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.

Subscriptions: see

Res mixtae

(10 words)

[German Version] Common Issues, Church and State


(353 words)

Author(s): Reifenrath, Gabriele
[German Version] The term resocialization is borrowed from law and sociology; it does not appear in the terminology of classical religious studies. On the basis of symbols, values, and norms shared by a community into which every individual is introduced in the context of socialization (I), every religion also develops mechanisms for dealing with apostates or people excluded from the community by excommunication who then wish to return. As a rule, both involve overtures for resocialization. The background pattern constitutes a triad: socialization – apostasy or excommun…


(270 words)

Author(s): Dietz, Walter R.
[German Version] is a fundamental sense of the value of persons (V) and other creatures; when God is its object, it is called reverence. Respect can also be shown toward goods, values, and ideals. Secondarily it is possible to respect the distinctive characteristics of others (Tolerance and intolerance), but only through prior recognition of their personal worth (Human dignity). For I. Kant, respect is the determination of the will by the moral law: it is a positive emotion, immediate and instinctive as well as involuntary ( Kritik der praktischen Vernunft [ KpV], 154), recognizable p…


(436 words)

Author(s): Mutius, Hans-Georg v.
[German Version] At the close of the early Middle Ages, after the Babylonian Talmud had become the normative law code of the Jewish Diaspora communities, in everyday jurisprudence the Jewish courts often faced problems in applying the legal norms of the Talmud, especially because new questions kept arising for which the Talmud had no (clear) answers. In such cases, the court would often write to a prestigious outside authority, describe the case to him, and ask him to deliver an opinion, which he …


(676 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] is the essential mode in which persons interact. It has three constitutive aspects: (a) its bearer (who?), (b) its forum (before whom?), and (c) its substance (for what?). Each of these aspects is itself relational. The bearers are self-identified persons, acting of their own free will in a mundane decisional present; the fora relate to norms; the substances are chosen or to-be-chosen determinations of the self-and-its-world. All aspects and every relation term of every aspect can…

Responsibility, Ascription of

(7 words)

[German Version] Imputation

Responsive Singing

(520 words)

Author(s): Bretschneider, Wolfgang
[German Version] is liturgical chant that alternates between different persons or ensembles. A large portion of the liturgical vocal repertory is responsive, as is only appropriate, given that by nature worship is ¶ primarily dialogical. Singing (or speaking) lengthy texts in unison is alien to the liturgy. Since earliest times, we find a variety of roles in all liturgical celebrations: presider, soloists (Cantor), schola (Singing school), congregation. Occasionally instruments, especially the organ, are included in the dialogu…


(187 words)

Author(s): Klöckner, Stefan
[German Version] a chant that follows a lection in the Roman liturgy of the mass ( responsorium graduale) and the Liturgy of the Hours (Daily Office) or is sung to accompany a procession. The structure of a responsory is based on the principle of multiple repetitions of an unvarying element as an aid to meditation: a precentor introduces a melodic segment, the responsum, with which all respond after each (semi-)verse sung by the schola or a soloist. Use of this form in Christian worship is attested as early as the 3rd/4th century (Tertullian, Egeria). The …

Res sacrae

(257 words)

Author(s): Mainusch, Rainer
[German Version] The concept of the res sacrae now belongs to the sphere of state-church law, i.e. of state constitutional law. It circumscribes the domain of the ecclesial items of property (Property, Church) that have a direct liturgical purpose, as for instance the vasa sacra, bells, church buildings, and cemeteries. The term stems from Roman law, where it originally designated objects used for the public cult of a deity. Already modified under Emperor Justinian I, the Roman law of the res sacrae found its way into the canonical law of the Middle Ages and into common secu…


(323 words)

Author(s): Stroh, Ralf
[German Version] ( restitutio) is the removal of damage to another’s property by compensation, replacement or reimbursement. In general, the one guilty of the damages or his or her legal successor (cf. the German-Israeli restitution agreement) owes compensation to the one damaged or his legal successor. In a few areas of life particularly subject to damage (e.g. driving), legislative criteria provide that compensation will reliably be made even if the injuring party should not have the necessary me…


(745 words)

Author(s): Frie, Ewald
[German Version] The word restauration (“renewal, restoration, healing,” from Lat. restauratio) was borrowed from French in the 14th century; the form restoration first appeared in the mid-17th century; it was used in 1660, two years after the death of O. Cromwell, in the political sense of “restoration of order,” meaning reestablishment of the monarchy in England (III, 1.d). During the Napoleonic Era, the term lost its specific reference to England and meant – at first positively – the reassertion of a new order in…

Restoration Movement

(284 words)

Author(s): Harrell Jr., David Edwin
[German Version] In 1831 there was a merger of two of the more successful groups working to restore primitive New Testament Christianity in North America. One had been led by Thomas Campbell and his son A. Campbell, who became the most important figure in the leadership of the Restoration Movement, gaining followers primarily through two journals he edited and published, the Christian Baptist (1823–1830) and the Millennial Harbinger (1830–1864). A leading voice in the latter was B.W. Stone, who brought into being a group of independent Christian churches. By 1865 the loosely organized Restoration Movement had 200,000 members. Early leaders of the movement emphasized the idea of a “Christian Association.” The doctrinal characteristics of the new movement included the view that baptism precedes forgiveness of sins, along with guidelines for organizing local churches and for worship (weekly celebrations o…


(349 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] …


(8,280 words)

Author(s): Ahn, Gregor | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Stemberger, Günter | Sellin, Gerhard | Schwöbel, Christoph | Et al.
[German Version] I. Resurrection of the Dead 1. History of religions a. Resurrection as a religious category. The concept of resurrection has been shaped extensively by connotations drawn from the tradition of Christian theology. In this sense, it is understood as a unique event that takes the body and soul of a human being, separated at death, and reunites them for a new, eternal life in the next world. Here it serves to mark a distinction from other notions of a postmortal existence (e.g. reincarnation, metempsychosis, immortali…


(638 words)

Author(s): Bock, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Liturgics A retable (from Lat. retabulum, retrotabulum) is a permanent structure behind an altar for the display of paintings or sculpture, resting either on the rear of the mensa or on a substructure behind the altar. The retable (or reredos) can house relics (Reliquary); it can also – in conjunction with a tabernacle (Tabernacle, Christian) – accommodate the Blessed Sacrament (Holy of Holies: II; Altar of the Poor Clares, Cologne Cathedral, c. 1350). A precondition for its developme…

Rethinking Group

(276 words)

Author(s): Ludwig, Frieder
[German Version] A group of Indian theologians that attracted attention with Rethinking Christianity in India (1939), a collection of essays edited by D.M. Devasahayam and A.N. Sudarisanam in the context of the 1938 World Missionary Conference in Tambaram. G.V. Job, S. Jesudasen, D.M. Devasahayam, E. Asirvatham and A.N. Sudarisanam each contributed an essay; most of the contributions were written by the lay theologians Pandippedi Chenchiah (five) and V. Chakkarai ¶ Chetty (three), who were related by marriage. Both were converts to Christianity from the Brahmin ca…

Reticius of Autun (Saint)

(105 words)

Author(s): Heil, Uta
[German Version] (early 4th cent.). Born to a distinguished family, Reticius became bishop of Autun after he was widowed (Greg. T. In gloria confessorum miracula, 74) and took part in synods in Rome (313; Aug. Contra Iulianum I 55; Eus. Hist. eccl. X 19) and Arles (314; CChr.SL 148 16.33) that condemned Donatus (Donatism). Fragments of a work on baptism, possibly Adversus Novatianum (Jer. Vir. ill. 82), and a commentary on the Song of Songs (Jer. Ep. 5; 37) have survived. Uta Heil Bibliography Works: CPL 77/78 On Reticius: E. Griffe, La Gaule chrétienne à l’époque romaine, vol. I, 1964, 18…


(362 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] is the period of time that individuals can spend as pensioners after their active participation in gainful work. Economically, retirement can be viewed from two perspectives. On the one hand, it represents a major achievement of modern industrial societies that today the elderly (Old age: II) can enjoy a longer retirement than retirees could 40 years ago. The average remaining lifetime of 65-year-olds is some ten years longer than it was in 1970. Poverty in old age has been reduce…

Retraite, Sisters of La

(180 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] In 17th-century France, communities arose to facilitate spiritual exercises for women; soon afterward they began building retreat houses. An outstanding example was the house of the Filles de la Sainte-Vierge de la Retraite (Daughters of Our Lady of Retreat) in Vannes (1674); the sisters followed the Ignatian rule (Ignatius of Loyola) and took simple vows. These communities perished during the French Revolution, but the sisterhood was restored in the 19th century, transformed into…


(398 words)

Author(s): Thierfelder, Jörg
[German Version] A Christian retreat is a period of free time (Youth camps and houseparties) for meditation and theological reflection. Retreats can be short, designed to deepen spirituality through silence and prayer. In Protestant churches, a retreat was historically a period of preparation for ministerial office. In Germany in the 1920s, the word Rüstzeit came to denote a period of free time dedicated primarily to spiritual and intellectual work rather than relaxation. It was one of the central pillars of Protestant youth work after the Evangel…
▲   Back to top   ▲