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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Chaadayev, Piotr Yakovlevich

(251 words)

Author(s): Wasmuth, Jennifer
[German Version] (Čaadaev; May 27/ Jun 7, 1794, Moscow or Nižnij-Novgorod – Apr 14/26, 1856, Moscow) was an important Russian philosopher of history. When the first of Chaadayev's “Philosophical Letters” appeared in 1836, Chaadayev was publicly declared insane. Chaadayev responded with his Apology of a Madman (1837) – first published in Russia in 1906. For Chaadayev, much as for F.W.J. Schelling, the unity of faith and reason is a central motif of his thought. Accordingly, Chaadayev considered the goal of history to be…


(461 words)

Author(s): Roser, Markus
[German Version] With the official French name, République du Tchad (Africa, see map), Chad is an interior state in Central Africa; its surface area is 1.284 million km2, with 8.4 million inhabitants (2002); the capital is NʾDjamena (950, 000); the administrative languages are French and, since 1982, Arabic; the population consists of: 30% Sara, 23% Arabized peoples (in the north), 15% Arabs, Mbaye, NʾGambaye, Madjingaye, Daye, Goulaye, Kaba, Fulani, Massa, Mboum, Laka, Moundang, Marba, Toupouri, and others. In the 19th century, there were three kingdoms: Waddai, Kanem-B…


(133 words)

Author(s): Käppel, Lutz
[German Version] A Stoic philosopher and Egyptian priest of the 1st century ce, Chaeremon was probably a grammar teacher in Alexandria before becoming the tutor of the later emperor Nero in 49 ce. Chaeremon is the author of a grammatical essay on hieroglyphs ( Hieroglyphica), of an astrological treatise, and of a stoicizing work on Egyptian history ( Aigyptiakḗ historía). The latter was less a historical account than a mytholo¶ gizing description of the ancient Egyptian priesthood as the perfect embodiment of Stoic ideals. Lutz Käppel Bibliography Fragments: F. Jacoby, ed., Die Fragme…

Chagall, Marc

(892 words)

Author(s): Liebelt, Udo
[German Version] (Jul 7, 1887, Vitebsk, Belarus – Mar 28, 1985, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France). Born into a Jewish family, Chagall grew up in the tradition of Hasidism. From 1907 to 1910, he studied painting and drawing in St. Petersburg. Having at first considered pursuing an academic career, he then turned his attention to the figurative representations and compositional forms of Russian Orthodox art ( The Holy Family, Crucifixion, The Birth [1909/1910]). The Dead Man (1908) and The Birth (1910) testify to his early interest in harmonizing existential symbolism a…

Chakkarai Chetty, Vengal

(328 words)

Author(s): Ludwig, Frieder
[German Version] (Jan 17, 1880, Madras – Jun 14, 1958, Madras) came from a respected Chettiar family and was raised as a Hindu. He graduated from Madras Christian College in philosophy; at this time he became a Christian (baptized Feb 22, 1903). Initially, Chakkarai worked as a teacher; at the same time he studied law and was active as a lawyer from 1909 to 1912. In 1913, he joined the Danish Missions to work among educated Hindus. In the same year, together with…

Chalcedon, Council of

(492 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] In Chalcedon (Kadiköy, on the Asian shore of the Bosporus, part of present-day Istanbul; Constantinople/Byzantium), what was probably the most illustrious assembly of bishops in antiquity met from Oct 8 to Nov 11, 451 (although the tradition of 600–630 participants is legendary). Church history came to know it as the fourth “ecumenical” council. Its primary significance lies unquestionably in the realm of the history of dogma (Two natures doctrine), although many of its disciplinary decrees also had important consequences. The council was made possible by a …

Chalcedonian Definition

(681 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] The christological definition of the Council of Chalcedon, the Symbolum Chalcedonense, was achieved only after extensive resistance and under pressure from the imperial commissioners and the Roman legates. The text was solemnly read in the 6th session on Oct 25 and signed by all the bishops present. It began by repeating the creeds of Nicea and Constantinople (IV; 431), which actually should have sufficed, as had been decided at Ephesus. But to combat the…


(6 words)

[German Version] Calcidius

Chaldea and the Chaldeans

(219 words)

Author(s): Steymans, Hans Ulrich
[German Version] Chaldea ( kur Kaldu), the settlement area of the Chaldeans ( Kaldayya/ Χαλδαίοι [ Chaldaíoi], כַּשְׁדִים [ kaśdîm]) in southern Mesopotamia. The Chaldeans may be attested already in Middle Assyrian texts. They were organized in tribal states. Whether the Chaldeans were ethnically related to the Arameans (Gen 22:21f.; Jer 35:11; Dan 2:4) or the Arabs, or belonged to a separate semitic group, is unknown. They usurped the throne of Babylon roughly from 780 to 689 bce. The OT refers to the Babylonians only as Chaldeans; Berossus uses both nam…

Chaldean Church

(9 words)

[German Version] Unions with Rome

Chaldean Oracles

(289 words)

Author(s): Rebrik, Victor
[German Version] The Chaldean Oracles are a collection of Greek poems written in hexameters, of which many fragments are preserved in the works of the Neoplatonists (Neoplatonism) and Michael Psellus. They are attributed to Julian the “Chaldean” (2nd cent. ce). There is nothing Babylonian (“Chaldean”) about them; rather, they contain extensive philosophical speculation in which the teachings of Platonism are interwoven with Pythagorean (Pythagoreans), Orphic (Orphism), and Stoic (Stoics; Stoi…

Chaldean Rite

(9 words)

[German Version] East Syrian Liturgy


(340 words)

Author(s): Hinz, Wolfgang
[German Version] The chalice, which is indispensable for the celebration of communion (1 Cor 11:23–29), mediates the communion of the blood of Christ (1 Cor 10:16). Often richly decorated, its form and usage are dictated by tradition, current interests, and necessity. In addition to the plain cup (phial) and the two-handled goblet (krater, skyphos), the earless chalice is also becoming popular. The withholding of the chalice (Chalice, withholding of) in the 12th/13th ce…

Chalice, Witholding of the

(338 words)

Author(s): Hinz, Wolfgang
[German Version] In a departure from communion in both forms (Matt 26:26f. par.; Eucharist/Communion: II, 2), laypersons were gradually weaned from the chalice, beginning in the 12th century. Exaggerated timidity in dealing with the bread and wine (Transsubstantiation), the veneration of the host (Concomitance), a shortage of wine, and other practical reasons led to the witholding of the chalice. Long disputed, the Council of Constance enacted it in 1415: ¶ “consuetudinem rationabiliter approbatam” (sessio 13). The vigorous resistance of the Hussites/Utraqu…


(105 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] one of the Princes' islands in the Marmara Sea opposite Istanbul (Constantinople). With the establishment of Chalki Theological College in Holy Trinity monastery in 1844, Chalki became an important training center for monks, bishops and professors. In 1971 the Turkish state closed the accommodation, the grammar school and the theological college, which through its guest students had in the meantime become a place of ecumenical encounter.…

Challenges to Faith

(1,179 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Oswald | Schröer, Henning
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Practical Theology I. Dogmatics A legal challenge involves retroactive nullification of a declared intent by means of a later declaration. Religious ¶ and theological usage preserves something of this sense, since a challenge to faith fundamentally challenges the word given in God's name (Exod 3), God's promise that establishes his presence, God's own nature as promise (Exod 20:2). Does God keep his promise? Can he keep it? Does he intend to keep it? There …

Chalmers, Thomas

(334 words)

Author(s): Brown, Stewart J.
[German Version] (Mar 17, 1780, Anstruther, Scotland – May 30, 1847, Edinburgh, Scotland), political economist, theologian, and minister of the Church of Scotland, known especially for his role in the Scottish Disruption of 1843. After studying at St. Andrews and Edinburgh universities, Chalmers was ordained in 1803, becoming minister of the rural parish of Kilmany in Fife. Influenced by the Enlightenment he neglected his pastoral duties while he pursued, unsuccessfully…

Chalybäus, Heinrich Franz

(98 words)

Author(s): de Wall, Heinrich
[German Version] (May 5, 1840, Kiel – Dec 26, 1911, Kiel), from 1891 to 1903 president of the Evangelical-Lutheran consistory in Kiel and curator of the University; from 1903 to 1911 he was president of the provincial consistory of Hanover and curator of Loccum monastery. He was a member of the Eisenach Conference and the executive committee of the Evangelical Church in Germany. He edited codes of ecclesiastical law for Schleswig-Holstein and (with G. Uhlhorn) Hanover. He was an advocate of the state church. Heinrich de Wall Bibliography W. Lampe, NDB III, 1957, 186f.

Chamberlain, Houston Stewart

(135 words)

Author(s): Knöppler, Thomas
[German Version] (Sep 9, 1855, Portsmouth – Jan 9, 1927, Beyreuth) began studies in natural science in Geneva in 1879, moving to Dresden in 1885 and Vienna in 1889. In 1909, he married a daughter of R. Wagner and in 1916 became a German citizen. The best-known work of this cultural philosopher ( Die Grundlagen des 19. Jahrhunderts, 2 vols., 1899; ET: Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, 1910) attempts to survey the totality of European cultures. Building on three foundations (Greek art and philosophy, Roman law, and the appearance of the non-Je…

Chamier, Daniel

(141 words)

Author(s): Strohm, Christoph
[German Version] (1565, in the Dauphiné – Oct 17, 1621, Montauban) studied theology in Geneva (1583–1589) and, after serving as pastor in various congregations, he became his father's successor in Montélimar (c. 1595). In the negotiations about the promulgation of the Edict of Nantes (France, Huguenots), Chamier took a hard line and soon played a prominent role ¶ at several synods in France. In 1603, he became chair of the national synod in Gap, which added an article to the creed that described the pope as the Antichrist prophesied in th…
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