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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Deutsche Gesellschaft für Missionswissenschaft

(162 words)

Author(s): Gensichen, Hans-Werner
[German Version] (DGMW; German Society for Mission Studies) was ¶ founded in Berlin in 1918, shortly before the end of World War I, by a small circle of specialists on the initiative of the Göttingen church historian C. Mirbt. It was the first association of its kind anywhere in the world. Between the wars, it was only able to publish two series of missiological studi…

Deutsche Missionsgemeinschaft

(134 words)

Author(s): Schäfer, Klaus
[German Version] (DMG; German Missionary Fellowship). The uniqueness of the DMG, founded in 1951, consists in the fact that it does not have its own fields of work, but facilitates German missionaries' work with existing international or national missionary societies or with indigenous churches through the publication of a list of needs. The DMG works in partn…

Deutscher Evangelischer Gemeindetag

(368 words)

Author(s): Winkler, Eberhard
[German Version] (German Protestant Parish Conference). The conference emerged from the Gemeindeaufbaubewegung (Church growth movement), which was inspired by E. Sulze, M. Schian, and others. In 1909 pastor A. Stock ( ChW 23, 1064ff) expressed his deep concern that the community/parish ( Gemeinde) concept had lost its power to attract people. Assisted by M. Schian and M. Rade he therefore invited “friends of the Protestant parish concept from all theolog…

Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchenbund

(360 words)

Author(s): Wilhelm Graf, Friedrich
[German Version] (DEKB; German Association of Protestant Churches). The end of ecclesiastical authority in the hands of the territorial princes and the birth of the Weimar Republic in 1919 provoked debates about internal reform and democratization of the church and the possibility of a national church. In the name of territorial autonomy, politically and eccle…

Deutscher Evangelischer Missionsrat

(174 words)

Author(s): Hering, Rainer
[German Version] (DEMR; German Protestant Mission Council). The DEMR (since 1933), founded as a Mission Committee, was elected by the Deutscher Evangelischer Missionstag (DEMT) as its executive organ and conducts its business with headquarters in Hamburg. It consisted of seven to nine leading proponents of missions who were mostly oriented toward Pietism or co…

Deutscher Evangelischer Missionstag

(199 words)

Author(s): Hering, Rainer
[German Version] (DEMT; German Protestant Mission Conference). The DEMT, founded in 1922 as the Deutscher Evangelischer Missionbund (German Protestant Mission Society) and renamed in 1933, was an association of 34 Protestant ¶ sending missions and eight world missions organizations in Germany. It met annually with 50–70 representatives for consultation and theological work. Its long-time secretary (1928–1946) and chairman (1946–1959) was W. Fre…

Deutscher Katholischer Missionsrat

(181 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] (DKMR; German Catholic Mission Council). The DKMR is the association of all the institutions and organizations of the Catholic Church in the Federal Republic of Germany active in world missions. It includes mission works (e.g. Adveniat, Misereor, Missio [Pontifical mission societies]), mission institutes (e.g. the …

Deutscher Verein zur Erforschung Palästinas

(345 words)

Author(s): Hübner, Ulrich
[German Version] (German Society for the Study of Palestine; in short: Deutscher Palästina-Verein [DPV]), was founded in 1877 in Wiesbaden by Carl Ferdinand Zimmermann (Basel), Albert Socin (Tübingen), and E. Kautzsch ¶ (Basel). The goal and objective of the DPV is the scientific study of the history and culture of Palestine, especially its ancient past, by promoting and publishing archaeological, topographical, ethnological, philological-epigraphical-literary, history-of-religions, and natural studies. Since 1878, the DPV has published an annual journal ( Zeitschrift de…

Deutsches Evangelisches Institut für Altertumswissenschaften des Heiligen Landes

(496 words)

Author(s): Hübner, Ulrich
[German Version] (DEI; German Protestant Institute for the Study of the Holy Land in Antiquity). After, among others, the Deutscher Verein zur Erforschung Palästinas (German Society for the Study of Palestine) was founded in 1877, the École Biblique (The Bible school) in 1893, and the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft (German Oriental Society) in 1898 (Excavati…

Deutschland, das Junge

(683 words)

Author(s): Koopmann, Helmut
[German Version] (Young Germany) was a literary movement from around 1830 until 1842; occasionally, the liberal literature between 1830 and 1848 is also described generally as Vormärz literature, although the political radicalization of literature only began in the late 1840s. Important benchmark dates are the July Revolu¶ tion (1930) or the death of J.W. v. Goethe (1832) and the official end of the prohibition of das Junge Deutschland and its literature in Prussia (1842). In its time, das Junge Deutschland was considered a revolutionary political school and was de facto

Deutschmann, Johann

(155 words)

Author(s): Appold, Kenneth
[German Version] (Aug 10, 1625, Jüterbog – Aug 12, 1706, Wittenberg) was active from 1648 at the University of Wittenberg as a philosopher and theologian, and from 1662 to 1706 as university professor of theology. Through his extraordinarily productive teaching Deutschmann shaped theological life within the university. Accordingly the greatest portion of his writings, largely unknown today, consist of the c. 500 preserved academic disputations, which initially dealt with themes of social ethics ( Systema practicum ethico-politicum, 1656), the…

Dévai Biró, Mátyás

(173 words)

Author(s): Scheible, Heinz
[German Version] (c. 1500, Deva – 1545, Debrecen). After study in Krakow in 1523–1524, Dévai became a Franciscan in 1526. He went to Wittenberg in 1529. In 1531, he preached Reformation principles in Hungary, but was immediately imprisoned in Vienna and Buda until 1535. Thereafter, he continued to preach from village to village. In 1536/37 and 1542/43, he stayed in Germany, mainly in …

Devanandan, Paul David

(257 words)

Author(s): Sugirtharajah, R.S.
[German Version] (Jul 8, 1901, Madras – Aug 10, 1962, Dehra Dun), Protestant Indian theologian and scholar in religious studies. He was of the opinion that Indian Christians should overcome their isolation and recover their cultural roots. Unlike other Indian Christians who attempted to restate the Christian gospel in Hindu terms, he argued that what should be Indianized was not the …

Devarim Rabbah

(7 words)

[German Version] Deuteronomy Rabbah


(1,488 words)

Author(s): Hampe, Michael | Hübner, Jürgen | Fowler, James W.
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Psychology and Psychology of Religion I. Terminology The Latin terms explicatio and evolutio originally referred to the unfolding or evolvement of something already existing (including the sense of maturation), later also to the origination of something new, growth and differentiation, i.e. mostly to all forms of orderly change that is regarded positively …

Development Aid

(997 words)

Author(s): Gern, Wolfgang
[German Version] I. General – II. Church I. General Development aid is known as such since c. 1960, the beginning of the so-called First Development Decade. After their independence, the former colonies received development aid, especially from former colonial powers (Colonialism/Neocolonialism). In the process, the self-interests of the donor countries became evident. Usually, …

Development Policy

(644 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann
[German Version] Before attempting to clarify the term, a few questions must be addressed: What is “development” and what are “developing countries”? To what extent can political measures advance and direct “development” and what domestic and international instruments suit this task? Since President Truman first used the term “developing countries” in a speech in 1947, these questions have received controversial answers. Development as the objective of development policy is often equated with “economic development,” understood in the sense of a steady increase in the per capita

Deventer Athenaeum

(286 words)

Author(s): van der Wall, Ernestine G.E.
[German Version] The “Illustere” (illustrious) school opened its doors on Feb 16, 1630, as one of the first of such athenaeums in the Dutch Republic. It served as a typical local college, providing teaching in theology, law, arts, and medicine. The Deventer Athenaeum was governed by the local magistrate. Professors and students were required to adhere to the pure Reformed doctrin…


(205 words)

Author(s): Dan, Joseph
[German Version] (communion) is the Hebrew term for adherence to or communion with God, which was used by Jewish kabbalists (Kabbalah), pietists, and teachers of the modern Hasidic movement (Hasidism) to indicate the maximal proximity to God that can be obtained by a mystic. Often used as an equivalent to the ¶ Latin unio mystica . The term is used for the relation between the divine powers (the sefirot), but mainly for the process of ascension of the human soul. The subject of…

Deviant Behavior

(411 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz
[German Version] Human behavioral patterns are influenced by cultural norms, not biologically determined. To this extent there exists in every culture a (broader or narrower, dependent on the culture) range of “normal” behavior and a corresponding way of dealing with behavior that deviates from this norm. Both the determination of what is normal and the way of dealing with deviant behavior are relevant to religion: deities have created or guaranteed the order of life and of the world and they are involved in dealing with deviations. The treatment of deviations can be roughly divi…
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