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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(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…
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