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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Leipoldt, Johannes

(192 words)

Author(s): Haufe, Günther
[German Version] (Dec 20, 1880, Dresden – Feb 22, 1965, Ahrenshoop). Dr.phil. in 1903, Lic.theol. in 1905, Privatdozent in church history in Leipzig from 1905, then in Halle from 1906, associate professor in Halle in 1909, professor of New Testament in Kiel from 1909, in Münster from 1914, in Leipzig from 1916, made professor emeritus in 1959, visiting lecturer in Rostock from 1959. Leipoldt was one of the most distinguished historians of religion in his time, had a command of several Near Eastern languages, and…

Leipzig Disputation (1519)

(8 words)

[German Version] Luther, Martin

Leipzig Disputation (1827)

(8 words)

[German Version] Hahn, August

Leipzig Mission

(269 words)

Author(s): van der Heyden, Ulrich
[German Version] Leipzig Mission, a mission society founded by Lutherans in Dresden on Aug 17, 1836, as a follow-up to a support association that had been organized in 1819 to assist the Basel Mission and which moved to Leipzig in 1848. From 1832 to 1848, as a “preliminary school” it began training missionaries for the Basel Mission. Following the intention of its first director K. Graul (1844–1860), the society was to become the mission-dedicated rallying point of German-speaking Lutheranism. The…

Leipzig, University

(1,215 words)

Author(s): Wartenberg, Günther
[German Version] The rising commercial city of Leipzig was shaped by the development of the land by the Wettins, with recognition as a city c. 1165, as well as by the founding of St. Thomas, a seminary of Augustinian Canons, in 1212 and of the Dominican monastery in 1229. The establishment of the University of Leipzig on Dec 2, 1409 (confirmed by Pope Alexander V on Sep 9, 1409), as a consequence of the Western Schism of 1378, bundled the interests of the masters of the Prague Schools of Arts and …

Leisure Time

(1,098 words)

Author(s): Siemann, Jutta
[German Version] I. Concept; Social History – II. Social Ethics – III. Practical Theology I. Concept; Social History 1. The concept of free (or leisure) time derives from a period of legal immunity in the Middle Ages. The German word Freizeit still used today for a religious retreat (E. Wunderlich, “Freizeiten,” RGG 3 III, 1958, 1122–1124). The notion of leisure time made its appearance in the context of industrialization and the struggle of trade unions for extended periods of rest for workers. Sociology treats it as the opposite of labor, wi…

Le Maistre Family

(187 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Christoph
[German Version] The three Le Maistre brothers were Jansenist theologians (Jansenism). The oldest, Antoine (May 2, 1608, Paris – Nov 4, 1658, Port Royal), was a successful lawyer in Paris and came under the influence of J. Duvergier de Hauranne, one of the first hermits in Port-Royal Abbey. Known for his piety, Antoine wrote apologies and, among other writings, also a biography of Bernard of Clairvaux. He began a Bible translation that was continued by the youngest brother, Isaac Louis (Mar 29, 1613, Paris – Jan 4, 1684, Pomponne; called Le Maistre de Sacy), who was the mo…

Leme da Silveira Cintra, Sebastião

(188 words)

Author(s): Bosl v. Papp, Katharina
[German Version] Leme da Silveira Cintra, Sebastião, (1882, Pinhal, São Paulo – Oct 17, 1942, Rio de Janeiro) was ordained priest in 1904 and consecrated bishop in 1911 in Rome. From 1916 to 1921, he was archbishop of Olinda and Recife, then bishop in 1921, and on Apr 18, 1930, he became archbishop of Rio de Janeiro. On Jun 5, 1930, he was appointed cardinal. He had a considerable influence on the shape of Catholic life in Brazil during the First Republic (1889–1930) and the authoritarian regime o…

Lempp, Albert

(141 words)

Author(s): Nicolaisen, Carsten
[German Version] (Feb 13, 1884, Heutingsheim, Württemberg – Jun 9, 1943, Starnberg) became the owner of the Christian Kaiser publishing house in Munich in 1911. At first Lempp's emphasis was on Bavarian liberal Protestantism (C. Geyer, F. Rittelmeyer), but then he became – with G. Merz as his theological consultant – the publishing pioneer and promoter of the works and series of K. Barth and his friends (Dialectical theology), without neglecting the Bavarian tradition and Lutheran theology. In the so-called Kirchenkampf (National Socialism: I), a circle of critical theologi…

Lenau, Nikolaus

(105 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Thomas
[German Version] Lenau, Nikolaus, (actually Niembsch Edler von Strehlenau; Aug 13, 1802, Csatád, Hungary – Aug 22, 1850, sanatorium Oberdöbling, Austria) was an Austrian lyric poet and writer of epic verse, who combined melancholy with traits of rebellion and social criticism, and was thus exemplary of the inner conflict of his epoch (Biedermeier, Vormärz ). He wrote atmospheric nature lyrics of great musicality, but also wrote poetry with a commitment to intellectual and political freedom. He employed material from the history o…

Lengeling, Emil Joseph

(178 words)

Author(s): Richter, Klemens
[German Version] (May 26, 1916, Dortmund – Jun 18, 1986, Münster), a Catholic theologian. In 1941, he was ordained priest; in 1959, he became professor of liturgical studies at the University of Münster; from 1962 to 1965, council adviser at Vatican II. In 1964, he was consultant to the committee for carrying out the liturgical constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium and to the Roman Congregation for Divine Worship. He was also the facilitator of several study groups on the renewal of the liturgy, which, as the dialogue between God and human beings, was for him the basic accom-¶ plishment of t…


(967 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Marxism-Leninism as a Worldview – III. The Leninist Concept of the Party – IV. The Leninist Theory of Revolution – V. Assessment I. Concept In various writings immediately after the death of V. Lenin, J. Stalin coined the term “Leninism” to characterize Marxist theory as elaborated by Lenin. Since the 1920s, the communist parties (Communism) have placed Lenin's writings, in canonical fashion, alongside the works of K. Marx and F. Engels. In the self- concept of the Soviet Communist move…

Lenin, Vladimir Ilich

(440 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] (Apr 22, 1870, Simbirsk [now Ulyanovsk] – Jan 21, 1924, Gorki [now Gorki Leninskiye], near Moscow; pseudonym since 1901 of V. Ilich Ulyanov). On Nov 8, 1917, after the successful October Revolution, the theoretician, organizer, and widely influential spokesman of the radical, Bolshevik wing of Russian social democracy was elected “chairman of the Council of People's Commissars,” thus becoming the head of the Soviet Russian government. In his theoretical works and through his political activity, he laid the foundations of Soviet communism. When he began to study…


(5 words)

[German Version] Fasting

Lenten Pastoral Letters

(180 words)

Author(s): Gessel, Wilhelm M.
[German Version] Lenten pastoral letters are a special form of episcopal communication at the beginning of Lent (Fasting). The earliest prototypes are the Epistles of the apostles and the letters to local communities in the post-apostolic period. Beginning in the 18th century, these letters took on increasing importance in Germany as Lenten pastoral letters. It is important to distinguish didactic letters from those dealing with ethical, pastoral, and social questions. These letters go back to the…

Lenten Sermon

(6 words)

[German Version] Fasting

Lentulus, Letter of

(247 words)

Author(s): Frenschkowski, Marco
[German Version] The Letter of Lentulus is an apocryphal “contemporary” description of Jesus' personality and appearance: long, dark brown hair, parted in the middle and curling below his ears, a short, slightly forked beard, bluish-gray eyes; a handsome, serious radiance (cf. Ps 45:3*). First mentioned c. 1350 by Ludolf the Carthusian, it probably dates from the 13th or 14th century (Italy?). It is preserved in manuscripts dating from the 14th through the 16th century. In the 14th and 15th centuries…


(564 words)

Author(s): Soboth, Christian
[German Version] 1. Christian David (Dec 26, 1720, Köslin [Koszalin], Pomerania – Aug 14, 1798, Riga), Lutheran theologian. In 1737 he began theological studies in Halle. In 1739 he was appointed tutor at the girls' school of the Halle orphanage; in 1740/1741 he served as a private tutor in Livonia and from 1742 held various pastorates there. In 1779 he was appointed general superintendent of Livonia. Beginning in 1741, he kept a journal based on the blood-and-wounds theology of N. v. Zinzendorf. In …

Leo Baeck Institute

(158 words)

Author(s): Römer, Nils
[German Version] The Leo Baeck Institute was established in Jerusalem, London, and New York in 1955 by the Council of Jews from Germany in order to promote the study of German Jewish history (L. Baeck). The New York institute has a library of 60,000 volumes, ¶ a large art collection, and extensive archives. A branch has been housed since 2001 in the Jewish Museum Berlin. The institute's Yearbook has been published in London since 1956, while its Bulletin has been published in Jerusalem, joined recently by the Jüdischer Almanach. In Germany the institute supports a Wissenschaftliche…

Leo, Heinrich

(361 words)

Author(s): Maltzahn, Christoph Frhr.v.
[German Version] (Mar 19, 1799, Rudolstadt – Apr 24, 1878, Halle), Protestant historian. After studying classical philology, philosophy, theology, and history, Leo was appointed associate professor in Berlin in 1825; in 1830 he was appointed full professor in Halle, where he served as rector from 1854 to 1856. After 1832 he was a political conservative and a pietist with catholicizing leanings. He conceptualized his ideal of an organic and systematic state in accordance with the Romantic notion of…
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