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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Registration, Church

(568 words)

Author(s): Hübner, Hans-Peter
[German Version] Today the church registration system in Germany has its legal basis in the federal civil registration law and the supplemental registration laws of the several Länder. Originally it served only the interests of the security police, making sure that the state could reach any citizen at any time; as the modern social state developed, it became primarily a tool for collecting and recording general personal information. As in the case of the civil registration system, the constitutional right of negative free…

Regula fidei

(604 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] The expression regula fidei (Gk κανὼν τῆς πίστεως/ kanṓn tḗs písteōs) appeared as a technical Christian term shortly before 200 ce, in several contexts. ¶ (a) In the controversy over the date of Easter (Paschal/Easter calendrical controversies), it denoted the normative practice of the church (Eusebius of Caesarea Hist. eccl. V 24.6). (b) Although Irenaeus of Lyon did not use it in his Adversus haereses (which has eight occurrences of regula veritatis), it is assumed in his Epideixis 3. (c) In the work of Clement of Alexandria, it appears only in Stromata IV 98.3, whe…

Regular Clergy

(317 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] ( clerici regulares) in the broad sense are clerical members of an order or congregation, in contrast to secular or diocesan clergy ( clerici saeculares); in the Middle Ages and the early modern period, the term was extended to include canons regular. In the narrow sense, the term denotes the members of the new religious orders formed in the 16th and 17th centuries in the name of Catholic reform. They are characterized by life in community based on the counsels of perfection and solemn vows. Instead of r…


(715 words)

Author(s): Nagel, Eckhard | Adam, Gottfried
[German Version] I. Social and Ethical Issues Rehabilitation means the totality of all necessary measures to mitigate, eliminate, and permanently prevent a physical or mental impairment. It is intended to prompt positive changes and restore skills and capabilities, or in the case of permanent impairment to achieve adaptation and compensation. The goal of rehabilitation is to restore the ability to lead an independent and self-determined life, taking into account the available resources and competencies…


(296 words)

Author(s): Thiel, Winfried
[German Version] Rehoboam, king of Judah (926–910 bce; Kingship [in Israel]), son and successor of Solomon. When he acceded to the throne, the central and northern tribes (Tribes of Israel) exercised their right to speak and demanded that their burden of tribute and forced labor be reduced. When he refused, they announced their separation from the Davidic dynasty and made Jeroboam I king (1 Kgs 12:1–17). This “division of the kingdom” marked the beginning of Israel and Judah as separate states. The invasion of Palestine by the pharaoh Shishak during the reign of Rehoboam aff…

Reichelt, Karl Ludvig

(169 words)

Author(s): Lande, Aasulv
[German Version] (Sep 1, 1877, Arendal, Norway – Mar 13, 1952, Hong Kong) arrived in 1902 in Hunan, China, as a missionary with the Norwegian Missionary Society (NMS; Norwegian missions). Visiting the Buddhist Weishan monastery in 1905, he made the decision to start a certain Bhuddist mission, at first within the NMS. In 1922 a brotherhome for Buddhist monks was established in Nanking (demolished in 1927). Accused of syncretism, he left NMS in 1926 to be supported by Scandinavian Christian ¶ Missions to Buddhists. In 1931 a brotherhome and center, Tao Fong Shan (TFS), was bu…


(404 words)

Author(s): Zettler, Alfons
[German Version] Reichenau, the largest island in Lake Constance, is near the city of Constance, a former episcopal see; it takes its name from the former Benedictine abbey in Mittelzell. Tradition has it that Pirmin, an itinerant bishop, founded the abbey in 724. After a personal union with the see of Constance that lasted from c. 736 to 782, under Charlemagne Reichenau joined the ranks of the imperial abbeys; its abbot Waldo (786–806) was one of the most influential of Charlemagne’s paladins as …


(66 words)

Author(s): Nicolaisen, Carsten
[German Version] The Reichsbruderrat (“Fraternal Council”) was formed in 1934 as the executive body of the Confessing Church. After several of its members were arrested in 1937, it suspended its meetings until 1945. When the constitution of the Evangelical Church in Germany took effect in 1948, it declared its executive function ended, but it continued to address the public on current issues. Carsten Nicolaisen


(1,120 words)

Author(s): Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter
[German Version] The German term Reichskirche (“imperial church”), scarcely found in historical sources, denotes the post-Constantinian (Constantine the Great) synthesis of civil and ecclesiastical sovereignty in the “Roman Empire,” whose claim of universal dominion made it different from other states. Only in this sense does the term differ from analogous realities in other territories, called state churches, national churches, or regional churches. I. Imperium Romanum A constitutive element of the Roman imperial church was its attachment to the figure of th…


(493 words)

Author(s): Hollerbach, Alexander
[German Version] (Reich concordat), a concordat between the German Reich and the Holy See, signed on Aug 20, 1933, to take effect on Sep 10, 1933. The initiative for the concordat came from the German government, which was prepared to accommodate the wishes of the church in the school question while hoping to “depoliticize” the clergy after the model of the Lateran concordat (Lateran treaties) and thus crush political Catholicism. The theory that prospects for such a concordat played a role in the…


(284 words)

Author(s): Krummacher, Christoph
[German Version] (“Songs of the Reich”), hymnal of the Gemeinschaftsbewegung (Community Movement). The first edition (300 hymns) appeared in 1892, edited by Johannes Röschmann. The material was greatly influenced by the Anglo-American revival movement (Revival/Revival movements; I.D. Sankey, Sacred Songs and Solos). The 1901 edition contained 450 hymns. The edition of 1909 had 654, with more attention to German hymns from the age of Pietism and the 19th century; it was reprinted unchanged in 1924, 1948, 1962, and 1991. A sweeping revis…


(402 words)

Author(s): Schröder, Tilman M.
[German Version] (“imperial council of regency”). In the context of imperial reform in the German Reich, the estates labored to secure their participation in the imperial government, institutionalized in a Reichsregiment. Emperor Maximilian I initially opposed the plan but in 1500 had to accede to it. A decree of Jul 2, 1500, established a Reichsregiment to sit permanently in ¶ Nuremberg and, with the emperor, to exercise the rights of the diet (Reichstag), which met only once a year, and decide all political issues, domestic and foreign. The council had…


(917 words)

Author(s): Kohnle, Armin
[German Version] (Imperial Diet). As a constitutive institution of the Holy Roman Empire in the early modern period, the Reichstag emerged in the context of imperial reform in the late 15th century from an amalgamation of two medieval precursors: the Hoftag or court council, at which the rulers took counsel with the great lords concerning the most important matters affecting the Empire, and the Königsloser Tag, a diet without the ruler, held during a vacancy or in opposition. The special status of the prince-electors, a product of their special responsibility…

Reich, Wilhelm

(162 words)

Author(s): Schäfer, Brigitte
[German Version] (Mar 24, 1897, Dobrianychi, Galicia – Nov 3, 1957, Lewisburg, PA), physician, psychoanalyst, and until 1927 colleague of S. Freud in Vienna. He radicalized Freud’s theories about sex and linked them with ideas from Marxist socialism. After periods in the Soviet Union, Berlin, and Scandinavia, he emigrated to the United States in 1939. He developed “vegetotherapy,” therapy of “muscular armor” or tension, which is both an expression of character tensions and a defense against discha…

Reid, Thomas

(350 words)

Author(s): Chignell, Andrew
[German Version] (Apr 26, 1710, Strachan, Aberdeenshire – Oct 7, 1797, Glasgow), Scottish philosopher who, like his German contemporary I. Kant, developed his views in response to the idealist/skeptical tradition in early modern philosophy (III, 1). An ordained minister, Reid taught philosophy in Aberdeen and Glasgow. His Common Sense school (Common Sense Realism), which included Dugald Stewart, James Beattie, George Campbell, and others, was influential in Britain, Germany, and America. Reid’s own works fell out of favor in the 1…

Reihing, Jakob

(218 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (Jan 6, 1579, Augsburg – May 5, 1628, Tübingen), born to a patrician family, attended the Jesuit college in Augsburg; in Ingolstadt he began studying philosophy in 1594 and theology in 1602. In 1597 he joined the Jesuit order in Landsberg am Lech and was ordained priest in 1604. In 1606 he began lecturing in controversial theology at the Jesuit college in Munich; in 1608 he became professor of philosophy in Ingolstadt. After receiving his doctorate in theology in 1613, he was appo…

Reik, Theodor

(235 words)

Author(s): Stahlberg, Thomas
[German Version] (May 12, 1888, Vienna – Dec 31, 1969, New York) studied psychology and Germanic and Romance philology in Vienna, where he became acquainted with S. Freud in 1910. In 1912 he wrote Die Psychogenese von Flauberts “Versuchung des heiligen Antonius,” the first dissertation written in the spirit of psychoanalysis; in the years that followed, he wrote on the psychology of artists, sexual psychology, and criminal psychology, as well as the psychology of religion. He practiced in Vienna from 1918 to 1928, then in Berlin; in 19…

Reimarus, Hermann Samuel

(495 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Dec 22, 1694, Hamburg – Mar 1, 1768, Hamburg), began studying theology, philosophy, and philology at Jena in 1714 and moved to Wittenberg in 1716, where he received his M.A. in 1717 and was appointed adjunct on the philosophical faculty in 1719. From 1720 to 1722 he took a study trip to Leiden, Oxford, and London. After a brief teaching stint in Wittenberg, he was appointed rector of the municipal school in Wismar and in 1728 (not 1727) professor of Hebrew and Oriental languages …


(113 words)

Author(s): Wolf, Gerhard Philipp
[German Version] Reims, French city of 180,000 in Champagne (Marne), settled by Celts ( Remi); under the Romans, it was the capital of the province of Belgica Secunda. At the end of the 5th century, it was already the site of an episcopal see (Remigius of Reims). In 999 Pope Silvester II granted the bishops of Reims the privilege of crowning the kings of France (until 1825). The 13th-century cathedral of Reims is a noted example of Gothic architecture (Church architecture: I, 2.c). Reims was confirmed as an archbishopric in the concordat of 1817. There has been a university in Reims since 1959. G…

Reina, Cassiodoro de

(105 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Christoph
[German Version] (c. 1520, Seville [?] – Mar 15, 1594, Frankfurt am Main). On account of his Protestant views, in 1557 he fled from Spain to the Netherlands, England, and finally Frankfurt am Main. From 1559 to 1563 he served as pastor to the Spanish Protestant community in London and from 1578 to 1585 as pastor to the Lutheran community in Antwerp. Later he spent most of his time in Frankfurt. His most important work, a Spanish translation of the Bible, was published in Basel in 1569. Christoph Strohm Bibliography A.G. Kinder, Cassiodoro de Reina: Spanish Reformer of the 16th Century, 1975

Reinach, Salomon

(180 words)

Author(s): Horyna, Břetislav
[German Version] (Aug 29, 1858, Saint-Germain-en-Laye – Nov 4, 1932, Paris), French art historian and archaeologist, specializing in the classical world; cofounder of the iconological method ( Cultes, mythes et réligions, vol. I, 1905; ET [selections]: Cults, Myths and Religions, 1912). The second son of a banking family, he was interested in ancient Greek civilization and art history in general. From 1902 he served as director of the Musée des Antiquités Nationales; in the same year he was also appointed to a chair ( Professeur de numismatique) at the Collège de France. His scho…

Reinald of Dassel

(222 words)

Author(s): Görich, Knut
[German Version] (c. 1120 – Aug 14, 1167, in the camp of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa outside Rome), son of Count Reinold of Dassel of Lower Saxony, archbishop of Cologne 1159–1167. After studying at the cathedral school in Hildesheim and probably in Paris, before 1156 he became incumbent of priories in Hildesheim, Goslar, Münster, Maastricht, and Xanten. In 1156 Emperor Frederick Barbarossa appointed him chancellor. In 1159, on the emperor’s initiative, he was elected archbishop of Cologne. In 11…

Reinbeck, Johann Gustav

(271 words)

Author(s): Hammann, Konrad
[German Version] ( Jan 25, 1683, Celle – Aug 21, 1741, Schönwald bei Berlin), Lutheran theologian. After beginning his studies at Halle in 1700 with P. Anton and J.J. Breithaupt, he became a disciple ¶ of J.F. Buddeus and later of C. Wolff. In 1709 he became an adjunct to J. Porst in Berlin, where he was ordained to preach in 1710. In 1717 he was appointed provost of Berlin-Cölln and made a consistorial councilor. In making the transition from Pietism to the early Enlightenment, Reinbeck became one of the forerunners of Enlighte…


(1,423 words)

Author(s): Badewien, Jan | Kleine, Christoph | Schneider, Johannes
[German Version] I. The word reincarnation, like the similar expression transmigration of souls (I), from which it is generally not distinguished, refers to various notions of how a person’s soul or spirit may be reembodied for a new life (or series of lives) on earth. A possible terminological distinction might be made between transmigration and reincarnation by restricting reincarnation primarily to the modern Western variant first proposed by G.E. Lessing ( Die Erziehung des Menschengeschlechts, 1780, §§94ff.; ET: The Education of the Human Race, 1858), but a certain overla…

Rein, Conrad

(115 words)

Author(s): Brusniak, Friedhelm
[German Version] (Rain; c. 1475 – before Dec 3, 1522, Copenhagen?), composer. Rein, who came from Arnstadt, served from 1502 to 1515 as rector of the Holy Spirit hospice school in Nuremberg, where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1507. Later he was a singer and probably the first director of the Danish court singers in Copenhagen (Denmark). With his compositions, of which more than 20 survive, he made a distinct contribution to the development of mass and motet composition in the early 16th century. Friedhelm Brusniak Bibliography F. Brusniak, Conrad Rein, 1980 (Ger.) idem, “Zur Ident…

Reinhard, Franz Volkmar

(121 words)

Author(s): Schott, Christian-Erdmann
[German Version] (Mar 12, 1753, Vohenstrauß, Upper Palatinate – Sep 6, 1812, Dresden). In 1792 Reinhard was called from Wittenberg to serve as senior preacher to the court at Dresden; there he developed into the most celebrated pulpit orator of the Enlightenment. Theologically a supranaturalist, philosophically a Wolffian (C. Wolff), politically an opponent of the French Revolution, Napoleon, and emergent liberalism, he sought to improve those who heard him religiously and morally. His star waned with the dawn of the revival movement. Christian-Erdmann Schott Bibliography E. Bay…

Reinhold, Karl Leonhard

(221 words)

Author(s): Hühn, Lore
[German Version] (Oct 26, 1757, Vienna – Apr 10, 1823, Kiel), trained by the Jesuits to teach philosophy, Reinhold joined the Illuminati in 1783; in 1784 he and C.M. Wieland began publishing Der Teutsche Merkur. In the same year, he converted to Protestantism. With his eight Briefe über die Kantische Philosophie (1786; Letters on the Kantian Philosophy, 2006), he succeeded in becoming the pioneer of post-Kantian systematic philosophy in Germany. Appointed professor of philosophy in Jena in 1787, in his system of “Elementary Philosophy” he sought to s…

Reinkens, Joseph Hubert

(380 words)

Author(s): Berlis, Angela
[German Version] (Mar 1, 1821, Burtscheid, near Aachen – Jan 4, 1896, Bonn), church historian and in 1873 the first bishop of the German Old Catholics. He studied theology, philosophy, and classical philology in Bonn, then attended seminary in Cologne. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1848 and received his doctorate at Munich in 1849. Because of his association ¶ with the circle surrounding A. Günther in Bonn, Archbishop J. v. Geissel prevented him from receiving his Habilitation there; he finally received it in 1850 at Breslau (Wrocław), where he then taught as a lec…

Reinking, Dietrich

(292 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] (Reinkingk, since 1650: v. Reinking; Mar 10, 1590, Windau, Courland [today Ventspils, Latvia] – Dec 15, 1664, Glückstadt), outstanding Lutheran politician and scholar of constitutional law. After occupying a chair at Giessen, from 1618 he held high offices of state in Hesse-Darmstadt, Mecklenburg, archepiscopal Bremen (representing the archdiocese at the 1648 peace negotiations in Osnabrück), and Denmark. His most important academic work, Tractatus de regimine seculari et ecclesiastico (1619, 71717), characterizes the Empire as a monarchy of the em…

Rein, Wilhelm

(198 words)

Author(s): Koerrenz, Ralf
[German Version] (Aug 10, 1847, Eisenach – Feb 19, 1929, Jena). After studying Protestant theology and educational theory, Rein taught in Barmen and Weimar before becoming director of the teachers’ seminary in Eisenach. After his appointment as honorary professor at Jena in 1886 (made full professor in 1912), he became a central figure in university training of teachers in the Empire. He worked within the pedagogical tradition of J.F. Herbart’s disciples (“Herbartians”). The core of his educationa…

Reisach, Karl August, Count of

(190 words)

Author(s): Weiß, Otto
[German Version] ( Jul 6, 1800, Roth, near Nuremberg – Dec 22, 1869, Contamine-sur-Arve, Geneva Canton). After earning his Dr.iur., Reisach studied theology at the Collegium Germanicum in Rome. In 1828 he was ordained to the priesthood. In 1836 he was appointed bishop of Eichstätt, in 1841 bishop coadjutor and in 1846 archbishop of Munich and Freising. In 1855 he was named a curial cardinal. A member of several Roman congregations, in 1862 he was appointed prefect of the Congregation of Studies an…

Reiser, Friedrich

(210 words)

Author(s): Hilsch, Peter
[German Version] (c. 1401, Deutach, near Donauwörth – Mar 6, 1458, Straßburg [Strasbourg]), Waldensian-Hussite leader. Reiser, the son of a Waldensian merchant, was sent c. 1418 to Nuremberg to study with Hans v. Plauen; there he became acquainted with the English Wycliffite Peter Payne. As an itinerant preacher in southern Germany, through Fribourg (Switzerland) he also made contact with Francophone Waldenses. ¶ In 1428 he joined a band of Taborite soldiers in Austria and stayed in Bohemia for some time, where he became familiar with Hussite beliefs ( J. …

Reitzenstein, Richard

(198 words)

Author(s): Nagel, Peter
[German Version] (Apr 2, 1861, Breslau – Mar 23, 1931, Göttingen), classical philologist and historian of religion who became a Privatdozent in Breslau in 1888 and, from 1889 onward, professor in Rostock, Giessen, Strasbourg, Freiburg im Breisgau, and, from 1914, in Göttingen. As a representative of the history-of-religions school, Reitzenstein published pioneering but methodologically insecure studies of ancient syncretism, Gnosticism (Gnosis), and Manichaeism. Reitzenstein was largely responsible for the “oriental” ¶ derivation model of Gnosticism; this culminate…

Reitz, Johann Heinrich

(187 words)

Author(s): Sträter, Udo
[German Version] (Jun 24, 1655, Oberdiebach – Nov 25, 1720, Wesel), Reformed theologian. After studies in Heidelberg (1675), Bremen (1678), Herborn, and Leiden (1679), he became rector in Frankenthal. In 1681 he became a pastor in Freinsheim, in 1689 inspector in Ladenburg, in 1694 pastor in Asslar, and in 1695 court chaplain and inspector in Braunfels. Under the influence of B.C. Klopfer and H. Horch, he was won to the cause of separatism and chiliasm (Millenarianism) and was removed from office …


(396 words)

Author(s): Rosenau, Hartmut
[German Version] As the opposite of election or salvation by God, and in divergence from common linguistic usage in dogmatics, rejection must be distinguished from damnation in so far as it is not necessarily associated with eschatological consequences in terms of definitive exclusion from salvation (Kingdom of God: IV). The apostle Paul’s struggle over the fate of the chosen people of Israel, in the face of their widespread non-acceptance of the new covenant of God with all humankind in Jesus Chr…

Rej, Mikolaj

(149 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Feb 4, 1505, Żórawno near Halicz – Oct 4, 1569, Rejowiec near Lublin), member of the landed nobility who, as a versatile and prolific poet, became the “father of Polish literature.” A staunch supporter of the Reformation, he published his extensive Postilla in 1557. The work was reissued many times and was also translated into Lithuanian and Ruthene. It is permeated with praise of simple trust in God. He had already published his Polish translation of the Psalms in 1546. His last prose work, The Mirror ( Zwierciadło, 1568), was the most highly regarded by his conte…

Reland, Hadrian

(179 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] ( Relandus, Reelant; Hadrianus, Adriaan; Jul 17, 1676, Rijp – Feb 5, 1718, Utrecht) was appointed professor in Harderwijk in 1699 and professor of oriental languages in Utrecht in 1701, from 1703 also for Hebrew antiquities. The works Analecta Rabbinica (1702) and Antiquitates sacrae veterum Hebraeorum (1705) were followed by his main work Palaestina ex monumentis veteribus illustrata (1716), which was compiled almost entirely from ancient sources (part 1: onomastics and geography; patr 2: distances; part 3: lexicon of all place names). De religione Mohammedica (…


(1,774 words)

Author(s): Mühling, Markus
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion The importance of the insight that the concept of relationality represents an essential factor in understanding reality (along with its origins and purpose) has only recently been fully recognized, although intellectual history may be seen as a quest for this insight. This is illustrated by the fact that Western philosophy can be divided into a Heraclitean type (Heraclitus), which emphasizes the priority of the Many, and a Parmenidian type (Parmenides, Being)…

Relativity, Theory of

(578 words)

Author(s): Russell, Robert John
[German Version] A. Einstein arrived at his special relativity theory in the year 1905, primarily on the basis of mathematical and conceptional inconsistencies emerging between the theory of electromagnetism as illustrated by Maxwell’s equations (J.C. Maxwell) and I. Newton’s principle of relative motion (Determinism and indeterminism). The manner in which he constructed his theory was largely determined by two factors: an empirical/operational definition of theoretical concepts and an aesthetical…


(5,513 words)

Author(s): Felber, Anneliese | Köpf, Ulrich | Plank, Peter | Hafner, Johann Ev. | Mohr, Hubert
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Relics are the remains (Lat. reliquiae) of individuals endowed with power, such as warriors, chiefs, sorcerers, heroes, prophets, martyrs, and saints – their bodies, their clothing, or objects they have used. Veneration of relics reflects the belief that these forces continue beyond the grave; the intent is to benefit from this power or blessing by erecting structures over the grave, lighting candles or leaving flowers, processions, touching or kissing, or burial near…

Relief Organizations, Catholic (Germany)

(301 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] These are predominantly internationally oriented organizations, which aim to offer aid through solidarity and partnership, to work for development and peace, mission and the proclamation of the gospel. In Germany, they include: Adveniat (Essen), diocesan action to support ministry among impoverished peoples in Latin America (est. 1961). Bonifatiuswerk (until 1967: Bonifatiusverein für das katholische Deutschland; Paderborn), for support of ministry amongst the Catholic diaspora in…


(20,501 words)

Author(s): Feil, Ernst | Antes, Peter | Schwöbel, Christoph | Herms, Eilert | Küster, Volker | Et al.
[German Version] I. The Concept 1. History. As a sign of modern reflection on religion from an anthropo-philosophical perspective, we may take the emergence of philosophical anthropology (Human beings) c. 1600 (Odo Marquard) and the philosophy of religion c. 1770. However these two disciplines are defined – whether as (sub)disciplines of philosophy or simply as philosophy –, they are related to the problems raised by the various positions taken in modern debates over (Christian) religious belief (Faith…

Religion and Law

(619 words)

Author(s): Stotz, Rüdiger
[German Version] Religion-related state law or state-enabled contractual regulations have the purpose of regulating the functions of entitlement and implementation of the fundamental right to freedom of religion (IV). Religious law (Ger. Religionsrecht) also encompasses the organizational-legal guarantees pertaining to churches and religious communities. In contrast to state-church law, which is also marked by institutional concepts (Church and State: II), religious law is oriented to freedom of religion as the guiding referen…

Religion Conferences

(839 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] are more or less regularly organized international conferences attended by theologians, leaders, officials, and believers from different religions. The prototype of all religion conferences is the World’s Parliament of Religions hosted in 1893 in conjunction with the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. At this conference, university theologians and church leaders from all Christian denominations, as well as Reform Jewish (Reform Judaism) rabbis, theosophists (Theosophy), Hind…

Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, Die

(632 words)

Author(s): Siebeck, Georg
[German Version] 1. The encyclopedia entitled Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart ( RGG) came into being as a result of publisher P. Siebeck’s wish to round off his theological publication program with a “scholarly reference work for everyman,” which was to be modeled on the 19th-century German Konversations-Lexika; it seemed a promising venture, given the very broad interest of the time in ¶ religious topics. The history of religions school, whose representatives were already associated with his publishing company in other connections, viewed theology …

Religion of Humanity

(293 words)

Author(s): Dreher, Martin N.
[German Version] ( Religião de Humanidade) was based on the ideas of the French philosopher and sociologist A. Comte, who attempted to bring about a synthesis between the Catholic Church’s conception of order and the certainty of progress, that was to be oriented to natural sciences. His program culminated in an atheistic religion of humanity or cult of humankind. All scientific ambitions were to subordinate themselves to this religion. Although his idea of a mystical church remained without conseque…

Religion Teacher

(826 words)

Author(s): Bucher, Anton
[German Version] Religion teachers in the broadest sense are all those persons who set up – with intent – learning situations that open up for children, youths, or adults a religious approach to reality (including esp. parents, pastors, adult educators [Education of adults], etc.). Religion teachers in a narrower sense have received professional training (theology diploma, teacher training, etc. [training and coaching of religion teachers, religious education, science of]) and, at least in Germany…

Religiöser Menschheitsbund

(145 words)

Author(s): Wolfes, Matthias
[German Version] The Religiöser Menschheitsbund (Religious Humanity Alliance) was founded in 1921 by R. Otto in analogy to the League of Nations. As an inter-religious group it aimed to bring the ideals of social justice and peace to bear at an international level. Through the gathering of representatives of various religions, attention was to be drawn to the ethical implications of political action, and a contribution made to the “actualization of common moral goals” (Otto). In its orientation to…


(347 words)

Author(s): Bochinger, Christoph
[German Version] denotes the individual, subjective aspect of the religious – as contrasted with religion in the sense of something objectively given, with professional theologies, dogmas, and doctrines, or religious institutions, churches, and religious communities. Its semantic structure was developed from the late 18th century onward in the context of German Enlightenment philosophy, Idealism, and Romanticism (I.H. Fichte, G.W.F. Hegel, J.G. Herder, F.D.E. Schleiermacher). The main interest foc…

Religious Criticism

(2,242 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert | Krötke, Wolf
[German Version] I. Greco-Roman Antiquity 1. Types, topics, argumentation patterns a. Conceptions of gods, myths (Myth and mythology), and cult praxis (Cult/Worship) were the object of reflection, analysis, and criticism from the very beginnings of Greco-Roman culture (Homer, Hesiod). Religious criticism was applied firstly to myths and cult, certain forms of atheism (pantheism, deism), and secondly to one’s own religion as compared to another (intra-/interreligious criticism). The criticism focused (i) (u…
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