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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Radio and Television Preaching

(418 words)

Author(s): Haberer, Johanna
[German Version] The organization of radio and television in Germany has been under ¶ state direction since the start of its use as a public medium in 1926. From the beginning, the churches were involved, and pursued conceptually preventive-reactive and positive goals in broadcasting. On the one hand, they tried to oppose undesirable tendencies toward loss of individuality, and superficiality; but it was particularly in warding off socialist ideas, and the influence of the “other” confession, that both Cathol…

Radowitz, Joseph Maria von

(209 words)

Author(s): Frie, Ewald
[German Version] (Feb 6, 1797, Blankenburg – Dec 25, 1853, Berlin), Prussian general, minister of state, and confidant of Frederick William IV. Radowitz, from the Hungarian Catholic nobility, entered Prussian service in 1823, where his military and diplomatic career advanced rapidly. Until they parted company he was a member of the Gerlach circle. In 1831 he was co-founder of the Berliner Politisches Wochenblatt, and from the 1830s he was the closest friend of Frederick William IV. As a reforming conservative, he supported the religious and social monarchy…


(362 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] 1. Nicholas the Red (Mikołai Rudy Radziwiłł; Apr 27, 1512 – Apr 27, 1584, Vilnius), high chancellor and high hetman of Lithuania, from 1566 (following his cousin Nicholas the Black [see 2 below]) voivode of Vilnius; he became a Calvinist c. 1564. His descendants remained faithful to the Reformed confession and, until the line failed in 1667, ensured the continuation of Reformed parishes on the Radziwill estates (of the Birse branch) in Lithuania. Peter Hauptmann Bibliography T. Nowakowski, Die Radziwills. Die Geschichte einer großen europäischen Familie, 1968, 79–…


(177 words)

Author(s): Moser, Heike
[German Version] (lit. “dye, passion, red”) denotes in both North and South Indian music the musical mode. The definition of a rāga covers the fixed base tone, the central tones, and the group of permitted tones that make possible the improvised development of a theme or the composition of multi-part art songs (South India), as long as specific rules and stylistic features (ornamentations and melisma) are observed. Moreover, the emotional mood plays an important part: in North Indian music it is related to times of …

Ragaz, Leonhard

(290 words)

Author(s): Ruddies, Hartmut
[German Version] (Jul 28, 1868, Tamins, Graubünden/ Grisons – Dec 6, 1945, Zürich), studied theology in Basel, Jena (under R.A. Lipsius), and Berlin (under O. Pfleiderer); he was pastor in Graubünden and Chur, then in 1902 at the Basel Minster, where he distanced himself from theological liberalism and relinquished its optimistic philosophy of history – which was much influenced by G.W.F. Hegel, R. Rothe, and A. Ritschl – in favor of a theology, eschatological in tone, in which the kingdom of God is “hope for the earth” and the purpose and goal of Christian ethics, and ¶ religion and the so…

Rahlfs, Alfred

(185 words)

Author(s): Schaper, Joachim
[German Version] (May 29, 1865, Linden near Hanover – Apr 8, 1935, Göttingen), became a Privatdozent (OT) in 1891, extraordinary professor in 1901, full professor in 1919, in Göttingen; he was director of the Septuagint project of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences, a project founded in 1908 by Rudolf Smend (1851–1913) and J. Wellhausen (Septuagint research). Rahlfs, an important Greek and Semitic philologist, was mainly concerned with scholarly editing of the LXX (see esp. his edition of the LXX, still in use,…


(787 words)

Author(s): Domaschke, Franz | Hilberath, Bernd Jochen
[German Version] 1. Hugo (May 3, 1900, Pfullendorf, Baden – Dec 21, 1968, Munich), theologian, historian, and humanist; brother of Karl. In 1919 he became a Jesuit; he studied theology in Valkenburg (the Netherlands) and Innsbruck, earning his doctorate in 1931. From 1931 to 1934 he studied history in Bonn with F.J. Dölger and ¶ Wilhelm Levison. In 1935 he received his Dr.Phil. and gained his habilitation in Innsbruck in patrology, Early Church history, and the history of dogma. After appointment as full professor in 1937, he spent the years from 19…

Rahtmann, Hermann

(287 words)

Author(s): Steiger, Johann Anselm
[German Version] (1585, Lübeck – Jun 30, 1628, Danzig [Gdansk]), completed his schooling under Georg Rollenhagen in Magdeburg and studied in Rostock and Cologne, where he earned his living as a printer’s reader. Educated to be a Lutheran and/or Jesuit theologian, Rahtmann obtained an M.A. and continued his studies in Leipzig. He became a deacon in Danzig in 1612, and pastor in 1626. Starting from a dualism of spirit and flesh, and influenced by K. v. Schwenckfeld and a spiritual interpretation of …

Raiffeisen, Friedrich Wilhelm

(334 words)

Author(s): Lamparter, Fritz
[German Version] (Mar 30, 1818, Hamm/Sieg – Mar 11, 1888, Neuwied), was influenced by the Siegerland revival movement (Revival/Revival movements: I, 7), through his mother. He was founder of the rural cooperative system. As mayor of Weyerbusch in the Westerwald (1845), in Flammersfeld (1848), and in Heddesdorf (1852), he became familiar with the poverty of the people in the famine years of 1846/1847 and later. Moneylenders exploited the farmers’ plight by charging extortionate rates of interest. M…

Raikes, Robert

(164 words)

Author(s): Carter, Grayson
[German Version] (Sep 14, 1735, Gloucester – Apr 5, 1811, Gloucester), founder of the Sunday School movement. Raikes inherited a successful newspaper, the Gloucester Journal, and used the proceeds to promote a variety of philanthropic causes, especially prison reform. In 1780 he and a local curate established a Sunday School in Gloucester, and Raikes publicized its opening in the Journal. The idea attracted wide attention, and Sunday Schools were quickly set up throughout Britain, Ireland, and America. J. Wesley remarked that the schools were “one of th…


(352 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] The value accorded to rain is related to whether cultures practice agriculture based on irrigation or on rain. There may be a focus either on preventing uncontrolled flooding that destroys growth, or on anxiety lest there be no rain, and on desire for rain. Rain is seen as a gift of mountain and weather gods (e.g. in the Near East, where YHWH, too, displays traits of such gods; Indra in the Vedic pantheon [Vedic and Brahmanic religion]; Chac or Tlaloc [Aztec religion: V] in Centra…


(242 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] As a sign of God’s covenant (Gen 9:12–17; according to Zenger, God’s war bow) after the Flood, the rainbow has largely positive connotations in Western history; this causes the ancient Greek tradition, according to which the rainbow is considered an ominous sign of future continuous rain (Ovid, Met. I, 270), to recede into the background. Both traditions, as omen and as link between the cosmic regions, are widespread in religious history. The rainbow is thought of as a bridge on which the gods walk across the sky, down to the …

Raiser, Ludwig

(195 words)

Author(s): Schlenke, Dorothee
[German Version] (Oct 27, 1904, Stuttgart – Jun 13, 1980, Tübingen), lawyer. The historical experience of National Socialism impressed on Raiser the need for active civil co-responsibility in democratic society. Therefore, as full professor and rector from 1945 to 1952 in Göttingen, and from 1955 to 1973 in Tübingen, and in many roles in academic and university politics, he took an active part in shaping university reforms during that time. The recurrent theme of his legal writings was the orderin…

Rajneesh, Chandra Mohan

(8 words)

[German Version] Osho Movement


(6 words)

[German Version] Osho Movement


(311 words)

Author(s): Na’aman, Nadav
[German Version] The Hebrew word רָמָה/ rāmāh means “height” and was a commonplace name for elevated places. Several biblical places are called various derivatives of the noun (Ramatayim, Ramoth, Ramoth-Gilead, Ramoth-Negev, Ramath-Lehi, Ramath-Mizpeh). It is not always easy to distinguish between them and establish their locations. 1. The best known place is the Ramah of Benjamin which is often mentioned (Josh 18:25; Judg 19:13; 1 Kgs 15:17, 21f.; Isa 10:29; Jer 40:1). The town is identified with modern er-Rām, situated 9 km north of Jerus…


(400 words)

Author(s): Harder, Hans
[German Version] (Rāmakṛṣṇa Paramahaṃsa, birth name Gadadhar Chattopadhyay; Feb 18, 1836, Kamarpukur, India – Aug 16, 1886, Calcutta), is considered the most important holy figure of Hinduism in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1847 Rāmakrishna, who was born into a rural Bengal Brahman family, came to ¶ Dakshineshvar where he served as a Kālī priest from 1856 and was taught Vedānta by the ascetic Totāpurī. His ecstatic worship and mystical show of the goddess Kālī became widely known and, from the 1870s on, attracted primarily young Calcut…


(384 words)

Author(s): Hüsken, Ute
[German Version] (also Uṭaiyavar; traditional dates: 1017, Śrīperumputūr [Tamil Nadu] – 1137). In his commentary ( Śrībhāṣya) on the Brahma Sutras, Rāmānuja systematized the philosophical teachings of his predecessors Nāthamuni (10th cent.) and Yāmuna (11th cent.), thereby establishing the Viṣṇu-oriented philosophical direction of the Viśiṣṭādvaita (“qualified non-duality” [monism]; Hinduism: II, 2), in which non-duality (advaita) is qualified in the sense that the world and the ¶ individual soul each receive their own weight. This school teaches devoted…


(436 words)

Author(s): Mertens, Annemarie
[German Version] ̣The Rāmāyaṇa is one of Hinduism’s two most important Sanskrit epics; the other is the Mahābhārata. The oldest parts of the epic date from the 5th century bce; by the 3rd century ce, the text of the Rāmāyaṇa probably existed in a relatively complete form. It describes the life of Rāma, the hero after whom the text is named. For many Hindus the Rāmāyaṇa is a religious text; its main figures, Rāma, Sītā, and Hanumat (also known as Hanumān), have divine status. Sītā is considered the ideal of a faithful wife. Indian tradition lauds the metrical text, which comprises some 24,000 ¶…


(367 words)

Author(s): Sträter, Udo
[German Version] 1. Johann Jakob (Feb 24, 1693, Halle – Apr 19, 1735, Giessen). From 1712, Rambach studied in Halle; in 1715 he worked on J.H. Michaelis’s edition of the Biblia Hebraica; from 1719 (together with G.A. Francke), he studied in Jena (esp. under J.F. Buddeus), where in 1720 he gained his M.A.; in 1723 he became assistant in the Halle faculty of theology; in 1726, assistant professor; in 1727, full professor of theology in Halle; in 1731, Dr.theol.; from 1731, professor and general superintendent in Giessen. Ramba…
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