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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Landa, Diego de

(194 words)

Author(s): Nebel, Richard
[German Version] (Nov 12, 1524, Cifuentes, Spain – Apr 29, 1579, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico), OFM. De Landa, of an aristocratic family, entered the monastery of San Juan de los Reyes in Toldeo. Ordained to the priesthood in 1549, he went to Yucatán, which had just been conquered by Francisco de Montejo. In 1552 he was appointed guardian of the Mission San Antonio de Izamal and in 1561 provincial for San José de Yucatán and Guatemala. On Aug 12, 1562, De Landa carried out an auto-da-fé in Maní during which Mayan illuminated manuscripts were burned. Accused of rigid inquisitorial me…

Landau, Ezekiel

(158 words)

Author(s): Silber, Michael K.
[German Version] (Oct 8, 1713, Opatow, now Voivodship of Kielce, Poland – Apr 29, 1793, Prague) was the preeminent rabbi of the last decades of the 18th century. He served in Jampol before his election to the chief rabbinate of Prague. Thousands studied in his academy. Landau composed influential novellae on various talmudic tractates ( Tziyun le-nefesh Chaya), sermons ( Derushei ha-Tzlach), and glosses on the Shulchan Aruch ( Dagul me-Revava). His Responsa, Noda bi-Yehuda (1776/1811), established his reputation as the greatest authority of his time in the field of th…

Land of Israel

(3,019 words)

Author(s): Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Küchler, Max | Gafni, Isaiah | Dan, Joseph
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Antiquity – IV. Middle Ages and the Modern Period I. Old Testament 1. Terminology and boundaries The terminology used for the land of Israel (cf. Israel), in the sense of the OT view of the land itself, and the definition of its borders varies greatly. The texts appear in the context of particular literary and theological concepts in which “the land” constitutes a thematic focus. Hebrew has two words for land: (a) אֶרֶץ/ ʾereṣ, denoting the earth as a whole and its individual territories from a geographical and po…

Landownership Rights in the Old Testament.

(561 words)

Author(s): Fleischer, Gunther
[German Version] The law of landownership in ancient Israel – regulations governing allocation or acquisition, inheritance, and sale of real property – must be reconstructed in part from narrative and prophetic texts. Hence the historical process by which the clans and tribes of Israel came into possession of their land remains obscure. The description of the distribution of the land by lots in Josh 13ff. and some passages in the prophets (Mic 2:5; Amos 7:17) may reflect a historical process in ea…

Lands, Church (in Germany).

(671 words)

Author(s): Hübner, Hans-Peter
[German Version] Land holdings as part of the property of the church can be traced back to the dotations of the Carolingian period. According to the Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae (775-790), every newly erected church was to be endowed with two hides of land (= 7.6 hectacres); in the 819 ecclesiastical capitulary of Louis the Pious, the dotations were augmented by one so-called imperial hide. The lands were intended to serve the needs of the local church, i.e. its worship and maintenance (church lands) as well as to suppo…

Landstad, Magnus Brostrup

(152 words)

Author(s): Bergheim, Irene
[German Version] (Oct 7, 1802, Måsøy, Finnmark, Norway – Oct 8, 1880, Oslo), Norwegian pastor and hymnodist. In 1852 Landstad was commissioned by the ministry of culture to produce a new hymnal for the Norwegian church. His qualifications for this task were challenged. The culturally sensitive clergyman was strongly committed to nurturing Norway's cultural heritage; in 1853 he published a collection of Norwegian folk hymns, Landstads kirkesalmebok, ¶ which was officially authorized in 1869. Posterity has recognized the quality of Landstad's work. His artistic ta…

Lanfranc

(301 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (c. 1010, Pavia – May 28, 1089, Canterbury). After studying the artes liberales in Italy until 1030, Lanfranc taught in Burgundy and Normandy. In 1042 he entered Le Bec, a Benedictine abbey in Normandy, where he served as prior from 1045 to 1063. Anselm of Canterbury began studying at Lanfranc's monastic school in 1059. In 1049/1050, 1067, and 1071, Lanfranc resided at the papal court. In debate with Berengar of Tours over the nature of the Eucharist, he contributed to the …

Lang, Albert

(159 words)

Author(s): Niemann, Franz-Josef
[German Version] (Oct 5, 1890, Falkenberg, Upper Palatinate – Jul 23, 1973, Bonn), Catholic theologian. Lang began teaching at Regensburg as an associate professor in 1929; in 1935 he went to Munich as a full professor, and from 1939 to 1958 he taught at Bonn. The focus of his research was the history of apologetics and theological epistemology in the Middle Ages and the early modern period. His textbook Fundamen-¶ taltheologie, based on traditional Neoscholasticism, drew on insights from immanence apologetics; in its fourth edition (after Vatican II), it no longe…

Lang, August

(303 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas
[German Version] (Feb 26, 1867, Huppichteroth, Bergisches Land – Dec 24, 1945, Halle), Reformed theologian and church historian. Lang was born into a peasant family steeped in Bergian Pietism. After studies at Bonn and Berlin, in 1893 he was appointed Reformed preacher in Halle cathedral, and he received his Habilitation from Halle in 1900. In 1909 the universities of Geneva and Halle awarded him an honorary doctorate, followed by the universities of Debrecen and Sárospatak. In the same year, his university promoted him to titular professor an…

Lange

(354 words)

Author(s): Wennemuth, Heike | Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] 1. Johann Peter (Apr 10, 1802, Sonnborn, near Elberfeld – Jul 8, 1884, Bonn). After studying theology at Bonn from 1822 to 1825, Lange became a Reformed pastor. In 1841 he was appointed professor of dogmatics and church history at Zürich (where he wrote an attack on D. Strauß). From 1854 to 1884 he was professor of systematic theology in Bonn. Lange wrote fundamental works in every theological discipline, including Das Leben Jesu nach den Evangelien dargestellt (3 vols., 1844–1847; ET: The Life of the Lord Jesus Christ, 1864), and was active in the life of the churc…

Lange, Ernst

(459 words)

Author(s): Orth, Gottfried
[German Version] (Apr 19, 1927, Munich – Jul 3, 1974, Windhaag, Austria). In the German churches of the 20th century, Lange was an ecumenist second only to D. Bonhoeffer. He was known in Germany for his contributions to church reform, homiletics, and the theory of adult church education (Education of ¶ adults). In 1960, together with Alfred Butenuth, he initiated the reform project of the “storefront church” in Berlin-Spandau (1960–1965; 1963–1965 professor of practical theology in Berlin): the church must be reformed as a mission to the world. …

Lange, Helene

(207 words)

Author(s): Roggenkamp-Kaufmann, Antje
[German Version] (Apr 9, 1848, Oldenburg – May 13, 1930, Berlin) was a prominent personality in the middle-class women's movement (see also G. Bäumer). Orphaned at an early age, Lange was raised in a Württemberg vicarage. She moved to Berlin in 1871, trained as a teacher, and was appointed director of a teachers' seminary for women in 1876. She initiated the academ-¶ ization of the higher girls' education by introducing curricula for secondary schools (1889) and grammar schools (1893). Her commitment, which led to the founding of the Allgemeiner Deutscher …

Lange, Joachim

(298 words)

Author(s): Sträter, Udo
[German Version] (Oct 26, 1670, Gardelegen, Altmark – May 7, 1744, Halle). After attending school in Osterwieck, Quedlinburg (1687), and Magdeburg (1689), Lange entered the university at Leipzig in the fall of 1689. There he joined A. Francke and the Collegium Philobiblicum and because a private tutor for C. Thomasius. In 1690 he followed Francke to Erfurt and in 1692 to Halle; in 1693 he moved to Berlin and joined the circle around P. Spener, K. v Canstein, and J. Schade. After receiving his master's degree in absentia from Halle, he was appointed principal in Köslin, Farther Pom…

Langer, Susanne Knauth

(139 words)

Author(s): Lachmann, Rolf
[German Version] (Dec 20, 1895, New York – Jul 17, 1985, Old Lyme, CT), philosopher, was influenced by the organic philosophy of A. Whitehead and E. Cassirer's philosophy of symbolic conception centered around the distinction between discursive and presentative symbolization. Langer demonstrated the fruitfulness of this approach in an interpretation of rites and myths, but especially in a universal philosophy of art. From the mid-1950s, Langer developed a foundation for anthropology based on process theory. ¶ Thought was reconstructed as the result of an evolution of em…

Langeveld, Martin Jan

(214 words)

Author(s): Heimbrock, Hans Günter
[German Version] (Oct 30, 1905, Haarlem, The Netherlands – Dec 17, 1989, Naarden, The Netherlands), a prominent Dutch educator of the 20th century. From 1937 to 1972, he was professor of the philosophy of education at the University of Utrecht and the founder of the “Utrecht School.” Historically, Langeveld stands at the intersection of a pedagogics oriented on the humanities and a pedagogics oriented on the theory of action. He developed the notion of upbringing in constant consideration of the h…

Langgässer, Elisabeth

(676 words)

Author(s): Niefanger, Dirk
[German Version] (Feb 23, 1899, Alzey – Jul 25, 1950, Rheinzabern) was a poet shaped by Catholicism, important especially in the years immediately after World War II. The daughter of a Jewish (later Catholic) architect, she trained as a teacher in Darmstadt. She was dismissed from teaching after the birth of a daughter out of wedlock, who would later become the author Cordelia Edvardson (born Jan 1, 1929). The father was the Jewish constitutional lawyer, Hermann Heller (1891–1933). From 1930, Lang…

Langhans, Ernst Friedrich

(190 words)

Author(s): Raupp, Werner
[German Version] (May 2, 1829, Wimmis near Thun, Switzerland – Mar 17, 1880, Bern), was pastor at the Waldau sanatorium (near Bern) from 1858 and became associate professor (1871), then full professor (1876) of systematic theology and the history of religion in Bern; he was a cofounder of the Kirchlicher Reformverein (Church Reform Society, 1866). Langhans caused a stir with his profusely documented work Pietismus und Christenthum im Spiegel der äußeren Mission [Pietism and Christianity in the light of foreign mission; 1864], in which he sharply criticized Pietist/…

Lang, Johann

(213 words)

Author(s): Scheible, Heinz
[German Version] (1486/1488, Erfurt – Apr 2, 1548, Erfurt). From 1500, Lang studied in his home town ¶ (B.A. 1503), where he joined the Augustinian Hermits in 1505/1506 and was ordained priest in 1508. With like-minded Luther, he was transferred to Wittenberg in 1551 (M.A. 1512, Bacc. biblicus 1515). From 1512 to 1516, he was professor of ethics. Having been recalled to Erfurt in 1516, Lang became prior and continued his studies of theology (Bacc. sententiarus 1516, Lic. theol. 1517, Dr. theol. 1519). He belonged…

Lang, John Dunmore

(179 words)

Author(s): Hutchinson, Mark
[German Version] (Aug 25, 1799, Grennock, Inverclyde, Scotland – Aug 8, 1878, Sydney, Australia), Presbyterian minister, politician, educationalist, and propagandist. The first Presbyterian to the mainland of Australia (moving to Sydney in 1823), Lang helped local independent churches adapt to Presbyterian structures and link with the Established Church of Scotland. Evangelical, energetic if troublesome, Lang was responsible for the migration of most of the first generation of Australian Presbyter…

Langland, William

(550 words)

Author(s): Burrow, John
[German Version] (c. 1330 – c. 1390, London?), Middle English poet. The son of an Oxfordshire gentleman, Langland was brought up in the west of England. He spent much of his adult life in humble circumstances in London, as a married clerk in minor orders. His only known writing is the alliterative poem, Piers Plowman, on which he worked for many years. The 55 surviving manuscripts of the poem show it in three main states: the A version (dated c. 1365–1370), the B version (c. 1370–1377), and the C version (in the 1380s). Piers Plowman describes a series of visions (10 in the B version), d…

Language

(7,082 words)

Author(s): Maier, Bernhard | Hennigfeld, Jochem | Tietz, Christiane | Schroeter-Wittke, Harald | Sørensen, Jørgen Skov | Et al.
[German Version] I. Linguistics and Religious Studies – II. Philosophy – III. Philosophy of Religion – IV. Fundamental Theology – V. Ethics – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Missiology – VIII. Liturgics I. Linguistics and Religious Studies 1. Linguistics As studied by linguistics (Philology), language is an inventory of audible signs combined ¶ according to specific rules to facilitate interpersonal communication. There is a general distinction between language as a transindividual system of signs ( langue) and its actualization by an individual speaker ( parole). Within …

Language, Liturgical

(7 words)

[German Version] Liturgical Languages

Languet, Hubert

(185 words)

Author(s): Dingel, Irene
[German Version] (1518, Vitteaux, France - Sep 30, 1581, Antwerp, Belgium), studied law in Poitiers and earned a doctorate in Padua. He was won over to the Reformation after reading Melanchthon's Loci communes, whereupon he went to Wittenberg in 1549 to meet the praeceptor. The latter's recommendation to the councilor of Electoral Saxony, Ulrich von Mordeisen, enabled him to enter the service of August I, Elector of Saxony (until 1577). Diplomatic missions led him, among other places, to Paris and to the imperial court in Vienna. He was …

Laodiceans, Letter to the

(305 words)

Author(s): Günther, Matthias
[German Version] The origin of the Latin Epistle to the Laodiceans ( Ep. Lao.), transmitted in numerous biblical manuscripts since the 5th/6th century and later translated back into Greek, remains a puzzle. Widely distributed in the West, it cannot be identified either with the correspondence to the Laodiceans mentioned in Col 4:16b ( contra Lindemann, who speculates that Colossians may have been intended for Laodicea) or with the letter to the Laodiceans rejected in the Muratorian Fragment (ll, 64f.) as a Marcionite counterfeit. The arguments for…

Laos

(823 words)

Author(s): Gern, Wolfgang
[German Version] A Southeast Asian state situated between Vietnam, China, Burma, Thailand, and Cambodia, Laos has a population of approx. 5 million (growth rate: 2.6%), of which 58% are Hīnayāna Buddhists of the Theravāda school, 34% adherents of tribal religions (mostly among the mountain tribes), 2% Christians, and 1% Muslims; Confucianism and Taoism are also represented. The population is made up of a total of 70 ethnic groups and tribes; 55% of the inhabitants are Lao Loum (“Lowland Lao”), 27%…

Lao Tsu

(773 words)

Author(s): Röllicke, Hermann-Josef
[German Version] (Lao Zi; Chinese “Old Master”) is the historically unverifiable but traditional and glorified author of an ancient Chinese composition of the same name, the scope of which had not yet either been fixed or sorted or even given a title in the 4th and 3rd centuries bce. It seems probable that the Jixia Academy of the northeastern state of Qi played a decisive role in the editorial consolidation of the text in the 3rd century bce. The title Tao te Ching first appears on the basis of the rearrangement of the two sections of the book and after the end of the Han Dynasty (206 bce–220 ce). Ot…

La Peyrère, Isaac de

(186 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Christoph
[German Version] (probably 1596, Bordeaux – Jan 30, 1676, near Paris). Having studied jurisprudence and absorbed the ideas of Calvinism and late French Humanism, La Peyrère was suspected of atheism within the Reformed Church as early as 1626. In 1656, he attempted to evade the acute threat from the Spanish-Flemish Inquisition by converting to Catholicism and joining the order of the Oratorians. His messianic theory divides the history of salvation into three periods: the election of the Jews as th…

Laplace, Pierre Simon

(361 words)

Author(s): Hess, Peter M.J.
[German Version] (Mar 23, [not 28], 1749, Beaumont-en-Auge, Normandy – Mar 5, 1827, Paris). Laplace briefly studied theology at Caen, until his fascination with mathematics drew him to Paris. Under the influence of J. de R. d'Alembert he turned his attention to problems in analysis and in mathematical astronomy. The brilliance of his prolific papers won him an election to the Academy of Sciences at the age of 24, and to a professorship at the École Militaire. Laplace contributed to the progressive…

Lardner, Nathaniel

(178 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (Jun 6, 1684, Hawkhurst, Kent – Jul 24, 1768, Hawkhurst, Kent). After his formation at a Presbyterian academy in London from 1699 to 1703 and studying in Utrecht and Leiden, Lardner was an independent preacher from 1709, and a private chaplain and tutor from 1713. While officiating as an assistant preacher in London (from 1721), he worked on his main publication, a work of popular enlightenment entitled The Credibility of the Gospel History (17 vols., 1727–1757), which was based on a series of lectures. The basic notions of historical criticism impart…

Larraín Errázuriz, Manuel

(186 words)

Author(s): Campos, Maximiliano Salinas
[German Version] (Dec 17, 1900, Santiago de Chile – Jun 22, 1966, Talca), bishop of Talca (1938–1966), chief representative of the Catholic Action in Chile (1950–1962), vice-rector of the Universidad Católica de Chile and, in 1964, president of the CELAM (Latin American Council of Bishops). Larraín joined the reformers at Vatican II and supported the farmers' movements in his diocese and country. ¶ Together with Cardinal R. Silva Henríquez, he initiated the agrarian reform of the church's agricultural properties. He advocated the democracia cristiana in terms of replacing the …

La Salle, Jean Baptiste de

(313 words)

Author(s): Schotte, Alexandra
[German Version] (Apr 30, 1651, Reims – Apr 7, 1719, Rouen), was a pastor and educator who founded the French primary school system. He was canonized in 1900. The son of an old French aristocratic family, La Salle was ordained to the priesthood in 1678 and appointed cathedral canon in Reims in the same year. He acquired his first impressions of educational practice while working in the institute of the “Sisters of the Infant Jesus” (School Sisters) established by his spiritual mentor Abbé Nicolas …

Läsare

(345 words)

Author(s): Montgomery, Ingun
[German Version] (“readers”). The so-called “läsare” go back to the Swedish Herrnhuter revival movement (Bohemian and Moravian Brethren, Revival/Revival Movements). The movement began around 1750 in Västergötland, where the appellation läsare was first used for edification meetings characterized by diligent Bible readings. The readings attained their greatest significance in Norrland, where they gave rise to a deep and austere piety that manifested itself in frequent “village praying hours” during which laypersons read aloud…

Lasaulx, Amalie von

(204 words)

Author(s): Berlis, Angela
[German Version] (Oct 19, 1815, Koblenz – Jan 28, 1872, Vallendar) joined the order of the Borromeans (Sister Augustine) in Nancy in 1840, trained as a pharmacist, and began working at Aachen Hospital in 1842. She took permanent vows in 1843 and offici-¶ ated as the first mother superior of the St. Johannis Hospital in Bonn from 1849 to 1871, becoming widely known through care of the wounded from the German-Danish War (1864) and the Austro-Prussian War (1866). Lasaulx concerned herself with the theological issues of the time and cultivat…

Las Casas, Bartolomé de

(815 words)

Author(s): Delgado, Mariano
[German Version] (1484, Seville – Jul 18, 1566, Madrid). From 1502 to 1514, Las Casas was a prospector, field chaplain (ordained priest in 1507), and encomendero in Hispaniola (Dominican Republic, Haiti) and Cuba. At Pentecost in 1514 he was converted to a messianic Christianity out of pity and compassion for the Indians (Native American Indians), in whom he saw “scourged Christs.” Appointed Protector de los Indios by Cardinal F. Jiménez de Cisneros in 1516, he led an unsuccessful mission in Hispa…

Lascaux Grotto

(263 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram
[German Version] is a long, multi-branched cave located in the vicinity of Montignac (Dordogne, near Périgueux) that was discovered in 1940. Its walls and ceilings are decorated with the most extensive cylce of paintings ever discovered in a prehistoric cave. At first, they were very well preserved, but have suffered greatly from algae. The cave was closed in 1963 and a viewing copy was installed nearby. Almost 1,500 individual depictions have been counted. Animals, especially wild horses, but als…

Lasitius, Johann

(249 words)

Author(s): Meyer, Dietrich
[German Version] (Jan Lasicki; 1533 or 1534, Lasice – after Jan, 1599). From the lower Polish nobility and with a humanist education, Lasitius joined the Reformed in Poland. As the tutor of the sons of the Polish nobility, he visited the Western European centers of education in Strasbourg, Geneva, Zürich, Basel, Paris, and Heidelberg, traveled to England, Italy, and Bohemia, and maintained contacts with Calvin, T. Beza, and S. Castellio. He suffered from the schisms of his church in Poland (Antitr…

Lasker-Schüler, Else

(382 words)

Author(s): Meier, Andreas
[German Version] ( née Elisabeth Schüler; Feb 11, 1869, Elbertfeld – Jan 22, 1945, Jerusalem). “The greatest lyric poet Germany ever had” (G. Benn) was the daughter of a Jewish banker. In 1894 she married Berthold Lasker, a physician, with whom she moved to Berlin. There through Peter Hille ( Das Peter Hille Buch, 1906) and the Neue Gemeinschaft, founded by Heinrich and Julius Hart, she came into contact with the bohemian world of Berlin. During a second marriage (1903–1912) to Georg Lewin, whom she gave the pseudonym Herwarth Walden – the background of her autobiographical Mein Herz (1912)…

Laski, Jan

(302 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (à Lasco; 1499, Łask – Jan 8, 1560, Pińczów). The scion of high Polish nobility, Laski received a broad Humanistic education as a young man. A period of study with Erasmus of Rotterdam in Basel in 1525 left an indelible impression on him. Political circumstances prevented a career in the church hierarchy of Poland. Contacts with Melanchthon in 1537 and A. Hardenberg in 1539 indicated his sympathy for the Reformation, which was recognized in 1542 when he was appointed superintenden…

Lassalle, Ferdinand

(290 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] (to 1846: Lassal; Apr 11, 1825, Breslau [Wrocław] – Aug 31, 1864, Geneva, following a duel). On May 23, 1863, Lassalle became president of the first German labor party, the General German Workers' Association, one of the two parties that later formed the Social Democratic Party. He came from a well-to-do merchant family of liberal, assimilated Jews in Breslau. As a student of law and philosophy in Breslau, Berlin, and Paris, he was attracted to the left-wing Hegelians. During the …

Lasso, Orlando di

(376 words)

Author(s): Körndle, Franz
[German Version] (Orlandus Lassus, Orlando de Lassus; 1532 probably at Mons, Spanish Hainaut – Jun 14, 1594, Munich), Franco-Flemish composer. Taken into the service of Ferdinando Gonzaga, viceroy of Sicily, he came to Italy (Mantua, Genoa, Palermo, Naples, and Rome), where in 1553/1554 he was director of music for the Basilica of St. John Lateran. In 1554, however, he returned to his homeland. After a brief stay in England, he worked in Antwerp, where he published his first book of motets. From there he was summoned to Munich in 1556 by Duke Albrecht V of ¶ Bavaria, as a tenor and compose…

Last Judgment

(2,320 words)

Author(s): Hjelde, Sigurd | Sauter, Gerhard | Klein, Peter K.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Dogmatics – III. Art History I. History of Religions The Last Judgment is a divine judgment of all humankind that takes place at the end of time (End of the world). Unlike the particular judgment of each individual immediately after death, it is necessarily associated with the idea of universal history, which plays a fundamental role in Zoroastrianism (Zarathustra) as well as in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Here the understanding of reality is shaped by the eon…

Last Sacraments

(9 words)

[German Version] Anointing of the Sick

Late Antique Religions

(575 words)

Author(s): Hahn, Johannes
[German Version] The “Constantinian turn” in 312 ce, after which Christianity and the church were massively promoted by the state, was not matched by a general decline of pagan (polytheistic) cults in Late Antiquity and the centuries immediately following. The 2nd and 3rd centuries had witnessed new religious developments such as the invasion of Eastern cults, worship of the sun, and the increasing popularity of oracles. Now in the 4th century, despite growing imperial pressure (conflict over the altar…

Late Antiquity

(1,073 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Helmuth
[German Version] Ever since C.-L. de Montesquieu and E. Gibbon, Roman history of the 4th and 5th centuries has been viewed primarily as a history of decadence and decline. The centuries preceding the fall of the Roman Empire in the West were interpreted consistently as a period of deterioration that affected architecture, art, and literature as well. In 1764 Johann J. Joachim Winckelmann spoke of a deterioration of sculpture and painting in the period after Commodus, and J. Burckhardt was referring explicitly to architecture, art, and literature when he used such terms as aging, senilit…

Lateran Councils

(2,427 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] The Lateran Councils, which were held in the papal palace in Rome, the Lateran, belong among the so-called “papal councils,” because they were convened and largely defined by the bishop of Rome. In the wake of the Counter-Reformation they were counted as the 9th-12th and the 18th ecumenical councils. First Lateran Council. Called in June 1122 by Pope Callistus II, this synod, which met Mar 27–28, 1123 and was attended only by Western representatives, set out to continue the Gregorian “reforms,” after the Concordat (Concordats) of …

Lateran Treaties

(401 words)

Author(s): Hollerbach, Alexander
[German Version] The Lateran Treaties were an agreement, signed in the Lateran Palace on Feb 11, 1929, by cardinal secretary of state P. Gasparri and Mussolini, between the Apostolic See and the Kingdom of Italy, comprising a trattato (treaty) and the Italian concordat. A special financial agreement formed an integral part of the trattato. The major purpose of the agreement was to resolve the so-called Roman question, which had become urgent since the dissolution of the Papal States – in other words, to clarify the position of the Holy See in the …

Latermann, Johannes

(167 words)

Author(s): Wartenberg, Günther
[German Version] (Feb 7, 1620, Gellershau- sen, Coburg – 1662, Austria), studied in Helmstedt (G. Calixtus, K. Horneius). During the 1645 Conference of Thorn, he joined C. Dreier and M. Behm from Königsberg. Latermann represented their concerns consistently and, in a vigorous disagreement with the Lutheran clergy of the city under C. Myslenta, sparked the “Latermann Affair” that culminated in the Syncretistic Controversy. Sponsored by Elector Frederick William I, he became associate professor at t…

Latimer, Hugh

(177 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (1485, Thurcaston, Leicestershire – Oct 16, 1555, Oxford). The son of a free peasant, Latimer studied theology from 1506 onward at Clare College, Cambridge (B.A. 1510, M.A. 1514). Having initially defended the old faith as a preacher and university lecturer, he joined the Reformation around 1524 under the influence of T. Bilney. Highly esteemed at the court of Henry VIII for a time (appointment as bishop of Worcester in 1535), he fell out of favor from ¶ 1539 during the turmoil surrounding Anne Boleyn; he delivered his most famous sermons under Edward VI. …

Latin

(773 words)

Author(s): Moreschini, Claudio
[German Version] When the Christian message expanded beyond the boundaries of Palestine between 50 and 120 ce, it used the language spoken in the eastern part of the Empire, especially by the Jews in Palestine and the Diaspora (II, 1) – Koine Greek. Here there was a Greco-Jewish literature, which included the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint (Bible translations). Under Claudius and Nero, groups of Greek-speaking Christians were already forming in Rome and in Italy; they used Greek texts th…

Latin America

(5,448 words)

Author(s): Dreher, Martin N.
[German Version] I. General; Geopolitics – II. Religious Affiliation – III. Christianity I. General; Geopolitics America, with an area of over 42,000,000 km2, is generally divided into North America, Central America, and South America. Latin America, a substantial part of the continent, comprises the countries originally colonized by Spain, France, and Portugal. The term covers South America and Central America together with Mexico. First used between 1862 and 1867 during the French intervention in Mexico, it was …
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