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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Legal Policy

(827 words)

Author(s): Starck, Christian
[German Version] I. Definition – II. Actors and Procedure – III. Criteria and Context I. Definition Legal policy is the guiding force behind legislation in the modern state (III). It seeks to respond to social situations, interests, and needs by analyzing and assessing the situations, defining the interests, and evaluating the needs. Today the shaping of society embodied in policy (Politics) is largely accomplished through legislation. The tax policy that affects the revenue of the state is embodied in tax legislation. The policies with the ¶ greatest expenditures involve the …

Legal Positivism

(393 words)

Author(s): Hruschka, Joachim
[German Version] Legal positivism is the jurisprudential doctrine that only effective statutory (“positive”) law (Law and jurisprudence) can be called “law in the strict sense” (see also positivism). Here there is a need to distinguish between sociological and normative legal positivism. Sociological positivism examines the facts of the real organization of a society. Normative positivism emphasizes instead the deontic aspects of positive law. Current debate is focused on normative positivism. ¶ In his posthumous (1861) Lectures on Jurisprudence, Austin, building on Gust…

Legal Protection

(269 words)

Author(s): Germann, Michael
[German Version] is the – especially judicial – assertion of subjective rights, i.e. of individual, legally guaranteed claims to the realization of an interest. Legal protection is an essential feature of the rule of law. The legal protection of the claims established by civil law has always been a central aspect of judiciary. Legal protection against governmental actions only became a practicable legal construction from the second half of the19th century with the dogmatic conception of public leg…


(197 words)

Author(s): Rees, Wilhelm
[German Version] (apostolic), from Lat. legare (“to dispatch/send someone”), are representatives of the Apostolic See in local churches, states, as well as at international organizations and conferences. Conciliar reform impulses ( CD art. 9f.) led to a reorganization through Pope Paul VI's motu proprio Sollicitudo Omnium Ecclesiarum (Jun 24, 1969; AAS 61, 1969, 473–484) and the CIC/1983 (cc. 362–367). The primary function of the legates is to enable communication between the pope and the local churches (c. 364); their secondary function is to act as…


(1,218 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The word legend (from Middle Lat. legenda [ sc. vita or acta]) originally denoted a text to be read during worship or within a monastic community, especially at mealtime, in walkways set aside for reading, or in the chapter house. The subject matter was the life and deeds of one or more saints (Saints/Veneration ¶ of the saints: II). For the most part, the legend was regularly read in whole or in part on the festival of the particular saint. In conjunction with the functionalization of the cult of the saints, which had already begun i…

Legio fulminata

(165 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Hartmut
[German Version] (or fulminatrix, fulminea), literally “thunderbolt legion,” the name given to the Twelfth Legion since the time of Augustus. The name is associated with a meteorological miracle: during the Marcomannic Wars, thanks to a prayer, a thunderstorm blew up that saved the Roman army from dying of thirst and drove back the enemy. The event itself is probably historical, since it is represented on the column of Marcus Aurelius. Interpretations varied according to the religion of the interpre…

Legion of Mary

(458 words)

Author(s): Ward, Kevin
[German Version] The Maria Legio Church of Kenya, also known as Legio Maria) is one of the largest African Instituted Churches (AICs) to have broken away from the Roman Catholic Church. Its base is in western Kenya, but it extends to the neighboring districts of Tanzania. The majority of adherents belong to the Luo people, but the Church understands itself to be a multi-ethnic community and includes adherents from the Kisii and Luyia peoples. It has parishes in urban areas, including the Kenyan ca…


(7 words)

[German Version] Law and Legislation

Legislation, Church

(1,397 words)

Author(s): Pirson, Dietrich
[German Version] I. Historical Development – II. Current Church Polity I. Historical Development 1. A distinctly legislative function within the church became common only after a long process of development. From the start, the church established rules, commonly called canons, governing the behavior of its members and the performance of their duties. These rules were not understood as the result of legislative decisions but as an expression of what was considered mandatory by virtue of the authority of Chr…


(535 words)

Author(s): Starck, Christian
[German Version] In addition to its general adjectival use in relation to legislation, this term is used of law-giving authority as a function of the state, also designating the institutions that enact laws (Law and legislation: V) through specific procedures (for the ecclesiastical legislative, cf. Legislation, Church). Rooted in common usage, the generally accepted precedence of the “good old law” in the Middle Ages was replaced by the priority of state legislation, which – following the ideas o…


(427 words)

Author(s): Anzenbacher, Arno
[German Version] Legitimacy relates to the justification of norms, institutions, legal entitlements, and claims to authority, together with their basis in moral and legal philosophy. With specific reference to the acceptance of authority (Dominion/Rule), M. Weber distinguished sociologically between traditional, charismatic, and rational or legal legitimacy. The discussion of the Sophists as to whether right is based solely on convention ( thései) or is established by nature ( phýsei) already distinguished between the positivistic reduction of legitimacy to lega…

Lehmann, Gottfried Wilhelm

(91 words)

Author(s): Claußen, Carsten
[German Version] (Oct 23, 1799, Hamburg – Feb 21, 1882, Berlin) was a copperplate engraver and a Baptist preacher. In 1837, he established the first Prussian Baptist congregration (Baptists) in Berlin. He cofounded the German branch of the Evangelical Alliance in 1852. Together with J. Oncken and Julius Köbner, he was one of the founding fathers of the continental European Baptists. Carsten Claußen Bibliography Works include: Offenes Sendschreiben an den Deutschen Evangelischen Kirchentag, 1854 On Lehmann: H. Luckey, Gottfried Wilhelm Lehmann und die Entstehung einer deut…

Lehmann, Johannes Edvard

(228 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Astrid
[German Version] (Aug 19, 1862, Copenhagen – Mar 23, 1930), earned a Dr.phil. in 1896 with a dissertation on the Avesta, the sacred scripture of Zoroastrianism (Zarathustra/Zoroastrianism), and was lecturer in the history of religion at the University of Copenhagen from 1900 onward. In 1910, he was appointed to the first German professorship for the “general history of religion and philosophy of religion” at the Protestant theological faculty of the University of Berlin, from which he resigned in …

Lehmus, Adam Theodor Albert Franz

(249 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Dec 2, 1777, Soest – Aug 18, 1837, Nuremberg), theologian. As a student in Halle an der Saale and Jena, Lehmus was enthused by Rationalism, I. Kant's criticism, and J.G. Fichte's idealism. A deacon from 1807 in Dinkelsbühl and Ansbach, he initially espoused, with F. Schelling and G. Hegel, a speculative theology in order to prove the internal rationality of the symbols of faith. After his appointment in 1814 as associate professor of theology and preacher at the university church…

Lehnin Prophecy

(161 words)

Author(s): Ohst, Martin
[German Version] These 100 rhymed Latin hexameters were first attested in 1693 and became better known in the early 18th century. They were attributed to the Cistercian monk Hermann von Lehnin in Brandenburg (c. 1300). The verses describe suggestively the Brandenburg rulers beginning with the house of Askanier; the last figures with identifiable traits are Prince Elector Friedrich Wilhelm I and his successor. The Reformation, with the abolition of the monastery, marks the turn for the worse. Until…

Leibholz, Gerhard

(265 words)

Author(s): Stolleis, Michael
[German Version] (Nov 15, 1901, Berlin – Feb 19, 1982, Göttingen) was an expert in constitutional law and a representative of German Cultural Protestantism in exile. Leibholz studied philosophy and law. In 1925, he supported the position – new at the time – that legislators were also bound by the equality clause of the constitution. In Das Wesen der Repräsentation (1929), he declared that “genuine” representation is incompatible with political parties and mass democracy. He also wrote studies on fascist constitutional law (1928), studies on the right to vote (1931), and on the Auflösung…

Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm

(1,166 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Hartmut
[German Version] (Jun 21/Jul 1, 1646, Leipzig – Nov 14, 1716, Hanover). As the son of a Leipzig professor of ethics, Leibniz came from orthodox Lutheranism. After studying in Leipzig and Jena, he was awarded the Dr.iur. in Altdorf in 1667. He turned down the professorship offered to him, and entered the service of the prince elector of Mainz as a legal adviser. In 1672, he went to Paris on a diplomatic mission; the four years spent there, in contact with A. Arnauld, Christian Huygens, N. Malebranc…

Leibowitz, Yeshayahu

(262 words)

Author(s): Bar-Chen, Eli
[German Version] (Jan 28, 1903, Riga – Aug 18, 1994, Jerusalem). Born into an orthodox Jewish family, Leibowitz studied in Berlin and Cologne. He emigrated to Palestine in 1935 and worked as a biochemist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, although he became known as a philosopher. Leibowitz's philosophy may be characterized as a synthesis of ¶ his scientific insights, of his extensive knowledge in the field of Jewish philosophy and Jewish literature, and of the European intellectual tradition in general. Influenced by M. Maimonides and I. Kant in …

Leiden, University

(559 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Christoph
[German Version] Wishing that the formation of pastors and jurists should not be left to the Catholic University of Leuven, William of Orange founded the first university of the northern Netherlands in Leiden in 1575. In addition to the theological and juridical fields of study, departments of philosophy and literature as well as medicine were also planned. From the very beginning, the university was characterized by a strong orientation to Humanism (III) and Calvinism. The Humanist philologists J…

Leile, George

(144 words)

Author(s): Parris, Garnet A.
[German Version] (Liele; 1750?–1825?) was the first black ordained minister in the United States. Born a slave in Virginia, Leile was converted in 1773 at his master's church, where he was baptized and accepted into membership. Shortly thereafter he was given a license to preach. In 1775 he was ordained, although he had already organized the first black Baptist church in the USA in 1773. (D. George was among the members.) Granted his freedom, Leile went to Jamaica in 1783, where his preaching to slaves there met with immediate success. By …
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