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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Tennent, William

(154 words)

Author(s): Coalter, Milton J.
[German Version] (1673, Scotland – May 6, 1746, Neshaminy, PA), Presbyterian clergyman and educator. Tennent studied at the University of Edinburgh. He relinquished his Presbyterian affiliation and was ordained in the Church of Ireland. However, after he immigrated with his wife and five children to America in 1718, he was admitted to the Presbyterian Synod (Presbyterians) of Philadelphia after denouncing the unscriptural Arminian doctrines of his former communion. In Neshaminy he created an acade…

Tennhardt, Johannes

(277 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] (Jan 2, 1661, Dobergast, Saxony – Sep 12, 1720, Kassel), radical Pietist itinerant preacher. After dropping out of secondary school, Tenn­hardt, the son of a prosperous farmer, worked as a barber and then after 1688 as a wigmaker in Nuremberg. As a young man, he was already an avid reader of mystical works, an interest that shaped his later religiosity, which involved repeated visions. In 1704, after the death of his wife, in a vision he experienced a call to be God’s “chancery cl…

Tennyson, Alfred Lord

(188 words)

Author(s): Meller, Horst
[German Version] (Aug 6, 1809, Somersby – Oct 6, 1892, Aldworth), the most renowned Victorian poet. He was the son of a clergyman, from whom he received most of his instruction. In 1827 he enrolled in Trinity College, Cambridge. The sudden death of a college friend in 1833 cast a pall of melancholy over his life. Even before he published his elegiac major poem In Memoriam (1850), he had already become the voice of his era. The musicality and humanistic depth of works like “The Lotos-Eaters” (1832), “Locksley Hall” (1842), “Ulysses” (1842), and “The Princess” …

Tenorio, Gonzalo

(176 words)

Author(s): Bey, Horst von der
[German Version] (1602, Jaen de Bracamoros, Diocese of Quito – 1682[?], Spain), Peruvian Franciscan priest, student of theology and the arts, missionary, and Minister Provincialis. He became known for an untitled 16-volume work in which he maintained that the universal kingship of Christ began with creation, was interrupted by Adam and Eve, and was partially restored through redemption. A third, millenarian kingdom would begin with the proclamation of a dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. Because the Indians had rej…


(369 words)

Author(s): Triplett, Katja
[German Version] “Teaching of Heavenly Wisdom.” Tenrikyō was founded in Japan in 1838 by Miki Nakayama (1798–1887), who considered herself the mediator of the words of the universal Creator God Oyagami (“Parental God”). Although conceived as the ultimate, true religion, Tenrikyō initially adapted to the organizational structure of sectarian Shintō (Shintoism). Its ritual, cult, and clerical organization were revised in 1949. Tenrikyō is an independent religious corporation. In 2002 its members ( yōboku, “timber”) numbered about 1.75 million. Through a system of chur…

Tent Mission

(230 words)

Author(s): Hall, John
[German Version] originates in two forces: the desire to preach to all people and conflict with existing authorities. The Wesleyan revival (J. Wesley) provided a model of preaching outside recognized church structures. Then the 19th-century camp meeting, important in the Second Great Awakening in the United States, moved North-East and met considerable, established-church opposition there. This resulted in independent itinerant evangelists preaching wherever they could and erecting temporary taber…

Teología India (Indigenous Theology)

(604 words)

Author(s): Chamorro, Graciela
[German Version] is a theological movement of the indigenous population of Latin America and the Caribbean that began in the 1980s. It has attracted indigenous Catholic and Protestant clergy and laity as well as intellectuals supporting indigenism (Indigenization). Indigenous religions and the various Christian faiths of the creoles are seeking their own theological approaches. From the perspective of the church hierarchy, the Christian faith of the indigenous population is finding new forms of expression. This is taking place according to the prin…


(180 words)

Author(s): Staubli, Thomas
[German Version] (Heb. תְּרָפִים), in the Old Testament a household means of divination. A teraph could be tucked away in a camel saddle (Gen 31:19, 34f.), resemble a human being (1 Sam 19:13, 16), and sometimes be made of wood and be part of the cultic inventory of a private sanctuary (Judg 17f.). There is some evidence that teraphim were effigies of deified ancestors (III; Hereafter, Concepts of the). Efforts to identify teraphim definitively with archaeological artifacts associated with the ancestor cult have so far proved unsuccessful. The finds in question i…

Teresa of Ávila, Saint

(637 words)

Author(s): Delgado, Mariano
[German Version] (Span.: Teresa de Jesús; Mar 28, 1515, Ávila – Oct 4, 1568, Alba de Tormes, Salamanca), founder of the Discalced Carmelites (Aug 24, 1562, for women, Nov 28, 1568, for men), mystic, saint (Mar 12, 1622; feast day Oct 15), and the first woman to be named a Doctor of the Church (Sep 27, 1970; Doctores ecclesiae). Her father, Alonso Sánchez de Cepeda, was converted from Judaism as a child; her mother, Beatriz de Ahumada, was a member of the lower gentry. After reading many legends of…

Term and Concept

(494 words)

Author(s): Stolzenberg, Jürgen
[German Version] Normal use of language includes general expressions or terms used to denote something that several individual objects have in common. The meaning of such a general expression is a concept. The meaning of a concept is called its intension, whereas its extension or scope is the set of all objects that come under it. The classical way in which concepts and terms are defined is represented by hierarchical classification systems, i.e. systems of concepts and terms for genera, species, …

Terministic Controversy

(373 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] The terministic controversy in Lutheran Protestantism was sparked by a common practice based on CA 12 (Augsburg Confession): at death’s door, after confession and communion (Eucharist) eternal bliss (Blessedness) was promised regardless of whether the person dying had lived a recognizably Christian life. In response Pietist theologians –especially P.J. Spener, appealing to J.K. Dannhauer – cited Heb 3:7–11 in support of the view that God has determined a set period of grace for repentance ¶ ( tempus peremtorius gratiae); at its end, the sinner is cut off fr…

Territorial Church History

(1,691 words)

Author(s): Peters, Christian
[German Version] I. Name and Definition Territorial church history (TCH; also: church history of the Länder; Regional church) is a discipline of historical theology (Church history). It is concerned with church territories (Church order) as presently consitituted, and brings out their specific traditions and qualities. Thus the degrees of interdependence between TCH, general church history, regional history, and general history vary greatly. ¶ Within historical theology, TCH has important functions. It covers a wide spectrum of local sources and relationshi…

Territorialism/Territorial System

(492 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] Territorialism is a theory of the legal relationship between the state and the church, according to which the all-embracing sovereignty of the prince includes sovereignty over the church and the public practice of religion in his territory; this means that all leadership authority in the church derives from the territorial lord. Chronologically the territorial system gradually gave way to episcopalism (which was influenced increasingly by territorialist arguments as it emerged); i…


(410 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] Terrorism is the systematic employment of especially brutal and shocking violence in pursuit of political ends. The definition of the agent is disputed: historically, the term terrorism initially (after the French Revolution) referred to the reign of terror on the part of the state. Restriction of the term to forms of violence carried out below the level of the state is based on the observation that methods employed by the anticolonial struggle for liberation were adopted by other groups and employed in other ¶ conflicts. It would be good to distinguish between t…

Tersteegen, Gerhard

(909 words)

Author(s): Benrath, Gustav Adolf
[German Version] (Nov 25, 1697, Moers – Apr 3, 1769, Mülheim an der Ruhr), Protestant lay theologian and pastor; author and hymn writer. The young Tersteegen came from a practicing Protestant family, received thorough secondary education in Moers, and spent four years being trained for a business career in Mülheim an der Ruhr, where he lived for the rest of his life. Here he was influenced by members of the Pietist revival (Pietism), and began a strict withdrawal from the world in “discipleship in…


(426 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] members of a third order ( tertius ordo). I. Secular Tertiaries Tertiaries are members of a third order for men or women; since the 11th/12th century, they have associated with the male (First Order) or female (Second Order) branch of existing orders, especially the mendicant orders that arose in the 13th century, in order to pursue religious or social goals. The most important was and still is the Franciscan Third Order ( Tertius OrdoFranciscanus, TOF). In his Letter to the Faithful, Francis had limited himself to urging them to live active Christian lives,…

Tertullian, Quintus Septimius Florens

(1,268 words)

Author(s): Moreschini, Claudio
[German Version] (c. 160–170 ce, Carthage – after 220 ce) I. Biography There are few references to Tertullian in the works of other Latin authors (Jer. Vir. ill. 53; Aug. De haeresibus 86). Despite the skepticism of some critics, it is possible ¶ to reconstruct his life. He was born the son of an officer stationed in Carthage. Apart from literary and legal studies, he devoted his youth to social life ( Apol. 18.14; Res. 59.3); identification with the jurist of the same name cited in the Digestum appears unlikely. Jerome’s statement that Tertullian had been a presbyter is disputed.…

Teschemacher, Werner

(173 words)

Author(s): Kampmann, Jürgen
[German Version] (Teschenmacher, Techenmacher; Sep 13, 1590, Elberfeld – Apr 2, 1638, Xanten). Teschemacher, the son of a mayor, was brought up in the Reformed Church and studied theology in Herborn, Burgsteinfurt, and Heidelberg. After serving congregations in Grevenbroich (1611), Sittard (1613), and Elberfeld (1615), he was appointed chaplain to the Brandenburg court in Kleve (1617) and later in Emmerich (1623). He proved himself a highly talented, consistent advocate for the interests of the Reformed along the Lower Rhine in the face of an active Counter-Reformation¶ movement.…

Teschner, Melchior

(134 words)

Author(s): Lange, Barbara
[German Version] (Apr 29, 1584, Fraustadt [Wschowa, Poland] – Dec 1, 1635, Oberpritschen, near Fraustadt [today Przyczyna Górna]), studied theology and philosophy in Frankfurt an der Oder (from 1601) and Wittenberg (from 1608). He also studied music with Bartholomäus Gesius (1560–1613). In 1609 he was appointed organist and choirmaster in Fraustadt and in 1614 pastor in Oberpritschen. He composed the tune for the hymn “Valet will ich dir geben,” written by the Fraustadt pastor V. Herberger (publ. 1614). Also popular as a tune for other hymns (e.g. Gotteslob 468), it appears with H…

Testamentary Capacity of Clerics

(98 words)

Author(s): Potz, Richard
[German Version] According to Catholic canon law, secular clergy can make wills without restriction. Particular law, however, suggests that they make wills that also consider church institutions. According to canon 668 CIC/1983, members of orders are, in principle, no longer able to make a will after taking solemn vows. Consequently, they must make a will beforehand that is also valid under secular law. According to state law in Germany and Austria, there are no restrictions on the testamentary capacity of members of orders. Richard Potz Bibliography B. Primetshofer, “Die Religio…
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