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.

Subscriptions: see


(228 words)

Author(s): Weber, Franz
[German Version] socio-religious liberation movement in Bahia (Brazil), founded by Antonio Vicente Mendes Maciel (1830–1897). In his popular preaching, Mendes Maciel set the “law of God” against “human law,” which he saw embodied in the agnosticism of the elite of the Republic of Brazil (established 1889). For him, “only God is great.” Mendes Maciel proclaimed God as “the Father of the poor” and Jesus as “poor, simple, suffering.” Mendes Maciel was rejecte…


(561 words)

Author(s): Seiwert, Hubert
[German Version] After Buddhism and Catholicism, Caodaism is the third largest religion in Vietnam (practiced by an estimated 3% to 10% of the population). Its name derives from the title of the supreme divinity, Cao Dai (lit. “highest palace”). Caodaism combines Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian and Christian elements with aspects of Vietnam's indigenous religion. Outside Vietnam, Caodaism is practiced almost exclusively by Vietnamese emigrants. The founder of Caodaism was Ngo Van Chieu (1878–1932, also known as Ngo Minh Chieu), a civil servant in the Fre…


(373 words)

Author(s): Rese, Friederike
[German Version] the power or ability to do something. Plato distinguished between a “capacity to effect something” (δύναμις τού ποιείν/ dýnamis toú poieín) and a “capacity to suffer something” (δύναμις τού πάσχειν/ dýnamis toú páschein; Soph. 247e–248e). Aristotle ¶ adopted this distinction between two types of capacity and expanded upon it by adding the distinction between “capacity” or “possibility” (δύναμις) and “reality” (ἐνέργεια/ enérgeia; act and potency). As an active or passive “principle of change or movement” ( Metaph. V 12, 1019b19–20), a capacity mani…

Capadose, Abraham

(278 words)

Author(s): Vree, Jasper
[German Version] (Aug 22, 1795, Amsterdam – Dec 16, 1874, The Hague) came from a distinguished Sephardic Jewish family. While working as a physician in Amsterdam, he and his friend U. da Costa were baptized in 1822. Shortly thereafter, Capadose began to fiercely oppose any divergence from orthodoxy within the Dutch Reformed Church. He denounced vaccination against smallpox as an attempt to thwart the will of God. From 1833 until his death, he lived as a citizen without office in The Hague, save for a longer stay in Switzerland (1836–1837). Having come under the influence of the Réveil movem…


(227 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[German Version] Although sherds from between 3000 and 2000 bce document earlier habitation (no Iron Age remains have been found), Capernaum (Gk Καφαρναούμ/ Kapharnaoúm, Heb. כֶפַּר נַתוּם/kepar naḍûm, Arab. Telḍum) was apparently founded only in the 5th century bce; with the advantages of the long-distance route running through it and the fertility of the area, Capernaum grew steadily. Capernaum reached its floruit in the Byzantine period, when it had approx. 1500 inhabitants; from the 9th century the settlemen…

Cape Town

(607 words)

Author(s): Saunders, Christopher
[German Version] lies on the shores of Table Bay, at the foot of Table Mountain. It was founded in 1652 by the Dutch and originally called De Kaap, later Kaapstad, then Cape Town. With the arrival of the first Anglican bishop, Robert Gray (1809–1872), in 1848, Cape Town attained city status. Because Cape Town was the starting point for the European colonization of South Africa, many white South Africans came to call it “the mother city.” The Dutch commander Jan van Riebeeck, who founded the settlement, originally envisioned Cape Town as a provision station for sh…

Cape Verde,

(474 words)

Author(s): Sigrist, Christian
[German Version] since 1975 República de Cabo Verde, approx. 600 km west of Dakar. Fifteen islands (4,033 km2), of which nine are inhabited, population 50,000, with at least the same number living abroad. The official languages are Portuguese, and the vernacular Crioulo. The Portuguese discovered several of the islands in 1456. Soon afterwards, Portuguese colonists established the first European colony on the “other side” of the Atlantic. On the basis of a feudal means of production d…


(6 words)

[German Version] Philistines


(858 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann
[German Version] I. Few concepts in economics are as slippery as the concept of “capital.” “Capital” can be defined narrowly or broadly, in terms of macro-economics or of business, according to theories of production or distribution; moreover, “capital” means something different to political scientists and sociologists than it does to economists. In a very general economic sense, “capital” may be understood to include anything which alongside unqualified work acts…


(2,041 words)

Author(s): Altvater, Elmar
[German Version] The term capitalism came into use in political economics (Economy) and the social sciences only more than 100 years after the Industrial Revolution (Industrialization), after the formation of capitalist society had largely become established, initially in England and then in continental Western Europe. A. Smith and D. Ricardo did not employ the term, and even in Das Kapital by K. Marx the term can be found only once (in vol. II, ch. 4). W. Sombart was the first to introduce the term capitalism in his epochal analysi…


(598 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] In the narrow sense, Capitol (Lat. caput, “head”) refers to the part of the mons Capitolinus which faces the Tiber; in a broader sense it refers to the whole hill including the arx (“fortress”), which was at one time connected to the Quirinal, and the hollow, known as the Asylum, between the two hilltops. Additionally, the Capitol is the name of the principal temple in Rome and its colonies, the aedes Capitolina of Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, and for any symbolic place which demonstrates the Roman relationship between religion and power in…

Capito, Wolfgang

(285 words)

Author(s): Scheible, Heinz
[German Version] (1481 [not 1478] Hagenau – Nov 4, 1541, Strasbourg) studied in Ingolstadt (1501), Heidelberg (1504), Freiburg (1505, 1515 Dr. theol.). In 1512, he became seminary preacher in Bruchsal, in 1515 cathedral preacher and professor in Basel, an eminent Hebraist. Capito was sympathetic to Erasmus and produced the first edition of Luther's collected writings in 1518. In 1520, Capito became cathedral preacher in Electoral Mainz. As counselor to archbishop…


(298 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, Frank
[German Version] (Lat. Capitularia Capitula; from division into chapters) were an order of law and life issued by the Frankish kings, with authority of banishment, relating to all the moral, disciplinary, liturgical and educational questions of Christian people. They were divided up as Capitularia per se for the entire realm, Capitularia legibus addenda for particular areas of the realm and to supplement tribal laws, and “missi,” i.e. individual instructions for royal emissaries and counts. The capitularies were issued at imperial a…


(450 words)

Author(s): Mitchell, Stephen
[German Version] A rural area of eastern Asia Minor that extended from Galatia and Lyconia to the Euphrates and functioned as a bridge between the cultures of the Mediterranean and Asia. From the 6th century bce, Cappadocia formed part of the Persian empire (Iran). The Iranian influence on the culture, language and anthroponymy of the population was noticeable until Late Antiquity. During the Hellenistic era, Cappadocia was ruled by kings descended from the Persians, although powerful temple principalities remained independent. In 17 ce, Cappadocia was integrated into the …

Cappadocian Theology

(542 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph
[German Version] The monastic theologians and bishops, Basil the Great, his brother Gregory of Nyssa and their friend Gregory of Nazianzus came from the province of Cappadocia in Asia Minor and spent most of their lives there. For this reason, they are often referred to by modern historians and theologians as “the three great Cappadocians.” A cousin of Gregory of Nazianzus and colleague of Basil, Amphilochius of Iconium, is sometimes added to their number. The t…

Cappellus, Louis

(145 words)

Author(s): Bartelmus, Rüdiger
[German Version] (Oct 15 or 16, 1585, St. Elier – Jun 18, 1658, Saumur). With M. Amyraut and J. de la Place, the Reformed theologian and Hebraist taught from 1613 to 1621 and from 1624 to 1658 at the academy in Saumur. Following Elijah Levita and against the arguments of the two Buxtorfs, Cappellus (Capelle) was the first Christian theologian to show scientifically that the vocalization of the Hebrew Bible is later than the consonantal text. In the controversy ov…

Capra, Frank

(300 words)

Author(s): Bauschulte, Manfred
[German Version] (May 19, 1897, Palermo – Sep 3, 1991, La Quinta, CA), the son of Sicilian farm workers, grew up in California; he got into the film industry as a young author and gag writer for the well-known slapstick comedian Harry Langdon. In 1928 he began his career as a director with Columbia Studios, where he made his breakthrough with the screwball comedy It Happened One Night (1934). The theme of the film, in ¶ which a rich young woman and a hard-boiled reporter find themselves on the run together, is the guilt-ridden relationship between the sexes. The film Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) …


(414 words)

Author(s): Knobloch, Stefan
[German Version] The Capuchins, the third branch of the Franciscan order, after and along with the Minorites and Franciscans, to view Francis of Assisi as the father of their order, owe their origin to a reform movement with the Franciscans at the beginning of the 16th century. In 525, Matthäus of Bascio settled in the region of Ancona, Italy, following the oral permission of pope Clement VII based on his brothers’ support, with the intention of leading a strict …

Caracciolo, Galeazzo

(131 words)

Author(s): Campi, Emidio
[German Version] (Jan 1517, Naples – May 7, 1586, Geneva), count of Vico and nephew of Carafa (Paul IV), came into contact with reformation ideas in the circle around J. de Valdés and especially through his encounter with Peter Martyr Vermigli. In 1551, Caracciolo fled to Geneva, where he was instrumental in the establishment of the Italian refugee community. After 1559, he participated in the politics of the republic as a member of parliament, earning universal regard. Calvin, whose friendship Caracciolo enjoyed, dedicated his commentary on 1 Corinthians to him. Emidio Campi Bibliogra…

Caravaggio, Michelangelo Merisi da

(218 words)

Author(s): Hüttel, Richard
[German Version] (1572, Caravaggio or Milan – Jul 18, 1610 Porto Ercole) is considered one of the great realists in the history of painting (Realism: IV). In 1672, the Italian art critic Giovanni Pietro Bellori wrote that Caravaggio's unvarnished vision of reality “corrupted the morals of painting.” Besides the realistic objectivity and verisimilitude of his pictures (almost all the models for his female figures were prostitutes), Caravaggio shocked his contemporaries with surprising compositional techniques such as bringing the viewer close in to the scene, as in The Conversion …
▲   Back to top   ▲