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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Santería Cult

(740 words)

Author(s): Murphy, Joseph M.
[German Version] “Santería” is the most common term for a religious tradition that originated among the Yoruba peoples of West Africa. It was brought to Cuba (African-American religion: I, 1) by enslaved Yoruba men and women (Slavery) in the first half of the 19th century and is now practiced throughout the Americas and Europe. The name Santería (way of the Saints) refers to the correspondences that devotees made between the santos of Roman Catholic folk piety and the orisha spirits whose veneration they carried from Africa. In Santería theology, God Almighty, Olodumare, …

Santiago de Compostela

(464 words)

Author(s): Herbers, Klaus
[German Version] The rise of the city of Santiago de Compostela is closely linked to the cult of the apostle James, to whom a preaching ministry on the Iberian Peninsula was attributed in the 7th or 8th century and whose supposed remains were “discovered” in the 9th century. Consolidation of the cult of the apostle encouraged the emergence and growth of the city and bishopric. A monastic community sprang up near the churches built over the gravesite; later a village was established, which could be called a villa burgensis as early as 915 and was supported by the Asturian kings. In …

Santo Domingo, Latin American Bishops’ Conference (1992)

(225 words)

Author(s): Beozzo, José Oscar
[German Version] The fourth Latin American Bishops’ Conference met in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) from Oct 12 to Oct 28, 1992, observing the cinquecentennial of Columbus’s arrival. About 360 delegates took part in the conference, whose theme was “New Evangelization, Human Promotion, Christian Culture – Jesus Christ Yesterday, Today, and Forever.” To prepare for the conference, “Elements for Pastoral Reflection in Preparation for the Fourth Latin American Bishops’ Conference” was distributed in 1990. The final document, Santo Domingo: Conclusões, called for a new ev…

São Tomé e Príncipe

(380 words)

Author(s): Comerford, Michael
[German Version] The islands of São Tomé e Príncipe, with an estimated population of 170,000, comprise one of Africa’s smallest nations. Situated off the coast of Gabon, São Tomé was uninhabited until Portuguese sailors came ashore in 1472. Early settlers, many expelled from Portuguese prisons, established an estate and plantation economy on the islands. Strong historic and cultural links are maintained with Portugal and Angola. Portuguese settlers shipped large numbers of slaves from Angola to wo…


(370 words)

Author(s): Reventlow, Henning Graf
[German Version] Of the 51 occurrences of the name Sarah (Heb. הרָשָׂ/ śārāh, “princess”) in the Old Testament, all but one are in Genesis. Sarai (Old Sem. form?), first appears in Gen 11:29 as the wife of Terah’s son Abram; she went with them first from Ur to Haran (11:31) and later to Canaan (12:5). The change of names to Abraham and Sarah is reported in 17:5, 11. According to 20:11 (cf. 12:11, 19), Sarah was Abraham’s half-sister, a form of marriage later prohibited (cf. 2 Sam 13:13 with Lev 18:9; 20:17; Deut 27:22) but not criticized at all here ( pace Hepner). Sarah’s barrenness, a continu…

Saravia, Adrian

(169 words)

Author(s): Wrogemann, Henning
[German Version] (c. 1531, Artois – Jan 15, 1613, monument in Canterbury Cathedral), preacher, sometime professor at the University of Leiden (1582–1587), considered the pioneer of Protestant missiology. In his De diversis ministrorum Evangelii gradibus, sicut a Domino fuerunt instituti (1590; ET: Of the Diverse Degrees of the Ministers of the Gospel, 1591), he derived from the episcopate, which he understood to embody apostolic succession, both the authority and the duty to send individuals to serve as missionaries. This view prompted oppositio…

Sarcerius, Erasmus

(281 words)

Author(s): Scheible, Heinz
[German Version] (Apr 19, 1501, Annaberg – Nov 28, 1559, Magdeburg), a prolific writer and successful Reformer of an independent bent. After 1513 he spent years of study and travel in Freiberg, Erfurt, Leipzig, Wittenberg, Lübeck, Nuremberg, Augsburg, Basel, Vienna, Graz, and Rostock. His most important teacher was P. Mosellanus. In 1531 he was appointed deputy headmaster of the Katharineum, the Gymnasium in Lübeck founded by J. Bugenhagen. On Jun 15, 1536, he was appointed headmaster of the new L…


(793 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram | Freigang, Christian
[German Version] I. Bronze Age to Late Antiquity It is important to distinguish between a sarcophagus to hold a dead body, an urn for the ashes of a person who has been cremated, and an ossuary to hold the bones of the dead after the flesh has decayed (see also Burial). These receptacles were generally buried; they were not visible and were therefore simple. In some areas and in some periods, it became customary to make them out of marble or other kinds of stone and decorate them with representational or ornamental reliefs. In Greek areas sarcophagi were the exception (6th–4th cents. bce). The E…


(298 words)

Author(s): Meyers, Carol
[German Version] Sarepta, modern Sarafand, a site in Lebanon, 50 km south of Beirut. An important Phoenician city, it was founded at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age (mid-16th cent. bce). Occupation continued throughout the Late Bronze and Iron Ages, and a port built in the Roman period (1st cent. ce) continued into the 7th century ce. The ancient city is well known from inscriptional evidence, including Ugaritic texts (14th cent.), Egyptian papyri (13th cent.), Assyrian documents (8th cent.), Greek and Latin literature, and Arab geographers. It i…


(226 words)

Author(s): Krawietz, Birgit
[German Version] Šarīʿa (Arab.; pl. šarāʾiʿ) is the imagined totality of the message given by God to Muḥ̣ammad, his last prophet. Comprising both legal procedures and statements of faith, it is contained not only in the Qurʾān but also in the exemplary Sunna of the Prophet. In an extended sense, the messages of Judaism and Christianity are earlier examples of Šarīʿa. Literally Šarīʿa means “the path to the waterhole” (cf. Qurʾān sura 45:18) – the path the devout believer must follow to secure salva-¶ tion in this world and the next. The complementary term to Šarīʿa or šarʿ is fiqh, “jurispru…


(394 words)

Author(s): Hőrcsik, Richard
[German Version] Śarospatak, historic city in Hungary in the Tokay wine region (Hegyalja) and a favorite residence of the kings of the Árpád dynasty; population 13,000 in 2009. In the Middle Ages, it was a center of ecclesiastical education, but it was its Reformed Collegium that brought it fame. Under the protection of Péter Perényi, the lord of the castle, a Protestant school with instruction in the trivium was founded (rectors: Mihály Siklósi and István Kopácsi). By 1567 the school was function…

Sarpi, Paolo

(359 words)

Author(s): Campi, Emidio
[German Version] (Aug 24, 1552, Venice – Jan 15, 1623, Venice), theologian and historian. He joined the Servites in 1566 and became the superior of the Venetian province in 1579; from 1585 to 1588 he served as procurator general of his order in Rome, then returned to Venice. Between 1605 and 1607 he was drawn into the bitter conflict between the Holy See and Venice, in the course of which the republic was placed under interdict. As theological counselor to the republic and in the spirit of Gallica…

Sartorius, Jakob

(84 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Christoph
[German Version] (Schröder; c. 1560, Schönfließ, Brandenburg – 1626, Großen-Englis, Hesse), Reformed theologian. Pastor in Rietberg since 1585, he was expelled by Paderborn Jesuits in 1607 and later became pastor in Ropperhausen (Hesse). His 1606 Brennende Fackel attacking the Jesuits has not survived. His Kurzer, doch gründlicher Bericht, published in 1612, describes his shift from Lutheranism to Calvinism, although he is at pains to point out what they have in common. Christoph Strohm Bibliography F. Flaskamp, “Jakob Sartorius,” AKuG 45, 1963, 313–333.

Sartre, Jean-Paul

(651 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (Jun 21, 1905, Paris – Apr 15, 1980, Paris), studied philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and taught at lycées in Le Havre, Laon, and Paris. He was a prisoner of war in Germany in 1940/1941, then joined the French resistance. After 1945 he edited the journal Les temps modernes. After World War II, Sartre became one of the most influential intellectuals of his age. He actively opposed the wars in Algeria (1958–1962) and Vietnam (1968) and supported the student movement. From 1952 until the Hungarian uprising in 1956, …


(5 words)

[German Version] Iran

Sasse, Hermann Otto Erich

(198 words)

Author(s): Steck, Friedemann
[German Version] (Jul 17, 1895, Sonnewalde, Lower Lusatia – Aug 8, 1976, North Adelaide, South Australia), son of a pharmacist, Sasse studied in Berlin from 1913 to 1916 and served in the army from 1916 to 1918; he received his Lic.theol. in 1923. From 1921 to 1928 he served as pastor in Oranienburg and after that in Berlin. In 1926, during a study year at Hartford, Connecticut, he received his license to teach. He was at the Faith and Order Conference in Lausanne in 1927 and edited the proceeding…


(186 words)

Author(s): Warnke, Martin
[German Version] (Stefano di Giovanni di Consolo; c. 1392, Siena or Cortona – 1450, Siena), Italian painter. Although trained in a local stylistic ambiance, in the early altarpieces he began painting c. 1426 Sasseta already showed that his eye was on the revolutionary developments in Florence. His altarpiece painted for a chapel in Siena Cathedral in 1432 (now in the Pitti Palace, Florence) intoduced animating motifs into the conventional iconography of the Santa Conversazione: an angel making a snowball, individual gestures or limbs extended in three-dimensional spa…


(5 words)

[German Version] Devil


(923 words)

Author(s): Iwersen, Julia | Streib, Heinz
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Satanism is not a scientific term but a protean concept – it has no agreed definition, nor do we know exactly when and in what context it was first used. In the context of religious studies, it falls into three categories: (1) biblical texts, apocryphal literature, and Christian theology record heterogeneous notions of a power hostile to God (e.g. Satan or the devil). Generally for polemical purposes, throughout the history of Christendom various social groups (e…

Satisfaction, Doctrine of

(430 words)

Author(s): Holmes, Stephen R.
[German Version] The classic deployment of the concept of “satisfaction” in Christian soteriology (Redemption: III; VI) comes in Anselm of Canterbury’s Cur Deus Homo, where Anselm attempts to demonstrate the necessity of the incarnation and passion of God the Son. He asserts that willful injury done to another demands two acts of reparation if it is not to be ¶ punished: recompense to the value of the injury and an additional payment to “satisfy” the outrage of the injury being done. Boso, Anselm’s imaginary interlocutor, offers no argument against this …
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