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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Rebaptism Controversy

(483 words)

Author(s): Wendebourg, Dorothea
[German Version] Cyprian of Carthage and Stephen II of Rome, over whether baptism (III) performed in a heretical or schismatic body should be recognized and whether a convert from such a body should be treated as already baptized. Following longstanding North African tradition (Tert. Bapt. 15; Council of Carthage under Agrippinus c. 200: Cyp. Ep. 71.4; 73.3; Eus. Hist. eccl. VII 7) and the practice of other regions such as Asia Minor (Cyp. Ep. 75; Eus. Hist. eccl. VII 5.7), Cyprian answered negatively and was supported by African councils in 255 and 256 (Cyp. Ep. 70 and 72; Sententiae episco…


(5 words)

[German Version] Regeneration

Rebmann, Johannes

(187 words)

Author(s): Ward, Kevin
[German Version] (Jan 16, 1820, Gerlingen – Oct 4, 1876, Korntal), trained at the Basel Mission seminary, subsequently took Anglican orders and was sent by the Church Missionary Society to East Africa in 1846. With J.L. Krapf, he lived in Rabai among the Mijikenda, in the hinterland of Mombasa (Kenya), hoping that these people would prove more receptive to the gospel than the Swahili-speaking Muslim population on the coast. Like Krapf, Rebmann came from a ¶ pietist tradition. He conducted a number of exploraty journeys to the Chaga people and was the first to report the…


(2,613 words)

Author(s): Zachhuber, Johannes | Pirson, Dietrich | Pemsel-Maier, Sabine
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology During recent decades, the concept of reception, originally at home in aesthetics and literary studies, has developed into a highly successful fundamental concept of communication; it emphasizes the decisive role of the recipient in the process of communication (Iser, Jauß). In this sense it also concerns theology, to which the concept is not new but has had its meaning and role more clearly defined. A fundamental distinction must be made. First, there is reception…

Reception History

(8 words)

[German Version] Effective History/Reception History


(284 words)

Author(s): Fischer, Georg
[German Version] The Rechabites (Heb. רֵכָבִים/ rekābîm) are mentioned only in Jer 35. They traced their descent to Jehonadab, son of Rechab (2 Kgs 10:15, 23), who played a supporting role in Jehu’s revolt (9th cent. bce). The etymology of the name is unexplained. The Rechabites’ lifestyle was unusual: they drank no wine and built no houses, living only in tents; they never sowed seeds or planted vineyards. They ascribed these restrictions to the command of Jehonadab ( Jer 35:6f.), which they followed faithfully. God contrasted them in th…

Rechenberg, Adam

(162 words)

Author(s): Wallmann, Johannes
[German Version] (Sep 7, 1642, Leipsdorf, Saxony – Oct 22, 1721, Leipzig). After studying philosophy, history, and theology, Rechenberg began teaching in 1665 at the University of Leipzig; in 1677 he was appointed professor of philology and history. Through his fourth marriage (1686), to P.J. Spener’s eldest daughter Susann Catharina, he had close ties with Pietism. His appointment to succeed J.B. Carpzov (2) as professor of theology in 1699 effected a reversal in the attitude of the Leipzig theological faculty, which had been hostile to Pietism. His 1700 disputation De gratiae revo…


(493 words)

Author(s): McLeod, Hugh
[German Version] Since the French Revolution of 1789, political, cultural, and intellectual changes have all played a part in undermining the dominant role of the church in Europe and America. Christian societies have become increasingly pluralistic (Pluralism) and sometimes secular (Secularism). Some governments have tried to “dechristianize” the people by force (Dechristianization). The pioneer was revolutionary France in 1793/1794 (France). The slogan of rechristianization has had most resonanc…


(165 words)

Author(s): Reymaier, Erich Konstantin
[German Version] Recitative is a style of vocal music intermediate between speaking and singing. The idea and employment of Sprechgesang is found in many cultures. In Europe recitative became an important element of serious music with the emergence of opera. Its origin in spoken language is central: it determines the melodic line and above all leads to rhythmic freedom in performance, allowing for a better representation of the text’s drama and emotion. This ability to go beyond the text allowed recitative to beco…

Recke-Volmerstein, Adelbert von der

(93 words)

Author(s): Sollbach, Gerhard E.
[German Version] (May 28, 1791, Overdyck, near Bochum – Nov 10, 1878, Kraschnitz, Silesia [today Krośnice, Poland]), the “father” of the Inland Mission in the Ruhr. An enthusiastic believer in the revival movement (Revival/Revival movements), he established a private “refuge” for poor, orphaned, and neglected children at Overdyck, his family estate, in 1891 and another in Düsselthal, near Düsseldorf, in 1822, thus creating the first diaconal educational institutions in Westphalia and the Rhineland. Gerhard E. Sollbach Bibliography G. Viertel, Anfänge der Rettungshausbewegu…


(442 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] Recluses or hermits are men and women who do penance by shutting themselves (or having themselves shut) into a cell, either for a specific period (usually at the beginning of their lives as ascetics) or for the rest of their lives. This extreme form of asceticism surfaced in the Early Church in all regions of the East where there were monastic settlements (e.g. in Egypt, John of Lycopolis; esp. common in Syria) and came to the West in the 6th century, but it reached its climax in …

Reclusive Orders

(82 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (eremitic orders, anchoritic orders). Most of these orders, of both men and women, were established in the 11th century; their traditions go back to the early Christian anchorites. Unlike monastics living a common life (Cenobites), their members largely lived in isolation, requiring a special monastery complex ( eremitorium), highly developed among the Camaldolese and Carthusians. Reclusive strains are also found among the Celestines, Carmelites, and Servites. Manfred Eder Bibliography K.S. Frank, “Einsiedler, Eremit,” LThK  3 III, 1995, 557–559 (bibl.).


(6,443 words)

Author(s): Hock, Klaus | Seybold, Klaus | Oegema, Gerbern S. | Porter, Stanley E. | Webster, John | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In comparison with expiation (I), reconciliation is defined more specifically; as a rule, its goal is to restore a personal relationship undermined by guilt or sin. In reconciliation we are dealing with a category rooted in ¶ the Judeo-Christian tradition that cannot be translated readily into other contexts. In comparison with Western Christianity, the understanding of reconciliation in Judaism displays several distinctive features. As in Christianity, the concept of reconciliation is complementar…

Reconciliation (in Canon Law)

(164 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] From ancient canon law to CIC/1917, reconciliation (Lat. reconciliatio) denoted the (liturgical) absolution required for a church, cemetery, or altar to be used again after desecration or profanation ( CIC/1917 cc. 1172–1177; 1207). It also denotes reconciliation with God and the church through the sacrament of penance (Repentance: IV, 3.a); cf. CIC/1983 cc. 959f. and CCEO cc. 718 and 720 §1) and specifically restoration to full communion with the church through lifting an excommunication incurred through apostasy (Apostate), heresy, …


(1,117 words)

Author(s): Vones, Ludwig
[German Version] The term Reconquista was adopted by modern French historians to denote the Christian recapture of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain [see also map], Portugal) between the 8th century and the end of the 15th century, after Arab and Moorish armies had brought down the Visigothic kingdom in 711, bringing the peninsula almost completely under their control and establishing Muslim kingdoms in Al-Andalus south of the Pyrenees and the Cantabrian Mountains. The Reconquista took place in three pha…


(654 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] I. Judaism Reconstructionist Judaism is the most recent major school of modern Judaism (III) and the only one born ¶ in America. It was founded by the rabbi M.M. Kaplan, who defined Judaism as a “civilization” embracing not just religion but also areas of life like art and music. The movement began as an intellectual tendency in the progressive wing of Conservative Judaism. Only gradually was it able to establish an autonomous organizational structure and independent institutions. The opening of the…


(5 words)

[German Version] Correctness

Recursus ab abusu

(415 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] ( appel comme d’abus) is an appeal of civil authorities against an abuse of power by an ecclesiastical authority transgressing the boundaries drawn by civil law; it was thus (along with the placet) a particularly effective instrument of secular supremacy. It achieved its distinctive form in France in 1539, when it served primarily as a defense against encroachments on Gallican liberties (Gallicanism). The French model also inspired its use in Spain and the Netherlands. Initially legal title was vested in royal church advocacy (Church advocate). The recursus came in…

Recursus hierarchicus

(271 words)

Author(s): May, Georg
[German Version] denotes a complaint lodged with the hierarchical superior of the person who has issued (or should have issued) a decree, charging a legally significant injury. Such an appeal must be brought within a time-limit of 15 days. The regulations governing administrative recourse appear in CIC/1983 cc. 1772–1739 and CCEO cc. 996–1006. Special rules governing recursus also appear in CIC cc. 166 §§2, 700, and 1740–1752. The complaint must be preceded by an attempt at an equitable solution; as a rule, it must be preceded by a petition to the author…

Redaction Criticism of the Bible

(1,133 words)

Author(s): Schmitt, Hans-Christoph
[German Version] I. Definition In the context of historical biblical scholarship, redaction criticism examines the growth of a text from its first appearance in writing through possible editorial stages to the form reconstructed by text criticism. This process of textual transformation described by redaction criticism is called redaction history. Here redaction means the written revision of a text (either formerly retold orally or already in writing) and its recasting as a new whole. When it is understood in this sense, a distinction between “c…
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