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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Casel, Odo

(376 words)

Author(s): Schilson, Arno
[German Version] (Jan 27, 1886, Koblenz-Lützel – Mar 28, 1948, Herstelle/Weser), important specialist in Catholic liturgy who, through his mystery theology, left a lasting impression on the Liturgical Movement in Germany as well as on the renewal of Catholic theology in the 20th century. In 1905 he became a Benedictine in the abbey Maria Laach; in 1912 earned his Dr. Theol. in Rome and in 1919 Dr. Phil. in Bonn. From 1921 he was editor of the internationally and interdisciplinarily respected Jahrbuch für Liturgiewissenschaft (15 vols., 1921–1941, repr. 1973–1979, index vol. …

Case, Shirley Jackson

(122 words)

Author(s): Baird, William
[German Version] (Sep 28, 1872, New Brunswick, Canada – Dec 5, 1947, Lakeland, FL), New Testament scholar and historian of early Christianity. With a doctorate from Yale (Ph.D. 1907), Case was professor of New Testament and patristics (1908–1938) and dean of the Divinity School (1933–1938) at the University of Chicago. Along with Shailer Mathews (1863–1941), Case is recognized as the major representative of the Chicago School. Employing the socio-historical method, Case made important contributions the understanding of Christian origins ( The Evolution of Early Christianity, 19…

Case, William

(153 words)

Author(s): Goodwin, Daniel
[German Version] (Aug 27, 1780, Swansea Township, MA – Oct 19, 1855, Alderville, Upper Canada), Methodist minister of English descent, who experienced his “rebirth” in 1803. Two years later, the Methodist Epis¶ copal Church appointed him as an itinerant preacher in Upper Canada. He was ordained in 1807. Case participated in the “Canada Fire,” an experientially oriented revival, which later spread to New York and beyond. He was also a missionary to the Mississauga Indians. In Upper Canada, he mediate…

Cassander, Georg

(228 words)

Author(s): Smolinsky, Heribert
[German Version] (Aug 24, 1513, Pitthem near Bruges – Feb 3, 1566, Cologne), humanist Catholic mediation theologian. He studied in Leuven, Cologne, and Heidelberg and, as a follower of Erasmus, worked literarily and politically, in the spirit of a via media, for reform and the recovery of church unity. His irenic document supporting unity, De officio pii ac publicae tranquillitatis vere amantis viri in hoc religionis dissidio (1561), appeared at the Colloquy of Poissy in 1561. In terms of content, he appealed to the Early Church and to a liturgy …


(395 words)

Author(s): Gödde, Susanne
[German Version] the daughter of King Priam of Troy and Hecuba. Homer and Ibycus extol her beauty. Wishing to marry her, Othryoneus fought on the side of Troy but was slain (Hom. Il. 13.363–393). Like her twin brother Helenus, she was endowed with oracular powers, which she received from Apollo, whose prophet and priestess she became – a relationship with erotic connotations (albeit often mentioned in the negative). Anticleides (140; FGH 2, B1, frag. 17), however, records that brother and sister were endow…

Cassian, John (Saint)

(395 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (360, Dobruja – 430/435, Marseille). Born in a Christian home, Cassian undertook a pilgrimage to Palestine and Egypt, where for more than a decade he was a student of the monastic fathers. During the Origenistic controversies he left Egypt c. 399/400, went to Constantinople and John Chrysostom, went to Rome after the latter's banishment, and ultimately settled in southern Gaul, where in 415 he founded a monastery and a convent. With his writings, in which he reflected on the experiences of ascetic life, he became the teacher of western monasticism (Benedict, Rule of). In D…


(258 words)

Author(s): Curti, Carmelo
[German Version] (full name: Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus; senator) (c. 485 – c. 588) was born ¶ in Squillace (Calabria). His life can be divided into two parts. The first was characterized by lively political involvement during the reign of the Goths, which put him into the highest offices ( quaestor, consul, and magister officiorum under Theodoric, praefectus praetorio under Athalaric). In the second, beginning with his withdrawal from active politics c. 537 and return to his homeland, he devoted himself to study and meditation, and founded a monastery in Vivario, Calabria. Hi…

Cassirer, Ernst

(373 words)

Author(s): Recki, Birgit
[German Version] (Jul 28, 1874, Breslau – Apr 13, 1945, New York), German philosopher and a student of the Marburg Neo-Kantians H. Cohen and P. Natorp (Neo-Kantianism). In 1919, he accepted an appointment as professor at the newly founded University of Hamburg, but emigrated in March 1993 (England, Sweden). As a Swedish citizen, he was visiting professor at Yale and New York from 1941 onward. Cassirer's oeuvre is dedicated to the ideals of humanism and the…

Castaneda, Carlos

(267 words)

Author(s): Haydt, Claudia
[German Version] (Dec 24, 1931, São Paulo, Brazil, or Dec 25, 1925, Cajamarca, Peru – Apr 27, 1998, Westwood, CA), cultural anthropologist, writer, and father of the American New Age movement – emigrated to the USA in 1951. Little is known of his background and life; throughout his lifetime he shunned publicity. He studied anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, receiving his Ph.D. in 1973. In 1968 he published his first work, the novel The Teachings of Don Juan; it and the nine works that followed became best-sellers. They dealt with dreams, rites…


(1,741 words)

Author(s): Michaels, Axel | Jeyaraj, Daniel | Forrester, Duncan
[German Version] I. India – II. Caste and Christianity (in History) – III. Missiology I. India “Caste” (from Port. casta, “pure, unadulterated, chaste”) is the term used to denote Indian social groups based on criteria of consanguinity and, in part, fictional genealogy; they are distinguished by common occupations, names, and traditions, especially norms governing marriage and diet (Dietary laws: VIII). Traditional Hindu society adopts a hierarchic model of four classes (Skt. varṇa, often mislabeled “castes”) (Hinduism: III, 2). Castes are charact…

Castellio, Sebastian

(252 words)

Author(s): Feld, Helmut
[German Version] (Châteillon; 1515, Saint-Martin-du-Fresne, Savoy – Dec 29, 1563, Basel). After studying at Lyon, c. 1540 Castellio came to Strasbourg, where he made friends with Calvin. In 1540 the Reformer found him an appointment in Geneva as headmaster of the Collège de la Rive, where he wrote the Dialogi sacri, a textbook for Latin instruction, and began work on a new translation of the Bible into Latin and French. Differences over Christ's descent into hell and the Song of Songs led to conflict with Calvin. In …


(6 words)

[German Version] Fortresses

Castor, Saint

(112 words)

Author(s): Bischof, Franz Xaver
[German Version] (Saint's day: Feb 13). According to a vita from the High Middle Ages, Castor came from Aquitania and was a contemporary of Bishop Maximinus of Trier (died 346). He became priest and lived as a recluse in Karden (Mosel), where his remains were discovered under Bishop Weomad (died 791) and interred in the nearby Paulinus Church (renamed after Castor in ¶ the 10th/11th cent.); in 836, Archbishop Hetti (died 847) transferred some of them to the collegiate church built by him in Koblenz. Franz Xaver Bischof Bibliography ActaSS Febr. II, 1658, 662–666 MGH.SS II, 1829, 603 F. Pauly…

Castro, Matheus de

(296 words)

Author(s): De Souza, Teotonio R.
[German Version] (Matteo di; c. 1594, Divar – 1677, Rome), the first Indian bishop of the Catholic Church, born to the Mahale brahmin family of Divar, across from the city of Goa. The admission of Indians to the clerical ranks was at that time very rare as a result of colonial politics. Matteo de Castro's wish to join the Franciscans was not given any attention. In the company of some Carmelites he came to Rome in 1625. The secretary of the newly established Propaganda…


(1,832 words)

Author(s): Beck, Herman L. | Herrmann, Klaus | Molinski, Waldemar | Herms, Eilert | Krawietz, Birgit
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Judaism – III. Christianity – IV. Islam I. Religious Studies Casuistry (from Lat. casus, “case”) is a method of practical and dialectical reasoning and argumentation in which the formulation of a specific case that is perceived to be problematic is followed by the application of general moral principles, norms, and guidelines to the specific case at hand. The purpose of this method is to arrive, under changed and changing circumstan…


(159 words)

Author(s): Haase, Mareile
[German Version] – Greek κατάβασις (εἰς ῾Αιδου)/ katábasis ( eís Háidou), Lat. descensus/descensio ( ad inferos), descent (to the underworld; cf. also Descent into hell) – is the classical term for elements of certain myths, especially involving Odysseus (not explained in Hom Od. 11, ¶ but cf. 23.252: κατέβην/ katébēn) and Aeneas (Verg. Aen. 6; Hereafter, Concepts of the), as well as Orpheus, Heracles, and Theseus. It is also an element of some divination rituals (oracle of Trophonius: Pausanias 9.39). The reference to pictorial repr…


(2,213 words)

Author(s): Sed-Rajna, Gabrielle
[German Version] I. Jewish Catacombs – II. Christian Catacombs I. Jewish Catacombs 1. In the Second Temple period, Jerusalem was surrounded by an important necropolis composed of both monumental tombs with decorated facades and simple graves; most of them lay to the east, south and north of the city, in the Qidron valley, between the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. The earliest is the tomb of the “Bene Chesir,” attributed to the 1st century bce. A Hebrew inscription on the architrave identifies the memorial as “tomb and nefesh” (literally, “soul,” indicating dedication to …


(116 words)

Author(s): Kaczynski, Reiner
[German Version] also called tumba (tomb), is a mock coffin shrouded in black cloth that was set up in the church nave in front of the sanctuary. This was done at burial masses at which the coffin containing the body could not be brought into the church. At the end of the mass, farewell was bidden to the deceased through incensing and the sprinkling of the catafalque with holy water (absolution). Since the publication of the post-Vatican II burial rite, the farewell ceremony for the deceased may only be performed in the presence of the actual body. Reiner Kaczynski Bibliography Ordo exsequiaru…

Catechesis and Catechetics

(3,702 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A. | Fraas, Hans-Jürgen | Schoberth, Ingrid | Schweitzer, Friedrich | Phan, Peter
[German Version] I. History – II. Practical Theology – III. Latin America, Asia, Africa I. History 1. Early Church. The verb κατήχειν/ katḗchein originally denoted the oral transmission of a message in the sense of “tell, inform.” In Paul and early Christian literature it usually means “teach, instruct” (Gal 6:6; Lat. catechizare); in contrast to glossolalia, it refers to intelligible speech (1 Cor 14:19; Luke 1:4) such as instruction in the law (Rom 2:18) or in the teaching (“the way”) of the Lord (Acts 18:25). In t…

Catechetical Sermon

(271 words)

Author(s): Seitz, Manfred
[German Version] Catechetical preaching is the homiletical exposition of portions of the catechism in the form of a sermon or a series of sermons. Although its precise classification within the homiletical genre is difficult to determine, the catechetical sermon belongs to the category of didactic sermons, which may or may not deal additionally with a biblical text. Its purpose is reinforcement of an already lively faith and the imparting of sound knowledge of its …
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