Religion Past and Present

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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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Lament

(3,175 words)

Author(s): Alles, Gregory D. | Janowski, Bernd | Bayer, Oswald | Baldermann, Ingo | Kuhn, Peter
[German Version] Lament I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Systematic Theology – IV. Practical Theology – V. Judaism I. Religious Studies Lament has its roots in human experience; it gives voice to suffering and mourning, in ritual, poetic, or informal form. Its end is not theoretical, like theodicy, but practical: people react to the experience of situations perceived as mentally, physically or socially painful and process these experiences individually or collectively. The prototypical occasion for mournin…

Lamentations of Jeremiah, The

(1,218 words)

Author(s): Levin, Christoph
[German Version] The book of Lamentations is a collection of five elegies on the destruction of Jerusalem: four alphabetic acrostics (Lam 1–4) and one poem with the same number of verses as the Hebrew alphabet (Lam 5). In the Hebrew Bible the book is called אֵיכָה/ʾ êkāh, “How…,” for the first word in chs. 1, 2, and 4. In the Talmud ( b. B. Bat. 15a) it is called קִינוֹת/ qînôt, “Lamentations,” and ascribed to the prophet Jeremiah to vouch for its canonicity. This tradition may be based on 2 Chron 35:25, which says that Jeremiah sang a lament for Josiah, which is r…

Lamentations Rabbah (Rabbati)

(182 words)

Author(s): Becker, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] ( Ekha Rabba[ ti]). An exegetical midrash on the book of Lamentations, divided into over 30 prooemia and five major sections. The verse-by-verse interpretation sometimes includes extensive narratives, especially concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, since Lamentations is read and interpreted in the synagogues on the 9th of the month of Ab (Av), the day on which the destruction of the temple is commemorated. Along with Bereshit Rabbah ¶ ( Gen.R.), Lam. Rab. is the oldest exegetical midrash of Palestinian Judaism. The process of its compilation and …

La Mettrie, Julien Offray de

(345 words)

Author(s): Kronauer, Ulrich
[German Version] (Nov 23, 1709, Saint-Malo – Nov 11, 1751, Berlin), French physician, philosopher, and an adherent of materialism. La Mettrie studied in Paris and Leiden, worked as a physician in Saint-Malo from 1734 to 1742, where he initially published medical works, and then went to Paris. He took part in the Austrian War of Succession as a military surgeon. In 1745, he anonymously published the Histoire naturelle de l'âme which elicited reactions from the censors, as did most of La Mettrie's ensuing publications. The already famous/infamous author avoided imp…

Lamparter, Eduard

(218 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Nov 21, 1860, Geislingen, Württemberg – Feb 24, 1945, Stuttgart), pastor in Stuttgart, president of the Evangelische Arbeitervereine of Württemberg, from 1913 Landtag deputy and from 1919 a delegate to the Landeskirchenversammlung (meeting of regional churches) drafting a constitution for the regional church. In the 1920s, Lamparter became active in the Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus. In 1928 a collection of his essays was published under the title Evangelische Kirche und Judentum. He demanded legal and social equality for Jews, emphasized the…

Lampe, Friedrich Adolf

(283 words)

Author(s): Wallmann, Johannes
[German Version] (Feb 18, 1683, Detmold – Dec 8, 1729, Bremen) was the most influential German Reformed theologian of the 18th century. Educated at the academic Gymnasium in Bremen under C. de Hase in the spirit of Reformed Precisism (G. Voetius), Lampe completed his theological studies in Franeker under C. Vitringa, who acquainted him with the chiliastically transformed covenant theology of J. Cocceius. In 1703, he became preacher in Weeze ¶ near Kleve, in 1706 parish priest in Duisburg, and from 1709 parish priest at St. Stephani in Bremen. In 1720, he became pro…

Lamy, Jean Baptiste

(186 words)

Author(s): Carey, Patrick W.
[German Version] (Oct 11, 1814, Lempedes, France – Feb 13, 1888, Santa Fe, NM). Lamy was ordained in 1838, became an assistant pastor in Chapre, France, in 1838/1839, and then a missionary priest in Ohio and Kentucky (1839–1850). In 1850 he was named vicar apostolic of New Mexico, then bishop (1853–1875), and archbishop of Sante Fe until his retirement (1875–1885). Lamy secured the assistance of the Sisters of Loreto for Catholic schooling (1852), the Sisters of Charity (1856; first hospital and o…

Lancaster, Sarah Jane

(210 words)

Author(s): Hutchinson, Mark
[German Version] (Jun 3, 1858, Williamstown, Victoria, Australia – Mar 6, 1934, Melbourne) was a Pentecostal evangelist. Lancaster was initially a school ¶ teacher and Methodist, influenced by international holiness literature, particularly reports of the Sunderland revival (1907). Lancaster experienced baptism in the Holy Spirit and healings in 1908, and in 1909 she established the Good News Hall (GNH), Australia's first permanent Pentecostal congregation. Pentecostal leaders (Pentecostalism) such as William Sloan, W…

Lance, Holy

(242 words)

Author(s): Worm, Peter
[German Version] The Holy Lance is reputed to be the spear with which, according to John 19:34f., a soldier pierced the side of Christ. In the light of Matt 27:54 and the legend of the centurion in charge of the execution detail as the “first convert,” it is also called the Lance of Longinus. It was discovered by the empress Helena together with the cross of Christ (IV) and brought to Constantinople in 614, whence it came to the court of the French king Louis IX in 1241. Another Holy Lance was dis…

Lancelot, Claude

(192 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Ruth
[German Version] (1615, Paris – Apr 15, 1695, Quimperlé, Département Finistère, France). Lancelot was one of the men who settled as solitaries near the Parisian Cistercian Abbey of Port-Royal. The group, known as the Messieurs de Port-Royal, included prominent members of the Arnauld family; they were supporters of Jansenism and published works on theology, philosophy, and education. They also devoted themselves to practical instruction in schools they operated. It was in this context that Lancelot…

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…
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