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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(156 words)

Author(s): Hezser, Catherine
[German Version] In Wisdom and Sirach, Palestinian students of the Torah are already referred to as ḥakhamim, “wise men,” since wisdom is identified with the Torah (cf. e.g. Sir 24:19–29). The same meaning is attached to the term “wise” in the Qumran texts (Qumran) and in the NT. In rabbinic literature, ḥakhamim appears as a self-designation of the Tannaim. In the Mishnah and the Tosefta, halakhic teachings (Halakhah) are handed down in the name of these Hakhamim, who are presented as teachers of the Torah. They are regarded as moral authorities…


(1,115 words)

Author(s): Herrmann, Klaus
[German Version] (from the Heb. הלך/ hlḥ; literally “to go, to walk”) described, in rabbinic usage, “the (particular) standardized religious rule, the prevailing precept” (Bacher), and later it also stood for Judaism's entire legal system. In addition to the Haggadah, i.e. the non-legal matters, the Halakhah represents one of the two main strands of rabbinic tradition. In this, the former is not of a legally binding character, and no Halakhah may be derived from the Haggadah. As for the derivation of the term Halakhah, the biblical usage of the verb הלך, as especially encountered in …

Halberstadt, Bishopric

(283 words)

Author(s): Sevrugian, Petra
[German Version] Under Charlemagne, Halberstadt was the eastern base for the forced conversion of the Saxons (establishment of the diocese, 804). In 989, Halberstadt obtained market, mint and tariff rights. Conflicts arose between the bishopric or the cathedral chapter (Canons Regular of St. Augustine, until 1810) and the city concerning jurisdiction, administration and property ownership. In 1179, Henry the Lion partially destroyed Halberstadt. In the 12th and 13th centuries, many orders took up …


(519 words)

Author(s): Chapman, Mark D.
[German Version] 1. Robert (Feb 28, 1764, London – Dec 12, 1842, Edinburgh). After an education in Dundee and Edinburgh and a brief naval career, Haldane settled on his estate at Airthrey near Stirling for ten years. By 1796 he sought to establish a mission to India by selling his estate. Thwarted in his efforts by the East India Company, Haldane turned his attention to home mission. In 1799 he left the Church of Scotland. He joined his brother James (2.) in Edinburgh and set about establishing tabernacles and training courses throughout Scotland. By ¶ 1810 he had spent over £70,000. In 1…

Hales, John

(156 words)

Author(s): James, Frank A. III
[German Version] (Apr 19, 1584, Bath – May 19, 1656, Eton) was an English clergyman and Greek scholar. He received his B.A. at Corpus Christi College in Oxford, and his M.A. at Merton College, being elected fellow there in 1606. In 1612 he was made professor of Greek at Oxford. Hales's great academic achievement was working with Sir Henry Savile to prepare a superb edition of Chrysostom. In 1618 Sir Dudly Caleton, the English ambassador to Holland, sent him to the Synod of Dort to report on its proceedings. This report was published in his book Golden Remains in 1659. Influenced by the syno…


(355 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] Halieutica, derived from Mark 1:17 (Gk ἁλιεὺς ἀνϑρώπων/ halieús anthrṓpôn, “fisher of men”), was the term for a sub-discipline of practical theology in the 19th century. G.A.F. Sickel introduced it in 1829. Against the background of the loss of pastoral effectiveness, he wanted to establish a “science… that, with greater attention to the inner being of a person, would instruct young theologians in how one could win people for the Kingdom of God through preaching that followed the laws of …


(5 words)

[German Version] Alleluia

Haller, Albrecht von

(390 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] (Oct 16, 1708, Bern – Dec 12, 1777, Bern), a pioneer of modern medicine and botany and an important 18th century poet and thinker. After studying in Tübingen, Leiden (, London, Paris and Basel, Haller was a physician in Bern (1729–1736). As professor of anatomy, botany and surgery in Göttingen (1736–1753), he contributed significantly to the rise of the young university (editor and author of the journal Göttingische Gelehrten Anzeigen, president of the Akademie der Wissenschaften [Academy of Sciences]). From 1753 until his death, he held pu…

Haller, Berchtold

(295 words)

Author(s): Dellsperger, Rudolf
[German Version] (1494 [1490?], Aldingen – Feb 25, 1536, Bern), schooled in Rottweil and Pforzheim (here with Melanchthon and S. Grynaeus), received the Bacc. artium in Cologne in 1511, became provisor of the Latin School in Bern (1513) and secular priest and canon of the Minster in 1520. Haller's historical importance consists in the trustworthy, persistent and circumspect manner in which he represented the Reformation impulse that reached Bern from Wittenberg, Zürich and Upper Germany. For years…

Haller, Johannes

(146 words)

Author(s): van Wijnkoop Lüthi, Marc
[German Version] (II; Jan 18,1523, Amsoldingen, Switzerland – Sep 11, 1575, Bern), a pastor's son, studied in Zürich, Tübingen, Marburg and Leipzig. After pastorates in the canton of Zürich and in Augsburg (1545–1547), Zürich let the church in Bern have him, provisionally in 1547 and definitively in 1550. As superintendent (1552), reformer of Saanen (1555/1556), promoter of church music (1558), defender of orthodoxy (against the Anabaptists, against V. Gentile 1566), translator and editor of a num…

Halle, University of

(794 words)

Author(s): Sträter, Udo
[German Version] The initiative to establish a university in Halle goes back to Albert of Brandenburg, who in 1531 obtained the founding privilege from the papal legate cardinal L. Campeggio. Lack of money and the introduction of the Reformation in the archdiocese of Magdeburg forestalled these plans, which were directed against Wittenberg University (Wittenberg, University of). When in 1680 the archdiocese fell to Brandenburg as the Duchy of Magdeburg, the founding plans were revived and were rea…

Hall, Granville Stanley

(286 words)

Author(s): Schlauch, Chris R.
[German Version] (Feb 1, 1844, Ashfield, MA – Apr 24, 1924, Worcester, MA) was a psychologist whose fame rested more on organizational and administrative than on scholarly contributions, though he published 489 works covering most of the major areas of psychology, including child study and developmental psychology. Hall grew up on a farm in New England. He experienced a religious conversion in his first year at Williams College. Later he enrolled at Union Theological Seminary, which he left after …

Hall, Joseph

(212 words)

Author(s): James, Frank A. III
[German Version] (Jul 1, 1574, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, England – Sep 8, 1656, Higham near Norwich, England) studied at Emmanuel College in Cambridge and began his career as a poet and satirist. In 1601 he became an Anglican clergyman, and, in 1616, chaplain to the English ambassador to France. Shortly thereafter Hall enjoyed the favor of James I, who sent him as his minister to the Synod of Dort in 1618. In 1627 Hall ¶ became bishop of Exeter and, in 1641, bishop of Norwich. For his book, Episcopacy by Divine Right (1640), Hall was charged with treason for pro-episcopacy along with eleve…

Hall, Thomas

(186 words)

Author(s): James, Frank A. III
[German Version] (Jul 22, 1610, Worcester – Apr 13, 1665, Kings Norton) was a notable clergyman. He began his education at Balliol College in Oxford, but, disliking his tutor, he transferred to Pembroke College, Oxford, from which he graduated in 1629. Hall became curate in Kings Norton under his brother, John Hall, whom he later succeeded as pastor. At the same time he was master of the local Grammar School established by King Edward VI. During this time, Hall converted to Presbyterianism, influe…


(7 words)

[German Version] Vision/Visionaccount, Auditory Hallucination


(692 words)

Author(s): Thümmel, Hans Georg
[German Version] In the 4th century, Christian art adopted the pagan custom of using the nimbus in illustrations to distinguish gods and other figures. (Contrary to O. Perler, Die Mosaiken der Juliergruft im Vatikan, 1953, there is no proof that the depiction of Sol [Sun: III] with its radiant nimbus in the mausoleum of Julius beneath St. Peter's in Rome is supposed to represent Christ. Compare Sol and the Seasons with nimbus, Rome, Peter and Marcellinus catacomb, chambers 45 and 67). The nimbus is meant to represent the supernatural glo…

Halyburton, Thomas

(153 words)

Author(s): Keith, Graham A.
[German Version] (Dec 25, 1674, Duplin, Perthshire – Sep 23, 1712, St. Andrews) was a Church of Scotland minister in Ceres (Fife) and was appointed professor of divinity at St. Andrews in 1710. He is known for his devotional and apologetic writings, all posthumously published. Halyburton combined academic rigor with a Calvinist piety that involved careful, though not fastidious, self-examination. His spiritual autobiography, Memoirs of the Life (1714), never intended for publication but compiled from private papers, proved popular among evangelicals in the Eng…

Hamann, Johann Georg

(499 words)

Author(s): Moustakas, Ulrich
[German Version] (Aug 27, 1730, Krolewiec [Ger. Königsberg], Poland – Jun 21, 1788, Münster) was a journalist and author who confronted the Enlightenment's self-conception with astute provocations. Stemming from the environment of a Pietism reconciled with the Enlightenment, Hamann underwent a decisive turn in his life during a personal crisis in London in 1758 in the context of intensive reading of the Bible. Without academic office, working briefly as editor for the Königsbergsche Gelehrte und Politische Zeitungen, then as translator, and finally as administrator of a…


(322 words)

Author(s): Lehmann, Gunnar
[German Version] Hamath, city on the river Orontes in mid-Syria (modern Ḥamā) and an important regional center since the Bronze Age. Danish excavations (H. Ingholt, 1931–1938) document the existence of a settlement from the 5th millennium bce. A first historical mention of the city in the Ebla texts (3rd mill. bce) is controversial. The ancient name Hamath is not attested in the 2nd millennium bce, although archaeological remains of the Middle and Late Bronze Age have been uncovered. The settlement is mentioned in Assyrian texts from the 9th century onward (…


(2,853 words)

Author(s): Sprengler-Ruppenthal, Anneliese | Hering, Rainer
[German Version] I. City and Archbishopric – II. University I. City and Archbishopric 1. Bishopric and archbishopric The origins of the mission center probably go back to the time of Charlemagne. The “Hammaburg” ( hamma = meadows; burg = fortress, stronghold) was founded in 820 by Louis the Pious, and the church and, later, the cathedral were erected there. Ansgar was appointed bishop in 831 and archbishop in 834, and so the archbishopric of Hamburg was established, from which the evangelization of Denmark, Sweden, and the Slavic…
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