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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Hamelmann, Hermann

(208 words)

Author(s): Peters, Christian
[German Version] (1526, Osnabrück – Jun 26, 1595, Oldenburg), Lutheran theologian. He attended school in Osnabrück, Münster and Dortmund and studied in Cologne and Mainz (1549/1550). He served as a chaplain in Münster, became a priest (1550) and pastor in Kamen (1552). Initially a Reform Catholic opponent of the Reformation, he became a Lutheran in 1553 and was removed from office. Hamelmann after-¶ wards worked as a preacher in Bielefeld (Neustadt) in 1554, but was removed from office in 1555. He then became a preacher in Lemgo (Marien). He studied in Rost…

Hamilton, John

(162 words)

Author(s): Keith, Graham A.
[German Version] (c. 1511 – Apr 6, 1571, Stirling, Scotland) was an illegitimate son of the powerful first earl of Arran. After returning from his studies in Paris in 1543, he acquired political and ecclesiastical influence. In 1546 he was made archbishop of St. Andrews and primate of Scotland. From 1549 to 1559 Hamilton convened a series of synods to restore clerical standards, educate the laity, and drive back Protestantism. He had a catechism issued in Scottish dialect, whose tone was moderate …

Hamilton, Patrick

(173 words)

Author(s): Cameron, Euan
[German Version] (b. c. 1504 – executed St. Andrews, Feb 29, 1528) was an early Scottish reformer, who studied in Paris, then Louvain, and, in 1523, in St. Andrews. In St. Andrews he already showed sympathy with the ideas of Luther. In 1527 he visited first Wittenberg, then Marburg. There he wrote his Loci Communes, in which he developed the principal points of Luther's theology of justification. They embody the contrast between law and gospel, an understanding of faith as fiducia or trust in Christ as savior, and the doctrine that good works flow from faith. J. Frith revised the Loci as treat…

Hammarskjöld, Dag

(160 words)

Author(s): Schäfer, Rolf
[German Version] (Jul 29, 1905, Jönköping, Sweden – Sep 17, 1961, near Ndola, Zambia), first held high government offices in Sweden. In 1953, he was appointed secretary-general of the UN. His negotiation skills enabled him to mediate in numerous conflicts. When he attempted to arbitrate in the Congo crisis, he died in an unexplained airplane crash. In 1961, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously. During his lifetime, he was known to have only a general interest in religion. After his death, however – in express accordance with his will – his spiritual diary Vägmarken (1963; ET: Ma…

Hammerstein, Wilhelm von

(161 words)

Author(s): Laube, Martin
[German Version] (baron; Feb 21, 1838, Retzow – Mar 16, 1904, Berlin-Charlottenburg), politician. A member of the Prussian parliament (1873–1893) and the Reichstag (1881–1890, 1892–1895), and an executive editor of the Kreuzzeitung (1881–1895), he was, along with A. Stoecker, one of the leaders of the anti-Semitic Christian wing of the Deutschkonservative Partei (German Conservative Party). With his idea of a monarchial Christian state, he was in conflict with both O. von Bismarck and the agrarian wing of his own party. He opposed the policy of the Kulturkampf ,…


(440 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes
[German Version] Hammurabi, the most prominent ruler of the first dynasty of Babylon. His reign (1792–1750 bce) ¶ was dominated, first, by the successful struggle against Elam, which had claimed sovereignty over the states of Mesopotamia in order to gain control of the principal long-distance trade routes in the Near East. Second, his reign is also marked by numerous internal conflicts in Babylonia itself, especially in the context of the struggle for access to the waters of the Euphrates, which were of vital imp…

Hampton Court Conference

(167 words)

Author(s): Trueman, Carl Russell
[German Version] A conference that took place at Hampton Court in 1604 in the presence of James I. Since the reign of Edward VI, groups dissatisfied with the Book of Common Prayer and the perceived failure of the English authorities to instigate a ¶ thorough reformation had been pushing for further reforms in church polity and liturgy. The accession of James VI of Scotland in England raised new hopes among the Puritans and the Hampton Court Conference represented their attempt to push for a form of church government which would compromise…

Hamsun, Knut

(332 words)

Author(s): Sandberg, Hans-Joachim
[German Version] (Knut Pedersen; Aug 4, 1859, Garmostræet, Vågå, Norway – Feb 19, 1952, at Nörholmen near Grimstad, Norway), grew up in Hamsund (Hamarøy Island [Nordland]) after 1862. After years of wanderings as an agricultural worker and roadman, and as a postal aid in Norway and America (a treasure of experiences for his “Vagabond” novels), he became a pioneer of the literature of modernity with his early metropolitan novel Sult (1890) (ET: Hunger, 1908). He sensitively depicted the most nuanced emotions of his often provocative characters. He was a stylist with …

Hananias (Ananias)

(223 words)

Author(s): Horn, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] Hananias (Ananias), the son of Nedebaeus, was appointed high priest by Herod, king of Chalcis, in 47 ce (Agrippa I and II; Jos. Ant. XX 5.2) and replaced by Ishmael under King Agrippa II in 59 ce ( Ant. XX 8.8). Following an altercation between Jews and Samaritans, Ananias was put in chains and sent with a delegation to the Roman emperor Claudius to give an account of himself (Jos. Bell. II 12.6; Ant. XX 6.2). In Acts 23:1–10, Paul faces Ananias during his interrogation by the Sanhedrin (the insult “whitewashed wall” is uttered according to Acts 23:3).…

Handel, George Frideric

(838 words)

Author(s): Böhmer, Karl
[German Version] (Feb 23, 1685, Halle – Apr 14, 1759, London), English composer of German origin (German name Georg Friedrich Händel). The most significant 18th-century master of the oratorio, one of the most important opera composers of his period; he and J.S. Bach perfected late Baroque (V) instrumental music. After teaching himself to play the harpsichord and basic instruction in composition with Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow, Handel, the son of a barber-surgeon, decided against the standard academic training of a professional musician. His cosm…

Handel-Mazzetti, Enrica

(269 words)

Author(s): Hausberger, Karl
[German Version] (baroness; Jan 10, 1871, Vienna – Apr 8, 1955, Linz, Austria). From a mixed-denomination noble family, Handel-Mazzetti received a very religious upbringing in the Institute of the English Ladies (Institutum Beatae Mariae Virginis) in Sankt Pölten before pursuing German and Romance studies. With her novels Meinrad Helmpergers denkwürdiges Jahr [Meinrad Helmperger's memorable year] (1897–1900) and Jesse und Maria (1904/1905 in the journal Hochland), she fulfilled Karl Muth's call for contemporary Catholic bellelettres. However, the author was …

Hand of God and Hand of Humans in Art

(952 words)

Author(s): Schroer, Silvia | Koch, Guntram
[German Version] I. Ancient to Pre-Roman Times – II. From Roman Times I. Ancient to Pre-Roman Times From its earliest beginnings, ancient art reflected the central role of the hand in sign language. Hands were raised in prayer, incantation, greeting, blessing, and in delivering a blow. Hands were raised in entreaty and in mourning, or were thrown in the air in triumph. Hostility was averted with an extended hand and fingers or the fist. Parties to a contract shook the right hand as a sign of binding commitment…

Handsome Lake

(239 words)

Author(s): McNally, Michael
[German Version] (1735–1815), was a prophet and reformer from the Seneca Indian tribe who, with a series of visions, was able to attract a large group of adherents from the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederation in the state of New York between 1799 and 1814. His early, apocalytpic visions from the years 1799–1801 revealed to his adherents the imminent judgment on the world and lively images of heaven and hell. His message called on his adherents to reject alcohol, sectarianism, and other vices as…


(336 words)

Author(s): Pitters, Hermann
[German Version] 1. Georg (Apr 28, 1672, Sighişoara [Ger. Schäßburg], Romania – Dec 15, 1740, Biertan [Ger. Bierthälm], Romania), Protestant bishop and historian in Transylvania. He studied in Wittenberg (1691–1695), where he received the M.A., was a teacher and principal in Sighişoara (1695–1698), then pastor in several rural congregations, in Mediaş (1713), and, finally, superintendent (bishop, 1736). In his Historia ecclesiarum Transylvanicarum (1694), still uncritically indebted to older, humanistic scholarship, Haner compiled collections of documents…


(190 words)

Author(s): Horn, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Annas; in Jos.: Ananos), high priest, the son of Sethi. Annas was installed as high priest in 6 ce by the Roman legate of Syria Quirinius (Jos. Ant. XVIII 26) and deposed in 15 ce by the Roman procurator Valerius Gratus ( Ant. XVIII 34) although he continued to bear the title (Luke 3:2, Acts 4:6). From his family, five other sons ( Ant. XX 198) held the office of high priest, including Annas II who was responsible for the death of James, brother of Jesus (62 ce), and, according to John 18:13, also his son-in-law Caiaphas (18–36 ce). According to the Johannine passion narrativ…


(337 words)

Author(s): Matthias, Markus
[German Version] 1. Meno (Mar 1, 1595, Blexen – Feb 17, 1671, Lübeck) Lutheran theologian. After studies in Gießen (1618 M.A.) and a co-rectorate (1619) in Oldenburg, Hanneken began theological studies in 1622, primarily in Wittenberg, and, after teaching philosophy (1626) in Marburg, he earned his Dr.theol. (1627) and became professor of theology and Hebrew in Marburg. In 1628, he married Justina Eleonora, the daughter of B.Mentzer. He became superintendent in Lübeck in 1646, where he challenged the authorization of Reformed worship, and opposed the Socinians and conventicles. Mar…


(1,363 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans Martin
[German Version] I. City and Territory – II. Church History – III. Regional Church ( Landeskirche) I. City and Territory The settlement “on the high bank” (Honovere) of the River Leine was incorporated into the diocese of Minden following the Saxon wars of Charlemagne and was first referred to as a city in 1150. At the time of the Reformation, Hannover (German spelling) was one of the more important cities in the principality of Calenberg ¶ and disposed of five parish churches and 14 chapels. The citizenry enforced the Reformation against the will of the council and …

Hansen, Martin Alfred

(170 words)

Author(s): Schjørring, Jens Holger
[German Version] (Aug 20, 1909, Strøby, Denmark – Jun 27, 1955, Copenhagen), Danish author. The main character in his best-known novel Løgneren (1950; ET: The Liar, 1954) is an existentially irresolute teacher who, with his weak, indecisive character, always avoids the basic decisions in his life. In Hansen's late works, a poetic retrospective on the distant past dominates. Orm og Tyr [Lindworm and Steer] (1952) became significant in equal measure for the church and for cultural life. It is based on impressions of travels in the Nordic countries and is s…


(2,967 words)

Author(s): Gilhus, Ingvild Sælid | Steinmann, Michael | Sarot, Marcel | Lange, Dietz
[German Version] I. Religion – II. Philosophy – III. History of Theology and Dogmatics – IV. Ethics I. Religion Talk of happiness refers to a deeper level of experience than enjoying oneself or feeling good. Happiness denotes success in life; the pursuit of happiness is a universal element in human life and thought. The hope of happiness may take ritual forms, especially in connection with rites of passage when a change of social position and status makes life uncertain, for instance at birth and weddings. The…


(431 words)

Author(s): Röllig, Wolfgang
[German Version] Haran, Ḫarran, Greek and Latin Karr(h)ai, is a modern town and a major field of ruins near Altınbas̲ak, circa 40 km southeast of Canlıurfa in southeast Turkey. In the Old Testament (Gen 11:26–31), Haran was the brother of Abraham (I) and the father of Lot. The city of Haran was a stop on Abraham's way from Ur to Canaan (Gen 11:31; 12:4f.), and home of Laban, Rebekah's brother, where Jacob fled (Gen 27:43). The city, situated on a preferred trade route (cf. Ezek 27:23) through the …
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