Religion Past and Present

Get access 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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(7,155 words)

Author(s): Beinert, Wolfgang | Rappel, Simone | Conzemius, Victor | Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Distribution and Membership Statistics – III. Church History – IV. Missions in Catholicism I. Concept “Catholicism” is generally understood as encompassing the historically conditioned and therefore contingent configurations that have emerged when the basic dogmatic, ethical, and constitutional elements of Roman Catholic Christianity have taken root in concrete societies. More specifically, this can mean (a) theologically the realization in space and time of the Roman Catholic organizational structure, based t…

Catholicity of the Church

(1,699 words)

Author(s): Oberdorfer, Bernd
[German Version] I. The Term and its History – II. Catholicity in the Confessional Traditions – III. Catholicity and Ecumenism – IV. Systematic Perspectives Together with unity (Church unity), holiness (Sacredness and sinfulness), and apostolicity, catholicity is one of the four attributes used by the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed to characterize the church (notae ecclesiae); hence it has become a central concept of ecclesiology. Its meaning, however, is complex. Furthermore, t…


(115 words)

Author(s): Kaufhold, Hubert
[German Version] is the title borne by the heads of the Oriental Orthodox National Churches lying outside the boundaries of the former Roman Empire. It corresponds to the title of “patriarch” and has been employed by the Eastern Syrian Church since the 5th century, whereupon it was adopted by the Armenians, Georgians, Caucasian Albanians, and in part by the Melkites and Indians. The catholicos of the Eastern Syrians and Georgians later assumed the t…

Catholic Social Teaching

(1,565 words)

Author(s): Anzenbacher, Arno
[German Version] I. Assumptions – II. Catholic Social Teaching until Vatican II – III. Catholic Social Teaching since Vatican II – IV. Fundamental Concepts In the narrower sense, Catholic social teaching is the church's social teaching as expressed in texts issued by the teaching office; in the broader sense, it is their development in social ethics as a theological discipline. I. Assumptions The social question of the 19th century demanded of the church a theoretical orientation in addition to charitable engagement. This orientation was…

Cauer, Minna

(180 words)

Author(s): Balzer, Jette K.B.
[German Version] (Nov 1, 1841, Freyenstein/Ostprignitz – Aug 3, 1922, Berlin), women's rights activist. She was a leading representative of the progressive wing of the women's civil rights movement (Feminism and feminist theology), whose central concerns included the attainment of female suffrage. In 1888, she co-founded the Frauenwohl (“Women's Welfare”) association, which became the crystallization point of this movement and the publisher of its organ, Frauenwohl (1893/1894), later published under the title Die Frauenbewegung (The Women's Movement; 1895–1919), …


(163 words)

Author(s): Saarinen, Risto
[German Version] The Latin word causa is usually understood to denote the causal element of a cause and effect relationship (Causality: I). The Aristotelian system of four causes ( causa efficiens, causa finalis, causa formalis, and causa materialis; Arist. Metaph. I, 3; Phys. II, 3) profoundly influenced theological thought in Scholasticism and Lutheran orthodoxy (II, 2.a). Causa can also ¶ denote the necessary conditions ( causa sine qua non) for something to take place. – In the expressions causa sui and causa prima, causa functions as a term for God. As causa sui, God is his own ca…


(3,429 words)

Author(s): Schütt, Hans-Peter | Russell, Robert John | Steiger, Johann Anselm | Huxel, Kirsten
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Science – III. Dogmatics – IV. Ethics I. Philosophy Causality (from Lat. causa, “cause”), also causal nexus, causal relationship, is a term for the characteristic relationship between cause and effect. The things related are generally assumed to be pairs of events (event causality), though in some cases they may be an active thing and an event (agent causality); whether agent causality can be reduced to event causality is disputed. In either ca…

Cavalier, Jean

(150 words)

Author(s): Dingel, Irene
[German Version] (Nov 28, 1681, Ribaute-les-Tavernes – May 17, 1740, Chelsea). First a shepherd, then a baker's apprentice, Cavalier fled to Geneva in 1701 for faith reasons. Already in the following year, he stepped forward as a “prophet” and military leader of the Camisards who were secretly gathering in the Cévennes for armed resistance. While the counter-measures of the marshal of Montrevel proved ineffective, his successor Villars succeeded in subduing Cava…

Cave Paintings

(8 words)

[German Version] Prehistoric Art


(7 words)

[German Version] Sacred Sites

Cavour, Camillo Benso di

(498 words)

Author(s): Alberigo, Giuseppe
[German Version] (count; Aug 10, 1810, Turin – Jun 6, 1881, Turin) was the son of a noble Piedmontese family who entered the Accademia militare in 1820 and was introduced at court in 1824. Studies in economics followed. From 1835 onward, he traveled throughout England (showing interest in the Poor Law), France (Paris), Switzerland (Geneva), and Belgium. The year 1829 marked the beginning of a rationalistic crisis that alienated him from reactionary culture and its affiliated circles. He assumed the management of his family'…

Cecilian Feasts

(337 words)

Author(s): Ruff, Anthony
[German Version] are festivals of a musical, cultural, or religious nature held on Nov 22, the feast day of St. Cecilia. The early Christian saint and martyr is known only through unreliable accounts written centuries after her martyrdom, during which (pagan) instruments were played ( cantatibus organis). Beginning in ¶ the late 15th century, she became the patroness of music and of numerous musicians' guilds. In 1570, the association “Le Puy de musique” was founded in Évreux, Normandy. Its festivities included musical performance…

Cecilia, Saint

(216 words)

Author(s): Götz, Roland
[German Version] (saint's day: Nov 22), virgin and martyr. The patroness of a Roman titular church, who gave it its name, was transformed by the legendary Passio (5th/6th cent.) into a 3rd-century patrician lady who took a vow of chastity prior to her wedding and convinced her husband Valerianus to do the same. Having donated her house in order to build a church, she suffered martyrdom by beheading during a persecution. The veneration of Cecilia probably began in the 5th century; the celebrati…

Celan, Paul

(510 words)

Author(s): Weyer-Menkhoff, Stephan
[German Version] (Nov 23, 1920, Czernowitz, now in Ukraine – end of Apr, 1970, Paris, by suicide). Born Paul Ancel, the son of German-speaking parents, for a time he studied medicine and Romance languages and literature. In 1942 he was deported to a labor camp and lived from 1948 until his death in Paris (teaching at the Ecole Normale Supérieure).This Jewish poet set the standards for modern German poetry. He composed his poems exclusively in German and also tran…

Celebrant's Prayer/Chant

(352 words)

Author(s): Saliers, Don E. | Praßl, Franz Karl
[German Version] I. Liturgy – II. Music I. Liturgy Historically, the German term Altargesang relates to texts that are sung only by the priest during the mass (celebrant's prayer), and in a broader sense to all sung parts of the liturgy that are led by a celebrant: collects, verses, litanies, Gospel and Epistle readings, responses between choir and congregation, blessings as well as the intoning of the Kyrie, the Gloria and the Creed. The churches of ¶ the Reformation added new compositions for the choir and the congregation. Luther's Deutsche Messe (1526) as a psalm or a hymn as I…


(94 words)

Author(s): Rees, Wilhelm
[German Version] In the Catholic Church, this is a letter of recommendation by a priest's own ordinary (Incardination) or superior for admission by the church rector of a different church to celebrate the Eucharist there. A celebret may not be more than a year old (cf. c. 903 CIC/1983; c. 703 CCEO) and is intended to prevent unsanctioned celebrations (cf. c. 1378 § 2, 1° CIC/1983; c. 1443 CCEO). Wilhelm Rees Bibliography K. Lüdicke, MKCIC, canon 903 (as of Nov 1989) E. Miragoli, “Il celebret,” Quaderni di diritto ecclesiale 7, 1994, 435–442.

Celestine III, Pope

(153 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, Wilfried
[German Version] (Apr 10, 1191 – Jan 8, 1198). Born in Rome around 1105/1106, Celestine (Giacinto [Hyacinthus] Bobone [later Orsini]) studied in Paris under Peter Abelard (c. 1130) and defended him against the accusations brought forward by Bernard of Clairvaux at the Synod of Sens (1140). In 1143/1144, Celestine II appointed him cardinal-deacon at the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. In the following years, he undertook several journeys as a papal legate (esp. to Spain) and…

Celestine I, Pope

(122 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph
[German Version] (422–432). As the successor of Boniface I, Celestine attempted to consolidate the Roman primacy, but he encountered the resistance of the West African bishops. Moreover, he opposed Pelagianism (Pelagius) and from 430 Nestorius; the majority of his correspondence relates to this conflict. ¶ Eventually, he sent Germanus of Auxerre in 429 and “the Celtic bishop” Palladius in 431 to England and Ireland for the anti-Pelagian mission. Christoph Markschies Bibliography CPL 1650–1654 PL 50, 417–558 ACO I/1/7, 125–137; I/2/5, 5–101 On Celestine: E. Caspar, Geschichte des…


(316 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] Pietro del Morrone (later Pope Celestine V) founded the male branch (Hermits of St. Damian, Fratres de Spiritu Sancto, Coelestini, OSBCoel) between 1240 and 1243 as a strictly ascetic monastic community following the Rule of Benedict (supplemented with Constitutions). It was confirmed by pope Urban IV in 1263 and spread quickly in Italy and, after 1300, in France; with a few monasteries also in Spain, Belgium, and Germany (Oybin near Zittau, Prague, …

Celestine V, Pope

(260 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Tilmann
[German Version] (Jul 5 – Dec 13, 1294). Celestine (Pietro of Morrone, born 1209/1210 Molise) lived as a hermit at Monte Morrone near Sulmona, then in the Maiella mountains, where he developed the hermit congregation of the Celestines within Benedictine monasticism on the Cistercian model with a general abbot and chapters. He had contacts with Franciscan spirituals and affinities with the eschatological speculations of Joachim of Fiore. After the death of Nicholas IV an…


(270 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[German Version] (died after 431), a disciple of Pelagius, was born into an aristocratic family and became a public advocate. It was in Rome, c. 399, that he met the Syrian priest Rufinus, who denied the existence of original sin (Aug. Pecc. orig. III, 3). Pelagius and Celestius left ¶ Rome c. 410 in the face of the Gothic invasion (Goths). They fled to Carthage, where Celestius was condemned by synodal decree (c. 411/412), inter alia on account of his rejection of the doctrine of original sin. Though Celestius appealed to Rome, his sentence was confirmed …


(375 words)

Author(s): Kreß, Hartmut
[German Version] In the history of Christianity celibacy has often been more highly valued than marriage. The Catholic Church's catechism of 1993 (no. 1618ff.) still praises celibacy and virginity. New Testament and Early Church statements form the background. For Paul it was the imminent eschatological expectation that gave celibacy and asceticism greater importance than marriage (1 Cor 7; cf. Matt 19:12). When celibacy is recommended in the New Testament, and especial…

Celibacy of the Clergy

(1,541 words)

Author(s): Felber, Anneliese | Lüdecke, Norbert | Puza, Richard
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. In the Christian Church – III.  Ethics I. History of Religions Celibacy, from Latin caelebs, “living alone,” refers to the unmarried state with the accent on sexual abstinence as practiced by a specific social group, while chastity represents a comprehensive form of abstinence going beyond the sexual. Celibacy is practiced for cultic reasons (purity [Pure and impure], defense against demons), societal needs (vestals; the preservation of ass…


(571 words)

Author(s): Hadot, Ilsetraut
[German Version] The original appearance of Celsus' polemic against the Christians, ᾽Αληθής λόγος/ Alēthḗs logos (“True Teaching” or “True Discourse”), is only roughly deducible from the quotes and paraphrases preserved in the eight volumes of Origen's Contra Celsum (written 249). The dating of the polemic to the years 176–180 is based on vague allusions to historical events in the fragments and remains hypothetical. The author belongs to the philosophical school of Middle Platonism. He defines the highest God …

Celtic Church

(161 words)

Author(s): Richter, Michael
[German Version] The relationships between Rome and the churches in the Celtic-speaking lands (Ireland, Britain, Brittany, Isle of Man) were institutionally regularized in the 12th century. Ever since the introduction of Christianity in those regions, there had been mutual influences between the church and the secular societies. These, however, were so diverse that it is impossible to speak of a homogeneous organized religion. Also in the early Middle Ages, Western Euro…

Celtic Religion

(952 words)

Author(s): Maier, Bernhard
[German Version] is a collective term commonly used for the myths, rituals, and cults of the Celts before they were christianized. The criteria for defining what falls under the generic term “Celtic religion” are in part linguistic, in part archaeological, and in part historical; however, distinct regional variations and chronological ¶ differentiations, not a fundamental inner unity of the respective phenomena, are to be assumed. Our knowledge derives primarily from archaeological finds from the pre-Roman and Roman periods, accoun…

Celtis, Conrad

(318 words)

Author(s): Machilek, Franz
[German Version] (Celtes; name Lat. from Bickel, Gk form: Protucius; Feb 1, 1459, Wipfeld – Feb 4, 1508, Vienna), a universal scholar and humanist (known since the 19th cent. as “the Archhumanist”). From 1476 to 1485, he studied the liberal arts and theology in Cologne as well as Heidelberg, where he attended the lectures of Agricola and earned his M.A. in 1485. He then taught poetics at Erfurt, Rostock, and Leipzig until 1487, when he became the first German to be crow…


(517 words)

Author(s): Maier, Bernhard
[German Version] The name “Celts” (Gk Keltoí and Galátai, Lat. Galli) has its origins in ancient ethnography and historiography, where it denotes numerous different peoples of Central and Western Europe. In modern usage, it refers either to peoples who already bore the name in antiquity, or to the speakers of languages belonging to the Celtic branch of Indo-European, including both ancient Continental Celtic (Gaulish and Celtiberian on the Iberian Peninsula, Lepontic in …


(6 words)

[German Version] Graveyard


(120 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] The word “cenobites” is derived from Gk κοινός βίος/ koinós bíos and refers to the common life as the characteristic feature of the monastery, ¶ as opposed to the isolated life of anachorites. Pachomius is considered the founder of cenobitic monasticism; his rules committed the monks to poverty, celibacy, and obedience. Basil the Great of Caesarea anchored cenobitic monasticism in the church as an impetus toward its reform. John Cassian regarded the cenobites as the earliest fo…


(322 words)

Author(s): Schubert, Anselm | Germann, Michael
[German Version] I. Church History – II. Canon Law I. Church History Censorship is the partial or total suppression of written or printed works based on prior or subsequent ecclesiastical or governmental examination. The NT already rejects false teaching (Tit 3:9f.), and the development of the NT canon presupposes a process of censorship. In the Early Church and the Middle Ages, heresy was condemned by synods and bishops, but actual censorship of books was practiced only in is…

Central Africa

(243 words)

Author(s): Roser, Markus
[German Version] More than ten countries belong to the region of Central Africa (Angola, Burundi, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo [Congo, Republic of], the Democratic Republic of Congo [Congo, Democratic Republic], Ruanda, Chad, Central African Republic; Africa, see map) with an area of 4.6 million km2 and over 120 million inhabitants. Central Africa has suffered from the Arabian and trans-Atlantic slave trade. Christian missions began in the Kingdom of Kongo at the end of the 15th century at the…

Central African Republic

(438 words)

Author(s): Roser, Markus
[German Version] (République Centrafricaine) is an interior state in Central Africa. It has an area of 622,984 km2 and 3.9 million inhabitants (2003); its capital is Bangui (0.8 million); its official language is French, its national language Sango. The population consists of: 25% Gbaya, 24% Banda, 14% Mandjia, 8% Sara, 8% Mbaka, Sango, Yakoma, Zande, Kare, Pygmies, and others. From 1890, the country was administered as the colony of Ubangui-Schari in the Federation of French Equatorial Africa; in 1960, it gained independence under David Dacko. A…

Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World, Edinburgh

(152 words)

Author(s): Walls, Andrew F.
[German Version] (CSCNWW). The CSCNWW was created to promote the study of Christian history, thought, and life in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Caribbean America, and Oceania, and to collect relevant source material. Founded in 1982 by Andrew Walls in Aberdeen, the CSCNWW moved to the University of Edinburgh in 1986. Its main fields of activity are: 1. postgraduate teaching and research (tutorials for doctoral students, a Master's course propaedeutic to research,…


(180 words)

Author(s): May, Gerhard
[German Version] (Gk Kerdon), a Syrian (?) Gnostic who was active as a Christian teacher in Rome c. 140. According to Irenaeus of Lyon ( Haer. I, 27.2f.), Cerdo came from the school of Simon Magus and introduced Marcion, his disciple and successor in Rome, to the distinction between the good god and the just god. (He is also mentioned in Hipp. Haer. VII, 10; 37.1f.; X, 9.1; Ps.-Tert. Adv. omn. haer. 6; and Epiph. Haer. 41; 42.3f.) The line of succession Simon – Cerdo – Marcion, however, is probably an anti-Marcionite fiction. A specific theology of Cerdo …

Ceremonial Marching

(8 words)

[German Version] Ritual Movement


(8 words)

[German Version] Rite and Ritual


(308 words)

Author(s): Hanig, Roman
[German Version] (Gk Kerinthos) was a Christian teacher in Asia Minor c. 100 ce (although the Apocryphal Epistle of James [uncertain], the Epistle to the Apostles, Hippolytus's Capita contra Gaium, and other sources place him in the early apostolic period). He was possibly opposed by the Johannine school (Irenaeus, Haer. III 3.4: anecdotal encounter with John at one of the public baths; III, 11.1: the Gospel of John allegedly directed against Cerinthus; Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. III 28.1, etc.). Descriptions of Cerinthus's writings appearing in this context are not…


(3,343 words)

Author(s): Künne, Wolfgang | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Dogmatics – IV. Ethics I. Philosophy Certainty may be either objective or subjective (Goclenius: certitudo rei cognitae or certitudo hominis cognoscentis). Objective certainty is expressed by “It is certain that p,” subjective certainty by “The epistemic subject S is certain that p.” Objective and subjective certainty are logically independent: one can be certain that p although it is not certain that p; and it can be certain th…

César, August

(194 words)

Author(s): Dunkel, Daniela
[German Version] (Jul 21, 1863, Apolda – Dec 4, 1959, Jena). In 1888, César became parish curate and in 1890, pastor in Wiesenthal/Rhön. He was a member of the Weimar Regional Synod and of the Freunde der Christliche Welt (Friends of the Christian World) In 1906, he was elected pastor by the Reinoldi congregation in Dortmund. Following objections by a number of parishioners, the Westphalian Consistory invited him to take part in a colloquium (W. Zoellner). César'…


(7 words)

[German Version] Sri Lanka
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