Religion Past and Present

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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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Taʾamey ha-Mitzvot

(6 words)

[German Version] Mitzvot


(383 words)

Author(s): Niemann, Hermann Michael
[German Version] overlooks the Valley of Jezreel from the south. It was fortified in EB II–III and MB II and was destroyed by Thutmoses III in 1468 bce and by Shishak c. 930 bce. The cuneiform archive at Taanach (unique in Palestine) mentions Rehov, Gur, Dothan, and Yibleam; Amanhatpa (possibly Amenhotep II) complains that the city prince does not show him sufficient respect. In the Late Bronze and Early Iron periods, Taanach was a metalworking center. Prince Yašdata fought against Labʾayu of Shechem (EA 244f., 248). Settlement…

Tabernacle, Christian

(522 words)

Author(s): Ebenbauer, Peter | Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] I. History of the Term A tabernacle (Lat. tabernaculum, “tent, hut”) is a receptacle containing the eucharistic bread and the vessel(s) holding it in Christian sacral buildings. The Vulgate uses the Latin word for the Old Testament tent of meeting and to represent the eschatological dwelling of God among mortals (Rev 21:3). In the Latin church, it became a technical term for the receptacle holding the reserved sacrament. In the Early Church, consecrated bread (Consecration) from the eucha…

Tabernacle, Jewish

(289 words)

Author(s): Pola, Thomas
[German Version] (Heb. אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד/ʾ ōhel môʿēd, “tent of meeting [with Yahweh]”). The term embraces two conceptions of an Israelite tent sanctuary. In the non-Priestly epiphanic conception of Exod 33:7–11; Num 11:11ff.; 12:2ff.; Deut 31:14, presumably antedating P, the tent is set up outside the camp and Moses is allowed to enter it: the revelation on Sinai is ritualized. The conception of P (Pentateuch) in Exod 24:15–31:18; 35–40; Lev 8f. etc. pictures the tabernacle as a small-scale model of the S…

Tabernacles, Feast of (Sukkoth)

(10 words)

[German Version] Feasts and Festivals


(214 words)

Author(s): Zangenberg, Jürgen
[German Version] (et-Tabgha, from Gk ἑπτάπηγον/ heptápēgon, “seven springs”) is the name of the littoral area of the Sea of Galilee (Galilee, Sea of) three km southwest of Capernaum. In New Testament times used for agriculture (Jos. Bell. III 519), from the mid-4th century on, it was associated with NT episodes (Mark 6:35–44 parr.; John 21) and Beatitudes (first attested for Egeria in Peter the Deacon, De locis sanctis 5.2f.), probably because it was easily accessible to pilgrims; an unbroken local Jewish Christian tradition is most unlikely. By 350 ce there was already a church the…

Table of Nations

(8 words)

[German Version] Primordial History


(889 words)

Author(s): Kreinath, Jens
[German Version] The Polynesian word tabu (Eng. taboo) – along with mana and totem – is one of the few words of non-European origin to have developed into a key concept of religio-ethnological terminology during the 19th century. The history of the taboo concept not only mirrors the European approach to the problem of how to understand foreign thinking, but also sheds light on the crucial importance of cultural-scientific theorization for the definition of a concept that has become problematical. The word “taboo” first became known in Europe in 1784 with the publication of …


(6 words)

[German Version] Hus, Jan/Hussites

Tabor, Mount

(182 words)

Author(s): Müller-Clemm, Julia
[German Version] mountain tapering to a high plateau (588 m) on the northeast edge of the Valley of Jezreel (Israel). Tabor appears in the Old Testament as a boundary marker between tribes (Josh 19:12, 22, 34), a military rallying point (Judg 4:6, 12, 14f.), and in the toponyms Chisloth-tabor and Aznoth-tabor (Josh 19:12, 34). A cultic significance of Tabor cannot be demonstrated from the biblical text (vague references in Ps 89:13*; Hos 5:1), archaeological evidence, or the etymology of the name…

Tabula Peutingeriana

(7 words)

[German Version] Maps, Ancient

Tacitus, Publius Cornelius

(671 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert
[German Version] (c. 55 – after 116 ce). Life and works. Tacitus was praetor (88) and quindecimvir (?), suffect consul (97), and proconsul of the province of Asia (112/113). The biography of his father-in-law Gnaeus Julius Agricola (d. 93) combines the laudatio funebris (Dead, Cult of the: III) with an ethnography of Britain. The ethnography of the free, i.e. non-Roman (or not yet Roman) Germania (written around 100) draws a typecast and idealizing picture of an unspoiled primitive people and dangerous neighbor. His Dialogus de oratoribus (written around 105) discusses the relat…


(303 words)

Author(s): Huxel, Kirsten
[German Version] (Ger. Takt, Fr. tact, Lat. tactus, “sense of touch, feeling, influence”) denotes the practical judgment that enables the accurate application of rules in concrete cases by drawing on the totality of the determinants present in the mind as universal rules of common sense or experience, without being elevated to the level of conscious scientific clarity (I. Kant). In a moral sense, tact is sensitivity to what is right and proper given the distinctive character of a particular situation a…

Tafel, Johann Friedrich Immanuel

(162 words)

Author(s): Neugebauer-Wölk, Monika
[German Version] (Feb 17, 1796, Sulzbach am Kocher – Aug 29, 1863, Bad Ragaz), writer and university lecturer in Tübingen. Raised in an environment of Württemberg Pietism, he soon became a disciple of E. Swedenborg. After studying theology at Tübingen, he began translating Swedenborg’s works for the German public – after 1824 as university librarian. He considered Swedenborg to have been sent by God and to have been vouchsafed enlightenment by Christ himself. He challenged the authority of the chu…

Taffin, Jean

(176 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Christoph
[German Version] (1529/1530, Doornik [Tournai] – Jul 15, 1602, Amsterdam), Reformed theologian. After studying with Calvin and T. Beza in Geneva from 1558 to 1560, he served churches in Aachen, Metz, Antwerp, Heidelberg, and (at the end of his life) in Amsterdam. In 1571 he played a leading role at the Dutch synod in Emden; from 1574 to 1583 he served as court chaplain to William of Orange. With his emphasis on the inward experience of grace and his ¶ description of the Christian life as penance, Taffin was one of the pioneers of the Nadere Reformatie. Christoph Strohm Bibliography Works inclu…

Tagore, Rabīndranāth

(268 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] (May 6, 1861, Calcutta – Aug 7, 1941, Shantiniketan, West Bengal), author, philosopher, educator, and social reformer. Tagore was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for literature (1913). He founded his school, Santiniketan (Abode of Peace), in 1901, and his Visva-Bharati (World University) in 1921; both were premised on the integration of the arts and spirituality into rural reconstruction, social values, and East-West understanding. A polymath, Tagore corresponded extensivel…


(1,345 words)

Author(s): Reiter, Florian C. | Jansen, Thomas | Wagner, Rudolf G.
[German Version] I. Taoism Taiping signifies “Great Peace,” “General Prosperity,” and “Universal Harmony.” The Book of Universal Harmony ( Taiping Jing) reflects the ideology of the militarily organized Taiping movement (2nd cent. ce) under the leadership of the self-appointed “generals” Zhang ¶ Jue (or Zhang Jiao; d. 184) and his two brothers. The deified Lao Tsu (Taishang Laojun) is said to have revealed the original title Taiping qingling shu to a certain Gan (or Yu) Ji in Shandong (Langye). The wars of the late Han Dynasty, the hardships suffered by the popu…

Tait, Archibald Campbell

(167 words)

Author(s): Carter, Grayson
[German Version] (Dec 21, 1811, Edinburgh – Dec 3, 1882, Episcopal Place at Addington), archbishop of Canterbury. Educated at Edinburgh and Oxford, Tait converted to the Church of England in 1830. Three years later, he was appointed tutor at Balliol College, Oxford. Though sympathetic to the aims of the Oxford Movement, in 1841 he joined in the public protest against Tract 90 (J.H. Newman). Talented and widely admired, Tait quickly advanced through a succession of clerical appointments, including headmaster of Rugby (1842, succeeding T. Arnold); bishop of…


(1,149 words)

Author(s): Clart, Philip
[German Version] I. General Facts Also known by its Portuguese name Formosa, the island of Taiwan lies some 160 km to the east of the Chinese province of Fujian in the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of roughly 36,000 km2 (Asia, see map). From the 16th century onward, it became the target of increasing immigration from the nearby Chinese mainland, in the course of which the native Malayo-Polynesian population was gradually driven out of the fertile plains and into the central mountains. Following shortlived colonization attempts by t…


(413 words)

Author(s): Danzeglocke, Klaus
[German Version] The Communauté de Taizé in Burgundy was founded at Easter in 1949 by the Swiss Reformed theologian Roger Schutz (Frère Roger; 1915–2005), when seven brothers took vows to live a common life based on traditional monastic rules (celibacy, community of goods, obedience). Schutz had already bought a small, derelict house in Burgundian Taizé, in which people fleeing political and racial persecution found refuge. Beginning in 1944, he lived with a few friends in a committed spiritual co…


(407 words)

Author(s): Abdullaev, Evgeniy
[German Version] The Republic of Tajikistan, independent since Sep 9, 1991, is a nation in Inner Asia (Asia, see map), bordered by Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, and Afghanistan. Tajikistan occupies an area of 143,100 km2 with a population of about 6.8 million, dominated by the Persian-speaking Tajiks (80%). Tajiks originated from the Old Iranian tribes who settled in the northeast of the ancient Persian empires and, until the spread of Islam, had professed Zoroastrian (Zoroaster), Buddhist, Nestorian (Nestorianism), and Manich…

Takemitsu, Toru

(159 words)

Author(s): Scholz-Cionca, Stanca
[German Version] (Oct 8, 1930, Tokyo – Feb 20, 1996, Tokyo), Japanese composer and multi-media artist. Largely self-taught, Takemitsu was also interested in painting, literature, theater, and film. He made his debut in 1950 and gained international fame in 1957 with his Requiem for String Orchestra. His extensive and innovative oeuvre brought him international recognition (music for electronic media, film scores, mixed-media experiments). Besides the influence of Western avant-garde musicians (Claude Debussy, O. Messiaen, Karlheinz Stockhausen,…


(258 words)

Author(s): Heine, Peter
[German Version] (“caution, fear”) means concealment or denial of one’s affiliation with a particular school of Islam (II, 1), often heterodox; it can also mean active participation in the rituals of a majority religion on the part of a sectarian to protect against danger to life and limb. This dissimulation can go so far that secret adherents of the heterodox beliefs adopt names typical of the majority religion. Taḳiyya is especially significant in religio-social contexts in which the danger of persecution and obliteration of the religious minority is reinforce…

Takizawa, Katsumi

(259 words)

Author(s): Ogawa, Keiji
[German Version] (Mar 8, 1909, Utsunomia – Jun 26, 1984, Fukuoka), Japanese philosopher strongly influenced by Kitaro Nishida and K. Barth. His roots were in Zen (II) Buddhism. After basic studies, he decided to study law at the University of Tokyo but broke off his legal studies in 1927 and moved to the philosophical faculty of the University of Kyushu. There he became assistant professor and later full professor of philosophical ethics. He concentrated on Nishida’s Zen dialectics of nothingness.…

Takla Haymanot, Saint

(414 words)

Author(s): Haile, Getatchew
[German Version] (Dec 21, 1215?, Zorare/Bulga – Aug 20, 1313?, Dabra Asebo/Libanos, Ethiopia), popular saint of the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia. ¶ Born Fesseha Seyon (“Joy of Zion”), he experienced his transformation to Takla Haymanot (“Plant of Faith”) through an appearance of the archangel Michael during a hunting expedition with his entourage. He immediately traveled throughout Shewa in southern Ethiopia, preaching the gospel, performing miracles, and baptizing thousands. Although Abuna Takla Haymanot is famous throughout Christian Ethiopia, he is known preem…

Taku, Moses ben Hasdai

(178 words)

Author(s): Dan, Joseph
[German Version] (c. 1170–1230). Rabbi Moses Taku (the name probably relates to a town; it may be Dachau, or Tachau in Bohemia), was a prominent Tosafist (Tosafot) who wrote commentaries on some talmudic tractates and legal responsa and is frequently quoted in halakhic literature up to the 15th century. He may have served as a rabbi in Regensburg. ¶ In manuscript Paris H711 there is a copy of a part of Taku’s polemical work, Ketav Tamim ( A Book of Wholesomeness; publ. R. Kircheim, 3 vols., 1860, 54–99). The work is dedicated to an uncompromising attack on the rationalistic…


(9 words)

[German Version] Clothing and Vestments: II, 2.c

Tales and Legends

(3,589 words)

Author(s): Feistner, Edith | Wißmann, Hans | Arneth, Martin | Sellin, Gerhard | Roggenkamp, Antje
[German Version] I. Literary History 1. Unlike fairy tales, which are set in a fictional world that takes wonders for granted, tales (Ger. Sagen) and legends recount the irruption of miracles and wonders into the real world. Tales treat this irruption as a mysterious and terrifying experience, while legends embed it in a religiously structured explanatory context. 2. The etymology of the terms tale and legend points to two different forms of transmission: oral in the case of tales (“what is told”) and sagas (“what is said”), written in the case of legends (Lat. legenda, “what is to be re…


(180 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] was originally the name of the fortress and episcopal see founded to replace the Estonian fortress of Lyndanisse taken by the Danish king Valdemar II in 1219. In 1227 it was taken over by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword; this led c. 1230 to the founding of a German city based on an earlier trading post. Once more left to the Danes in 1238, Talinn was bought back by the Teutonic Order in 1346. The bishops of Talinn, never having had their own territory, were suffragan to the arc…


(3,214 words)

Author(s): Beinhauer-Köhler, Bärbel | Otto, Eckart | Reeg, Gottfried | Krawietz, Birgit | Ogris, Werner
[German Version] I. Concept Talion is derived from the Roman lex talionis, in which it referred to a regulated act of retribution – in keeping with a legal norm that was meant to place limitations on self-administered justice. This stands in contradiction to the general understanding of talion as “doing as you are done by,” also in the sense of self-administered justice. In modern usage, talion is thus particularly understood in the sense of blood revenge or vendetta. The latter meaning is therefore focuse…


(171 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] The etymology of the word has not been explained satisfactorily (Sefrin, 163). In both popular and academic language, there is no precise difference in meaning or usage between a talisman and an amulet. A talisman is an artificial or natural object understood by the person who wears or uses it to be endowed with power (Mana). There is no visible distinction between a talisman and a piece of jewelry; as a result, there is a wide range of talismans in different cultures. Someone who uses a talisman expects either to be strengthened ¶ (and enabled to resist negative influenc…

Talleyrand, Charles Maurice

(232 words)

Author(s): Jordan, Stefan
[German Version] (Feb 2, 1754, Paris – May 15, 1838, Paris). Appointed bishop of Autun in 1789, as a supporter of the French Revolution he became a member of the Constitutional Assembly in the same year; in 1790 he became president of the National Assembly. When he swore to uphold the Civil Constitution of the Clergy in 1791, he was excommunicated by Pope Pius VI and was forced to resign from the episcopate. Suspected of royalist sympathies, he emigrated to England in 1792 and to the United States…

Tallis, Thomas

(161 words)

Author(s): Boisits, Barbara
[German Version] (c. 1505 – Nov 20 or 23, 1585, Greenwich, near London), English composer and organist. Having served as organist at the Benedictine abbey in Dover, St. Mary-at-Hill in London, the Augustinian Abbey of the Holy Cross in Waltham (Essex), and Canterbury Cathedral, around 1543 he was appointed gentleman of the Chapel Royal in London, where he served as organist until his death (a position shared with W. Byrd after 1572). Tallis was particularly noted for his skill at counterpoint. He …


(6 words)

[German Version] Prayer Shawl


(2,913 words)

Author(s): Stemberger, Günter
[German Version] I. Clarification of the Concept Talmud (derived from למד/ lamad, “to learn,” or limmad, “to teach”) signifies “study, instruction, teaching” (as first attested in Qumran: 4QpNah II 8), and more specifically the commentary on the Mishnah in the Talmud Bavli ( b; see below II) and the Talmud Yerushalmi ( y; see below III). The Talmud is made up of the Mishnah and the Gemara (Aram. גמר/ gemar, “to complete, to learn”), the “traditional teaching” or “completion” of the Mishnah in the interpretation of the Amoraim. II. Talmud Bavli Soon after the compiling of the Mishnah, …


(155 words)

Author(s): Baum, Wilhelm
[German Version] queen of Georgia (1184–1213). The great-granddaughter of the Georgian king David IV became co-regent with her father George III in 1178. The children of her second marriage, to the Ossetian prince David Soslan, succeeded to the throne as George IV and Russutuna. The Seljuks, who had invaded Asia Minor, were driven back. In 1204 Tamara joined the Fourth Crusade. Trebizond was taken by David Soslan; under his kinsman Alexius Comnenus, it was turned into a buffer state between Georgia and the Seljuks. The most important figu…

Tam/Rabbenu Tam

(9 words)

[German Version] Jacob ben Meir Tam


(5 words)

[German Version] Bible


(170 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (died 1115, Antwerp), itinerant ascetic preacher, probably a layman, for some time a member of the circle of Count Robert II of Flanders. In 1112 he is ¶ said to have been in Rome trying to have the islands at the mouth of the Scheldt (Zeeland) removed from the bishopric of Utrecht and placed under the bishopric of Thérouanne (under the archbishopric of Reims). On his return journey, he was imprisoned by the archbishop of Cologne and charged with heresy by the Utrecht cathedral clergy. The stereotyped accusa…


(5 words)

[German Version] Midrash


(371 words)

Author(s): Jacobs, Martin
[German Version] The Aramaic term תַּנָּא/ tannāʾ, “reciter, teacher” (pl. תַּנָּאִים/ tannāʾîm) is generally applied to the Palestinian rabbis (II, 1) of the 1st–3rd centuries ce, i.e. before the compilation of the Mishnah; their teaching, considered authoritative, was originally preserved through oral recitation. As representatives of the formative phase of rabbinic Judaism, the Tannaim are distinguished from the Amoraim, their successors, the authorities of the Talmud. In the Talmud, however, the title Tanna can also be given to a “reciter” in the Amoraic academy…


(271 words)

Author(s): Gengnagel, Jörg
[German Version] (Sanskrit, “warp, loom; doctrine”). Tantra denotes a practical path ( sādhanā) on which ritual, physical (Body control techniques: III), and mental techniques are used to achieve worldly pleasure ( bhukti) and extraordinary proficiencies ( siddhi), or to be delivered from all worldly ties ( mukti) during one’s lifetime. The roots of tantra lie in the cultural sphere of India. There tantra denotes both a genre of religious and philosophical literature as well as the revelatory literature associated with Tantrism. Elements of tantra are also…


(991 words)

Author(s): Gengnagel, Jörg | Kollmar-Paulenz, Karénina
[German Version] I. Definition Elements of Tantrism (from Sanskrit tantra, “warp, loom; doctrine”) are present in various religious symbol systems. In addition to the central role of the goddess or ¶ female power and energy (Śakti), ritual acceptance and initiation ( dīkṣā) into the particular religious tradition by a Tantric master or guru ( ācārya), who embodies a specific succession of teachers, are important. The initiation ritual is usually associated with the replacement of the initiate’s mundane name, the communication of specific Tantric ma…


(868 words)

Author(s): Ludwig, Frieder | Mungure, Elieshi
[German Version] I. General The name Tanzania is an artificial coinage introduced in 1964 with the formation of the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The republic has an area of 942,000 km2, including the islands of Pemba, Zanzibar, and Mafia, with some 2,000 km2. The most important vegetation zones are savannahs, veldt, semidesert, and the fertile coastal plain on the Indian Ocean. The continental area includes 54,000 km2 of inland lakes, primarily along the Great African Rift Valley. With an altitude of 5,895 m, Kilimanjaro reaches the highest elevat…


(179 words)

Author(s): Reiter, Florian C.
[German Version] (or Dao) is a central concept of Chinese philosophy and religion. Its basic meaning is “way” or “path”; Confucius used it in the sense of “right way” and “order.” As the way or order of the universe, in the literature of Taoism the word came to denote a fundamental abstract concept, defined neither temporally, spatially, nor personally. The Tao te Ching (“Book of the Tao and Its Virtue”) explains it as the epitome of the ultimate ground and being of all entities and their natural concord. Since the 2nd century ce, religious Taoism has revered its author Lao Tsu as the …


(4,368 words)

Author(s): Seiwert, Hubert | Reiter, Florian C.
[German Version] I. History Philosophical Taoism (Daoism) is associated with names from the history of China’s traditional literature such as Lao Tsu (Tao te Ching) and Zhuangzi. Their influence can be seen in belles lettres and in philological and philosophical commentaries. The situation of religious Taoism (“Celestial Master” Taoism: Tianshidao or Cheng Yi Taoism), which first appeared as a religion in China in the 2nd century ce, is quite different. Its history falls into three periods: (1) the formative period, 2nd–6th centuries; (2) the period of consoli…

Tao te Ching

(187 words)

Author(s): Reiter, Florian C.
[German Version] (or Dao de Ching), “The Book of the Tao and Its Virtue,” a key text of literary Taoism. The work is also known under the name of its putative author Lao Tsu; it was probably composed during the Period of the Warring States (481–221 bce). Two chapters with 81 aphorisms describe the concept of the Tao at length. An extensive commentary literature began to emerge in the 2nd century bce. The Heshang Gong commentary (2nd cent. bce) introduced the religious Taoist interpretation of the text, which concentrates on the physical and spiritual nature of human being…

Tao Tsang

(86 words)

Author(s): Seiwert, Hubert
[German Version] (Pinyin: Dào Zàng), “Treasury of the Tao,” a canonical collection of Taoist texts (Canon: VIII). The standard 1926 edition (with several reprs.) is based on a 1445 printing of more than 5,300 scrolls ( juan), with supplements added in 1607; it comprises almost 1,500 titles, including liturgical, historical, and philosophical texts. Hubert Seiwert Bibliography N. Ōfuchi, “The formation of the Taoist Canon,” in: H. Welch & A. Seidel, eds., Facets of Taoism, 1979, 253–267 J.M. Boltz, “Taoist Literature,” EncRel (E) XIV, 1987, 317–329.

Tareev, Mikhail Mikhailovich

(150 words)

Author(s): Wasmuth, Jennifer
[German Version] (Nov 7, 1866, Kozlovskie Vyselki, Ryazan’ Gubernia – Jun 1934, Moscow), was from 1902 to 1918 professor of moral theology at the Moscow Spiritual Academy and from 1919 to 1927 lecturer in philosophy and political economy at various secular institutions. One of the most original Russian theologians at the turn of the century, with a rejection of juridical categories that was characteristic of Orthodox soteriology in that period he developed an interpretation of redemption (VI, 4.b)…


(80 words)

Author(s): Jacobs, Martin
[German Version] rabbinic scholar in Palestinian Lydda c. 200 ce. Tarfon belonged to a priestly family and is assigned to the second generation of Tannaim. Rabbinic literature preserves most of his teachings in discussions with Akiba ben Joseph. He should probably not be identified with the Trypho mentioned by Justin Martyr. Martin Jacobs Bibliography J.D. Gereboff, Rabbi Tarfon: The Tradition, the Man and Early Rabbinic Judaism, 1979 F.G. Willems, “Le juif Tryfon et rabbi Tarfon,” Bijdr. 50/3, 1989, 278–292.
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