Religion Past and Present

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

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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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(436 words)

Author(s): Halfwassen, Jens
[German Version] (c. 240/245, Chalkis – c. 325, Apamea), a neo-Platonist, initially a student of the Aristotelian Anatolios, then of Porphyry, presumably taught in Apamea. Iamblichus had great influence on the intellectual climate of paganism in Late Antiquity. The Syrian branch of Neo-Platonism that he founded was characterized by its metaphysical interpretation and justification of Greek and oriental polytheism. With Iamblichus, Neo-Platonism became a philosophical religion in competition with C…


(222 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Johann
[German Version] Iaşi, a city in eastern Romania. Together with Suceava (Polish: Suczawa), Iaşi was intermittently the seat of the dukes and metropolitans of Moldavia from the 15th century onward, and became their permanent seat at the end of the 16th century. In 1642 a synod met in Iaşi which passed the so-called Confessio Orthodoxa (Articles of Faith: II) of P. Mogila. Iaşi stood under Greek (Phanariot) and partly under Russian influence until the 19th century. The transition to the Romanian-national cultural language was effected in Iaşi around …

Ibas of Edessa

(187 words)

Author(s): Bruns, Peter
[German Version] Ibas followed Rabbūlā in 435 as bishop and distinguished himself as the translator of the works of Antiochene theologians (Antiochene theology) from the Greek into Syriac. Ibas sought in vain to suppress the growing influence of the extreme Cyrillians. In 449, he was deposed at the so-called Robber Synod in Ephesus (Ephesus, Councils of); two years later, however, he was rehabilitated in Chalcedon, and from then on he held the Edessene see until his death in 457. In 433, Ibas wrot…


(147 words)

Author(s): Franzen, Beatriz V.
[German Version] Ibero-America designates the areas of America colonized by the Iberian peoples – Portuguese and Spaniards – and stamped with their ideological and institutional heritage. The strong influence of the Iberian cultural heritage comes to expression in the preservation of the Spanish language in the areas colonized by Spain and of the Portuguese language in Brazil, colonized by the Portuguese, as well as in the Iberian form of Catholicism that dominated until the 19th century. Only the…

Ibiapina, Padre

(177 words)

Author(s): Hoornaert, Eduardo
[German Version] (José António Pereira; Aug 5, 1806, Sobral, Brazil – Feb 19, 1883, Paraíba, Brazil). From 1834 to 1837 Ibiapina was a representative of the people. He was ordained priest at age 47 and then became vicar-general of the diocese of Olinda, Brazil, for two years. From 1855 on, he traveled for 28 years, mostly on foot, through the present-day federal states of Pianí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba and Pernambuco. As “apostle of the Northeast” he embodied the authorities in one person as pastoral counselor, judge, engineer ¶ and organizer. He brought people together to…

Ibn al-ʿAssāl

(210 words)

Author(s): Gerö, Stephen
[German Version] Ibn al-ʿAssāl, family. Three brothers from the influential family of Aulād al-ʿAssāl played an important role in the Arabic literary renaissance of the Coptic Church in the 13th century. 1. Aṣ-Ṣafī Abū l Faḍāʾil ibn al-ʿAssāl (died c. 1265). Of aṣ-Ṣafī's works, the following deserve mention: liturgical homilies in rhymed prose ( sağʿ), an apologetic treatment of the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation, and especially his Nomocanon, a compendium of canon law. 2. Al-Asʿad Abū l Farağ Hibatallāh ibn al-ʿAssāl. Among other works, Al-Asʿad prepared …

Ibn aṭ-Ṭaiyib

(152 words)

Author(s): Gerö, Stephen
[German Version] (died 1043 in Baghdad). The East Syrian Nestorian (Nestorianism) scholar Abū l-Farağ ʿAbdallāh ibn aṭ-Ṭaiyib was not only a trained physician but also a philosopher, theologian, and exegete. Of his Arabic writings, the following deserve particular mention: a compendium of canon law ( Fiqh an-naṣrānīya), a translation of the Diatessaron (from Syriac), essays on the doctrine of the Trinity, a commentary on Genesis belonging to his major work Firdaus an-naṣrānīya [The Paradise of Christendom], and a commentary on the Eisagoge by the Neo-Platonic scholar Porphyry. Ste…

Ibn Daud, Abraham

(291 words)

Author(s): Dan, Joseph
[German Version] (ben David; acronym Rabad I; c. 1110, Córdoba – 1180, Toledo), historian, philosopher, and scholar. Ibn Daud was one of the leading personalities of the Jewish community in 12th-century Spain. He acquired an extensive knowledge of philosophy, medicine, and astronomy in his native town of Córdoba, and was also familiar with the Qurʾān and the New Testament. His main historical work, Sefer ha-Kabbalah (ET: The Book of Tradition, 1967), was on the one hand a polemical tractate against the Karaites, who rejected rabbinic tradition; Ibn Daud according…

Ibn Ezra, Abraham ben Meir

(113 words)

Author(s): van Bekkum, Wout J.
[German Version] (1089, Toledo – 1164, Rome). Ibn Ezra spent a number of years in Córdoba. Following the Almohad conquest, he was forced to leave Andalusia and lived in Italy, France, and England. As an itinerant poet, grammarian, Bible commentator, astronomer, and mathematician, he played a decisive role in the spreading of the prosody and poetic art of the Spanish school of Hebrew poetry. His Hebrew translations and writings familiarized the Jews of Christian Europe with Jewish-Arabic texts and the Arabic linguistic literature of the Middle Ages. Wout J. van Bekkum Bibliography W. Ba…

Ibn Ezra, Moses ben Jakob

(133 words)

Author(s): van Bekkum, Wout J.
[German Version] (Abu Harūn; 1055, Granada – c.1135). Ibn Ezra wrote a large number of ¶ religious and secular poems that followed the conventional structure of medieval Arabic and Hebrew verse compositions. He is regarded as the first Jewish poet in Andalusia to have authored a book of homonymous poems in analogy to the Arabic style. His Judeo-Arabic prose writings on Hebrew verse earned him an important place as a theorist, critic, and literary historian. His Kitāb al-Muḥāḍara wa al-Muḍākara [Book of conversation and discussion] is the most comprehensive work on Hebrew p…

Ibn Gabirol, Salomo ben Yehuda

(272 words)

Author(s): van Bekkum, Wout J.
[German Version] (Abū ʿAğūb Sulaimān ibn Yaḥyā ibn Gabirūl, Lat. Avicebron; c. 1021, Malaga – c. 1058, Valencia). Ibn Gabirol initially lived in Saragossa, where he enjoyed the patronage of Yequtiel Ibn Hassan Ibn Kabrūn and of other wealthy benefactors. He later moved to Valencia. He is known both as the author of secular and liturgical Hebrew poetry and as a Jewish Neo-Platonist (Neo-Platonism: III). Christian Scholastics knew him by the name Avicebron. His philosophical work Meqor Chayyim [The source of life] expounds the theory of creation based on the relationship b…

Ibn Ḫaldūn

(166 words)

Author(s): Halm, Heinz
[German Version] (ʿAbdarraḥmān ibn Muḥammad; May 7, 1332, Tunis – Mar 19, 1406, Cairo), Arab historian. After a varied career in the courts of Fez, Granada and Bougie, Ibn Ḫaldūn arrived in Egypt, taught law in Cairo at the Azhar mosque and other academies ¶ and repeatedly officiated as a judge. His chief work is al-Muqaddima [Introduction], which precedes his universal history compiled from older sources, a theory of civilization and analysis of the origin and collapse of dominion, presented, primarily, using the example of the Moroccan-Andalusian …

Ibn Rušd

(8 words)

[German Version] Averroes, Ibn Rušd

Ibn Sīnā

(6 words)

[German Version] Avicenna

Ibn Tamim, Dunash

(113 words)

Author(s): van Bekkum, Wout J.
[German Version] (Abū Sahl Dūnash al-Shafaldij; Adonim; Qairawan, North Africa, c. 890 – c. 955). Ibn Tamim was known as a Hebrew grammarian and lexicographer. He studied under the philosopher and physician Israeli. His Judeo-Arabic commentary on the Book of Creation may have been influenced by Saadia Gaon in Babylonia. From quotations by many other grammarians it becomes clear that Ibn Tamim wrote a comparative lexicographic study of Hebrew and Arabic, sometimes including Aramaic words as well. Unfortunately, Ibn Tamim's lexicon is not extant. Wout J. van Bekkum Bibliography P. Fen…

Ibn Tibbon

(303 words)

Author(s): van Bekkum, Wout J.
[German Version] Ibn Tibbon, family. The Tibbonids, the family of Ibn Tibbon, were a prominent dynasty of translators of Arabic and Judeo-Arabic works by Jewish authors into Hebrew. 1 The first translator is the physician Judah ben Saul Ibn Tibbon (1120–1190), who was born in Granada in Muslim Spain. He was driven out of Spain by the Almohades invasion and settled in Lunel around 1150. 2 His son Samuel ben Judah Ibn Tibbon (birth unknown – c. 1232) translated M. Maimonides, notably his Guide of the Perplexed in 1204, as well as Galen, Aristotle, and a Romance of Alexander the Gre…

Ibn Ṭufail, Abū Bakr

(316 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] (c. 1105, Wādī Āš, Spain – 1185, Marrakech), physician and Islamic philosopher. Ibn Ṭufail supported Averroes and became known as the author of the novel Ḥaiy ibn Yaqẓān [The living, son of the wakeful one]. In this novel, Ibn Ṭufail describes the path to recognition of a person named Ḥaiy, who grew up alone on a solitary island from his birth. Ḥaiy deciphers his environment step by step, grasps the laws of logic and of physics, gains insight into the cosmic order, and recognizes the necessity of a creator.…

Ibn Verga, Solomon

(318 words)

Author(s): Römer, Nils
[German Version] After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, Ibn Verga first settled in Lisbon, where he lived for a few years as a Marrano before leaving Portugal in 1506. He apparently died in Flanders around 1530. In the 1520s, he wrote Shevet Yehudah [The scepter of Judah] (1554), one of the most popular historical works in the early modern period, based on the Sefer Yosippon and A. Ibn Daud's Sefer Ha-Kabbalah. Shevet Yehudah, supplemented by Ibn Verga's son Joseph and first published in 1554, describes the history of the persecutions of Jews since the destructio…

Ibsen, Henrik

(559 words)

Author(s): Detering, Heinrich
[German Version] (Mar 20, 1828, Skien, Norway – May 23, 1906, Oslo). Along with J.A. Strindberg, Ibsen founded modern drama. Ibsen, whose father went bankrupt, broke with his family early on. Already during his apprenticeship as a pharmacist, he turned to the theater. After political-revolutionary beginnings ( Catilina, 1848) and contact with socialist movements, Ibsen wrote romantic nationalistic dramas ( Lady Inger of Oestraat [ Fru Inger til Østeraad, 1855]) for the theater in Bergen, where he was artistic director (1851–1857). After failures as director of t…


(930 words)

Author(s): Sigurbjörnsson, Einar
[German Version] is a volcanic island in the North Atlantic with an area of 103,000 km2 (23% used for agriculture, 1% is forest). The population (319,756 in 2008) is a homogeneous mix of Norwegian and Celtic influence. After isolated and brief settlements by Irish monks, the island was settled by Norwegian settlers (mostly directly from Norway, with a minority from Norwegian settlements in Scotland and Ireland together with their Celtic slaves). In 930 these settlers founded a parliament, the Althing, with legislative and judiciary…
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