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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(461 words)

Author(s): Jones, F. Stanley
[German Version] name for ancient Jewish Christians that is first found in Iren. Haer. I 26.2 (᾿Έβιωναῖοι, ebiōnaîoi, Aram. form of a Heb. word meaning “poor”; Ebionitae = ecclesiastical Lat.). The origin of the term cannot be determined with certainty. In view of the religious usage of the term in the ancient Near East, the HB (e.g. Jer 20:13; Ps 86:1), the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha (e.g. Pss.Sol. 10:6; 18:2), and the writings from Qumran (e.g. 1QM XI 13, 1QpHab XII 3, 4Q171 II 9), however, the name was probably a religious …

Ebionites, Gospel of the

(314 words)

Author(s): Jones, F. Stanley
[German Version] Modern designation for a gospel used by the ancient Jewish Christians, from which Epiphanius cites seven excerpts in his presentation of the “Ebionites.” The implied authorship by Matthew ( Haer. XXX 13.3) often leads to the equation of Gos. Eb. with a Gospel of the Twelve Apostles, which is mentioned solely by name in Or. Hom. in Luke 1:1. The assignment of other fragments from Jewish Christian gospels to Gos. Eb. is controversial. H. Waitz ( NTApo, 21924) attributed many sayings of Jesus in the Pseudo-Clementines to Gos. Eb. G. Strecker, in contrast, denied that an…


(432 words)

Author(s): Archi, Alfonso
[German Version] (modern Tell Mardikh). A Bronze Age site of 56 ha located nearly 60 km south of Aleppo. The town's development peaked in the Early Bronze IV A (Mardikh IIB 1, c. 2400–2350 bce). Dating from this period is the Royal Palace G, excavated for nearly 2400 m2, which should have occupied a large part of the acropolis. The main archive, with originally some 2500 tablets, was preserved close to the Court of Audience, as well as an archive of 242 texts concerning foodstuffs consumed at the court. A second flourishing period was Mardikh IIIA-IIIB (c. 2000–1600 bce). In …

Ebner, Christina

(268 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (Good Friday, 1277, Nuremberg – Dec 27, 1356, Engelthal Convent). The patrician's daughter entered the Engelthal Convent (Dominican) at the age of twelve. Her uncompromising conceptualization of the imitatio Christi and cloistered lifestyle led to corporal suffering and isolation within the community. Beginning in 1291, Ebner had extraordinary spiritual experiences that brought her fame in subsequent decades even outside her convent (1350…

Ebner-Eschenbach, Marie

(297 words)

Author(s): Gabriel, Norbert
[German Version] (Baroness of; Sep 13, 1830, Zdislavic Castle, Moravia – Mar 12, 1916, Vienna) was an important narrator and aphorist of Austrian Late Realism. In 1848, she married her cousin Moriz, a professor at the engineers’ academy in Vienna and later lieutenant field marshal; the marriage was childless. Ebner-Eschenbach was distinguished in 1898 with Austria's highest civil order, the Cross of Honor for Arts and Literature; in 1900, she was the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Vienna. Following initially unsuccessful efforts as a dramati…

Ebner, Margareta

(165 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (c. 1291, Donauwörth – Jun 20, 1351, Maria Medingen). This patrician's daughter entered the Convent of Maria Medingen at a very early age. Constantly ill and isolated within the convent from 1312 on, she understood her illness as her path to God. Prayer, contemplation, and asceticism under the banner of an intense devotion to Christ (reflection on the Passion, the childhood of Jesus, etc.) led her to mystical experiences (visions, auditions, glossolalia). ¶ Henry of Nördlingen was important for her spiri…

Ebo of Reims

(175 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, Martina
[German Version] (c. 778–851), from a family of royal fiscalines, was archbishop of Reims (816/17–835 and 840/41) and, from 845, bishop of Hildesheim. Ebo devoted himself to the development of his archdiocese, church reform, and the mission in Denmark. Having been instrumental in the overthrow of Louis I, the ¶ Pious in 833, he was himself deposed in 835, only to be reinstated in 840 by Lothar I. Expelled once again in 841, Louis the German finally made him bishop of Hildesheim. The controversy su…

Ebrard, Johannes Heinrich August

(292 words)

Author(s): Bonkhoff, Bernhard H.
[German Version] (Jan 18, 1818, Erlangen – Jul 23, 1888, Erlangen). The son of the French-Reformed pastor of the Huguenot colony, Ebrard became a committed proponent of the Erlangen School in its reformed modification. After a brief period as lecturer in Erlangen, his book Wissenschaftliche Kritik der evangelischen Geschichte in response to D.F.Strauß's Life of Jesus brought him a call to Zürich as associate professor, whence he returned to Erlangen in 1847 as professor of Reformed theology. In 1853, h…

Ecclesiastes Rabbah

(7 words)

[German Version] Qohelet Rabbah

Ecclesiastical Language

(514 words)

Author(s): Grözinger, Albrecht
[German Version] can refer in a quite general sense to the language spoken in a particular ecclesiastical, theological, liturgical (Liturgical languages), or religious context. To that extent, a certain vagueness attaches to the term itself, whose semantic content can then only be determined more clearly through an analysis of its concrete use. Such analysis distinguishes strategically between descriptive, critical, and constructive levels, though in certain contexts all three levels may be interwoven. The expression is used descriptively when it describes …

Ecclesiastical Penalties

(480 words)

Author(s): Rees, Wilhelm
[German Version] are legal restrictions imposed by the Catholic Church on church members who culpably and accountably violate church law. In continuity with CIC/1917, CIC/1983 c.1312 §1 distinguishes censures ( CIC/1983 cc.1331–1335; cf. CCEO cc.1431f., 1434f.), namely, excommunication, interdict, and suspension (clerics), from expiatory penalties ( CIC/1983 cc.1336–1338; CCEO cc.1429f.; 1433). Such include residency stipulations and prohibitions, withdrawal of authorizations, offices, privilege…

Ecclesiastical Power

(498 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] The concept of “ecclesiastical power” is not very common in the newer doctrine of Protestant canon law; however, in Roman Catholicism, the authority of the Church and related concepts ( sacra potestas, potestas ecclesiastica, potestas ordinis, and potestas jurisdictionis) are the foundation of the Church's legal ¶ structure. Nevertheless, the justification for and the scope of the authority of the Church were among the most important controversial issues of the Reformation ( CA 28). In Protestantism, the concept of the power of …

Ecclesiastical Province/Region

(186 words)

Author(s): Rees, Wilhelm
[German Version] In contrast to the ecclesiastical region ( regio ecclesiastica; CD art. 39ff.), since the 4th century the ecclesiastical province ( provincia ecclesiastica) has belonged to the constitutional structure of the Catholic Church. It is the assembly of neighboring particular churches to promote pastoral work and relationships among the diocesan bishops in the union of particular churches so created ( CIC/1983 c. 431 §1). The provincial council and the metropolitan have leadership authority ( CIC/1983 c. 432 §1). Neighboring ecclesias…

Ecclesia supplet/Suppletion

(180 words)

Author(s): Potz, Richard
[German Version] (Lat. ecclesia supplet = “the church supplements”). In Catholic canon law, under ¶ certain circumstances absent jurisdiction is replaced according to CIC c.144 §1. This is not the sanctioning of invalid legal acts but the legal delegation of authority or jurisdiction in cases involving either an actual or legally assumed error on the part of the ecclesiastical community in question or a positive and demonst…

Ecclesiola in ecclesia

(7 words)

[German Version] Church


(408 words)

Author(s): Beintker, Michael
[German Version] or doctrine of the church (chapter “de ecclesia” in 16th and 17th-cent. dogmatics) refers to the subdivision of dogmatics which develops the concept of the church and clarifies the question of the nature, task, form, and structure of the church. A distinction can be made between a more implicit ecclesiology (pre-theoretical self-reflection of a church) and an exp…


(7 words)

[German Version] Amenophis IV (Echnaton)


(183 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, Martina
[German Version] (Luxemburg). In 697/698, abbess Irmina of Oeren gifted her portion of the villa Epternacus to Willibrord (died 739), who obtained the other portion c. 700 from Plectrud and Pippin II in order to found his monastery. Willibrord's grave in Echternach attracted many pilgrims, and Alcuin wrote his Vita of the missionary there. The scriptorium produced the outstanding products of an insular scribal art and flourished again from the 11th century ( Codex Egberti; court studio of the Salians). From c. 848 on, it was a canonical institution; from 973, it came under the Rule of Ben…

Echter of Mespelbrunn, Julius

(212 words)

Author(s): Smolinsky, Heribert
[German Version] (Mar 18, 1545, Mespelbrunn – Sep 13, 1617, Würzburg), prince-bishop of Würzburg. After his studies and a church career, Echter became dean of the cathedral (1570) and bishop (1573) in Würzburg. At first, he devoted himself to the organization and centralization of the territory, founding the Julius Hospital (1576–79) and the University of Würzburg (1582), to beco…

Eckhart, Meister

(1,467 words)

Author(s): Langer, Otto
[German Version] I. Life – II. Work – III. Influence (Eckhart v. Hochheim; c. 1260, Tambach – probably early 1328, Avignon) I. Life Born around 1260 in or near Tambach, south of Gotha, Eckhart entered the Dominican order in Erfurt. He began general studies in Cologne in 1280, was lector sententiarum in Paris (1293–1294) prior in Erfurt and vicarius provincialis in Thuringia (1294–1298), magister regens in Paris (1302), provincial of the newly founded province of Saxony (1303), after 1307 additionally vicar general …
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