God's plan of salvation. Volker Leppin Bibliography CCCM 45, 1976 R. Konrad, De ortu et tempore Antichristi, 1964.

Adult Education

(7 words)

[German Version] Education


(180 words)

Author(s): Spelthahn, Dieter
[German Version] In 1961, at the request of the German Bishops' Conference, the first Christmas collection for the church in Latin America was taken up. In 1962, under the title Adveniat, it was continued for a second year and then established permanently. It was first put in place by Bishop Franz Hengsbach, with the support of the Joseph Teusch, the vicar-general of …


(675 words)

Author(s): Alexander, J. Neil
[German Version] I. Origin of the Liturgical Season – II. Liturgical Meaning of Advent Adventus (Lat.), παρουσία ( parousia) and ἐπιφάνια ( epiphania, Gk) form a complex of related terms in pagan and Christian usage. The terms were generally employed cultically and referred to the coming of the deities amongst their worshipers. Adventus became the standard term for the coming of Christ both historically and eschatologically. I. Origin of the Liturgical Season In the 4th century the liturgical season of Advent was peculiar to the western r…


(1,649 words)

Author(s): Knight, George R.
[German Version] I. Emergence, History, Dissemination and Doctrines – II. Missions I. Emergence, History, Dissemination and Doctrines 1. Emergence. Modern Adventism traces its direct roots back to the movement begun by William Miller (1782–1849, Baptist minister from New York State) which predicted the return of Jesus in 1843 and 1844. Following what became known as the “Great Disappointm…

Advocatus Dei/diaboli

(92 words)

Author(s): Kalb, Herbert
[German Version] Until the reorganization of the beatification and canonization procedures in 1983, the written exchange of arguments pro and contra between the candidate's advocate and the Promotor fidei at the Congregation of Rites (today known as the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints) played a central role. The one who presented the favorable arguments was popularly known as “God's advocate,” while the one who put forward the arguments against the candidate was popularly known as “the devil's advocate.” Herbert Kalb Bibliography M. Sieger, Die Heiligsprechung, 1995.

Advowson Church

(607 words)

Author(s): Landau, Peter
[German Version] This concept refers to the legal situation whereby in the early Middle Ages churches belonged as ecclesiae propriae to individual persons or to a monastery, who therefore possessed extensive rights over these buildings and their use. U. Stutz held that the root of this praxis lay in the pre-Christian Germanic custom of having domestic priests in private temple…


(129 words)

Author(s): Haile, Getatchew
[German Version] A hamlet in Tigray, northern Ethiopia. The settlement earned its fame as the site of the first defeat of a European colonial power by an African nation. On Mar 1, 1896, the Ethiopian army, led by Emperor Menelik II (1889–1913), won a decisive victory over the Italian army, led by General Oreste Baratieri, frustrating the Italians' attempt to make Ethiopia an Italian colony. Adwa became an important date of reference for political nationalism and the Ethiopia in Africa. Getatchew Haile Bibliography O. Baratieri, Memorie d'Africa (1892–1896), 1898 G.F.-H. Berkeley, The …

Aegean/Minoan/Mycenaean Religions

(977 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] I. In the Context of the East – II. Historical and Regional Differentiation – III. Religion and Cults I. In the Context of the East All around the Aegean in the 2nd millennium bce cultures emerged with an orientation toward the East, borrowing eastern systems, such as the economic, military, high-societal, religious centrality of cities with sophisticated palaces, the archive system with clay tablets an…


(152 words)

Author(s): Fichte, Jörg O.
[German Version] (c. 955–1020) was the son of a West Saxon aristocratic family; as a Benedict, he was educated in Winchester under St. Aethelwold; from 1005, he was abbot of Eynsham near Oxford. Because of his literary activity, Aelfric became one of the foremost personalities in the Benedictine reform movement in England. Especially important are his many vernacular sermons (two collections of Sermones Catholici and a collection of legends of the saints) and translations (including Bede's De temporibus anni and the first seven books of the OT)…

Aelia Capitolina

(11 words)

[German Version] Bar Kokhba Revolt, Jerusalem

Aelred of Rievaulx, Saint

(203 words)

Author(s): Pfeifer, Michaela
[German Version] (Ailred, Ethelred etc.; 1110, Hexham – 1167, Rievaulx), Cistercian abbot (Cistercians), author, and historian. From 1124 to 1134, he received his education and served as an economist at the Scottish court of David I; he entered Rievaulx in 1134, became master of novices in 1142, the founding abbot of Revesby in 1143, and from 1147 the abbot of Rievaulx, which he led to its greatest prosperity. Aelrid is the abbot par excellence for English monasticism to this day and one of the four “Evangelists…

Aeneas of Gaza

(132 words)

Author(s): Hadot, Ilsetraut
[German Version] (2nd half of 5th cent. ce), Christian (probably Monophysite), as a rhetorician belonged to the school of rhetoric in Gaza. Extant are a collection of 25 letters (ed. Massa Positano, 21962) and a dialogue “Theophrastus” (ed. M. Colonna, 1958), a writing dated between 485 and 490. It consists of a debate of the Christians Aegyptus and Euxitheos – the latter calls himself a student of the Neoplatonist Hierocles – with Theophrastus, a neoplatonic Athenian philosopher who had recently arrived in Alexandria. Ilsetraut Hadot Bibliography CPG 3, 7450–7451 M. Wacht, Aeneas als…

Aepinus, Johannes

(213 words)

Author(s): Scheible, Heinz
[German Version] (Hoeck; 1499, Ziesar – May 13, 1553, Hamburg). In 1517 Aepinus was premonstratensian in Belbuck (near Treptow on the Rega). He studied in Wittenberg from 1518 to 1520, after which he taught in Ziesar, was imprisoned and fled, taught in Greifswald, and in 1524 in Stralsund, where he composed a church order on the commission of the Council in 15…

Aequalitas exacta mutuaque

(10 words)

[German Version] Parity

Aequitas canonica

(112 words)

Author(s): Rees, Wilhelm
[German Version] This principle of Catholic canon law is rooted in the aequitas (“equity”) of Roman law, in biblical thinking, and in Aristotle's theory of epikeia (Epiky). The aim of the aequitas canonica (unlike that of epikeia) is to achieve a harmony between already codified law and the legal judgment required in a specific situation. The effect is a moderation of existing law; on occasion, however, the law may also be tightened ( oikonomia). Wilhelm Rees Bibliography E. Wohlhaupter, Aequitas canonica, 1931 G. Wingren, art. “Billigkeit” TRE VI, 1980, 642–645 A. Hollerbach, art. “…


(330 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas
[German Version] (c. 525/24 – 456/55 bce), Athenian dramatist. Of the approx. 70–90 tragedies and satirical plays attributed to Aeschylus the following are preserved: Persians (472 bce), Seven against Thebes (467), Hiketides (461?), as well as Agamemnon, Choephoroi and Eumenides (458) and the so-called Oresteia. Others are preserved in fragmentary form. By means of the trilogy Aeschylus was able to present connected plots spanning extended periods of time. These plots and the …
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