Religion Past and Present

Get access Subject: Religious Studies
Edited by: Hans Dieter Betz, Don S. Browning†, Bernd Janowski and Eberhard Jüngel

Help us improve our service

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

Faber, Peter

(317 words)

Author(s): Zweigle, Hartmut
[German Version] (Petrus; Pierre Favre/Lefèvre; Apr 13, 1506, Villaret, Savoy, France – Aug 1, 1546, Rome). Faber is viewed as the first Jesuit priest. The son of a farmer, he studied from 1525 in Paris, where in 1529 he became acquainted with Ignatius of Loyola and F. Xavier, with whom he roomed. As the only priest among the friends of Ignatius, in 1534 he conducted that memorable mass on Montmartre at which the later founding fathers of the Jesuit Order (Jesuits; alongside Ignatius and Xavier al…


(167 words)

Author(s): Reichert, Eckhard
[German Version] Fabian, bishop of Rome, 236–250. The Roman bishop Antherus died in 236 during the brief persecution under Emperor Maximinus Thrax (235–38). Fabian succeeded him by means of an “election by inspiration.” During the subsequent period of peace, Fabian reorganized the Roman Church, dividing Rome into seven administrative districts subject to seven deacons. Fabian was especially active in taking care of the ceme-¶ teries. The custom of recording the day of ordination of Roman bishops, the length of their time in office, and the dates of their dea…


(196 words)

Author(s): Rebenich, Stefan
[German Version] (died c. 400 ce), Roman aristocrat. Fabiola belonged to a circle of noblewomen who during the second half of the 4th century ce advocated the ascetic life, rejected their traditional role in society, and used their inherited wealth for charitable purposes. Our acquaintance with her life comes from the writings of Jerome (esp. his obituary for her in Jer. Ep. 77). After her first marriage ended in divorce and her second husband died, she dedicated herself to an ascetic life, sold her possessions, supported clergymen, virgins, and monks, an…

Fabricius, Johann

(167 words)

Author(s): Otte, Hans
[German Version] (Feb 11, 1644, Altdorf – Jan 29, 1729, Helmstedt). While studying in Helmstedt and Altdorf, Fabricius was influenced by students of G. Calixtus. After several years of an educational tour, he became a legation preacher in Venice, then in 1677 professor of theology in Altdorf and in 1697 in Helmstedt. In 1701 he was appointed abbot of Königslutter. In his most important work, Consideratio, he advocated an irenic understanding of hermeneutics (V, 2) which might minimize denominational differences. By means of expert opinions and negotiations wi…

Fabricius, Johann Albert

(169 words)

Author(s): Krolzik, Udo
[German Version] (Nov 11, 1668, Leipzig – Apr 30, 1736, Hamburg). Fabricius, who studied medicine and then theology in Leipzig, worked on the Acta Eruditorum (1682), was from 1693 a librarian with J. F.Mayer in Hamburg, then from 1699 until his death was professor of morality and rhetoric at the Hamburg grammar school. In 1699 he earned his Dr.theol.; he was a member of the “German-practicing” and “Patriotic” Societies. The focus of his voluminous work is the history of literature. His histories of Greek, Roman, and me…

Fabricius, Johann Philipp

(156 words)

Author(s): Grundmann, Christoffer H.
[German Version] (Jan 22, 1711, Kleeberg – Jan 23, 1791, Chennai, India), missionary and the most important translator of the Danish-Halle Mission in Tranquebar. Upon reading the Hallesche Berichte [Halle reports], Fabricius, who had just finished his examinations in jurisprudence, was prompted to study theology in Halle and to go to India (1740). The enduring contribution of his 50 years in Madras (today: Chennai) (overshadowed from 1778 onwards by temporary dismissal and imprisonment for bankruptcy) was his edition of th…

Fabri, Friedrich Gotthardt Karl Ernst

(278 words)

Author(s): Gründer, Horst
[German Version] (Jun 12, 1824, Schweinfurt – Jul 18, 1891, Würzburg), Protestant theologian, social and colonial politician. Fabri, who came from a pastor's family in Franconia, was the city vicar in Würzburg from 1848 and then in 1851 took over a patronate parish near Kissingen. In 1857 he was appointed chief inspector of the Rhenish Mission, ¶ though in 1884 he was forced to leave the Barmen Mission house because of his activities involving colonial propaganda. In 1889 he was appointed honorary professor in the faculty of theology at the University…

Fabri, Johann

(307 words)

Author(s): Campi, Emidio
[German Version] (Faber; 1478, Leutkirch im Allgäu – Aug 21, 1541, Vienna). Although his birth name was Heigerlein (or Heugerlein), in 1525 as the son of a smith he followed humanistic custom by adding the name Faber or (filius) Fabri. He earned his Doctor of Laws in Freiburg im Breisgau in 1510/11, was an admirer of Erasmus and an advocate of inner church reform, albeit of reform from the top down and only in stages. In 1513 he became the highest episcopal official in Basel and in 1514 a priest i…


(6 words)

[German Version] Business, Industry

Faculties and Schools of Theology

(3,782 words)

Author(s): Fix, Karl-Heinz | Miller, Glenn T. | Werner, Dietrich | Solte, Ernst-Lüder
[German Version] I. Church History – II. Legal Considerations I. Church History 1. Europe Since their inception in the High Middle Ages, faculties of theology have been an integral if not absolutely necessary component of European universities (cf. the medical school in Salerno or the law school of Bologna). At universities modeled after the one in Paris, theology, law, and medicine constituted the three upper faculties. From the outset, state and ecclesiastical interests overlapped in faculties of theology…

Facundus of Hermiane

(171 words)

Author(s): Hainthaler, Theresia
[German Version] Facundus of Hermiane, North African bishop (prior to 547/58 till 570) and scholarly theologian. With his work Pro defensione trium capitulorum (546–548; CPL 866), Facundus became as it were the voice of the Latin West and leader of the opposition to the condemnation of the Three Chapters (Three Chapters Controversy) by Emperor Justinian, albeit without success. This work is important for transmitting works of Theodore of Mopsuestia and Theodoret of Cyrrhus that would otherwise have been lost, for con…

Fagius, Paul

(181 words)

Author(s): Scheible, Heinz
[German Version] (1504, Rheinzabern – Nov 13, 1549, Cambridge). Fagius studied from 1515 in Heidelberg (Heidelberg, University of; 1522, M.A. degree), ¶ where he became acquainted with Luther in 1518. In 1522 he became a teacher in Strasbourg. He learned Hebrew from W. Capito. In 1527 he became a school rector in Isny, returning to Strasbourg in 1535, where he worked with M. Bucer and studied theology. In 1537–1542 he was a preacher in Isny, where he improved his Hebrew with Elijah Levita and ran a Hebrew printing co…

Fairfax, John

(174 words)

Author(s): Johnson, Stuart
[German Version] (baptized on Oct 24, 1805, Warwick, England – Jun 16, 1877, Sydney, Australia). Fairfax was a newspaper publisher and industrialist, a Congregationalist (Congregationalism), and a philanthropist. After emigrating to Sydney in 1838, Fairfax became Australia's premier newspaper baron and the director of many business ventures, simultaneously embodying both evangelical engagement for Christ and the changes that were taking place in society at the time. A lifelong deacon in the Congre…

Fairy Tales

(1,964 words)

Author(s): Lampart, Fabian | Hartinger, Walter | Halbfas, Hubertus
[German Version] I. Literary History – II. Religious History – III. In Religious Education I. Literary History The fairy tale (the diminutive German term Märchen derives from MHG maere, “tidings,” “news,” “story, narrative”; the English term has been variously derived from ME faie, fei< MF feie, fee< Lat. fata; a genre term since the 16th cent.) as a basic genre of literary narrative is ¶ characterized by elements of the fantastic, miraculous, and supernatural. Neither the authors nor the circumstances of origin of fairy tales are known; although over the …


(25,125 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Schulz, Heiko | Kaiser, Otto | Hooker, Morna D. | Jüngel, Eberhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Systematic Theology – V. Practical Theology – VI. Judaism – VII. Islam I. Terminology 1. Religious Studies a. As an emic linguistic term, “faith” is found not only in the context of the Christian West (cf. fides, foi, Glaube, etc.), but also in other religious traditions. The Sanskrit term śraddhā (cf. Pāli saddhā; Avestan zrazdā-) seems to represent an Indo-European etymological pendant to Lat. credo, as demonstrated by the possible reconstruction of Indo-Germanic * k'red-dhē-, “set one's heart o…

Faith and Knowledge

(1,881 words)

Author(s): Petzoldt, Matthias | Hofmeister, Heimo
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology – II. Philosophy of Religion I. Fundamental Theology The relationship between faith and knowledge became a classic theme within the Christian cultural sphere as the terms πίστις/ pístis and πιστεύειν/ pisteúein became widespread as a result of the Christian missionary practice of adopting equivalents from foreign languages, as the noun itself became synonymous with “being a Christian” and then with religion as such, and as the structures of “I believe…” were secularized, becoming part of…

Faith and Order

(1,234 words)

Author(s): Wainwright, Geoffrey
[German Version] Faith and Order is one of the principal streams contributing to the modern ecumenical movement. Springing from the World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh in 1910, it followed its own course until 1948, when it joined with Life and Work to form the World Council of Churches, where its constitutional function is “to call the churches to the goal of visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship, expressed in worship and in common life in Christ, in order that the world may believe.” While practical cooperation for the purposes of evangelization may hav…

Faith and Works

(1,166 words)

Author(s): Krötke, Wolf
[German Version] The determination of the relationship between faith and works lies at the heart of the doctrine of justification. According to Paul, a sinner is justified by faith “apart from works of the law” (Rom 3:28). Luther made this more specific in his translation by saying that a person is justified “ solely by faith, without the works of the law.” The substance of this exclusive understanding of faith was directed against the letter of James (cf. Jas 2:24) and against the Roman Catholic doctrine of grace. According to Luther, faith that …

Faithfulness, Divine and Human

(648 words)

Author(s): Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth
[German Version] Faithfulness is an attribute of God (Divine attributes); it is what makes God God – truth and authenticity (Mal 3:6). In the Old Testament, trust is directed toward God's covenant (II) with humans. It describes God's faithful stance toward man (Hos 2:14–21). He is the one whose words do not pass away (Isa 40:8). The reference to God's covenant, preserved by his faithfulness, points to the trustworthiness of God's pledge which endures forever as the basis of human trust, irrespecti…

Falaquera, Shem Tov ben Joseph

(230 words)

Author(s): Dan, Joseph
[German Version] (c. 1225–1295) was one of the most productive and popular rationalist philosophers of 13th-century Spanish Judaism (Spain: II, 1). He wrote most of his works in Hebrew and was also active as a translator from Arabic. His most important ¶ works include Sefer ha-Mevaqqesh (ET: cf. Falaquera's Book of the Seeker, 1976), a description in rhyming prose of the search for spiritual truth among the various competing schools and factions; Sefer ha-Nefesh (ET: cf. Torah and Sophia, 1835), one of the earliest treatises on the human soul in Hebrew; Iggeret ha-Vikuach (ET: cf. Falaque…
▲   Back to top   ▲