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 18…


(349 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] Restrictions are those ongoing or momentary conditions imposed on human action that are given prior to a particular action and cannot be evaded in the choice of ends and actions but must be taken into account by any rational choice. Ongoing conditions consist in the total relational structure of personhood in the world (i.e. in the unity of the relationship of the author of an action to the world, to himself, and to the source of the relationship between relation to the world and relation to oneself). The ongoing and fu…


(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, metempsyc…


(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…


(4,477 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Janowski, Bernd | Bendemann, Reinhard v. | Volkmann, Stefan | Buß, Johanna
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Retribution – recompense of good with good and evil with evil, in religion as reward (Payment) or punishment for human conduct, imposed in this life or the next by God or fate – is an aspect of reciprocity, the principle of quid pro quo (Merit). Richard Thurnwald was the first to point out the significance of reciprocity for social action and worldview in ethnic societies. It goes beyond reciprocating with a gift or assistance, or exchanging daughters between exogamous groups; the moral, legal, and religi…

Retz, Jean-François-Paul de Gondi de

(203 words)

Author(s): Klueting, Harm
[German Version] (baptized Sep 20, 1613, Montmirail, Département Marne – Aug 24, 1679, Paris). After studying theology, he was appointed coadjutor of Paris 1644; in 1652 he was made a cardinal, in 1654 archbishop of Paris, and in 1662 abbot of St. Denis. A political opponent of J. Mazarin and Louis XIV, he organized the uprising of the Fronde (1648–1653). He was arrested in 1652 but was appointed archbishop while still in prison. He was forced to resign his office (not recognized by Pope Innocent …


(7 words)

[German Version] Tribes of Israel

Reublin, Wilhelm

(285 words)

Author(s): Jung, Martin H.
[German Version] (Röubli; c. 1484, Rottenburg am Neckar – 1559 or later). From 1525 to 1531, Reublin was a leading figure among the Anabaptists in southwest Germany, Switzerland, and Moravia; he influenced B. Hubmaier and M. Sattler. He studied at Freiburg im Breisgau and Tübingen, earned a master’s degree, and in 1521 was appointed parish priest of Sankt Alban’s in Basel. On account of his inflammatory preaching of the Reformation, he was expelled in 1522 and went to Witikon (Canton Zürich), wher…

Reuchlin, Johannes

(569 words)

Author(s): Raeder, Siegfried
[German Version] (Capnion; Feb 22, 1455, Pforzheim – Jun 30, 1522, Stuttgart), eminent Humanist (Humanism: III), studied in Paris in 1473 and from 1474 to 1477 at Basel, where he explored the philosophy of Nicholas of Cusa, earned his M.A., and wrote his Vocabularius breviloquus (1478), a Latin dictionary. In 1477 he studied Greek in Paris with Georgios Hermonymus. He began studying ius civile in 1479 in Orléans and finished in Poitiers in 1481 as a licentiate. Appointed to the council of Count Eberhard the Bearded of Württemberg and a member of the manoria…

Reu, Johann Michael

(177 words)

Author(s): Collmar, Norbert
[German Version] (Nov 16, 1869, Diebach – Oct 14, 1943, Rochester, MN), Lutheran theologian. Reu emigrated to the United States in 1889. After ten years as a pastor, he was appointed professor of systematic theology at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque (IA) in 1899; he taught there until his death. His enormous oeuvre made continental Lutheran theology accessible in the United States. Among his extensive works in many areas, his annotated edition of 16th-century Lutheran catechisms stands out. Through his support of graduate study and the …

Reusch, Franz Heinrich

(312 words)

Author(s): Arneth, Martin
[German Version] (Dec 4, 1825, Brilon, Westphalia – Mar 3, 1900, Bonn). From 1843 to 1848, Reusch studied Catholic theology and philosophy at Bonn, Tübingen (J.E. v. Kuhn, K.J. v. Hefele), and Munich (I. v. Döllinger, J. v. Görres et al.); in 1848 he was ordained to the priesthood in Cologne. In 1854 he completed his Habilitation at Bonn, where he was appointed associate professor of Old Testament in 1858 and made full professor in 1861. His publications include a Lehrbuch der Einleitung in das Alte Testament (1853, 41870). In his Bibel und Natur (1862, 41876; ET: Nature and the Bible, 1886), …

Reuß, Eduard

(318 words)

Author(s): Bauks, Michaela
[German Version] (Aug 18, 1804, Strasbourg – Apr 15, 1891, Strasbourg). After passing his theological examinations in 1825 and studying at Göttingen, Halle, and Paris, Reuß returned to Strasbourg, where in 1834 he was appointed lecturer in the Séminaire Protestant. In 1836 he was appointed professor of New Testament and canon of St. Thomas; in 1838 he was also appointed contract lecturer on “Christian morals” on the same faculty. From 1865 to 1888 he served on the university faculty as professor o…

Reuter, Hermann

(335 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Aug 31, 1817, Hildesheim – Sep 17, 1889, Kreiensen). In 1837 Reuter began studying Protestant theology in Göttingen; in 1838 he moved to Berlin, where he combined theology with history and philosophy. Close friendly exchange of ideas with Rudolf v. Ihering (later a renowned jurist) and attentiveness to the political historicism of the universal historians confirmed him in a “historical method” that admitted no difference between so-called secular historians and church historians.…

Reuveni, David

(161 words)

Author(s): Carlebach, Elisheva
[German Version] From c. 1525 until 1538, Reuveni made a name for himself with an invented identity. His adopted name suggested a lineage from the ten lost tribes of Israel; his actual origins remain unknown. He proposed to unite his “savage tribes” with the forces of the Christian world, against the Turks. In an age of chiliastic expectations (Eschatology: VIII, 2), this adventurer succeeded in meeting with Pope Clement VII and King JohnIII of Portugal. He was able to rally many Portuguese Marran…

Revealed Religion

(8 words)

[German Version] Typology of Religion


(13,059 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann | Schwöbel, Christoph | Kaiser, Otto | Bockmuehl, Markus | Werbick, Jürgen | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Concept. The word revelation echoes the Greek ἀποκάλυψις/ apokálypsis (“uncovering”), which was translated into Latin as revelatio and then borrowed into most European languages. The literal meaning already indicates that revelation involves a reality, content, more specifically a message hidden from mortals. Revelation is important: it is relevant religious knowledge necessary for salvation, for finding meaning, and for dealing with everyday life. It is knowledge that peo-¶ ple do not already possess by nature, and their reli…

Revelatory Literature

(1,019 words)

Author(s): Dinzelbacher, Peter
[German Version] As in other religions of the book, in Christianity the official fundamental text, the Bible, was soon joined by a wealth of so-called private revelations (Revelation). In written form, they constitute the body of revelatory literature, consisting primarily of (actual or fictional) visions, dreams, appearances, auditory hallucinations, and messages and transcripts received in a trance, as well as revelations resulting from possession and letters from heaven or the devil. Formally these texts generally either embody a single great revelation given to…


(1,407 words)

Author(s): Beinhauer-Köhler, Bärbel | Zenger, Erich | Volkmann, Stefan
[German Version] I. Concept Revenge as a form of compensation provides a model for social behavior. Religions interpret it and extend the concept to relationships between human beings and gods as well as between the living and the dead. Religions vary in their assessment of revenge. They can consider it a legitimate form of justice (talion in tribal societies, the notion of revenge in the OT, as in Gen 4:23f.) or as an unethical mode of conduct to be overcome (Buddhism; Matt 6:12). Usually revenge is a peripheral aspect of religion a…

Réville, Albert

(203 words)

Author(s): Horyna, Břetislav
[German Version] (Nov 3, 1826, Dieppe – Oct 25, 1906, Paris), French Protestant theologian, advocate of liberal theology, historian of dogma. He is considered the father of the academic study of religion in France. Influenced during his studies by F.C. Baur and the Protestant Tübingen School, he became associated with the so-called Strasbourg School ( Revue de Strasbourg). After studying theology at Geneva and Strasbourg (1844–1848), he served in various positions (vicar, pastor, journalist) until 1880, when he was appointed professor of the history o…

Revius, Jacobus

(154 words)

Author(s): de Groot, Aart
[German Version] (Nov, 1586, Deventer – Nov 15, 1658, Leiden), Dutch Reformed theologian, pastor in Deventer from 1614 to 1642. Linguistically gifted, he served as a reviser of the Dutch national translation of the Old Testament (Bible translations: II, 1.d). In 1652 he was appointed superintendent of the national seminary in Leiden. He presided over many disputations that bitterly attacked Arminians, Cartesians (Cartesianism), and Catholics. A prolific poet, he drew on the Bible and Dutch history for his subjects. His poems are considered a high point of Dutch Renaissance poetry. Aa…

Revival, non-Christian

(947 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[German Version] Non-Christian religions have experienced repeated revivals, particularly after encounters with Christianity. The classic paradigm in the Early Church was the attempt of Julian the Apostate to restore pagan religiosity – an experiment that failed but was noteworthy because in many respects the revived spirit of “Hellenism” was unmistakably modeled on the example of the Christian church Julian opposed – moves to centralize the priesthood, liturgical regulation, and institutionalization of social welfare. In the context of the history of Christianity ou…

Revival/Revival Movements

(4,724 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhem | Hambrick-Stowe, Charles E. | Grundmann, Christoffer H.
[German Version] The expression revival movement, like the German Erweckungsbewegung (coined by Halle Pietists), has become the standard term for a group of religious movements that have put their stamp on European and North American Protestantisms as well as a few Catholic milieus (see also Confessional milieus) with varying intensity since the early 18th century. The Pietists interpreted revival as an ongoing attempt to arouse Christians from religious lethargy to engage them in a strict, biblically-ba…


(3,474 words)

Author(s): Stroh, Ralf | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Amjad-Ali, Charles
[German Version] I. Concept The term revolution (from Lat. revolvere, “turn over”) denotes a sudden qualitative change of existing circumstances and processes, a change that does not just affect individual elements – like the replacement of government personnel in a coup – but brings change of the overall system. The term was used originally in astronomy for the orbit of a heavenly body. Since the early modern era, has been used to refer to changes that overturn the political system, but this definition …


(295 words)

Author(s): Stubbe, Hannes
[German Version] Revulsion is a feeling of dislike coupled with repugnance. Its object may be food (e.g. pork among observant Muslims and Jews or horse meat among Christians), objects, persons (e.g. members of other religious communities or menstruating women [Lev 12:2–8; 15:19–28]), bodily parts (e.g. the genitals or, among Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists, the “unclean left hand” [Pure and impure], which must not touch sacred objects), but also types of behavior (e.g. spitting or vomiting, which m…
▲   Back to top   ▲