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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(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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