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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Eck, Johann

(555 words)

Author(s): Wicks, Jared
[German Version] (born J. Maier; Nov 13, 1486, Egg an der Günz – Feb 10, 1543, Ingolstadt) was a prolific opponent of the Reformation. After an initial education under his uncle in Rottenburg, he studied in Heidelberg, Tübingen (M.A. 1501), Cologne, and Freiburg im Breisgau (1502–1510). Then he held the chair of theology in Ingolstadt for the rest of his life. Eck's Chrysopassus (1514) taught that God predestines to salvation those whom he foresees will acquiesce to his prevenient grace. In 1518, after Eck cr…


(769 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Albrecht, Michael
[German Version] I. Comparative Religion – II. Philosophy I. Comparative Religion The term “eclecticism” denotes philosophical or religious systems in which elements of various provenance have been deliberately combined; it was already used in this sense by ancient writers (Diogenes Laertius; cf. II below). In modern usage, the term usually carries a negative connotation, based on the assumptio…

Ecological Movement

(2,070 words)

Author(s): Timpf, Siegfried
[German Version] I. History – II. Analysis – III. Organizations – IV. The Future I. History The ecological movement has a complex internal structure that is expressed in sharply divergent forms of organization and practice, goals, and understandings of nature and society. The theme common to all currents within the movement is that of man's relationship to nature. There are three streams within th…

Ecological Theology

(809 words)

Author(s): Primavesi, Anne
[German Version] The term “ecology” was coined in 1866 by E. Haeckel to denote a new branch of biological research. It now also includes the concept of an ¶ ecosystem in the sense of a concept of a co-evolutionary (Evolution) and ultimately cooperative dynamic. The older notion defined environmental relationships as an abstract system in which an exchange of matter and energy takes place and whose functioning …


(5 words)

[German Version] Environment/Ecology

Economic Cycle

(542 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] refers to short-term variations in the capacity of the productive potential of the overall economy. Economic development proceeds in waves with upturns and downturns. In an upturn, demand increases rapidly. The capacity of the economy grows. At some point, normal production capacity is attained, but upward forces do not typically become static at this point. …

Economic Ethics

(1,931 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. History – II. Problems and Themes I. History As reflection on the lived ethos, ethics has since Antiquity also considered economic participation, as it touches on ethos, as an essential component of ethos. Aristotle restricted economy to securing household autarchy, from which commerce was distinct; and, insofar as it produced money from money in transactions involving interest, he rejected it ( Eth. Nic. 1256 b 1–8). The Bible, especially in the OT, gives numerous rules regarding the support …

Economic History

(2,672 words)

Author(s): Fischer, Wolfram | Ohst, Martin
[German Version] I. General – II. Church I. General Economic history, simply speaking, is concerned with how over the centuries people have earned their livelihood, have obtained for themselves food, clothing, and shelter, have communicated with each other sometimes across rivers, mountains, and oceans, have met, bartered (Exchange), traded (Trade), developed m…


(3,290 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Scope – II. History and Disciplines – III. Present Foci of Interest – IV. Significance for Theology I. Scope Traditionally economics has been defined primarily by its subject matter. It is the branch of inquiry that deals with economic phenomena (Economy: I). Methodologically, over a lengthy course of development (see II below) it has become increasingly autonomous, adopting the empirical and quantitative proce…


(6,870 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann | Rüpke, Jörg | Schneider, Helmuth | Otto, Eckart | Penslar, Derek | Et al.
[German Version] I. The Concept – II. Economic Systems and their Theories – III. Economy and Religion I. The Concept The term economy encompasses the totality of all individual actions and social interactions that serve to produce goods (commodities or services [Service sector]) for the purpose of satisfying human needs (Consumption). As a rule, the “production” of commodities means that human labor and …


(1,025 words)

Author(s): Lewis, Ioan M.
[German Version] Individual ecstatics and wider currents of religious ecstasy have left their mark at various times in all the “world” religions, and are also widely reported in anthropological and missionary studies of Third World “local” religions. This is not surprising since such ecstatic encounters are generally interpreted as the most impressive (if less …


(856 words)

Author(s): Freile, Carlos
[German Version] covers an area of 275,830 km2 and has a population of 13 million; its capital is Quito. Situated in the Andes in northwestern South America, it is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Colombia, and Peru. The climate is essentially determined by the Andean cordillera: while the coastal region (Costa) and the Amazon lowlands (Oriente) enjoy a tropical climate, the inner valle…


(3,308 words)

Author(s): Kleinschwärzer-Meister, Birgitta | Ivanov, Vladimir | Schwöbel, Christoph | Baier, Klaus A.
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics – III. Practical Theology I. Dogmatics 1. The Catholic Understanding The term “ecumene,” from the present passive participle of the Greek verb οἰκεῖν/ oikeín, “to dwell,” originally denoted the inhabited earth. The use of the term in Scripture is ambiguous: the OT (apolitically) in the sense of “world,” the NT, in addition to that, of the “earth” as the …

Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians

(828 words)

Author(s): Kamphausen, Erhard
[German Version] (EATWOT) represents the largest ecumenically oriented theological movement in non-European Christianity. Founded in 1976 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, it strives to disentangle theology from the Western tradition and to conceive an independent, indigenous theology (Indigenization). In it are gathered the most renowned representatives of Latin American liberation theology and contextual theologies (Contextual theology) from Asia, Africa, and the ethnic minorities of North America (African, Native American, Hispanic). Various strands of contextual lib…

Ecumenical Movement

(10,763 words)

Author(s): Wendebourg, Dorothea | Koschorke, Klaus | Sattler, Dorothea | Lippy, Charleas H. | Geldbach, Erich | Et al.
[German Version] I. 1st to 19th Century – II. 20th and 21st Centuries I. 1st to 19th Century 1. Early Church The concerns of the first centuries of the church were less with the establishing of fellowship than with its preservation – focused in the fellowship of the Lord's Supper – among Christians and congregations (Paul, Saint, Apostolic Council, Clement I (Romanus), Ignatius [Ignatian …

Ecumenical Theology

(381 words)

Author(s): Neuner, Peter
[German Version] In essence, any theology is ecumenical in that the Christian truth is addressed to all. Ecumenical theology in a narrower sense deals with the division of Christianity into exclusive confessions (denominations) and reflects possibilities for overcoming the various divisions with the objective of one fellowship among the Christian churches. Ecumenical theology developed out of the controversial theology that defended the claim to be the church of Jesus Christ against competing claims, refuting them (polemi…


(850 words)

Author(s): Harris, Joseph
[German Version] I. The name Edda (“great-grandmother”) is applied in one 14th-century Icelandic ms. to the work now know as The Prose Edda ( PrE) or Snorri's Edda. Seventeenth-century Icelandic scholars extended the name to a recently discovered collection like the presumed source of PrE, now known as The Poetic Edda ( PE) or Elder Edda. These two are referred to in studies of myth and religion as the “eddas,” but as an adjective “eddic” designates similar poetry elsewhere in Icelandic literature. II. PE, as it exists in an Icelandic vellum of c. 1…

Eddy, Mary Baker

(259 words)

Author(s): Gottschalk, Stephen
[German Version] (Jul 16, 1821, Bow, NH – Dec 3, 1910, Chestnut Hill, MA) was preoccupied during the first half of her life with the problem of theodicy: how a good and all-powerful God could be responsible for a world of sin and pain. As the result of a healing she experienced in 1866, Eddy came to the conclusion that the problem of evil could only be answered through a radical shift in Christian thought about the nature of being. Her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1875) maintains that matter is not an objective limiting substance that i…

Edelmann, Johann Christian

(285 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Jul 9, 1698, Weißenfels – Feb 15, 1767, Berlin), student of theology in Jena (1720–1724, under J.F. Buddeus and J.G. Walch [1]) and tutor (1724–1734, in Vienna, Dresden, et alibi). Influenced by G. Arnold, Edelmann sought contact with various (radical) Pietist communities, such as the Gichtelians (J.G. Gichtel) and Herrnhut Brethren (after 1735; Bohemian and Moravian Brethren). In 1736, he …


(566 words)

Author(s): Drijvers, Han J.W.
[German Version] was built in 303/302 bce by Seleucus I in a strategically favorable location in northern Mesopotamia. After the collapse of the Seleucid empire (Seleucids) in 132 bce, it was capital of the Osroene kingdom under the Arab Abgar dynasty, which nominally reigned until 242 ce. Its indigenous name was Urhai, present-day Urfa, a provincial capital in southeast Turkey. In 165/166 ce, Edessa became a Roman client state, and a Colonia Romana in 213. The cession of Nisibis to the Sassanids in …
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