Religion Past and Present

Get access Subject: Religious Studies
Edited by: Hans Dieter Betz, Don S. Browning†, Bernd Janowski and Eberhard Jüngel

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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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Raabe, Wilhelm

(280 words)

Author(s): Brundiek, Kathrin
[German Version] (pseudonym: Jakob Corvinus; Sep 8, 1831, Eschershausen, Lower Saxony – Nov 15, 1910, Brunswick [Braunschweig]). Thanks primarily to his historical novel Das Odfeld (1888; ET: The Odin Field, 2001), Raabe is considered one of the most important representatives of literary realism (IV, 2). After leaving an apprenticeship to a book dealer in Magdeburg, during the following stay in Berlin he wrote his first novel, Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse (1856), an instant success. After a few years in Stuttgart, he spent the rest of his life in Brunswick. His…

Rabanus Maurus

(326 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, Wilfried
[German Version] (Hrabanus; c. 780, Mainz – Feb 4, 856, Winkel near Mainz), came from a noble family in the mid-Rhine area. He lived as a monk in the monastery at Fulda, was consecrated deacon in 801, studied for a brief period under Alcuin in Tours from 800, then taught in Fulda, was consecrated priest in 814, became abbot of Fulda in 822, resigned as abbot in 842 after Emperor Lothar I was defeated by Louis the German and Charles the Bald, then was elevated to ¶ archbishop of Mainz in 847 by Louis the German. As abbot of Fulda, Rabanus not only composed numerous poems, letters, …

Rabaut, Paul

(313 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Christoph
[German Version] (Jan 29, 1718, Bédarieux, Département Hérault – Sep 25, 1794, Nîmes). At an early age, he joined with Jean Bétrine (1718–1756) and for four years shared with him the dangerous life of an itinerant preacher of the “church in the desert.” In 1738 he was formally admitted as a preacher in Nîmes; in 1740/1741 he studied with A. Court for six months at the theological seminary in Lausanne. During the following 40 years of his ministry as a pastor of the persecuted Reformed Church in Fr…

Rabbath Ammon

(414 words)

Author(s): Hübner, Ulrich
[German Version] The toponym Rabbah or Rabbath Ammon, “the great (city) of Ammon” (Josh 13:25; 2 Sam 11:1; 12:26, 29; Ezek 25:5; etc.) is a shorter form for רַבַּתבְּנֵיעַמּוֹן/ rabbat bĕnêʿammôn (Deut 3:11; 2 Sam 12:26; etc.); it can be identified with the citadel and portions of the lower city of modern ʿAmmān. Settled since prehistoric times, Rabbah developed into a city state during the Middle and Late Bronze Age. According to 2 Sam 8:12; 10:1ff.; etc., Rabbah was conquered by David. Arab traditions speak of Lot as the r…


(1,285 words)

Author(s): Jacobs, Martin | Wilke, Carsten | Schaller, Berndt
[German Version] I. Terminology The Hebrew title רַבִּי/ rabbî is derived from the nominalized adjective רַב/ rab, “great, of high rank,” which in postbiblical Hebrew took on the meaning “master” (Rav) in contrast to a slave or student/disciple ( m. Sukk. 2:9; m. Giṭ. 4:4; m. ʾAbot 1:3). The honorific rabbi (“my master/teacher”) became a title, associated with the names of Palestinian men of learning (e.g. Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph), while Rav was used for Babylonian rabbis. Rabbi is also found as a name for Judah ha-Nasi. The Aramaic form rabban (“our master”) is associated with some…

Rabbinic Literature

(2,896 words)

Author(s): Stemberger, Günter
[German Version] I. General Rabbinic literature comprises the majority of Jewish materials written in the millennium following the destruction of the temple in 70 ce: Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmud, and Midrash. The rabbis were not the only authors of these works and their traditions, but they are constantly cited as oral sources and tradents. They are also held up as models of an ideal life based on the Torah, as illustrated by numerous episodes from their lives. In a broader sense, rabbinic literature also includes the Ar…

Rabbinic Literature Abbreviations

(1,582 words)

Author(s): David E. Orton
[German Version] Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmud tractates ʿAbod. Zar. ʿAbodah Zarah ʾAbot ʾAbot ʿArak. ʿArakin B. Bat. Baba Batra B. Meßiʿa Baba Meßiʿa B. Qam. Baba Qamma Bek. Bekhorot Ber. Berakhot Beßah Beßah (= Yom Ṭob) Bik. Bikkurim Demai Demai ʿErub. ʿErubin ʿEd. ʿEduyyot Gi†. Gi††in Óag. Óagigah Óal. Óallah Hor. Horayot Óul. Óullin Kelim Kelim Ker. Kerithot Ketub. Ketubbot Kil. Kilʾayim Maʿaś. Maʿaśerot Maʿaś. Š. Maʿaśer Šeni Mak. Makkot Makš. Makširin Meg. Megillah Meʿil. Meʿilah Menaḥ. Menaḥot Mid. Middot Miqw. Miqwaʾot Mo'ed Moʾed Mo'ed Qa†. Moʾed Qa†an Naš. NašimNaz. Nazir Ned. N…

Rabbinic Responsa

(6 words)

[German Version] Responsa


(222 words)

Author(s): Tubach, Jürgen
[German Version] (Qēnnešrīn – Aug 8, 436, Edessa). Rabbūlā was elected bishop of Edessa at a synod in Antioch in 412. In Edessa he undertook various ecclesiastical reforms (including imposing an ascetic life on the clergy); he also incorporated heterodox groups like the Arians (Arius), Audians, and Messalians into the Catholic church. In Christology he became an early supporter of Cyril of Alexandria, triggering a conflict with the “Persian school” (Nisibis), whose teachers favored Theodore of Mop…

Rabelais, François

(272 words)

Author(s): Milde, Nadine
[German Version] (c. 1494?, La Devinière, near Chinon – Apr 9, 1553, Paris), French Humanist. His life as a clergyman – Franciscan, Benedictine, finally a secular priest –, writer, and physician took him to Lyon, Montpellier, Paris, Rome, and Turin. Despite severe criticism by many, including Calvin and the Sorbonne theologians (escape to Metz in 1546 to evade charges of heresy), throughout his lifetime he found support from secular and ecclesiastical patrons like Cardinal Jean du Bellay and Pope …

Rachmaninoff, Sergey Vasilyevich

(332 words)

Author(s): Konold, Wulf
[German Version] (Apr 1, 1873, Semyonovo – Mar 28, 1943, Beverly Hills, CA), Russian composer, pianist, and director. His mother gave him his first piano lessons; from 1882 he studied piano at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and from 1895 with Nikolai Zverev. In 1888 he began studying composition ¶ in Moscow with Sergey Taneyev and Anton Arensky. He composed his earliest works in 1890 (Piano Concerto no. 1, Prelude in C# Minor, a one-act opera Aleko as an examination piece). The concerto’s failure brought on a deep depression, for which he underwent psychotherapy. In 1…

Racine, Jean

(411 words)

Author(s): Sick, Franziska
[German Version] (Dec 21, 1639, La Ferté-Milon near Soissons – Apr 21, 1699, Paris), playwright and Louis XIV’s historiographer, the most important representative of French classical tragedy (II). After his parents’ early death, Racine was received into the abbey of Port-Royal, where he was brought up in the spirit of Jansenism. This early religious influence was, however, less important for his literary work than the broad Humanist education that he received at Port-Royal. Unlike his competitor a…


(2,031 words)

Author(s): Junginger, Horst | Lohmann, Friedrich | Micksch , Jürgen | Ludwig, Frieder
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Racism is a political ideology that traces cultural and social differences back to racial causes, thus making them seem natural and unchangeable. In racism’s hierarchical ordering, racists always occupy the highest rank. Everything they declare to be of lesser value is subjected to their rightful rule. Since racism has no scientific basis, it has recourse principally to conventional patterns of prejudice that yield its preconditions and its most important support…

Racovian Catechism

(161 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] has become the widely accepted title of the most important doctrinal text of the Antitrinitarian Church of the Polish Brethren. Valentin Schmalz, Johannes Völkel, and Hieronymus Moskoszowski were the authors of this catechism, which includes preliminary work by F. Socinus; they worked as teachers in the secondary school founded in 1603 in the small town of Raków near Sandomierz. It was also there that the catechism was printed in Polish in 1605, in German in 1608, and in Latin in …

Rada, Fray Martín de

(219 words)

Author(s): Delgado, Mariano
[German Version] (Jul 20, 1533, Pamplona – Jun, 1578, on the high seas near Manila). In 1554, de Rada entered the Order of St. Augustine. He was a missionary, linguist, geographer, mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer. After studying in Paris and Salamanca, he became a missionary in Mexico (1561); on Nov 21, 1564 he accompanied the expedition of Miguel López de Legazpi to the Philippines, with Father André de Urdaneta; between 1565 and 1572 he was a missionary in Cebu, where he became provinc…

Rade, Martin

(554 words)

Author(s): Schwöbel, Christoph
[German Version] (Apr 4, 1857, Rennersdorf, Oberlausitz – Apr 8, 1940, Frankfurt am Main), theologian, publicist, and politician, representing liberal-social Protestantism. After attending school in Zittau, Rade studied in Leipzig, where he found a teacher and lifelong friend inA. v. Harnack, then a Privatdozent. In 1881 he gained his doctorate with a dissertation on Pope Damasus, in 1882 he became minister in Schönbach, and in 1889 he married Dora Naumann, sister of F. Naumann. Rade was the author of a popular biography of Luther that a…

Rad, Gerhard von

(386 words)

Author(s): Rendtorff, Rolf
[German Version] (Oct 21, 1901, Nuremberg – Oct 31, 1971, Heidelberg), Old Testament theologian. Von Rad was a pupil of A. Alt; he became a Privatdozent in Leipzig (1930–1934), full professor in Jena (1934–1945), Göttingen (1945–1949), and Heidelberg (1949–1967). Von Rad “rediscovered” the OT theologically. The exegetical preconditions for this rediscovery lay (a) in the form-critical work of H. Gunkel, and (b) in the picture of Israel’s early history outlined by Alt and developed by M. Noth, with the significant corner…

Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli

(329 words)

Author(s): Harder, Hans
[German Version] (Sep 5, 1888, Tiruttani, India – Apr 16, 1975, Madras), philosopher of religion and politician, an important exponent of neo-Hinduism. Radhakrishnan studied at Madras Christian College; he was professor at various Indian universities; from 1946 he was a statesman; from 1962 to 1967, president of India. His apologetic and nationalistic interpretation of Hinduism was to give it a new self-understanding in dealing with Christianity; this included, among other things, a positive recep…

Radicalism, Social

(605 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] The expression “social radicalism” is used in everyday language, in the technical terminology of various academic disciplines, and in political discourse. In German political terminology it is first attested in the ideological debates of the Vormärz (I) and the closely related religious party conflicts. At that time, 18th-century British and French discourse had a decisive influence. In Britain, from c. 1740 all political programs were described as radical that wished to make far-…

Radio and Television

(1,784 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph | Wunden, Wolfgang | Biener, Hansjörg
[German Version] I. Law 1. “Broadcasting” has a wider, meaning in law than in everyday language. State broadcasting agreements typically define broadcasting as “the organization and distribution of presentations of any kind in word, sound, and image by the use of electrical oscillations . . .” (Ger. State Broadcasting Agreement, §2, para. 1 [June 7, 2002 ed.]). This covers not only radio and television (including Pay-TV), but also sound and moving picture services, screen texts etc. (the inclusion of…
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