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.

Subscriptions: see

Lagrange, Marie-Joseph

(155 words)

Author(s): Schlosser, Jacques
[German Version] (Albert-Marie-Henri; Mar 7, 1855, Bourg-en-Bresse – Mar 10, 1938, Saint-Maximin), OP, exegete. Lagrange worked in Jerusalem as a scholar and teacher from 1890 to 1935. There he founded the École pratique d'études bibliques (1890), the Revue biblique (1892), and the series Études bib-¶ liques (1903). His scholarly oeuvre is impressive, amounting to some 16,000 pages, mostly published in the Études bibliques: commentaries (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Romans, Galatians), introductory studies on the New Testament (canon, textua…

Lahusen, Friedrich

(172 words)

Author(s): Roser, Matthias
[German Version] (Mar 22, 1851, Bremen – Oct 17, 1927, Bremen). After curacies in Rome and at the Berlin cathedral, as well as pastorates in Mettmann, Hamm, and Bremen, in 1899 Lahusen succeeded Ernst Hermann v. Dryander at the Dreifaltigkeitskirche in Berlin. After being named to the High Consistory in 1910, he was appointed general superintendent in 1912. In 1918 Lahusen became Wirklicher Geheimer Oberkonsistorialrat (high privy councilor) and clerical vice-president of the Evangelical High Cons…


(1,376 words)

Author(s): Weitlauff, Manfred | Germann, Michael | Klaiber, Jeffrey
[German Version] I. General Church History – II. Europe – III. Latin America I. General Church History Laicism (from Gk λαος/ laós, “people”; Laity) originated in 19th-century France ( laïcisme) as an aggressively anticlerical concept; originally it proposed absolute separation of the state, secular culture, and the church (esp. the Catholic Church; Church and state), opposing all public influence on the part of the church. Its intellectual roots were in the Enlightenment and especially the French Revolution – although it r…


(337 words)

Author(s): Potz, Richard
[German Version] Laicization means deprivation of the clerical state – by current canon law acquired at ordination to the diaconate. It is regulated by CIC/1983 ¶ cc. 290–293 and CCEO cc. 394–398. Once validly received, ordination (Consecration/Ordination/Dedication: I) can never be invalidated ( character indelibilis). Loss of the clerical state by suspension of membership in the clergy and return to the lay state (Laity: III, 1) can result from the penalty of dismissal lawfully imposed or, as a boon, by rescript of the Apostolic See. Th…


(5,415 words)

Author(s): Freiberger, Oliver | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Karrer, Leo | Schneider, Johann | Plasger, Georg | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics – IV. Practical Theology – V. North America – VI. Missiology I. Religious Studies Generally speaking, the term laity (from Gk λαος/ laós, “people”) denotes adherents of a religious tradition who do not act as religious specialists or function within a defined socio-religious class (Priesthood, Monasticism). The use of the term is therefore inappropriate in religions without religious specialists, for example Islam. In some religions, the laity, who…

Lakatos, Imre

(253 words)

Author(s): Murphy, Nancey
[German Version] (1922, Lipschitz, Hungary – Feb 2, 1974, London), mathematician and philosopher of science. He was a member of the Hungarian resistance to the German occupation during World War II. Lakatos pursued a political career until his arrest in 1950, fled to Vienna in 1956 and to Cambridge where he earned a second doctorate under Richard Bevan Braithwaite. He was appointed to a lectureship at the London School of Economics where he taught until his death. In Lakatos's novel account of mat…

Lake, Frank

(170 words)

Author(s): Schröder, Bernd
[German Version] (Jun 6, 1914, Aughton, Lancashire – May 10, 1982, Nottingham). After studying medicine at Edinburgh, from 1937 to 1951 Lake worked for the Church Missionary Society as a doctor in India. ¶ Upon returning to England, he trained as a psychiatrist. In the late 1950s, he wove together psychoanalytic (Psychoanalysis) and (revivalistic) theological insights to form what he called “clinical theology.” Its central elements included the idea of a dynamic cycle (Life, Cycle of), drawn from the life of Jesus and his relati…


(879 words)

Author(s): Powers, William K.
[German Version] is a self-designated term for a group of Native American Indians, otherwise known as Teton or western Sioux (“snakes,” a pejorative description of people who have no language). The indigenous Lakota originate from the region of present-day Minnesota, but moved to the Great Plains at the start of the 18th century, where they mainly lived off buffalo hunting after having acquiried horses. In the 19th century the Lakota were considered the “typical” representatives of Indian warriors…


(517 words)

Author(s): Böll, Verena
[German Version] Lālibalā is a famous group of monolithic churches in the Wollo (Lasta) region of Ethiopia (Church architecture: V, 2). The site (formerly called Roha), at an elevation of 2,600 m, was made the capital of the Zagwe Dynasty (c. 1137–1270) during the reign of King Lālibalā (c. 1181–1221). Ethiopian tradition ascribes to him the construction of the eleven churches, each hewn out of a single block of reddish rock (tuff). His gadl (vita of a saint) recounts that God commissioned Lālibalā to re-create Jerusalem in Ethiopia. The names and configuration of th…


(6 words)

[German Version] Tibetan Buddhism


(351 words)

Author(s): Berg, Christian
[German Version] Lamarckism is a theory of the evolution of biological organisms that goes back to J.-B. de Lamarck. Around 1800 Lamarck broke with the established notion that biological species represented groups of living creatures unchanged since the dawn of creation. Drawing in part on fossil evidence, he explained graduated similarities between different complex organisms along with structural and functional differences as a consequence of ongoing modification in which species continually mut…

Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Antoine Pierre de Monet, Chevalier de

(268 words)

Author(s): Berg, Christian
[German Version] (Aug 1, 1744, Bazentin – Dec 18, 1829, Paris), French naturalist. Lamarck was the youngest of eleven children in an impoverished aristocratic family. During voluntary military service, he became a self-taught botanist; later he studied medicine. In 1778 he published a highly regarded work on the flora of France, in which he introduced a new method of identifying plants. In 1793 he was made professor of “insects, worms, and microscopic animals” in the newly created National Museum of Natural History. He introduced the term invertebrates for this group of fauna and…

Lambert, Franz

(411 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] (1487, Avignon – Apr 18, 1530, Frankenberg an der Eder), Reformer in Hessen, author of numerous works in which he demonstrated independence, but repudiated Humanism and finally Lutheranism. After becoming a Franciscan in 1501, he became an itinerant preacher expounding biblical texts. In 1522 he went to Switzerland and discussed theology with Zwingli. Their conversation led him to go to Wittenberg to work at the center of the Reformation. Though initially hesitant, Luther accepted…

Lambert of Hersfeld

(136 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, Wilfried
[German Version] (before 1028 – shortly after 1081). Educated in Bamberg, Lambert entered the Hersfeld monastery in 1058 and in 1081 became abbot of Hasungen, near Kassel. Besides a life of Lullus of Mainz, the founder of Hersfeld, Lambert is noted primarily for his Annales, a historical work that begins with creation and from 1040 to 1077 becomes a detailed presentation of contemporary history. Stylistically echoing Livy and Sallust, Lambert describes the reigns of Henry III, whom he revered, and Henry IV, whom he virtually hated. He was…

Lambeth Conferences

(569 words)

Author(s): Bray, Gerald Lewis
[German Version] Lambeth Conference is the name given to meetings of the bishops who are in communion with the archbishop of Canterbury. The name is derived from Lambeth Palace in London, which is the archbishop's official residence. The first Lambeth ¶ Conference was held in 1867 in order to resolve doctrinal and disciplinary problems which had arisen in different Anglican churches (Anglican Church) around the world, but especially in South Africa. The initiative was taken by the Canadian church, which wanted to establish an internati…

Lamb (of God)

(1,219 words)

Author(s): Taeger, Jens-Wilhelm | Benga, Daniel | Frenschkowski, Marco
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. Eastern Liturgy – III. Christian Art I. New Testament Apart from Luke 10:3 and John 21:15, where it designates the disciples and the community (otherwise sheep), the word lamb appears only in christological contexts. Its Old Testamant associations are clear in 1 Cor 5:7, where Paul refers to Christ as “our paschal lamb that has been sacrificed,” whose death – according to the context – sets Christians free for new life, and in Acts 8:32–35, where a quotation from Isa 53:7f. LXX is applie…

Lambourne, Robert Alfred

(171 words)

Author(s): Schröder, Bernd
[German Version] (often called Bob; Jun 5, 1917, Edgbaston, Birmingham – Apr 2, 1972, Edgbaston). From 1945 to 1961, Lambourne worked as a general medical practitioner; after additional studies in theology and psychology, including work with Michael Balint (1896–1970), he served from 1964 until his death as lecturer in pastoral studies (Pastoral theology) in the department of theology of the University of Birmingham. He was interested in the salutary impact of the gospel in the broadest sense. Fro…


(517 words)

Author(s): Schröder, Bernd | Weiß, Otto
[German Version] 1. Luigi (baptismal name: Emanuele Nicoló; May 16, 1776, Sestri Levante – May 12, 1854, Rome), Barnabite. Lambruschini was appointed to the Curia in 1814; at the Congress of Vienna, he served as an adviser to E. Consalvi (concordats with France, Bavaria, and Naples). In 1819 be became archbishop of Genoa; from 1826 to 1830 he served as papal nuncio in Paris (opposing H. de Lamennais). In 1831 he was made Cardinal and from 1836 to 1846 served as papal secretary of state. In the 1846 …

Lamech/Song of Lamech

(8 words)

[German Version] Primordial History

Lamennais, Hugues Félicité Robert de

(193 words)

Author(s): Kracht, Klaus Große
[German Version] (or La Mennais; Jun 19, 1782, Saint Malo – Feb 27, 1854, Paris), Catholic priest and theological and political writer. Lamennais, whose father was a ship-owner ennobled by Louis XVI, was ordained priest in 1816 without a theological education. In the spirit of French traditionalism, ¶ as a teacher and writer he initially attacked Gallicanism (France, Theology in). In 1830 he founded the daily L'Avenir, whose campaign for freedom of belief and conscience soon made it the voice of liberal Catholicism in France. Lamennais's criticism of the inner…
▲   Back to top   ▲