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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Le Bras, Gabriel

(343 words)

Author(s): Smolinsky, Heribert
[German Version] (Jul 23, 1891, Paimpol, Côtes-du-Nord, France – Feb 18, 1970, Paris), jurist, historian, and sociologist of religion. Le Bras studied jurisprudence and philosophy in Rennes from 1908 to 1911 as well as at the university and the École des Hautes Études in Paris from 1911 to 1914. He earned a doctorate in politics and business sciences in 1920, and in jurisprudence in 1922. He was professor of Roman law in Strasbourg from 1922 and in Paris from 1929, where he was awarded a professor…


(291 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] Lebus, a small town approx. 10 km north of Frankfurt an der Oder, on the left bank of the river, shares its name – which recalls the Lutiz prince Lub (Lubosłav) in the 9th century – not only with its vicinity but also with the diocese bequeathed in 1124 by the Polish duke ¶ Bolesłav III Krzywousty. The diocese kept the name, although in the years 1276 to 1326 the see was in Göritz (Górzyca), to the right of the Oder approx. 10 km upstream, and since 1385 it was in Fürstenwalde on the Spree, where the Marienkirche was elevated to a ca…

Leclercq, Henri

(198 words)

Author(s): Arnold, Claus
[German Version] Leclercq, Henri, OSB (Dec 4, 1869, Tournai, Belgium – Mar 23, 1945, London, England), church historian and historian of liturgy. After briefly serving in the French army, he entered Solesmes Abbey in 1893 and transferred to the daughter house of Farnborough in Hampshire in 1896. With the superior there, F. Cabrol, he edited, from 1902, the Reliquiae Liturgicae vetustissimae and from 1903 the (initially unnamed) Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie. The career he had thus begun as lexicographer and editor – which was connected with th…

Leclercq, Jean

(248 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Jan 31, 1911, Avesnes, France – Oct 27, 1993, Clervaux, Luxembourg), a Benedictine monk, was one of the most prolific medievalists of the second half of the 20th century. Having studied in Rome and Paris, he also lectured in various places (esp. in Rome). In 1941, after conducting research on the Scholasticism of the 13th to 15th centuries, Leclercq turned to the partly still unpublished monastic literature of the Middle Ages, especially of the 11th and 12th centuries. His extens…

Le Corbusier, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret

(321 words)

Author(s): Prange, Regine
[German Version] (actually Charles-Édouard Jeanneret; Oct 6, 1887, La Chaud-de-Fonds, Switzerland – Aug 27, 1965, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, near Nice). Le Corbusier educated himself by means of reading, traveling and practical activity in the architects' offices of Auguste Perret in Paris and Peter Behrens in Berlin and settled in Paris in 1917, where he initially worked as a painter and sculptor with Amédé Ozenfant. In 1922 he founded an architects' office with his nephew Piere Jeanneret, and in 192…

Lecot, Victor Lucien Sulpice

(196 words)

Author(s): Kracht, Hermann-Josef Große
[German Version] (Jan 8, 1831, Montecourt-Lizerolles – Dec 19, 1908, Chambéry), French cardinal. In 1886 he was appointed by the French government as bishop of Dijon, and in 1890 he became archbishop of Bordeaux. Lecot became the most important mediator between the Holy See and the French Republic. He founded worker kitchens, took the part of the working class, and promoted the newly growing socio-political activities of French Catholics within the framework of the Raillement policy of Leo XIII, in order to overcome – through practical social engagement – the ideologi…


(342 words)

Author(s): Bock, Ulrich
[German Version] (Lat. analogium, lectorium, pulpitum), a support for liturgical books, either as a free-standing piece of church furniture (choir and altar lecterns) or as a permanent attachment affixed to an ambo, jube or pulpit for the Gospel readings on ecclesial feast days. In the case of free-standing choir lecterns, a distinction must be made between the onesided lecterns flanking the altar or the choir entrance, which are used during the Gospel and Epistle readings, and the frequently two- to…

Lectio divina

(307 words)

Author(s): Pfeifer, Michaela
[German Version] Monastic lectio divina is the prayerful, holistic reading of Scripture; together with the liturgy and labor, it shapes the everyday monastic routine. It is the basis of monastic theology, which reached its highest development in the 12th century (William of Saint-Thierry). Repetitive reading with the goal of memorization was already among the mental exercises cultivated as a way of life by ancient philosophy. It continued on in early Christian monasticism and in the Jewish practice of murmured meditation of the Psalms. Central to lectio divina was the passion of …


(1,230 words)

Author(s): Aland, Barbara | Baldovin, John F.
[German Version] I. Bible – II. Liturgy I. Bible A lectionary is a book containing biblical readings or lections for the services of the church year. The lectionaries of the Greek church are the Synaxarion , with readings for all the moveable feasts, starting with Easter Sunday, and the Menologion (Menologies) for the fixed saints' days of the secular calendar, starting with Sep 1. For the period from Easter to Pentecost, the Synaxarion provides daily readings from Acts and John. After Pentecost readings are provided only for Saturday and Sunday: to the Feast of t…

Ledesma, Martin de

(122 words)

Author(s): Rodrigues, Manuel Augusto
[German Version] (c. 1509, Ledesma, Spain – Aug 15, 1574, Coimbra), Dominican friar and Spanish theologian. A student of F. of Vitoria and the teacher of M. Cano in Salamanca, he was professor of theology in Coimbra from 1540 to 1562, a major representative of the School of Salamanca in Portugal, and a commentator of Thomas Aquinas ( Expositiones in universam D. Thomae Summam, unpubl.; Commentaria in quartum librum Sententiarum, 2 vols., 1555–1560). Manuel Augusto Rodrigues Bibliography F. Stegmüller, Filosofia e teologia nas Universidades de Coimbra e Évora no século XVI, 1956 M.A. Ro…

Leese, Kurt

(389 words)

Author(s): Bendrath, Christian
[German Version] (Jul 6, 1887, Gollnow [Goleniów], Pomerania – Jan 6, 1965, Hamburg), Protestant theologian and philosopher of religion; friend of Paul Tillich. From 1906 to 1910 Leese studied theology at Bethel, Rostock, Strasbourg, and Berlin, where in 1910 he passed his first examination in theology and in 1912 his second. In 1912 he also received his Lic.theol. from Kiel. From 1912 to 1932 he served as pastor in Danzig (Gdansk), Berlin, and Hamburg, with a military chaplaincy during the war. I…

Leeser, Isaac

(149 words)

Author(s): Brinkmann, Tobias
[German Version] (Dec 12, 1806, Neuenkirchen, Westphalia, Germany – Feb 1, 1868, Philadelphia, PA), Jewish preacher and journalist. After attending the Gymnasium in Münster, Leeser emigrated to Richmond, Virginia, in 1824. Between 1829 and 1850 he served as Hazzan (cantor) and preacher at the congregation Mikveh-Israel in Philadelphia. Leeser attempted to unite American Jewry on an institutional level. He founded the first national American-Jewish paper, the monthly The Occident (1843–1869). As editor and author of The Occident Leeser visited many Jewish communities in …

Leeuw, Gerardus van der

(305 words)

Author(s): Hofstee, Willem
[German Version] (Mar 18, 1890, The Hague, The Netherlands – Nov 18, 1950, Utrecht, The Netherlands) was professor in Groningen (1918–1950) and studied theology and religious studies in Leiden under William Brede Kristensen and others, in Berlin, and in Göttingen under J. Bousset. In 1916 Van der Leeuw received his doctorate in Leiden with a dissertation on images of gods in ancient Egyptian pyramid texts. His interest lay in the universal structure in religious thinking. To this end he compared E…

Lefebvre, Marcel

(393 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Nov 29, 1905, Tourcoing, France – Mar 25, 1991, Martigny, Switzerland) studied at the Gregoriana in Rome from 1923 to 1930 (Dr.phil. 1925; Dr.theol. 1929), was ordained to the priesthood in 1929, and subsequently served as parish curate in a suburb of Lille. He joined the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spirit; Order of the Holy Spirit, CSSp, Spiritans) in 1931 (member until 1968) and worked as a missionary in Gabon from 1932 to 1947. In 1948, he was appointed apostolic delegate…

Lefèvre d'Étaples, Jacques

(407 words)

Author(s): Raeder, Siegfried
[German Version] (Faber, Jacob Stapulensis; c. 1455/1460, Étaples – 1536, Nérac). Lefèvre d'Étaples, a humanist and Reform theologian, is credited with having rediscovered Aristotle, whom he considered to be divinely inspired and whose texts he edited in newer translations beginning in 1492 with commentary added partly in his own hand and partly by his student, Jodocus Clichtoveus (c. 1472–1543). Lefèvre also edited writings by the church fathers (Patristics) and medieval authors. He was especiall…

Leffler, Siegfried

(168 words)

Author(s): Nicolaisen, Carsten
[German Version] (Nov 21, 1900, Azendorf – Nov 10, 1983, Hengersberg, Bavaria). Together with J. Leutheuser, the pastor Siegfried Leffler moved from Bavaria to Thuringia in 1927, where in 1928/1929 they both founded the National Socialist Church Party of the (Thuringian) Deutsche Christen (German Christians), who propagated an interdenominational German national church. He became its Reichsleiter (Reich chairman) in 1936. In 1933, Leffler was granted leave from his ecclesial duties and joined the ministry of national education in Weimar. In 1939, he…

Le Fort, Gertrud, Baroness von

(628 words)

Author(s): Hildmann, Philipp W.
[German Version] (Oct 11, 1876, Minden, Westphalia – Nov 1, 1971, Oberstdorf) was a prominent representative of the literary Renouveau catholique (“Catholic Revival”). Her poetic oeuvre envisages the divine order of the world as being configured under the sway of love for Christ and his cross, ¶ and expresses the hope for a renewal of Christian-Western humanity. Le Fort was a student of E. Troeltsch, whose “doctrine of faith” she published posthumously in 1925. She converted to Catholicism in Rome in 1926, a step already hinted at in her Hymnen an die Kirche (1924; ET: Hymns to the Church, 1…

Legal Capacity of the Church

(145 words)

Author(s): Germann, Michael
[German Version] As juridical persons, ecclesiastical corporations (Protestant regional churches, Catholic dioceses, local churches, etc.) are recognized by law as having legal rights and duties. In the context of the churches' own law this goes without saying (Legal capacity under church law). Germany's Basic Law, art. 140, with Weimar Constitution (WRV) art. 137, IV, recognizes the legal capacity of “religious bodies” “according to the general provisos of civil law”; WRV art. 137, V recognizes t…

Legal Capacity under Church Law

(302 words)

Author(s): Germann, Michael
[German Version] The legal capacity under church law is the ability to be addressed as a subject of rights and duties by the norms of church law. It neither presupposes nor necessarily follows from legal capacity under state law (Legal capacity of the church). The intrinsic criterion for the legal capacity under church law is involvement in the mission and promise of the church. It manifests itself in baptism (Matt 28:19–20: “Go” – “I am with you”). People thus acquire the legal capacity under chu…


(5 words)

[German Version] Morality
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