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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Laud, William

(275 words)

Author(s): Carter, Grayson
[German Version] (Oct 7, 1573, Reading, England – Jan 10, 1645, London), archbishop of Canterbury. Educated at St. John's College, Oxford, he opposed, early in life, the prevailing Calvinistic theology. Of considerable talent and learning, he was appointed to a rapid succession of ecclesiastical appointments, including dean of Glouc…

Laughter and Weeping

(373 words)

Author(s): Gilhus, Ingvild Sælid
[German Version] Laughter and weeping are usually regarded as exclusively human expressions. They involve basic physiological processes, appear in social contexts and reflect culturally specific meanings. Laughter and weeping may appear as elements in myths and rituals. Sometimes they are obligatory, other times restricted. Laughter may be a characteristic of the divine world. The gods of ancient Greece laughed boisterously. Apuleius of Madaura and Plutarch both mention a god of laughter and, in a…

Laura

(326 words)

Author(s): Perrone, Lorenzo
[German Version] In Eastern monasticism, a laura (or lavra) is a particular type of monastic community; it differs from cenobitic monasticism (Cenobites) in practicing a moderate form of anachoretic life (Anchorites). Greek λαὑρα/ laúra means “alley” or “passage”; originally it denoted a colony of hermits consisting of scattered cells connected by a path. The term came into use in Byzantine Palestine in the 4th century. The lavrite system is associated with the name of Chariton, who established monastic life in the Judean Deser…

Laurentius Andreae

(326 words)

Author(s): Jarlert, Anders
[German Version] (Lars Andersson; c. 1470 – Apr 14, 1552, Strängnäs, Sweden). After studies at Rostock, Andreae received his M.A. from Leipzig in 1498. In 1501/1502 he was appointed secretary to the bishop of Strängnäs and papal nuncio in Rome; c. 1518–1538 he served as archdeacon in both Strängnäs and Uppsala. In 1523 he was made secretary to King Gustav and a member of the Council of the Realm. He was dismissed in 1531 and condemned to death in Örebro, along with O. Petri, on the charge of lèse majesté;…

Lausanne Covenant

(281 words)

Author(s): Fiedler, Klaus

Lausanne, University

(555 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Christoph
[German Version] A year after the annexation of Vaud in 1536, the Bernese council established an academy in Lausanne, whose primary purpose was the training of Reformed clergy for the Francophone territories under Bernese rule. Until the Academy of Geneva (II) was founded in 1559, Lausanne was the only school of Protestant theo…

Laval, François de Montmorency

(185 words)

Author(s): Ellens, Jacob P.
[German Version] (Apr 30, 1623, Montigny-sur-Aure, France – May 6, 1708, Quebec, Canada) was the first bishop of Quebec. Laval was trained for the priesthood in the premie…

Lavater, Johann Kaspar

(421 words)

Author(s): Weigelt, Horst
[German Version] (Nov 15, 1741, Zürich – Jan 2, 1801, Zürich). After studying theology at the Collegium Carolinum, Lavater undertook an educational tour to Germany, staying several months in Barth with J. Spalding and in Berlin, where he visited ¶ M. Mendelssohn. Du…

Lavigerie, Charles Martial Allemand

(301 words)

Author(s): Gründer, Horst
[German Version] (Oct 31, 1825, Huire, near Bayonne – Nov 25, 1892, Algiers), cardinal (1881) and missionary. Lavigerie, whose father was a middle-class government official, was ordained priest in 1849 and appointed to a professorship in ¶ church history at the …

Law and Church

(9 words)

[German Version] Canon Law/Church Law

Law and Gospel

(2,755 words)

Author(s): Schwöbel, Christoph
[German Version] The distinction between law and gospel has its theological setting in Luther's discovery at the dawn of the Reformation; from that beginning, it informed the debates within Lutheranism during the Reformation, the attempt to resolve them in the Lutheran articles of faith (I), and the deliberations of Reformed theology. Only in the context of the theological confessionalization in the 19th century and even more in the theological, ecclesiastical, and political debates of the 20th ce…

Law and Jurisprudence

(7,535 words)

Author(s): Loos, Fritz | Antes, Peter | Otto, Eckart | Schiemann, Gottfried | Lindemann, Andreas | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept and Legal Definition – II. History of Religion – III. Ancient Near East and Old Testament – IV. Greco-Roman Antiquity – V. New Testament – VI. Dogmatics – VII. Ethics of Law – VIII. Sociology of Law I. Concept and Legal Definition There is no generally accepted definition of law. At most, there is a consensus that law is basically to be understood as the politically institutionalized order of human relations. The observance of the (general) rules (i.e. compliance or sanctioning of transgressions) emanatin…

Law and Legislation

(7,555 words)

Author(s): Michaels, Axel | Otto, Eckart | Räisänen, Heikki | Sparn, Walter | Starck, Christian
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics and Ethics – V. Politics and Jurisprudence I. History of Religion Laws are generally regarded as formulated, i.e. sentential and often codified rules of life and coexistence; this ¶ refers especially to principles of nature (Law/Natural law) and norms of action (Commandment, Ethics). For the modern age, the validity of natural laws arises from hypothetical laws that have been verified through observation and experiments, and have thereby been proven or j…

Lawes, William George

(273 words)

Author(s): Ahrens, Theodor
[German Version] (Jul 1, 1839, Aldermaston, England – Aug 6, 1907, Waverly, Australia). Lawes was sent to Niue (Savage Island, dependent on New Zealand) by the London Missionary Society (LMS). During his time there (1861–1872), he taught, translated biblical texts, and developed a local craft organization. He took his experience on Niue with him to Papua (Papua New Guinea) in 1874, where he strengthened the newly begun work of the LMS. In cooperation with Polynesian missionaries, especially Ruatok…

Law, Islamic

(6 words)

[German Version] Islam

Law, Liturgical

(7 words)

[German Version] Liturgical Law

Law/Natural Law

(1,619 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk
[German Version] I. Natural Science – II. Dogmatics – III. Ethics I. Natural Science The term “natural law” refers to a general norm of the order of nature that reveals regularities or causal relationships between the phenomena of a specific process area. A natural law has an explanatory and prognostic function, and thus constitutes the basis of calculated intervention in the processes it describes. In the natural sciences, a natural law is understood as the norm of a constant relationship between different classes of natural phenomena that can be depicte…

Lawrence, David Herbert

(151 words)

Author(s): Rylance, Rick
[German Version] (Sep 11, 1885, Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England – Mar 2, 1930, Vence, France) was a controversial writer and the son of free-thinking Congregationalists (Congregationalism). An enquiring spirit led Lawrence quickly to dissent. He explored evolutionary thinkers like C. Darwin and W. James, but eventually himself rebelled against materialism. Thereafter, he formulated no settled opinions but remained passionately committed to the spiritual significance of sexuality, articulated wi…

Lawrence of Brindisi (Saint)

(264 words)

Author(s): Pfnür, Vinzenz
[German Version] (Giulio Cesare Rossi; Jul 22, 1559, Brindisi – Jul 22, 1619, Lisbon) was proclaimed Doctor apostolicus of the Church on Mar 19, 1959, having been canonized on Dec 8, 1881 (commemoration day: July 21). A Capuchin friar (from 1575), he officiated as provincial superior (Tuscany: 1590–1592; Venice: 1594–1596; Genoa: 1613–1616), commissary general of the Austrian-Bohemian province (founding monasteries in Innsbruck, Salzburg, Prague, Vienna, and Graz), as well as definitor general and…

Lawrence of Novara

(189 words)

Author(s): Bracht, Katharina
[German Version] was probably, in the second quarter of the 5th century, bishop of Novara (northern Italy). Three homilies are preserved: De duobus temporibus (also: De paenitentia), De eleemosyna, and De muliere chananaea, the latter probably being the free translation of a sermon of J. Chrysostom (PG 52, 449–460). In De duobus temporibus, Lawrence of Novara developed a theology of penance according to which two different modes of the remission of sins correspond to two different periods of time: in the first instance, remission is ¶ granted as a gift by God in baptism through t…

Lawrence of Rome (Saint)

(222 words)

Author(s): Bracht, Katharina
[German Version] (died 258 ce). Lawrence, a deacon under the Roman bishop Sixtus II, died as a martyr in the Valerian persecution (Persecutions of Christians: I) and was buried in a crypt on the Via Tiburtina. As early as the reign of Constantine the Great, a chapel had already been erected on the saint's tomb – later San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura, today one of the seven principal churches of Rome. Very early on, Lawrence was revered as a saint in both East and West (feast day Aug 10) and included in th…

Law, William

(253 words)

Author(s): Carter, Grayson
[German Version] (1686, King's Cliffe, Northamptonshire – Apr 9, 1761, King's Cliffe), Nonjuror and English theologian. He was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he became a fellow in 1711. In 1714, upon the accession of George I, Law refused the Oath of Allegiance, was deprived of his fellowship, and joined the Jacobites (Jacobitism). He later served as private tutor to the Gibbons family in Putney. In 1740, he retired to his birthplace, where he became domestic chaplain to a small ho…

Lay Abbot

(106 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] A lay abbot in the narrow sense, is a layman who is entrusted with the conduct and use of a monastery without being a member of its convent or even a monk. In the Frankish Empire of the 9th and 10th centuries and its successor states, members of the nobility were particularly frequently vested with this function. In a secondary meaning, lay abbot also designates the clerical holder of a commendam, who does not have the status of a monk (frequent from the High Middle Ages to the early modern period). Ulrich Köpf Bibliography F.J. Felten, Äbte und Laienäbte im Frankenreich, 1980.

Lay Apostolate

(1,005 words)

Author(s): Eisenkopf, Paul
[German Version] The term “lay apostolate” became common at the turn of the 19th to the 20th centuries in the Catholic Church for the manifold activities that Catholics had developed in the first half of the 19th century. The Enlightenment and secularization had ¶ brought significant restrictions on the church and the clergy. On the other hand, they opened possibilities for the Catholic laity to avail themselves of the new rights of freedom that were gradually being offered to the benefit of the life of the church. A number of association…

Lay Brothers

(426 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] ( conversi) are, in the narrower sense, members of a religious community who are not ordained. In the course of history, however, the name fratres laici or conversi has designated various groups of persons. In the early medieval period, conversi were monks who, in contrast to ( pueri) oblati (Oblates: I) who were consigned to a monastery already as children, entered the monastery only as adults. In addition to this so-called “older institution of conversi,” a “younger institution of conv…

Lay Church Drama

(412 words)

Author(s): Klie, Thomas
[German Version] Religious amateur theater as a way of dramatizing biblical motifs of the Christian faith has its roots in the liturgy. There is evidence of Easter plays as early as the 9th century; their nucleus was the so-called Easter trope ( Quem queritis: Luke 24:5b). Later passion plays and Christmas plays were presented, as well as eschatological plays (portraying the Antichrist and the Last Judgment) and saints' plays. In the Middle Ages, liturgical and didactic interests rendered obsolete the earlier Christian polemic against the ludi theatrales; as a rule, clergy provid…

Lay Communities/Lay Orders

(273 words)

Author(s): Haering, Stephan
[German Version] Lay associations within the Catholic Church trace their traditions far back in the church's system of orders, confraternities, and communities. Vatican II emphasized the importance of lay communities for implementation of a Christian vocation and participation in the apostolate (PC 10, AA 18–21). The faithful are urged quite generally to hold such associations in high esteem ( CIC/1983 cc. 327, 574 §1; CCEO c. 411). Canon law distinguishes lay communities recognized as religious orders (lay religious and secular institutes, societies of the …

Lay Confession

(400 words)

Author(s): Sattler, Dorothea
[German Version] Since biblical times, the community of believers has considered the experience that sins hidden within the heart burden sinners, robbing them of vital energy and nurturing fears of divine judgment (Ps 32:3–6). Candid confession of guilt restores confidence and assurance. Talking about sins brings insight into implications that would otherwise remain hidden, opens paths to reconciliation, and gives comfort in situations of hopeless despair. Mutual confession of sins has therapeutic power (Jas 5:16). In the history of theology, lay confession has gone th…

Laye, Camara

(240 words)

Author(s): Spindler, Marc R.
[German Version] (Jan 1, 1928, Kouroussa, Guinea – Feb 4, 1980, Dakar, Senegal) was one of the first African novelists of international repute. A member of one of the most influential casts, Laye was educated in Guinea and France. His award-winning first novel L'enfant noir (1953; ET: The Dark Child, 1954) is a romanced autobiography staged in an idyllic African village. Le regard du Roi (1954; ET: The Radiance of the King, 1956) is a phantasmagoric story of Clarence, a white man without qualities, going a long way toward initiation into the mystery of grace. Clare…

Laying-On of Hands

(1,802 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Janowski, Bernd | Lips, Hermann v. | Biehl, Peter
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies The laying-on or imposition of hands is a physical gesture usually performed in the context of a ritualized series of actions or as a symbol by itself. It can be ascribed to a divine being conceived anthropomorphically. The ritual gesture is attested in many cultures, especially in the ancient Near East, but it is not universal – it is unknown, for example, in Buddhism and Islam. Its mean…

Laymen's Foreign Missions Inquiry

(222 words)

Author(s): Ustorf, Werner
[German Version] (1932). The so-called Laymen's Report comprises Re-Thinking Missions: A Laymen's Inquiry after One Hundred Years, by a commission chaired by W. Hocking, and a seven-volume Supplementary Series, containing detailed reports from the Protestant missions to Asia and their American sponsors. The report, which provoked much controversy, is a masterpiece of missiology (Mission studies) in…

Lay Movement

(1,253 words)

Author(s): Schumacher, Rolf | Schroeter-Wittke, Harald
[German Version] I. Catholicism – II. Protestantism I. Catholicism The Catholic lay movement is understood as the joint involvement of Catholic men and women in political, social, and cultural issues of the day, based on premises that have been worked out in discussion and dialogue. The beginnings of the organized Catholic lay movement in Germany came in the middle of the 19th century. In 1848 Franz Adam Lennig founded the first Piusverein für religiöse Freiheit (Pius Association for Religious Freedom,…

Laynez, Diego

(237 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Bernd Christian
[German Version] (Lainez; 1512, Almazán, Castile – Jan 19, 1565, Rome) studied at the University of Alcalá from 1528 onward (B.A., 1531; M.A., 1532), and later went to Paris, where he soon became the most zealous and closest disciple of Ignatius of Loyola. He did the spiritual exercises and took his vows on Montmartre on Aug 15, 1534. After further theological studies in Paris and Rome and ordination in Venice in 1537, he was dispatched to the Council of Trent in 1546, where he participated in all the Council's sessions. There, he strongly opposed the (Augustinian) doctrine of the duplex iust…

Lay Offices

(605 words)

Author(s): Neuner, Peter
[German Version] In Catholic theology the term “office” is reserved primarily for the office of the ordained, that is, the office of the bishop, the priest, and the deacon (Office VI, 3). In addition, there are traditional ecclesiastical duties, especially in the realms of administration and diakonia, that are performed voluntarily on a full or part-time basis, and that are understood in the broader sense of the word “office.” Officially they are called “services” or “ministries” as distinct from offices. Although biblically the term “laity” refers to all believers in Christ and distinguishes them from nonbelievers, in Roman law there was a distinction between ordo (officialdom) and plebs (ordinary people) which gradually prevailed also in the ecclesiastical realm, especially after the change brought about by Constantine. The related division of the church into two classes of membership reached its highpoint in the framework of the Gregorian reform, in which the influence of the nonordained on spiritual affairs was reduced. Since then, nonordained services in the church have usually required acceptance into the clergy class (Clergy and Laity) through the reception of “minor orders” (Consecration/Ordination/Dedication: I). From…

Lay Preaching

(533 words)

Author(s): Jörns, Klaus-Peter
[German Version] Because preaching is tied to Scripture and liturgy, the question whether individuals without ordination (and usually also without theological training) may preach in worship always raises the question whether those who preach have special status and how they should be trained. The Methodists have been most consistent in adhering to the insight of the early Reformers that baptism ordains all the faithful through the Holy Spirit. With respect to proclamation of the gospel, however, …

Layritz, Friedrich

(178 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] (Lairitz; Jan 30, 1808, Nemmersdorf – Mar 18, 1859, Unterschwaningen), Lutheran theologian and hymnologist. After studying theology and philosophy in Leipzig (Dr.phil. 1829) and Erlangen, where he was tutor at the faculty theology from 1833 to 1837, Layritz served as a parish priest in Merkendorf-Hirschlach, Bayreuth (St. Georgen), and Unterschwaningen. In a programmatic “Open Missive” and the edition of compilations of church hymns, Layritz spoke out for a revival of church music…

Lay Theology, Russian

(358 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] The expression Russian lay theology is really inadequate to describe a phenomenon that is unique to Russian Orthodoxy. It is neither a theology by and for laity as such nor a theology contrary to the doctrinal decisions reached by episcopal synods. It is in fact antonymic to the Russian scholastic theology that in the 19th century was still strongly shaped by the doctrinal content and ways of thinking of Western Scholasticism and was felt to be cut off from reality. There was a desire…

Lazarists

(5 words)

[German Version] Vincentians/Lazarists

Lazarus

(346 words)

Author(s): Reinmuth, Eckart
[German Version] Lazarus, is a literary figure in Luke and John (Gk from Heb. Eleazar, “God helps”; cf. Matt 1:15). While John 11:1–12:11 identifies Lazarus as the brother of the sisters Mary and Martha (cf. Luke 10:38ff.), the parable in Luke 16:19–31 portrays him as a fictitious person whose fate after death is contrasted with that of an unnamed rich man. Since the use of a personal name in parables is atypical and unique in the New Testament, the significance of the theophorous sentence-name “Lazarus” (“Go…

Lazarus, Moritz

(160 words)

Author(s): Römer, Nils
[German Version] (Sep 15, 1824, Filehne, Poznán – Apr 13, 1903, Meran), was initially professor at the University of Bern, where he later became director of the department of philosophy and finally rector of the university. In 1873, he was appointed honorary profes-¶ sor at the University of Berlin, while he also lectured at the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums (Colleges and universities, Jewish). Together with his brother-in-law H. Steinthal, he published the journal Zeitschrift fürVölkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft (1860–1886). In Ethik des Judenthums (189…

Leade, Jane

(311 words)

Author(s): Albrecht-Birkner, Veronika
[German Version] ( née Ward; 1623/1624, Norfolk – Aug 19, 1704, London). Born as the twelfth child of a wealthy tobacco trader, Leade soon developed an exceptional religious sensibility and attained a secure faith after years of inner conflict. In 1644, she married the London tradesman William Leade (died 1670). From 1663 onward, she began studying the writings of J. Böhme under the guidance of J. Pordage, in the course of which she came into contact with the Philadelphians. Since the death of her…

League of Nations

(394 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] The notion of a league of nations – drawn in part from motifs of Judeo-Christian eschatology (Isa 2:2–4) – goes back to widely broadcast plans for an organization devoted to world peace that were developed in the early 14th century (Pierre Dubois), in the 17th century (Maximilien de Sully, W. Penn), and at the beginning of the 18th century (Abbé de St. Pierre), but above all in I. Kant's philosophical tract Zum ewigen Frieden (1795; ET: Perpetual Peace, 1915). Against this background, even during World War I but especially in his Fourteen Points of Jan 18,…

Leander of Seville (Saint)

(235 words)

Author(s): Herbers, Klaus
[German Version] (c. 540, Cartagena, Spain – Mar 13, between 599 and 601 [on this, see Fontane, 113], Seville), was the brother of St. Florentina, of Fulgentius (bishop of Ecija), and of the church father Isidore of Seville. He was the son of an illustrious Romanized family and became archbishop of Seville after the death of Pope Stephen II around 578. He succeeded in converting the Visigoth (Goths) Hermenegild to the Catholic faith, who led an ultimately unsuccessful revolt against his father Leo…

Learning

(880 words)

Author(s): Schweitzer, Friedrich
[German Version] I. Concept and History – II. The Present – III. Religious Education and Theology I. Concept and History It has often been observed that the term learning is highly ambiguous, in large part because until recently it has only been used colloquially. Since ancient times, the shifting concepts of learning have derived from the concepts of teaching and instruction, as well as the concepts of education, formation (Education/Formation), ¶ and school. The concepts of knowledge and understanding (Epistemology) debated in Greek philosophy (Sophistic schoo…

Learning, Autonomous

(442 words)

Author(s): Berg, Horst Klaus
[German Version] Both the German term Freiarbeit (“free work”) and the concept of autonomous ¶ learning have their roots in the pedagogical reform movement (Progressive education). M. Montessori (Montessori education), Peter Petersen, Hugo Gaudig, and Célestine Freinet advocate – with differing emphasis – the basic thesis that learning should be conceived as an open process in which, with self-direction, children (Child/Childhood) and young people (Youth/Adolescence) appropriate what they need for their development (III) and orientation in life. Contemporary approaches t…

Lebanon

(1,209 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
[German Version] The name “Lebanon,” if from the Semitic, could be translated as “white” mountain, but it may also be of pre-Semitic origin. The Lebanon Mountains, together with the coastal plain and the Bekaa Valley, constitute the heartland of the modern state of Lebanon. The crest of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains is the border with Syria, which also constitutes the northern boundary. In the south, Israel is the border. With a length of 220 km and a width of 40–70 km, the state of Lebanon has a surface area of 10,400 km2. The highest peak rises to 3,088 m. The majority of the populati…

Lebbaeus

(7 words)

[German Version] Twelve, The (Disciples)

Lebbe, Frédéric Marie

(256 words)

Author(s): Malek, Roman
[German Version] (also Frédéric-Vincent, Chinese name Lei Mingyuan; Aug 17, 1877, Ghent , Belgium – Jun 24, 1940, Chongqing, China) was one of the most prominent China missionaries of the 20th century. He was ordained priest in Peking in 1901. In 1923, he created the Unio Catholica Iuventutis Sinensis in Paris, and in 1927 the Société des Auxiliaires des Missions ¶ (SAM) in Belgium. Lebbe fought against Europeism and introduced a modern (so-called “Tianjin”) mission strategy. He founded the Chinese-language daily newspaper Yishibao (Social Welfare) in 1915. In 1928, he founde…

Lebedev, Aleksey Petrovič

(183 words)

Author(s): Felmy, Karl Christian
[German Version] (1845, Governorate of Moscow – Jul 14, 1908, Moscow), earned his Dr.theol. at the Moscow Spiritual Academy (Moscow: II) in 1879 with a dissertation on “The Ecumenical Councils of the 4th and 5th Centuries.” He was professor of the history of the Early Church at the A…

Le Bouthillier de Rancé, Armand-Jean

(13 words)

[German Version] Rancé, Armand-Jean Le Bouthillier de
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