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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Saadia Gaon

(368 words)

Author(s): Leicht, Reimund
[German Version] (acronym RaSaG; 882, Faiyum, Upper Egypt – 942, Sura, Babylonia), from 928 the first non-Babylonian head (Gaon) of the rabbinic academy in Sura. As a philologist, exegete, controversialist, and philosopher, he was an outstanding figure in 10th-century Judaism. In 915 he settled in Palestine, where he wrote his first philological work, Sefer ha-Agron. From the year 921 at the latest, Saadia – who appears to have been a contentious character all his life – lived in Babylonia. There he became involved in the so-call Ben Meir controver…


(6 words)

[German Version] Finno-Ugric Religions


(439 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W.
[German Version] a Semitic people in the area of modern Yemen, home of an advanced civilization in antiquity. The center of the kingdom of Saba was the city of Mārib, situated in a riverine oasis. With it as a base, in the early 7th century bce the Sabaean ruler Karibʾil Watar gained ascendancy over the rival kingdoms of Qatabān to the south and Ḥaḍramaut to the east, along with the confederation of Minaean towns to the northwest. From the 3rd century bce on, the Sabaean kingdom expanded into the Yemenite uplands, where a competing Himyarite kingdom emerged in the 1st century ce. When the Sab…


(5 words)

[German Version] God

Sabas Monastery

(298 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] The monastery was established between 483 and 490 by St. Sabas alongside the Kidron Valley nine km southeast of Jerusalem. It was founded as a laura, consisting of individual caves in the rock with a communal building as its center. Despite its deep involvement in the Origenist controversies, by the time of the Persian invasion in 614 it had already experienced an initial spiritual and intellectual flowering (Cyril of Scythopolis); it played an essential role in the development of…

Sabas (Saint)

(174 words)

Author(s): Goehring, James E.
[German Version] (439, Cappadocia – May 12, 532, Palestine), founder of the Great Laura (Mar Saba). Sabas moved to Palestine as an ascetic at the age of 17, where he was sent to a monastery by Euthymius. He eventually embraced an anchoritic life, wandering in the desert for a number of years before settling in a cave in the Cedron Ravine. He began to attract disciples, which marks the beginning of the Great Laura. Its success led to the foundation of other related ascetic communities nearby. Sabas…

Sabatier, Paul

(268 words)

Author(s): Kracht, Klaus Große
[German Version] (Aug 3, 1858, Saint-Michel-de-Chabrillanoux – Mar 4, 1928, Strasbourg), Protestant theologian and historian. The son of a Reformed pastor, Sabatier began his study of Protestant theology in Paris in 1880. Inspired by the works of E. Renan, his teacher, he dedicated himself after 1884 to exploring the life and impact of Francis of Assisi. From 1885 to 1889 he served as an assistant minister in Straßburg, then a German city; when the German authorities demanded that he either adopt …


(219 words)

Author(s): Bonnet, Corinne
[German Version] (Sebazios, Sabadios, Sabos), a Thraco- Phrygian god (5th cent. bce), found throughout the Mediterranean region. In Anatolia he was associated with Attis, Men, and Cybele; in the Greek milieu, his orgiastic cult led him to be associated with Dionysus. Little is known of his original nature, but some evidence (in part iconographic) suggests that he had power over nature and the animal world and hence also “cosmic” power, which could benefit humankind and promote mental and physical wellbeing (cf. the magical hand of Sabazius, raised in blessing). His myth portrays ¶ Sabaz…


(573 words)

Author(s): Kirn, Hans-Martin | Solberg, Winton U.
[German Version] I. Europe Sabbatarians is a collective designation for various Christian groups in the context of Bible-oriented reform and revival movements; their common characteristic is observance of the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week (“Saturday Sabbatarians”). In English Puritanism (Puritans), advocates of strict Sunday observance could also be called Sabbatarians (“Sunday Sabbatarians”). Besides small medieval groups like the 12th-century Passagini in northern Italy, Sabbatarians in t…


(2,991 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Doering, Lutz | Hollender, Elisabeth | van Henten, Jan Willem | Volp, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament In the preexilic period, Sabbath (שַׁבָּת/ šabbāt) meant the day of the full moon; from the Exile on, it denoted a weekly day of rest. The origins of this day of rest go back to the early days of Exile. The earliest laws regarding the preexilic day of rest appear in the Book of the Covenant (Exod 23:10) and the cultic code in Exod 34:18–23, 25f. (v. 21) (Law and legislation: III). In the Book of the Covenant, the commandment to ¶ observe a day of rest is part of the privilege law of YHWH that deals with setting apart the firstfruits and firstborn …

Sabbath Songs

(357 words)

Author(s): Newsom, Carol A.
[German Version] (ShirShabb). The Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice is a liturgical cycle of 13 related compositions. Each is dated to one of the first 13 Sabbaths of the year, according to the solar calendar. Nine manuscripts were found at Qumran (4Q400–407, 11Q17), and one at Masada (Mas 1k). The songs invoke and describe the praise of the angelic priests in the heavenly temple. Each song begins with a heading, “For the Maskil” (“Instructor”), and the date formula. The song proper opens with a call to praise, introduced by the imperative “halle…

Sabbatical Year

(277 words)

Author(s): Morgenstern, Matthias
[German Version] The Zionist (Zionism) settlement of Palestine made the sabbatical year newly relevant to Orthodox Judaism (Orthodoxy: III), even though its practical realization, the significance of its observance for salvation history, and the question whether discussion of the sabbatical year from the perspective of legal history provides a material basis for political claims to the Land of Israel all remain controversial issues. Independently of these developments within Judaism and with direc…


(304 words)

Author(s): Bienert, Wolfgang A.
[German Version] In the theological conflicts of the 4th century, the Modalistic Monarchianism that was condemned as a heresy was often called Sabellianism. Marcellus of Ancyra and his followers in particular were considered “Sabellians,” because they rejected the doctrine of three divine hypostases (Hypostasis; cf. Origen) as tritheism, emphasizing God’s unity as μονάς/ monás instead, citing John 10:30. Eusebius of Caesarea considered Marcellus a “new Sabellius” but had nothing more to say about the author of this heresy, so that later the teachi…


(5 words)

[German Version] Talmud


(287 words)

Author(s): Olechowski, Thomas
[German Version] (Saxon Law Code), the most important medieval German law code, written between 1220 and 1235 by Eike v. Repgow (died after 1233) in Latin, then translated into Low German by Eike himself; it is the earliest extant example of German prose. It comprises a (rhymed) preface, a section dealing with common law, and a section dealing with feudal law (Feudal System). The Sachsenspiegel was recognized far beyond Saxony (Baltic, Transylvania). Although it was the work of a private individual, it effectively had legal authority; ¶ in the Saxon duchies, it was in use until 18…

Sachs, Hans

(292 words)

Author(s): Hahn, Reinhard
[German Version] (Nov 5, 1494, Nuremberg – Jan 19, 1576, Nuremberg), son of a tailor, apprenticed as a shoemaker; at the same time, he was introduced to mastersinging. During his journeyman travels (1511–1516), he composed his first songs and poems in rhymed couplets ( Spruchgedichte); then he settled in Nuremberg as a craftsman. Increasing prosperity later allowed him to give up shoemaking in favor of writing. The Reformation was a defining event. In 1523 he supported Luther with the Spruchgedicht, “Die Wittenbergisch Nachtigall.” Four prose dialogues (1524), important ex…

Sachs, Nelly

(188 words)

Author(s): Christophersen, Claudia
[German Version] (properly Leonie; Dec 10, 1891, Berlin – May 12, 1970, Stockholm), eminent author. She began writing poems and sonnets in 1910. In 1940 she fled to Stockholm to escape the terror of National Socialism. Her texts reflect her involvement with Jewish identity, kabbalistic mysticism, and the Shoa (Holocaust). Her language is highly metaphoric and free. Through her translations of modern Swedish poetry, she established contacts with the literary groups associated with Walter A. Berndso…


(1,064 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht | Wiggermann, Uta | Christophersen, Alf
[German Version] 1. August Friedrich Wilhelm (Feb 4, 1703, Harzgerode – Apr 23, 1786, Berlin), Reformed theologian. In 1722 he began to study theology in Frankfurt an der Oder; in 1724 he served as a domestic tutor in Stettin (Szczecin) and Holland, where he was influenced by Jean Barbeyrac (1674–1744), a critic of confessional tests, and Arminianism (Arminians: I). In 1728 he was appointed tutor to the heir to the throne of Hesse-Homburg. In 1731 he was appointed third preacher of German Reformed chu…

Sackmann, Jakobus (Jobst)

(104 words)

Author(s): Lütze, Frank Michael
[German Version] (Feb 13, 1643, Hanover – Jun 4, 1718, Limmer), pastor in Limmer, near Hanover, from 1680. His Low German sermons (Plattdeutsch, Services in), often employing crude imagery, gained him a reputation beyond the local congregation. Direct criticism of individual members of the congregation and ¶ the nobility in his sermons brought him before the consistory on several occasion. Only four transcribed sermons can be considered authentic. Sermons and anecdotes associated with him at a later date increasingly turned the headstrong preacher into a caricature. Frank Michael…

Sacrality, Transfer of

(294 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] The origins of the concept of transfert de sacralité are obscure. The earliest known occurrence is in the works of the historian Mona Ozouf, who since 1976 has studied the symbolic worlds, rituals, and “implicit theologies” (Assmann) in the festivals celebrated by the French Revolution. Syncretistic combination of pagan, Christian, and Masonic symbols and ceremonies, she believes, created a post-Christian politico-religious cult in which the revolutionary nation staged and constituted its…


(723 words)

Author(s): Steck, Wolfgang
[German Version] I. General Until the first half of the 12th century, sacramentum could denote any liturgical action of the church; since early Scholasticism, however, Western theology (in the Roman Catholic Church) has made a distinction between the seven sacraments and all other liturgical ¶ actions and signs, which are categorized as sacramentals. Although the sacramentals, like the sacraments, are visible signs of invisible grace, there is a qualitative difference: the sacraments, which go back in substance to Jesus Christ, are effective ex opere operato Christi, independent…


(585 words)

Author(s): Metzger, Marcel
[German Version] instructions for the bishop or priest presiding at liturgical celebrations. The reduction of the euchological formularies to writing came about as the formularies in use were written down, collected, and eventually supplemented by various local churches. This process extended from the initial production of disorganized collections to the arrangement of the formularies according to the liturgical year. Three original books have been identified as sources, much of whose content orig…


(10,176 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Nocke, Franz-Josef | Felmy, Karl Christian | Kandler, Karl-Hermann | Busch, Eberhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Church History In Christian usage, the term sacrament has two meanings: a broad meaning corresponding to the New Testament term μυστήριον/ mystḗrion (“mystery”), used as a term for mysteries of the faith in general, and a narrower meaning in the sense of certain liturgical actions that enable believers to share in the salvific grace effected by Christ. While medieval Scholastic theology in the West developed the narrower understanding of sacraments with increasingly precise and subtle definitions, …

Sacraments, Administration of the

(453 words)

Author(s): Kandler, Karl-Hermann
[German Version] Except for a few Free churches, all churches emphasize ordination as a prerequisite for administering the sacraments. Clearly special ministers were already administering the sacraments in the New Testament period (1 Cor 1:11ff.); it the post-NT period this was a matter of course (Ign. Smyrn. 8.1). In the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, apostolic succession guarantees the sacramental mediation of salvation through the priest: “The validity of the Eucharist depends on the validity of the office and its representative” ( Eucharistie und Priesteramt, 62). Th…

Sacred and Profane

(5,561 words)

Author(s): Paden, William E. | Milgrom, Jacob | Taeger, Jens-Wilhelm | Vroom, Henk M. | Hunsinger, George | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies While the sacred/profane duality has a long history, going back to the Romans, it was the emergence of an intercultural, anthropological perspective in the late 19th century that made it a significant descriptive category in comparative religious studies. In that context, the sacred/profane concept served to describe certain types of experience and behavior common to all human cultures. The anthropological interest in the sacred focused initially on early notions like taboo and mana, Oceanian terms that mean “forbidden”…

Sacred Heart of Jesus

(400 words)

Author(s): Lies, Lothar
[German Version] (wounded) symbolizes for Catholics the person of Jesus the theanthropic redeemer. The cult developed in the 11th century out of the medieval devotion to the Five Wounds, with motifs drawn from the Bible (Song of Songs, John), the fathers (Origen), and courtly literature (Minnesong), becoming a kind of courtly love of Christ, popular in monastic and mystic circles. In the effort to popularize this form of devotion (Claude de la Colombière SJ, 1641–1682), the visions of M.M. Alacoqu…

Sacred Heart of Mary

(163 words)

Author(s): Petri, Heinrich
[German Version] The “heart” is the innermost core of a person; the Sacred Heart of Mary symbolizes the holiness of the Mother of God (Mary, mother of Jesus), her love of God and her Son, and her maternal solicitude for us. Devotion to the Heart of Mary goes back to the Middle Ages (Mysticism: III, 3.b). Since the 17th century (Jean Eude, 1601–1680), there were efforts to justify liturgical devotion to the Heart of Mary theologically and gain official recognition for it. It has been permitted by R…

Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Societies, Orders, and Congregations of

(943 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] The rise of Catholic orders whose apostolate is connected to the veneration of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and is borne by the associated spirituality, is directly related to the spread of the public and liturgical cults of the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Mary as they prevailed from the 18th century, especially in France. With reference to the Heart of Mary societies, the dedication of the world to the Heart of Mary – a goal envisaged since the 19th century and attained in 1…

Sacredness and Sinfulness of the Church

(386 words)

Author(s): Schäfer, Rolf
[German Version] The sacredness (or holiness) of the church is stated in principle in Eph 5:27: Christ sanctifies the church by cleansing it with the washing of water; it is then “holy” ( hágia, sancta) and without blemish, i.e. sinless. The creeds adopted the predicate of holiness as one of the essential marks of the church (BSLK 24). In the course of time, the sense of the church’s holiness was extended from moral spotlessness to include purity from heretical doctrine (sixth Synod of Toledo, 638; DH 493). For the faithful, mem…

Sacred Objects

(447 words)

Author(s): Kraatz, Martin
[German Version] Any object, natural or made by human hands, can be used by a religion and thus become a religious object. Sacredness is ascribed only to those religious objects that, to believers, effectively represent an agency of their religion or their personal religiosity – an agency that is outside their control but which has power over them –, that convey this effectiveness, or that have been touched and non-materially changed by it. From the perspective of religious studies, the quality of…

Sacred Sites

(2,374 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Dorothea | Reichert, Andreas | Dan, Joseph | Koch, Guntram
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Characterization of a place as “sacred” or “holy” lends it a special status vis-à-vis its environment. Usually specific regulations govern how it is entered and used. Traditionally this status has been grounded in the belief that the site is proper to a deity or another spiritual being, or that a special power emanates from it. Sacred sites are particularly common at the center and on the fringes of group territories: the “men’s house” or festival ground defines the center of a village, just as the temple complex on …

Sacred Times

(1,513 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Dorothea | Metzger, Marcel | Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Sacred times are ritually observed periods of time of varying duration that serve to modulate life within a community through reference to an exceptional shared experience. Someone who prays at an appointed hour knows that he or she is united with like-minded others even when alone. When people live close to nature, the necessary cooperation requires adaptation to the environment’s seasonal changes. There the ritual organization of temporal caesuras addresses bot…


(13,083 words)

Author(s): Borgeaud, Philippe | Marx, Alfred | Chaniotis, Angelos | Bremmer, Jan N. | Moscovitz, Leib | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The word sacrifice denotes both the living creature or offering sacrificed and the ritual action (e.g. destruction) through which that creature or object is dedicated to a supernatural being. If a distinction needs to be made, English and the Romance languages can use sacrifice (Eng. and Fr.; sacrificio Ital. and Span.) for the ritual action while using victim (Fr. victime, Span. víctima, Ital. vittima) for the creature sacrificed. Etymologically sacrifice suggests an action in which the sacrificed object is “made holy/sacred” (Lat. sacrum fac…


(97 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] is the violation of persons, places, or things that have been dedicated to God or are associated with God. In canon law, physical attacks on the pope, bishops,or clergy and religious are penal offences, as are desecration, retention, or discarding the eucharistic species, profaning a holy object, and consecration of only one eucharistic species or of both outside a eucharistic celebration. Helmuth Pree Bibliography W. Rees, Die Strafgewalt der Kirche, 1993 B. Maier, D. Piattelli & M.J. Suda, “Religionsvergehen,” TRE XXIX, 1998, 49–61 B.F. Pighin, Diritto penale ca…


(495 words)

Author(s): Jordahn, Ottfried | Freigang, Christian
[German Version] I. Liturgy The sacristy ( sacristia; historically also secretarium,sacrarium, or vestiarium) is a separate room in a church building, usually near the altar, that communicates with the body of the church. It serves various purposes meant to be kept from public view. The word’s ultimate derivation from Latin sacer, “holy, sacred,” suggests its use as a place to store the sacred liturgical implements, paraments, and vestments (Vestments/Paraments, Vestments, Liturgical), as well as the liturgical books. The consecrated elements of the Eucharist ( reliqua sacramen…

Saddle Period

(388 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Ger. Sattelzeit) has become a central concept in the exploration of conceptual history by German historians. It was coined spontaneously by Reinhard Koselleck in the planning stage of a lexicon sponsored by the Arbeitskreis für moderne Sozialgeschichte, Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe. Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialen Sprache in Deutschland(8 vols. in 9, 1972–1997). It is possible that echoes of the concept of so-called axial or pivotal ages, developed by H. Freyer and C. Schmitt (among others), played a role. Kosel…


(573 words)

Author(s): Schröder, Bernd
[German Version] After the Essenes and the Pharisees, the Sadducees were the most important Jewish party in Palestine in the period before 70 ce. They comprised the descendants and supporters of the (high-)priestly dynasty that traced its lineage to the eponymous priest Zadok of the Davidic and Solomonic period (2 Sam 8:17, etc.). The Greek word Σαδδουκαῖοι/ Saddukaíoi, always plural, first appears in Mark 12:28 and the works of Flavius Josephus ( Bell. II 119.164–166) – after the presumed dispersal of the party bearing that name. The Sadducees were already a recognizab…

Sadoleto, Jacopo

(280 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Jul 12, 1477, Modena – Oct 18, 1547, Rome). In 1513 Leo X appointed Sadoleto, a Humanist famed for his linguistic skill, to the Curia for its diplomatic service; in 1517 he made him bishop of Carpentras. Sadoleto took the Reformation in Germany as a challenge to engage in his own theological work. He interpreted Pss 50 and 93 (1525/1530) with a clear interest in the moral renewal of the clergy. His commentary on Romans (1535) emphasized human free will vis-à-vis God so strongly that even Catholic theologians condemned it as semi-Pelagian. In 1536 he was appo…


(268 words)

Author(s): Vollmer, Ulrich
[German Version] The word saeculum derives from the same root as the Latin verb serere, “sow”; it suggests the notion of a group of human beings sown as seed: when the last seedling of a sowing has vanished, a saeculum has reached its end and a new saeculum begins. This background helps explain the rather vague definition of saeculum by Censorinus as “the longest possible human lifetime” (XVII 2), while Varro limits it concretely to 100 years ( De lingua latina VI 11). Following the Etruscans, who divided their history into ten saecula of varying length, Rome observed periodic interval…

Sagittarius, Johann Christfried

(187 words)

Author(s): Koch, Ernst
[German Version] (Sep 28, 1617, Bres­lau [now Wrocław] – Feb 19, 1689, Altenburg, Thuringia). After the death of his parents in 1623, Saggitarius was brought up in Jena. After attending school in Brunswick (to 1628) and university in Jena (to 1641), in 1641 he was appointed deputy school director in Hof. In 1643 he received his M.A. and became school director in Jena. In 1646 he was appointed professor of history and literature at Jena and in 1650 dean of the philosophical faculty. In 1651 he bega…

Sagittarius, Kaspar

(161 words)

Author(s): Albrecht-Birkner, Veronika
[German Version] (Sep 23, Lüneburg – Mar 9, 1694, Jena). After studying in Jena (1660) and Helmstedt (1662) and elsewhere, he was appointed principal in Saalfeld in 1668. He received his M.A. in 1671, his Lic.theol. in 1673, and his Dr.theol. in 1678 at Jena. In 1674 he was appointed professor of history in Jena and 1688 to the additional post of historiographer of the Ernestine court. Sagittarius published many works, primarily on history and church history (e.g. Introductio in historian ecclesiasticam, 2 vols., 1718) with special emphasis on Saxony and Thuringia. He was in contact with ¶ P…

Sägmüller, Johann Baptist

(201 words)

Author(s): Aymans, Winfried
[German Version] (Feb 24, 1860, Winterreute, near Biberach – Oct 22, 1942, Tübingen), Catholic canonist. After studying philosophy and theology in Tübingen, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1884; after three years as a parish priest, he served as a lecturer at the Wilhelmsstift in Tübingen from 1887 to 1893. In 1888 he received his doctorate and in 1893 was appointed adjunct professor of medieval history in Tübingen; from 1896 to 1926, he taught as professor of canon law and pedagogics in the Catholic faculty of theology in Tübingen. Sägmüller’s magnum opus was his historically org…

Saguna, Andrei

(185 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Johann
[German Version] (baptized Anastasiu; Jan 1, 1809, Miskolc – Jun 28, 1873, Sibiu/Herrmanstadt). Saguna, born to an Aromanian merchant family, studied law and philosophy in Pest and attended the Serbian Orthodox seminary in Vršac. A monk since 1833, he was ordained priest in 1837 and consecrated bishop of the Orthodox Romanians in Transylvania in 1848 in Sremski Karlovci. In 1864 he became the first archbishop of the autonomous Romanian Orthodox metropolitanate in Hungary. He created an independent…

Sahagún, Bernardino de Ribeira

(583 words)

Author(s): Nebel, Richard
[German Version] (born Ribeira, B. de; Dec 1499?, Sahagún, León – Oct 1590?, Mexico City), Spanish Franciscan, pioneer of ethnography in America and cultural anthropology. Almost nothing is known of his childhood and youth. He probably studied at Salamanca, where he joined the Franciscans; in 1529 he was in Mexico, conquered only shortly before by H. Cortés. He stayed in Mexico until the end of his life, serving as a missionary, teacher, and researcher, and sometimes holding high office in his ord…

Šahrastānī, Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdalkarīm

(175 words)

Author(s): van Ess, Josef
[German Version] (1086, Šahristān, a village on the edge of the Qara Qum desert [modern Turkmenistan] – 1153, Šahristān), trained in Šāfiʿite law and Ašʿarite theology, he was noted primarily for a doxographic work in which he described the Islamic “sects,” as well as the orientations of the other Eastern religions and the views of ancient and modern philosophers. The book remains impressive for its transparency, but its value as a source is slight. More important were Šahrastānī’s dispute with Av…


(241 words)

Author(s): Hübner, Ulrich
[German Version] (Tell es-Saʿīdīyeh). Pritchard’s excavations between 1964 and 1967 and Tubb’s since 1985 show that occupation of this site in the central Jordan valley began in the Early Bronze period at the latest; at the end of the Late Bronze period and in the early Iron Age it experienced an urban florescence, probably as the residence of an Egyptian governor. The unique water supply system consisted of a roofed staircase leading to a spring outside the walls. After an occupation gap, the cit…

Šaiḫ al-Azhar

(125 words)

Author(s): Lohlker, Rüdiger
[German Version] The office of rector ( šaiḫ) of al-Azhar university in Cairo (Madrasah) was established toward the end of the 17th century. As the structures of traditional religious scholarship dropped away in the 19th century (Clergy: III), the associated centralization at the Azhar (Teaching authority: III) made the office increasingly important as the primary authority of Egyptian Islam. Since a reform implemented in 1961, the office has played an increasing role (not without tension) in legitimat…

Šaiḫ al-Islām

(171 words)

Author(s): Krawietz, Birgit
[German Version] This title first came into use toward the end of the 10th century in northeastern Iran. In the Islamic world, it is given to outstanding scholars of Šarīʿa (ʿ ulamāʾ: Clergy and laity: III) like the Syrian mufti Ibn Taimīya (died 1328) or Sufi authorities (Islam: II, 5). In the course of time (and with regional variations), it was given to certain important government offices or functionaries of religious law. The most famous holder of the title was the grand mufti of the Ottoman Empire (Ottomans), with his r…

Sailer, Johann Michael

(563 words)

Author(s): Wolf, Hubert
[German Version] (Nov 17, 1751, Aresing, near Schrobenhausen – May 20, 1832, Regensburg), ¶ Catholic theologian and bishop. He began his studies at Ingolstadt in 1770 (as a Jesuit novice until the Jesuits were suppressed in 1773) and was ordained to the priesthood in 1775. He began his academic career in Ingolstadt, where he was appointed second professor of dogmatics in 1780 (alongside his teacher M. Sattler), but he was dismissed the next year along with the other ex-Jesuits as an “obscurantist.” In 1794 he…

Saint Denis, Ruth

(146 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (Jan 20, 1879, Newark, NJ – Jul 21, 1968, Hollywood, CA), dancer and choreographer. After initial success in vaudeville and on Broadway, she focused her style on ethno-religious themes and became a pioneer of modern American dance. Particularly interested in the traditions of Egypt and India, she created the dances “Radha” (1906), “The Incense” (1909), and “The Cobra” (1909). On her tours in Europe and India, she danced in oriental costume. In 1915 she and her husband T. Shawn fou…

Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de

(186 words)

Author(s): Milde, Nadine
[German Version] (in full Antoine-Marie Roger, Comte de Saint-Exupéry; Jun 29, 1900, Lyon – Jul 31, 1944 missing over the Mediterranean, probably shot down), French aviator and author. Saint-Exupéry’s life as a worldwide pioneer of civil and military aviation, including working for the Allies, provided the raw material for his literary work: novels ( Courrier Sud, 1929; ET: Southern Mail, 1933; Vol de nuit, 1931; ET: Night Flight, 1932; Pilote de guerre, 1942: ET: Flight to Arras, 1942) as well as reports and stories increasingly interspersed with philosophical reflections ( Terre de…

Saint Gall Abbey

(432 words)

Author(s): Berschin, Walter
[German Version] arose in the early 7th century on the site of the eremitic cell of St. Gall, a disciple of the Irish missionary Columbanus. The Benedictine Rule (Benedict, Rule of Saint) was introduced under the Alemannic abbot Otmar (719–759); numerous gifts enabled Abbot Gozbert (816–837) to build an enormous Carolingian basilica, for which Reichenau provided the inspiration (“the plan of St. Gall”; Monasteries: II, 2, with fig.). The abbey experienced a golden age under the abbots Grimalt (841…

Saint-Martin, Louis Claude de

(385 words)

Author(s): Decot, Rolf
[German Version] (Jan 18, 1743, Amboise, Département Indre-et-Loire – Oct 13, 1803, Paris), French theosophist (Theosophy). After study-¶ ing law and pursuing a military career, in 1771 he got to know Martinez de Pasqualis (1715–1799) in Bordeaux, who introduced him to mystical Freemasonry (Freemasons). This group of “Martinists,” with its center in Lyon, practiced a mysticism drawn from kabbalistic sources (Kabbalah: II), in which magical and theurgic rites played a role. In his travels he encountered other myst…

Saint-Saëns, Charles-Camille

(237 words)

Author(s): Mohr, Burkhard
[German Version] (Oct 9, 1835, Paris – Dec 16, 1921, Algiers), French composer. Quickly recognized as a child prodigy, Saint-Saëns spent some 80 years in the public eye, and was organist of the Made­leine in Paris from 1858 to 1877. From 1878 on, he led an unsettled itinerant life, continuing to travel even in old age. He remained true to his classicizing style with hints of Impressionism, so that as musical fashions ¶ changed, phases of admiration and condemnation alternated (the latter esp. incisive in the journalistic controversy surrounding R. Wagner). Saint-Saën…

Saints’ Days

(512 words)

Author(s): Harnoncourt, Philipp
[German Version] The dedication of certain dates to the commemoration of one or more saints is a special form of Christian veneration of saints (Saints/Veneration of the saints). On saints’ days, the liturgy (Mass, Liturgy of the hours) usually focuses on the day itself. Today there is a distinction between saints’ days (1) in the strict sense and (2) in a graduated broader sense. 1. Strict sense. Saints’ days originated in the commemoration of the dead in antiquity on the anniversary of their death ( dies obitus) or burial ( dies depositionis) or, in the case of relics, the day of th…

Saints, Icons, and Attributes

(1,593 words)

Author(s): Götz, Roland | Thümmel, Hans Georg
[German Version] I. Terminology Pictorial representation of saints using all available artistic techniques has played a role in the evolution of the cult of the saints (Saints/Veneration of the saints) as well as of images in Christianity (Veneration of images). The image of Mary (Mary, Representations of) has always had a special place among images of the saints. Images of the saints combine commemoration, instruction, and cult: they keep alive the memory of the saints and tell how they lived and d…

Saint-Simon, Claude Henri de Rouvroy

(332 words)

Author(s): Kracht, Klaus Große
[German Version] (Count of; Oct 17, 1760, Paris – May 19, 1825, Paris), French social theorist. Born to an impoverished noble family, during the French Revolution (which he supported) Saint-Simon took part in the American Revolutionary War. Afterwards land speculation quickly brought him wealth, which he lost totally in the following years. With the support of his two secretaries, the historian Jacques-Nicolas-Augustin Thierry (1795–1856) and A. Comte, who later pioneered scientific Positivism, be…

Saints/Veneration of the Saints

(4,185 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael | Köpf, Ulrich | Müller, Gerhard Ludwig | Ivanov, Vladimir | Barth, Hans-Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies In comparative religious studies, veneration of saints generally refers to the posthumous cultic veneration of a holy person more or less identifiable as a historical individual; it is centered at the place that preserves the saint’s mortal remains, thought to have miraculous powers. Occasionally veneration of living individuals is subsumed under the same category, but this extension results in a dubious diminution of terminological precision, since to this day no one …


(722 words)

Author(s): Gengnagel, Jörg
[German Version] is a collective term for numerous theistic Hindu sects and traditions that worship Śiva or one of his forms. Its multitude of religious practices and philosophico-esoteric teachings fall into two main groups. In the popular epic forms of Śaivism based on the Purāṇas, Śiva is invoked as the “Great Lord/God” ( Maheśvara, Mahādeva; God, Representations and symbols of: IV, 1) and is usually worshiped as a phalliform liṅga, a practice based on a corpus of orthodox texts ( smārta). The tantric traditions (Tantrism) of sectarian esoteric Śaivism possess a canon o…


(201 words)

Author(s): Gengnagel, Jörg
[German Version] In Hinduism śakti (Sanskrit: “force, power”) stands for various embodiments of the feminine creative force. The great goddess Devī is worshiped in numerous manifestations, for example as Durgā or Kālī. Also important are Sarasvatī, Pārvatī, and Lakṣmī, the consorts of the Hindu high gods Brahmā, Śiva, and Viṣṇu. In the tantric tradition (Tantrism), the meaning of śakti ranges from the impersonal creative power of a male god through the equal status of a female deity associated with a male god to a position of supremacy and dominance…


(388 words)

Author(s): Gengnagel, Jörg
[German Version] is a tantric form of Hinduism (Tantrism, Tantra) that focuses on the worship of Śakti as a female creative force. Śāktism developed into an independent theological system (God, Representations and symbols of: IV, 2) during the late Middle Ages, alongside the monotheistic forms of Śaivism and Vaiṣṇavism; it is closely related to the non-dualistic ¶ schools of tantric Śaivism. The interplay between the passive male principle and the dynamic female principle in these traditions finds manifold expression in psycho-physiological exercise…


(5 words)

[German Version] Buddha

Saladin, Peter

(184 words)

Author(s): Kley, Andreas
[German Version] (Feb 4, 1935, Basel – May 25, 1997, Bern), professor of constitutional, administrative, and canon law. He studied law in Basel, receiving his Dr.iur. in 1959. In 1962/1963 he studied at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Michigan Law School. After some legal work, he earned his Habilitation in 1969 with a dissertation on changes in fundamental rights, in which he examined the treatment of fundamental rights in case law and grounded these rights christologically. In 1972 he accepted a chair at the University of Ba…


(405 words)

Author(s): Herbers, Klaus
[German Version] The city, already a major presence in antiquity, gradually became depopulated after 711, following the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula by the Muslims. There is evidence that it had been an episcopal see since 589 (third Council of Toledo). It is uncertain whether episcopal functions continued under Muslim rule. Despite an initial reconquest under Ramiro II of León (931–950), it was not permanently back in Christian hands until the capture of Toledo in 1085. In 1102 Alfonso VI of Castille-León granted privileges to the church of Salamanca. As the fuero (municipal cha…

Saldenus, Guilielmus

(171 words)

Author(s): Sträter, Udo
[German Version] (Willem; May, 1627, Utrecht – Aug 2, 1694, The Hague). After studying in Utrecht, Saldenus filled pulpits in Renswoude (1649), Kokkengen (1652), Enkhuizen (1655), Delft (1664) and The Hague (1677). As a pupil of G. Voetius, influenced by W. Ames and English edifying literature, he supported the Puritan wing of the Nadere Reformatie, advocating Sunday observance and catechetical instruction and forbidding card-playing and theater. He wrote many edifying works, which also influenced…


(404 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] I. Missionaries of St. Francis of Sales (Missionnaires de St. François de Sales d’Annecy), a congregation founded in 1838 in Annecy (France) by Pierre-Marie Mermier (1790–1862) for pastoral and missionary ministry in the spirit of Francis of Sales. In 1845 the congregation was already working in India, where today more than 75% of its members live; as “Fransalians” they exercise a pastoral and educational ministry and engage in scientific research. Today there are over 1,200 members. Their generalate is in Annecy. II. Oblates of St. Francis of Sales (see Oblates: II…

Salesian Sisters

(249 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Visitationists, Sisters of the Visitation, Ordo de Visitatione Beatae Mariae Virginis, OVM, VSM). The order was found in 1610 in Annecy (France) by Francis of Sales and J.F. of Chantal as a contemplative order with simple vows and modified enclosure, enabling them to minister to the poor and the sick. In 1618, at the insistence of the archbishop of Lyon, they adopted the Augustinian rule (Augustine, Rule of Saint), solemn vows, and papal enclosure; as a result, they concentrated …

Salfeld, Johann Christoph

(183 words)

Author(s): Dressler, Bernhard
[German Version] (Apr 28, 1750, Nettelkamp, near Uelzen – Dec 2, 1829, Hanover), Lutheran theologian. As an exponent of moderate Enlightenment thought, Salfeld had a formative influence on the church and school system in Hanover. In 1774 he was appointed superintendent and in 1791 trustee of the teachers’ college in Hanover; he also founded several schools. He considered education and catechetics central functions of the church. In 1788 he was appointed court chaplain and consistorial councilor, i…


(513 words)

Author(s): Boshof, Egon
[German Version] Salians, a German noble and royal dynasty, with lands primarily in the area around Worms and Speyer. The name, derived from ( Lex) Salica, means “Frankish” with an emphasis on nobility; it was associated with the family since the 12th century. There is fragmentary evidence of a genealogical relationship with the Widonid-Lambertiner lineage, linked to the Frankish imperial aristocracy of the 8th and 9th centuries. Their social rise took place in the 10th century, in close connection with the monarchy (Co…

Salig, Christian August

(89 words)

Author(s): Spehr, Christopher
[German Version] (Apr 6, 1691, Domersleben, near Magdeburg – Oct 3, 1738, Wolfenbüttel), studied theology and philosophy in Halle/Saale and Jena; in 1714 he was appointed to a lectureship at Halle/Saale; in 1717 he was appointed deputy rector in Wolfenbüttel. The balance of his works on church history – De Eutychianismo (1723) and Vollständige Historie der Augspurgischen Confeßion (1730–1735) – exposed him to the charge of indifferentism. His Vollständige Historie des Tridentinischen Conciliums (1741–1745) was published posthumously. Christopher Spehr Bibliography C. Bernet…


(321 words)

Author(s): Kraatz, Martin
[German Version] Even today saliva evokes intense but ambivalent feelings – revulsion when it is spat, delight in the context of kissing (Kiss). In early times people thought that saliva, like other bodily fluids, contained the vital force of individuals; when outside the body, it could be used for positive or negative, good or evil purposes, depending on the individual, the intention, and the situation. The saliva of the gods can be productive: in Norse mythology (Germanic religion), the saliva that ¶ the Æsir and Vanir spit into a vessel to make peace gives birth to the wis…


(182 words)

Author(s): Hornauer, Holger
[German Version] (Gaius Sallustius Crispus; 86 – probably 35 bce), Roman politician and historian, tribune of the people in 52 bce. In the Civil War he backed Julius Caesar; in 46 he served as praetor and was appointed governor of Africa. After Caesar’s death he was active only as a historian. He wrote political monographs on his own period ( Coniuratio Catilinae, 64–62) and the recent Roman past ( Bellum Iugurthinum, 111–105) as well as a chronicle ( Historiae, 78–67), which remained unfinished and has survived only in fragments (primarily excerpted letters and speeches)…


(174 words)

Author(s): Cancik-Lindemaier, Hildegard
[German Version] (Salustios). There is no direct evidence for either the identity or the dates of Sallustius. His work – ¶ given the title περὶ ϑεῶν καὶ κόσμου/ perí theṓn kaí kósmou (“About Gods and Cosmos”) in the 17th century – shows that he was Neoplatonist and a contemporary of the emperor Julian the Apostate (cf. Julian Oratio IV and VIII). Sallustius did not write for other philosophers (ch. 13): his purpose was a philosophical “general education.” Its simple principles – the gods are eternal, incorporeal, not spatially confined, and not separ…

Salmasius, Claudius

(276 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Christoph
[German Version] (Claude de Saumaise; Apr 15, 1588, Semur-en-Auxois, Burgundy – Sep 3, 1653, Spa), philologist and jurisprudent. Salmasius studied with I. Casaubonus in Paris and Dionysius Gothofredus (1549–1622) in Heidelberg. He quickly began publishing annotated editions and works on the history of the Early Church, rejected the papal claim of primacy, and disputed critically with the Jesuits. Since his Calvinist beliefs appeared to rule out his planned career as a civil servant in Dijon, he de…

Salmerón, Alfonso

(179 words)

Author(s): Sievernich, Michael
[German Version] (Sep 8, 1515, Toledo – Feb 13, 1585, Naples), theologian and cofounder of the Jesuits. ¶ He studied in Alcalá and Paris and was one of the early companions of Ignatius of Loyola. After ordination to the priesthood in 1537, he engaged in pastoral work in Ireland, where he also served as a papal nuncio (1541/1542); as a theologian, he participated in the Council of Trent. After receiving his doctorate in theology in Bologna under P. Canisius, he lectured on exegesis in Ingolstadt, organized the est…


(231 words)

Author(s): Rehm, Ulrich
[German Version] Salome, daughter of Herodias, the wife of Herod Antipas (Herod). The daughter from Herodias’s first marriage to Herod Boëthus, the half-brother of Antipas, she is not named in the New Testament; she is identified with the Salome mentioned by Josephus ( Ant. XVIII 5.4). As a reward for her dancing at a feast given by her stepfather, she is said to have asked him (at her mother’s instigation) for the head of John the Baptist on a platter, which he gave her (Matt 14:3–12; Mark 6:17–29). Not until the Middle Ages do we find the presentation of the head included in cycles depicting the v…

Salome Alexandra

(498 words)

Author(s): Ilan, Tal
[German Version] (134–67 bce), Hasmonean queen, wife, and successor of Alexander Jannaeus from 76 bce. She is known from the writings of Flavius Josephus, from rabbinic literature, and from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Josephus only knew her Greek name, Alexandra. Her Hebrew name, Shelamzion, “Peace of Zion” is spelled oddly in rabbinic literature (e.g. She-¶ lamtzi). Only the Dead Sea Scrolls (Qumran) preserved the Hebrew name correctly. Many scholars assume that Shelamzion was the widow of King Judas Aristobulus I (104–103 bce, Maccabees) and was taken by his brother in levirate …

Salomo III

(178 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, Wilfried
[German Version] Salomo III, abbot of Saint Gall Abbey and bishop of Constance (c. 860–919). Of noble descent, Salomo was placed in the abbey of Saint Gall as a child; there he and his brother Waldo (bishop of Freising from 883 to 906) were students of Notker Balbulus. In 890 King Arnulf of Carinthia made him bishop of Constance, an office previously held by his great-uncle Salomo I from 838/839 to 871 and his uncle Salomo II from 875 to 889. He had already been active in royal affairs under Charl…

Salomon, Alice

(152 words)

Author(s): Schwab, Ulrich
[German Version] (Apr 19, 1872, Berlin – Aug 20, 1948, New York), studied in Berlin from 1902 to 1906, earning her doctorate in economics. Since 1900 she had been a board member of the Bund Deutscher Frauenvereine, and she became secretary of the International Council of Women in 1909. In 1908 she founded the Soziale Frauenschule in Berlin, which she headed until 1925, when she founded the Deutsche Akademie für soziale und pädagogische Frauenarbeit, which she headed until 1933. Because of her Jewi…

Salt, Liturgical

(203 words)

Author(s): Brüske, Gunda
[German Version] Originally a catechumenal rite (first mentioned in Aug. Conf. I 11.17) and limited almost exclusively to Roman liturgical practice, the giving of blessed salt was moved to the baptismal liturgy (Baptism: VI) with the shift to infant baptism; it remained there until Vatican II. The ceremony has been interpreted as an exorcism originating in Roman lustration rites for newborn infants (F.J. Dölger) and as a substitute for communion for catechumens (Alois Stenzel). No longer part of the bapti…


(2,613 words)

Author(s): Zehner, Joachim | Grundmann, Christoffer H. | Fischer, Johannes
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion Even prior to the age of Greek philosophy, riches, honor, power, health, longevity, etc. were considered the epitome of well-being, “bliss” or “salvation” (Ger. Heil). For centuries well-being was treated as synonymous with happiness (Gk eudaimonía, Lat. felicitas, beatitudo). Today the term happiness usually excludes the transcendent dimension, and salvation is generally used without an immanent sense. For Democritus individual salvation was grounded in the human soul and its attitude, the first time philo…

Salvation Army, The

(1,853 words)

Author(s): Lindemann, Gerhard | McKinley, Edward H.
[German Version] I. History (General) The origin of the Salvation Army goes back to 1865, when the former Methodist minister W. Booth began a tent mission in Whitechapel, one of the poorest quarters in London’s East End. The social injustices in that area convinced Booth that this was where the need to save souls was greatest. His missionary work, independent of the churches (called the East London Christian Mission, changed in 1870 to just Christian Mission; initially carried on by Catherine Booth o…

Salvation History

(1,447 words)

Author(s): Mildenberger, Friedrich
[German Version] The term salvation history (from Ger. Heilsgeschichte) goes back to the mid-19th century. The roots of the concept itself go back further, to covenant theology and especially Pietist biblicism (Pietism), for example J.A. Bengel and F.C. Oetinger. To understand the concept, however, a series of distinctions must be made, for the expression salvation history itself has little specific meaning and is used in various contexts. Therefore we will note the elements that have gone into the concept and then describe its various usages. I. Assumptions The use of the term salvati…

Salvation, Means of

(747 words)

Author(s): Oberdorfer, Bernd | Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] I. Dogmatics 1. General. Means of salvation ( media salutis) are creaturely, tangible (“outward”) media “in, with, and under” which the salvation (III) realized through Christ is communicated to human individuals in their own present. They are signposts that point to Christ as the medi-¶ ator of salvation and in that act of pointing make Christ himself present. The dependence of participation in salvation on outward mediation reflects incarnational theology (God himself was “realized” in Christ), soteriology (justification takes place pro nobis but extra nobis), …

Salvation Movements

(391 words)

Author(s): Dickhardt, Michael
[German Version] At the heart of salvation movements is the expectation of an imminent state of salvation brought about by a transcendent agency. The cult, beliefs, and way of life of the movement’s members are focused strongly on this state of salvation. Salvation movements appear in widely varying religious contexts; the term does not denote a clearly defined type of religious movement. Crises associated with upheavals, oppression, colonialization, or cultural contacts combined with marked imbal…


(250 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Society of the Divine Savior, Societas Divini Salvatoris), founded in Rome in 1881 by Johann Baptist Jordan (1848–1918) as the Apostolic Teaching Society, is a congregation of priests with a broad apostolic ministry, primarily in the area of the Catholic press and in mission (India, South America, China, Africa). “Healing” is the central theme of Salvatorian spirituality; their Marian focus is indicated by their veneration of Mary as the mother of the Savior ( Maria Mater Salvatoris). The congregation quickly spread throughout the world – in the 19th cen…

Salvian of Massilia

(290 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] (c. 400–480). A prominent contemporary witness to the Völkerwanderung (Migration period), during which he survived one of four destructions of Trier. As the barbarians advanced, he fled south from his home in northern Gaul; there with the consent of his wife Palladia he took a vow of continence, became a monk at Lérins, and finally a presbyter in Marseille. Of his writings (mentioned by Gennadius of Marseille, Vir. ill. 68), nine letters have survived, as well as a treatise Ad ecclesiam (“Four Books of Timothy to the Church”), in which he calls on priests esp…


(575 words)

Author(s): Winkler, Gerhard B.
[German Version] The “oppidum quod Iuvao appellabatur” (Eugippius, Vita Severini, chs. 13 and 14) exhibited a remarkably active church life at an early date. Destroyed in 475, it was rebuilt by St. Rupert of Salzburg (696ff.), ¶ who “renewed” the church of St. Peter and founded Nonnberg Abbey (for women) in the castrum superius of the ducal residence. He visited the ruins to the Roman town in order to establish a bishopric ( ad restaurandam) based on the conciliar canons of 325. With the Maximilianszelle in Bischofshofen, he appears to have laid the groundwork for the…

Salzburg Emigrants

(376 words)

Author(s): Müller-Bahlke, Thomas
[German Version] are the Lutheran Christians expelled from the archdiocese of Salzburg as a result of the Counter-Reformation. The expulsion reached an initial peak in 1684 under Archbishop Max Gandolph v. Kuenburg (1668–1687), with the banishment of J. Schaitberger and about a thousand Protestant Christians. Under Archbishop Leopold Anton v. Firmian (1724–1744) and his chancellor Hieronymus Christiani v. Rall, the repressive measures increased once more, finally culminating in the emigration decr…

Salzmann, Christian Gotthilf

(187 words)

Author(s): Lachmann, Rainer
[German Version] (Jun 1, 1744, Sömmerda, Thuringia – Oct 31, 1811, Schnepfenthal), studied Protestant theology in Jena from 1761 to 1764, after which he assisted his father in his pastoral work and continued his own academic work, with a theological disputation at Erfurt in 1767 (cf. Lachmann). From 1768 to 1772 he served as a pastor in Rohrborn and from 1772 to 1780 in Erfurt; he was a successful pulpit orator, pastor, and school overseer. In 1780 he turned to teaching at J.B. Basedow’s Philanthr…


(2,776 words)

Author(s): Na’aman, Nadav | Achenbach, Reinhard
[German Version] I. City Samaria (Heb. ןוֹרמְשֹׁ/Šomerôn) was the capital of the kingdom of Israel (II, 1) and later the center of the province established in the hill country of Samaria (see II below) from the late 8th century bce until the late Byzantine period. 1 Kings relates that Omri purchased the “hill of Samaria” from a man named Shemer and built a city, which he called after the original owner (16:24). This, of course, is a folk etymology, the name Shomron is derived from the root שׁמר/ šmr (“to watch, guard”), הַר/ har Šomerôn (“watch-mountain”). Its name fits the place well, loc…


(282 words)

Author(s): Freiberger, Oliver
[German Version] Saṃgha (also saṅgha; Sanskrit/Pali; lit. “assembly”) is the monastic community originally founded by the Buddha (I; Buddhism: I, 4); according to the Buddhist rules governing such communities, it consists of ordained bhikṣus and bhikṣuṇīs (“monks and nuns”; monasticism: IV; monasteries: III). Since monastic Buddhism never developed an overall organizational structure, the idea of the “ saṃgha of the four points of the compass” that includes all monastics must be distinguished from the actual local saṃgha. The saṃgha was already defined conceptuall…


(380 words)

Author(s): Slaje, Walter
[German Version] Sāṃkhya, collective term for a complex doctrinal tradition of liberation (Redemption: X) within Hinduism (II, 2; Darśana), no longer fully recoverable historically; it employs rational techniques of expla-¶ nation. It probably originated in the pre-Buddhist period; presystematic speculations are found in the Mahābhārata. Systematic Sāṃkhya is presented in the Sāṃkhya-Kārikā (c. 400 ce) and commentaries on it. The speculative era came to an end around the 7th century ce. After the 15th century, Sāṃkhya experienced a syncretistic revival by inte…

Sam, Konrad

(174 words)

Author(s): Ehmer, Hermann
[German Version] (1483, Rottenacker, near Ehingen on the Danube – Jun 20, 1533, Ulm), studied in Tübingen and Freiburg im Breisgau, receiving his Lic.iur. from Tübingen in 1509. He became a preacher in Brackenheim, Württemberg, in 1513; in 1520 he was already in contact with Luther and J. Eberlin of Günzburg. Expelled from Brackenheim in 1524, he was called to the pulpit in Ulm by the council. An eloquent popular preacher, he succeeded in having the Reformation accepted despite the authorities’ he…


(318 words)

Author(s): Buß, Johanna
[German Version] In post-Vedic Indian religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism) and philosophical schools (except Ājīvika and Cārvāka), saṃsāra (Sanskrit, Pāli, Prākrit “wandering,” “cycle of rebirth,” “cycle of existence”) denotes the endless alternation of death (XII; XIII) and rebirth (Regeneration: III; IV) to which the unredeemed individual soul is subject (Hinduism, ¶ Jainism). In Buddhism saṃsāra does not refer to transmigration of a spiritual or psychic substrate but to the perpetual alternation between death and new birth, brought about b…


(9 words)

[German Version] Judges in Israel, The (biblical)

Samson, Hermann

(121 words)

Author(s): Wallmann, Johannes
[German Version] (Mar 4, 1579, Riga – Dec 16, 1643, Riga). After studying at Wittenberg (with L. Hütter) and Rostock, he was appointed preacher at St. Petri in Riga as well as superintendent of schools; later he was appointed cathedral preacher. He published attacks on the Jesuit Counter-Reformation (Baltic countries: III, 1.b). After the Swedish conquest in 1622, King Gustav II Adolf appointed him superintendent over Livonia. He strove to restore the Lutheran church and school system, turned the …


(681 words)

Author(s): Dietrich, Walter
[German Version] The biblical picture of Samuel (Heb. לאֵוּמשְׁ/ šĕmû’ēl), a figure at the transition from premonarchic Israel (II, 1) to the monarchy, is extremely complex. In the relatively earliest source, 1 Samuel, and then afterwards he fills an extraordinary spectrum of roles: priest (1 Sam 2f.; 7:9; cf. his Levitical descent in 1 Chr 6:12, 18 [Eng. 6:27, 33]), prophet (Prophets and Prophecy: II; 1 Sam 3:20; 9:1–10:16; 19:18–24; 28; Jer 15:1; Ps 99:6; Sir 46:15, 20; Acts 3:24), judge (Judges of Isr…

Samuel, Books of

(8 words)

[German Version] Deuteronomic History

Samuel ha-Nagid

(118 words)

Author(s): Mutius, Hans-Georg v.
[German Version] (Ibn Nagrela; 2nd quarter to sometime after the mid-11th cent.), Jewish vizier and military commander for the Berber kings of Granada. He wrote drinking songs, love poetry, and war poetry in Hebrew. The war poems reflect his military experiences in the battles of the minor Muslim kings in the Arab part of Spain. He also wrote a work on Talmudic and non-Talmudic law, a grammar of Hebrew, and a criticism of the Qurʾān. In his Arab environment he nevertheless championed a politically…
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