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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Coadjutor Bishop

(8 words)

[German Version] Episcopal Titles

Cocceius, Johannes

(297 words)

Author(s): de Groot, Aart
[German Version] (Coch; Aug 9, 1603, Bremen – Nov 5, 1669, Leiden) was appointed professor in Bre¶ men in 1630 (Philologia sacra), in Franeker in 1636 (Hebrew; theology from 1643), and in Leiden in 1650 (theology). As a student, he acquired a lasting interest in Judaism and Islam from M. Martini (Bremen), and was thoroughly trained in the biblical languages by S. Amama (Franeker). His commentaries on nearly every book of the Bible and the preparatory work for his monumental Lexicon et commentarius sermonis hebraici et chaldaici Veteris Testamenti (1669) are closely connected to his…

Cochläus, Johannes

(293 words)

Author(s): Burger, Christoph
[German Version] (actually Dobeneck; 1479, Raubersried, Wendelstein parish [hence cochlea, “spiral stair”], Middle-Franconia – Jan 10 or 11, 1552, Breslau), studied arts and theology in Cologne, became rector of the Latin school in Nuremberg in 1510; a humanist, he studied law in Bologna, received the Dr. theol. in 1517 in Ferrara, was consecrated to the priesthood in 1518 in Rome and appointed dean of the Liebfrauenstift in Frankfurt; he became an opponent of Luther after reading De captivitate Babylonica ecclesiae praeludium, became canon of St. Viktor near Mainz i…

Cochrane, Thomas

(137 words)

Author(s): Anderson, Allan H.
[German Version] (1866, Greenock, Scotland – 1953). After completing medical training in Glasgow, Cochrane was sent by the London Missionary Society to Mongolia in 1897. In 1904 he founded the Peking Union Medical College and served as its first director until 1915. On returning to England, he started the periodical World Dominion and the following year founded the Survey Application Trust. In both ventures, he worked in collaboration with missionary author Roland Allen. In 1930 he founded the Movement for World Evangelism, …


(7 words)

[German Version] Rijnsburger Collegiants

Code Civil

(8 words)

[German Version] Napoleonic Era


(583 words)

Author(s): Richardi, Reinhard
[German Version] I. Definition – II. Historical Basis – III. Co-determination in the Churches I. Definition Conventionally, the term “co-determination” (Ger. Mitbestimmung) has been reserved for the institutional participation of employees (Employees/Employers) in ¶ directing and managing a business or corporation. As part of the labor constitution co-determination includes employee participation in matters that go beyond the social und economic structure of the company. With industrial action as a tool in confl…

Codex Iuris Canonici (1917)

(696 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] The intention of restructuring canon law had existed ever since the preparatory work for Vatican I, although the popes of the time never followed up on it. Instead, several private outlines were drafted in which the methodic approach of the Codex Iuris Canonici ( CIC) was anticipated. The definitive work began under Pius X ( Motu Proprio “Arduum sane munus,” Mar 19, 1904). The objective was to harmonize the hitherto fragmented laws concerning the larger and more important issues of church life. A commission was then set up a…

Codex Iuris Canonici (1983)

(498 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] An aggiornamento of canon law had already been announced by John XXIII, as Vatican II had made the Codex of 1917 appear outdated. On Jan 28, 1963, a reform commission was established (commission of cardinals with consultors). The churchgoing public was widely integrated in the making of the new Codex Iuris Canonici ( CIC). Some drafts were withdrawn. John Paul II canonized and promulgated the CIC on Jan 25, 1983. It came into effect on Nov 27, 1983. The Codex itself is written in Latin, though authorized translations into several languages followed. The CIC applies…

Codex Justinianus

(497 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Wolfgang
[German Version] At the beginning of the year 528, emperor Justinian I (527–565) appointed a commission of high-ranking government officials to collect in a single code, arranged by subject, all the imperial constitutions already contained in earlier collections (Codex Gregorianus, Codex Hermogenianus, Codex Theodosianus) or issued subsequently; the new collection was to bear his name. The commission was directed to edit and unify the legal material by eliminating unnecessary ¶ and obsolete material from the constitutions and resolving contradictions. Textu…

Codex Theodosianus

(530 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Wolfgang
[German Version] The 16 books of the Codex Theodosianus contain constitutions of the Christian emperors from 312 to 437, including civil, administrative, and ecclesiastical law. Published for the East by Theodosius II (408–450) on Feb 15, 438, it was adopted for the West in the same year by Valentinian III (425–455). On Jan 1, 439, the code came into force for the entire Empire. Its authority was preemptive: for the period covered, the original constitutions beca…


(508 words)

Author(s): Zweigle, Birgit
[German Version] refers to common education and instruction for the two sexes. The first coeducational institutions were established in the USA in the late 19th century. Coeducation was introduced particularly in the newly-founded colleges and universities in the Midwest and West. Politicians and educators justified coeducation in the state universities in terms of financial pressures. The Northeast and South decided to establish women's colleges, which primarily…

Coe, George Albert

(252 words)

Author(s): Tippen, Brian A.
[German Version] (Mar 26, 1862 Mendon, NY – Nov 9, 1951 Claremont, CA) was professor at the University of Southern California, 1888–1890; Northwestern University, 1891–1909; Union Theological Seminary (NY), 1909–1922; and Teachers College, New York, 1922–1927. In 1909, Coe was called to Union Theological Seminary as the first professor of religious education at a Protestant seminary in the US. There he gave his inaugural lecture on the theme “Can Religion Be …


(357 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] (Lat. coercitio) takes place when a certain type of behavior is forcibly imposed upon a person against his/her declared will. “Means of coercion” are the embodiment of all instruments that are available for this purpose. The availability of such means is indispensable for the state if it is to fulfill its fundamental task of maintaining the peace. The latter requires it to enforce compliance with the legal order, especially on the part of t…

Co-existence, Religious,

(308 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas
[German Version] also known as “convivence,” which is derived from Span. convivencia and Port. convivência (“living together”). In medieval Spain, the latter denoted the peaceful coexistence of Jews, Christians, and Muslims; in Latin-American liberation theology (I), it refers to the communal life and solidarity of the poor which arises from bonds of kinship or neighborly relations and which the base communities have adopted as a structure of ecclesial life (Freire). The equivalent German term Konvivenz was introduced in German-speaking theology by Th. Sunderme…

Coffin, Henry Sloane

(178 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Jan 5, 1877, New York – Nov 25, 1954, Lakeville, CT) was a leading Protestant educator and ecumenicist in the USA during the firs…

Cognitive Dissonance

(352 words)

Author(s): Bucher, Anton
[German Version] Developed by Leon Festinger in 1957, the theory of cognitive dissonance is one of the most important and influential theories of social psychology, and has since inspired thousands of studies. The theory claims that human beings go to great lengths to preserve a balance in their opinions, attitudes, and values. When this harmony is disturbed (e.g. the predilection for eggs by evidence that cholesterol may represent a health risk), the individual …

Cognitive Science

(372 words)

Author(s): Stephan, Achim


(704 words)

Author(s): Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth
[German Version] generally denotes the relationship of two unrelated adults living together unmarried as a household with or without children. Structurally, cohabitation does not represent a new and novel way of life. Traditionally it was known as concubinage. What have changed, however, are the conditions that encourage cohabitation, the subjective significance assigned to it, and its biographical position. As late as the beginning of the 20th century, it served…

Cohen, Hermann

(509 words)

Author(s): Amir, Yehoyada
[German Version] (Jul 4, 1842, Coswig – Apr 4, 1918, Berlin). The philosopher and Jewish theologian Hermann Cohen was one of the intellectual leaders of liberal Judaism (III) and a cofounder of the neo-Kantian “Marburger Schule” (“Marburg school of thought”). His book on metaphysics, Logik der reinen Erkenntnis (1902), constructs a strict metaphysics that rejects sensory data as the starting point for the process of scientific philosophy. His Ethik des reinen Willens (1904) posits the “pure will” as the criterion of what is ethical; it does not focus on know…


(1,778 words)

Author(s): Grube, Dirk-M. | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Ethics I. Philosophy of Religion Coherence is essentially a syntactic relation that exists between various propositions, but not between propositions and reality. This relation is typically defined as an absence of contradictions between various propositions. More appropriate, however, is another definition of coherence as the logically and conceptually consistent integrability of certain propositions into a more comprehensive system of propositions. In a coherence theory of truth, truth is u…

Coillard, François

(212 words)

Author(s): Spindler, Marc R.
[German Version] (Jul 17, 1834, Asnières-lès-Bourges, France – May 27, 1904, Lealui, Zambia), French Reformed pioneer missionary in Southern Africa. Alumnus of the evangelical School of Missions in Paris, he was ordained in 1857 and sent to Lesotho, where he married Christina Mackintosh (1829–1891), daughter of a Scottish minister, in 1861. He wrote hymns, poems, tales, and translations in Sotho for use in schools. His ideal, however, was pioneering evangelizatio…


(283 words)

Author(s): Rodrigues, Manuel Augusto
[German Version] A town and bishopric in Portugal. In the 8th century the town (Roman Conimbriga, today Condeixa) was transferred to the site of Aeminium, modern Coimbra. It belonged to the province of Emerita Augusta (Merida) and became the seat of a bishopric at the end of the 6th century. Conquered by the Moors in 715/716, Coimbra was finally retaken by Ferdinand I of Castile and Leon in 1054. The first bishop after the Reconquista was Paterno. When Portugal …

Coincidentia oppositorum

(9 words)

[German Version] Nicholas of Cusa


(6 words)

[German Version] Numismatics

Coke, Thomas

(159 words)

Author(s): Wigger, John H.
[German Version] (Sep 28, 1747, Brecon, Wales – May 3, 1814, Indian Ocean) earned a B.A. (1768) and a doctorate in civil law at Oxford. Ordained a priest in the Church of England in 1772, he was turned out of his parish for Methodist sympathies (Methodists) in 1776. He was promoted to be one of J. Wesley's advisers. Wesley set him apart as superintendent of Methodism in America. In the same year, after the first of 18 voyages across the Atlantic, Coke ordained F.…

Cola di Rienzo

(295 words)

Author(s): Weinhardt, Joachim
[German Version] (1313, Rome – Oct 8, 1354, Rome). The son of an innkeeper, Cola went to Avignon as a notary with a Roman delegation (1343/1344), whereupon Clement VI appointed him to a communal government office. Cola showed the Romans his enthusiasm for the ancient greatness of their city by explaining the extant relics to them. On the Feast of Pentecost (May 20) in 1347, he stirred a popular rebellion against the baronial nobility of the city and had the righ…

Colenso, John William

(216 words)

Author(s): Anderson, Allen H.
[German Version] (Jan 24, 1814, St. Austell, Cornwall – Jun 20, 1883, Bishopstown, Natal), Anglican missionary and bishop of Natal from 1853. Colenso studied at Cambridge and promoted higher biblical criticism in the English-speaking world, giving a series of sermons and commentaries on Romans and the Pentateuch between 1858 and 1879. Bishop Robert Gray of Cape Town called a synod in 1863 which deposed Colenso, who had refused to attend the synod or resign his of…

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor

(422 words)

Author(s): Volp, Ulrich
[German Version] (Oct 21, 1772, Ottery St. Mary, Devon – Jul 25, 1834, Highgate, London), English poet and theologian. A founder member of the English Romantic movement (Romanticism), he exerted great influence on English religious philosophy, literary criticism and theology. Coleridge was the son of an Anglican vicar and received a broad education in London and Cambridge, including ancient Greek literature and philosophy. His circumstances at Cambridge were very…

Cole, Thomas

(164 words)

Author(s): Hüttel, Richard
[German Version] (Feb 1, 1801, Boldon-le-Moors – Feb 11, 1848, Catskill, NY) is considered a pioneer of American landscape painting and the founder of the Hudson River School. Influenced by Eng…

Colet, John

(244 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (1467 [?], London – Sep 16, 1519, London) was the son of an influential clothier, who studied at Cambridge (from 1481; M.A. 1488) and Oxford (from 1490; D.D. 1504). F…

Coligny, Gaspard de

(255 words)

Author(s): Dingel, Irene
[German Version] (Seigneur de Châtillon; Feb 16, 1519, Châtillon-sur-Loing – Aug 24, 1572, Paris) was admiral of France from 1552 onward, and governor of Picardy from 1555. A Calvinist sympathizer, he was captured by the Spanish at the battle of St. Quentin (1557) and held captive in the Netherlands. The Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis (Apr 3, 1559) enabled him to resume his diplomatic functions. By speaking out in defense of his persecuted co-religionists during the a…


(323 words)

Author(s): Neijenhuis, Jörg
[German Version] The Latin term collatio is used in a variety of senses such as “bringing together,” “gathering,” “bestowing” (thus in Corpus Iuris Canonici, canon 147, for ¶ the conferment of an office), “comparing” (e.g. of a copy with the original). Rhetorics and philosophy employ the term for an amplifying figure of thought that compares two things on account of their similarity until it arrives at a complete comparison on the basis on a metaphorical tertium. In the context of church Latin, John Cassian's Collationes patrum (425–429) played a formative role: it contains 24 e…


(1,076 words)

Author(s): Georgi, Dieter | Ahlers, Reinhild
[German Version] I. Bible – II. Church History and Canon Law I. Bible The Old Testament mentions a great variety of contributions and offerings to the sanctuary (e.g. Exod 25:2–7; 2 Kgs 12:4–16; 1 Chr 29:1–19). The Psalms in particular show that temple offerings could be included in the trilogy of praise, thanksgiving, and profession of faith – not just in the sense of an act of devotion, but also in the formal legal sense. This became a means of transcending the concrete…


(6 words)

[German Version] Individualism

Collect Prayer

(195 words)

Author(s): Weil, Louis
[German Version] A collect is a prayer that concludes a section of a rite (e.g. an entrance rite). However, the word can also designate the prayer at the end of a liturgical unit, for instance the collect at the end of the litany. The standard collect form consists of th…

College of Bishops

(10 words)

[German Version] Bishops, College of

Colleges and Universities, Jewish

(485 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Uri R.
[German Version] The tradition of Jewish colleges (Yeshivah) goes back to ancient times and derives from the study of written and oral teachings. Medieval Hebrew designations for academic degrees come astonishingly close to the Latin ones: chawer/magister, moreh/doctor. Groups cultivating religious traditions developed around the Yeshivot, as for example those belonging to Ashkenazi Judaism (II) in Speyer, Worms, and Mainz. Around 1800, governments began to consider how to improve the educational level of Jews and attempted to modernize the Jewish…


(491 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] Following episcopalism (I) and territorialism, collegialism was the latest of the three …


(365 words)

Author(s): Neuner, Peter
[German Version] It was Cyprian of Carthage who first used the term collegium for the collective episcopate ( Ep. 68, c. 254/255). The expression recalls the college of the Twelve in the New Testament and establishes communion among the bishops as leaders of their particular churches, thus guaranteeing the unity of the universal church (Church unity). Bishops were to be consecrated (Bishop, Consecration of) by at least three bishops as representatives of the collegium. With the development of papal primacy, the notion of collegiality receded into the backgroun…

Collegiate Chapter

(556 words)

Author(s): Schneidmüller, Bernd
[German Version] In 755/756, early medieval communities of clerics were given their first structural guidelines in the rule of Bishop Chrodegang of Metz, who used the apostolic lifestyles as prototypes of choir office and community life. The Institutio canonicorum promulgated in 816 at Aachen by Louis I, the Pious established the distinction between monastic communities and canonical communities. Collegiate chapters consisted of secular clerics who had often only taken the minor vows (Consecration/Ordination/Dedication: I) and who initially lived a communal life ( vita …

Collegium Urbanum de Propaganda Fide

(201 words)

Author(s): Henkel, Willi
[German Version] The Collegium Urbanum was founded by Urban VIII with the papal bull “Immortalis Dei” on Aug 1, 1627, with the purpose of training priests to disseminate the Catholic faith around the world. The initial means were provided by the Spa…

Collenbusch, Samuel

(313 words)

Author(s): Meyer, Dietrich
[German Version] (Sep 1, 1724 Barmen-Wichlinghausen – Sep 1, 1803 Barmen) studied medicine in Duisburg and Strasbourg from 1745, and practiced medicine in Duisburg after 1754, where he also ran a refinery, and, from 1783, in Barmen and Schwelm. He received the Dr. med. in 1789. Coming to faith in the home of his Lutheran parents and under the influence of pastor Peter Wülfing (died1757), in 1760 he became acquainted with F.C. Oetinger's theosophy and J.A.Bengel's…

Collins, Anthony

(154 words)

Author(s): Pailin, David Arthur
[German Version] (Jun 21, 1676, Heston, Middlesex – Dec 13, 1729, London) was highly regarded by J. Locke as a prominent English Free thinker. His works evoked considerable hostility and in some cases numerous replies since they challenged the ratio¶ nal status of orthodox belief. An Essay concerning the Use of Reason (1707) rejects the distinction between matters above reason and those that are contrary to reason.


(1,945 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram | Klueting, Ham
[German Version] I. Archaeology – II. City and Diocese – III. University I. Archaeology Evidence that Cologne was a particularly flourishing city in the 2nd and early 3rd centuries includes remains of the city wall, aqueduct, sewers, and praetorium, mosaic floors and mural paintings from private houses, several tombs, and a great variety of small artworks. Famous is the 3rd-century Dionysus Mosaic in the Römisch- Germanisches Museum, still to be seen in situ in the ceremonial room of a large house within the city walls. There is evidence of Christianity in…

Cologne Cathedral

(766 words)

Author(s): Nicolai, Bernd
[German Version] Holding the right to crown German kings, the archdiocesan cathedral church of St. Peter and St. Mary was, together with Mainz, the most important metropolitan see of the Holy Roman Empire. The monumental buildings erected from the 6th century onward (structures I–II) met high standards. These standards were raised even further with the new building begun in 1248. Though the latter was not completed during the Middle Ages, it remains the most important example o…

Cologne Church Dispute/Cologne Troubles

(11 words)

[German Version] Prussian Church Dispute

Cologne Declaration

(249 words)

Author(s): Werbick, Jürgen
[German Version] The Cologne Declaration was drawn up by an initiator group in Cologne on Jan 5, 1989 and subsequently signed by more than 200 professors of theology in the German-speaking realm; it sparked off fierce and stil…


(1,478 words)

Author(s): Bidegáin, Ana Maria
[German Version] The Republic of Colombia, in northwestern South America, gained its independence in 1810/1819, and was named after Christopher Columbus by S. Bolivar. The previous Spanish colony of New Grenada had received the status of a viceroyalty in the 18th century. Its population in 2003 was 44 million. The capital, Santafé de Bogotá, has a population of 6,500,000; other urban centers include Medellín (3,900,000), Cali (3,600,000), and Barranquilla (2,000,000). The ethnic composition of its population is 64% mestizo, 20% Afro-Colombian, 15% Caucasian, and 1% Indian. At the…

Colonialism and Mission

(4,130 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus | Kamphausen, Erhard
[German Version] I. Hi…


(934 words)

Author(s): Rothermund, Dietmar
[German Version] I. Forms of Domination and Their Justification – II. The Career of European Colonialism I. Forms of Domination and Their Justification Colonialism is a form of domination in which peoples are subjected to foreign rule and denied the right of self-determination. Colonies already existed in the ancient world – for example those of the Phoenicians and Greeks around the Mediterranean. It would be wrong to speak of colonialism in this context; the same is true of the modern colonial …

Colonna, Vittoria

(185 words)

Author(s): Weinhardt, Joachim
[German Version] (1490, Marino – Feb 25, 1547, Rome), poet, born into the powerful noble Colonna family. In 1509 she married the Marchese di Pescara; her early poems glorify her husband as a heroic Christian warrior. The poems composed after his death in 1525 are dominated by the themes of contempt for the world, longing for heaven, and suffering (her own and that of Christ) as the way to salvation. A few ascetic works exemplify passion mysticism. Wherever she wa…

Colored Methodist Episcopal Church

(12 words)

[German Version] Christian Methodist Episcopal Church


(569 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Saliers, Don E.
[German Version] I. Comparative Religion – II. Liturgy I. Comparative Religion Individual cultures perceive colors and assign religious values to them in very different ways. A distinction is often made between colors and “non-colors”: white and black represent non-life (death, transitions in general), and are therefore regarded as the colors of mourning, but also of weddings and feasts, and this not only in Europe. Red is often associated with blood, and accordingly also with…


(1,113 words)

Author(s): Aletti, Jean-Noël
[German Version] I. Introductory Questions – II. Religio-historical Background – III. Theological Significance I. Introductory Questions Colossians bears the characteristcs of a letter, as the framework shows (prescript 1:1–2, postscript 4:7–18). After a longer exordium (1:3–23), which concludes with a partitio announcing the themes to be discussed (1:21–23), the body of the letter takes up these themes in reverse order: A (1:24–2:5), Paul's struggles on behalf of the gospel; B (2:6–23), faithfulness to the gospel he has received; C (3:1–4:6), the holiness of the faithful. Th…


(209 words)

Author(s): Grundmann, Christoffer H.
[German Version] from French colportage (“peddling”), refers to a particular method of spreading the Bible and other religious texts through the sale of inexpensive Bibles from door to door by (mostly Protestant) colporteurs, often at great personal sacrifice. The first colportage societies were founded in Scotland (Edinburgh Tract Society, 1796) and England (Religious Tract ¶ Society, 1799; British and Foreign Bible Society, 1804), followed by Germany (i.a. Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1804; Württembergische Bibelanstalt, 1812; Wuppert…

Coltrane, John

(196 words)

Author(s): Mohr, Burkhard
[German Version] (Sep 23, 1926 Hamlet, NC – Jul 17, 1967 Huntington, NY). As a young man, Coltrane was already playing clarinet and saxophone in a band, and he went on to study music with enthusiasm, developing into a top saxophone player in the early free jazz style. After a period working with Miles Davies and Thelonius Monk, among others, in 1960 he formed his internationally famous quartett (LPs: A Love Supreme, Blue Train; Successful hit: “My Favorite Things”). Coltrane kept faith with his Protestant origins all his life, although many of his music…

Columbanus (Saint)

(388 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, Martina
[German Version] ( Columba; c. 543, Ireland – Nov 23, 615, or Nov 21, 616, Bobbio), abbot of Luxeuil and Bobbio. As a senior monk in the monastery of Bangor, Columbanus and 12 companions (St. Gall) undertook the peregrinatio to Gaul, probably in 590/591, where he founded the monasteries of Luxeuil, Annegray, and Fontaine with the permission of King Childebert II. They experienced a great afflux of young Frankish noblemen and soon numbered more than 200 members. Columbanus came into conflict with the bishops of Burgundy…

Columba, Saint

(309 words)

Author(s): Johnston, Elva
[German Version] (c. 522 – Jul 9, 597 Iona), or Columcille, was an Irish (Ireland) saint, priest, monk, abbot, and founder of Iona. He was fostered by the priest Cruithnechán and studied as deacon in Leinster, later with the British bishop Uinniau. Columba may have openly prayed for his kindred's victory in a battle in 561, which could be related to his temporary excommunication by the Synod of Tailtiu. He left for northern Britain in 563, fulfilling the Irish ideal that glorified peregrinatio to a foreign land as the pinnacle of ascetic ¶ renunciation. Columbanus benefited from …

Columbus, Christopher

(371 words)

Author(s): Heydenreich, Titus
[German Version] (1451, in or near Genoa – May 20, 1506, Valladolid) gained his first experiences in seafaring on trading voyages to England, Portugal, and West Africa. Sponsored, among others, by the “Catholic Monarchs” Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, he set sail from Palos, near Seville, on Aug 8, 1492. Trusting in recent insights concerning the spherical shape of the earth, he was attempting to find a westerly route to India and East Asia. On Oct …

Colwell, Ernest Cadman

(140 words)

Author(s): Betz, Hans Dieter
[German Version] (Jan 19, 1901, Hallstead, PA – Sep 24, 1974, Deland, FL), New Testament scholar and university administrator; professor at the University of Chicago 1930–1951 (president 1945–1951), dean of faculties at Emory University, Atlanta, GA 1951–1957, president at the School of Theology at Claremont, CA, 1957–1968. Colwell collaborated with Harold R. Willoughby (1890–1962) on the critical edition of NT manuscripts ( The Four Gospels of Karahissar, 1936; The Elizabeth Day McCormick Apocalypse, 1940). Colwell became known for his contributions to textu…

Comboni, Daniele

(297 words)

Author(s): Legrand, Hervé
[German Version] (Mar 15, 1831, Limone, Italy – Oct 10, 1881, Khartoum, Sudan) stimulated missionary activity and founded an institute for the evangelization of Black Africa: the Comboni Missionaries. Ordained at Mazza's Institute in Verona in 1854, he spent his first years in Africa among the Dinka (Nuer and Dinka) in the Sudan (1857–1859). From 1862 to 1864 he campaigned in France, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria for the mission in Central Africa, and publish…

Comboni Missionaries,

(167 words)

Author(s): Legrand, Hervé
[German Version] officially the “Sons of the Sacred Heart of Jesus” (FSCJ). Commonly referred to as the “Verona Fathers” in English-speaking countries, they are known as “Comboni missionaries” elsewhere. Founded by D. Comboni in 1867 as an institute of diocesan priests, it became a religious congregation in 1894, though not without conflicts and under pressure from Rome. Amid the tensions of World War I, the Austrian branch became autonomous, but was reincorporat…

Comenius, John Amos

(1,068 words)

Author(s): Nipkow, Karl Ernst
[German Version] I. Life – II. Work – III. Influence (Jan Ámo Komenský; Mar 28, 1592, Nivnice, Moravia – Nov 15, 1670, Amsterdam). I. Life After losing his parents at an early age, Comenius attended the grammar school of the Bohemian Brethren in Přerov (1608–1611). In 1618, after studying at the Reformed college in Herborn (1611–1613) and at Heidelberg (1613–1614; Reformed Colleges in Germany), he became warden of the Brethren congregation in Fulnek and headmaster of the local Brethren sch…

Comic Drama

(1,095 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard | Bartsch, Eva
[German Version] I. Antiquity – II. Middle Ages to the Present I. Antiquity In the so-called Old Attic Comedy of the 5th century bce, as represented by the 11 extant comedies of Aristophanes (c. 450–385; the comedies produced in Sicily and Megara [so-called Megarian farces] are lost), the role of religion is a twofold one. First, dramas (Drama: I, 2) performed in the context of the festivals dedicated to Dionysus were considered to be spiritual offerings to the god and could therefore only be staged once (until 386 bce). Secondly, religion and cult were recurrent themes of…

Comisión de Estudios de Historia de la Iglesia Latinoamericana

(269 words)

Author(s): Dussel, Enrique
[German Version] (CEHILA: Commission for the Study of Latin American Church History). The CEHILA was founded in 1973 in the Pastoral Institute of the CELAM (Latin American Conference of Bishops). Its first chairman was Enrique Dussel (until 1992). His successors were José Oscar Beozzo and, subsequently, Ana Maria Bidegain. The CEHILA planned and prepared a 10-volume history of the Latin American Church containing the first integrated account of the history of Chr…

Comisión Evangélica Latinoamericana de Educación Cristiana

(192 words)

Author(s): Streck, Danilo
[German Version] (CELADEC; Evangelical Latin American Commission for Christian Education). The CELADEC was created in 1962 for the purpose of providing Protestant churches in Latin America with educational resources. One of its main publications is the Curso Nueva Vida en Cristo (“New Life in Christ Course”), the methodology of which is based on the realities of Latin American life. In the 1970s, CELADEC developed into the main center of popular education in Latin America. The institution underwent a major internal …


(186 words)

Author(s): Gensichen, Hans-Werner
[German Version] (demarcation and apportionment of missionary territories) began in the early 19th century as a practicable compromise between missionary rivalry (Mission), which appeared irresponsible, and a unity that did not yet exist. The concept was approved by the (Protestant) London Centenary Missions Conference in 1888. From the original makeshift “geographical denominationalism” with predominantly negative emphasis on mutual territorial restrictio…

Comma Johanneum

(353 words)

Author(s): de Jonge, Henk Jan
[German Version] The Comma Johanneum (“Johannine Comma”) is the short passage 1 John 5:7b–8a: “…in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. [8] And there are three that testify on earth.” It does not appear in Greek texts before the 14th century. Five manuscripts include it in the text (minuscules 61, 629, 918, 2318, 2473); four others add it as a variant (88, 221, 429, 636). It is absent in all the ancient versions (Bible translations), including the oldest texts of the Vetus Latina and Vulgate. It makes its first appearance in ch. 4 of the Latin Liber apologeti…


(908 words)

Author(s): Koch, Traugott | Andersen, Svend
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics I. Dogmatics The renewed interest of the 19th-century – and especially of the theology of Erlangen (Erlangen School: I) – in Luther once more raised the issue of the tertius usus legis, i.e. of the relevance and consequences of God's “law” for those who are justified in faith. The problem ¶ is twofold: First, how does God's commandment, i.e. the will of God as documented in the formulated commandments, relate to the freedom afforded by the faith in God's sin-redeeming grace and expressed in the…

Commandment, Judaism

(7 words)

[German Version] Mitzvot

Commandments of the Church

(351 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] The commandments of the church are disciplinary precepts and ethical rules that are comparable to those of Judaism and Islam. The are promulgated by the church and originally also arose out of custom. They are subject to change. As statements of the teaching office of the church ( magisterium) intended for pastoral and catechetical use, they appear in catechisms (II) and canon law (II; CIC/¶ 1983, Particular law). Since the Middle Ages, the number of church commandments and their content have varied because of uneven regional …


(350 words)

Author(s): Christoph, Joachim E.
[German Version] (accusative of commenda, “trust”, from Lat. commendare, “to give in trust”), a legal institution of classical canon law that permitted a church official to enjoy the income from an ecclesiastical office without having to fulfill the obligations and duties of a regular benefice. In principle, a benefice could be given in commendam only as long as it took to fill the vacancy or while the regular incumbent was prevented from carrying out his duties, for example as a result of suspension; cf. also Decretum Gratiani, cc. 3, 21, q. 1 ( Corpus Iuris Canonici

Commendation of the Dying

(182 words)

Author(s): Albert-Zerlik, Annette
[German Version] ( Commendatio animae). The earliest Roman evidence of this liturgy is the Ordo Romanus 49 (7th/8th cent.) with the elements of travel provisions (Viaticum) and passion. Up to the Council of Trent, the commendation of the dying grew massively in scope. Travel provisions and care of the dying are found today in the Catholic Ordo unctionis infirmorum (1972) ( Instruction on Prayers for Healing). Commendation of the dying (sometimes including the valet blessing) is provided in Lutheran, Anglican, and other Protestant forms. Songs fo…

Committee on the Christian Approach to the Jews

(171 words)

Author(s): Brockway, Allan R.
[German Version] was created in 1929 by the International Missionary Council (IMC) to carry out the recommendations of two 1927 conferences, chaired by J.R. Mott in Budapest and Warsaw with the theme “The Christian Approach to the Jews.” The IMCCAJ thus became the international umbrella organization for those independent and church-related agencies devoted to evangelizing Jews (Jewish missions). Under the direction of Conrad Hoffmann Jr., followed by Göte Heden¶ quist and Anker Gjerding, the Committee functioned through the war years, not only overtly atte…


(91 words)

Author(s): Pollmann, Karla
[German Version] (3rd [probably not 5th] cent. North Africa?) was the earliest Christian Latin poet. Works: 1. Instructiones: conversion of Jews and pagans, instructions for the Christian way of life; 2. Carmen apologeticum: a portrayal of Christianity as the true faith in 1060 hexameters containing chiliastic-eschatological motifs. The works are characterized by the programmatic rejection of classical (because untrue) diction and meter. Karla Pollmann Bibliography CPL, 1470f. CChr.SL 128, 1960 A. Salvatore, ed., Instructiones, 1965–1968 idem, Carme apologetico, 1977 E. He…

Common Affairs of Church and State

(506 words)

Author(s): Ehlers, Dirk
[German Version] The frequently employed notion of the “common affairs” of church and state (or of religious or ideological communities) is a heuristic concept, not a legal one. It has become generally accepted as a way of circumscribing a particular form of interaction between state and church, but makes no reference whatsoever to any assessment of the corresponding legal issues. In the relevant literature, the term is used in a variety of senses. In the interest of pr…

Common Good

(984 words)

Author(s): Anzenbacher, Arno
[German Version] expresses the purpose of social interaction, either in a general sense or in the specific sense given to it by politics and law. Precision in the use of the concept of common good is of fundamental importance for any type of social ethics (Protestant social ethics), as the normative definition of society and of its subsystems is dependent upon it. The often unnuanced invoking of the common good (“an empty phrase”) brings discredit to this major concern. “Common good” (Lat. bonum commune) is the translation of the Greek τὸ κοινῇ συμφέρον/ to koinḗ symphéron. Aristotle emp…

Common Law

(451 words)

Author(s): Landau, Peter
[German Version] The development of the concept of common law began in the legal doctrine of the High Middle Ages as a complementary notion to that of statutory law, whereby the medieval jurists could also draw on Roman legal texts. The most significant contributions to the definition of common law in the scholarly jurisprudence of the Middle Ages were made by the canonists. As early as the 12th century, the doctrine establishing the plenitudo potestatis of the pope had already led the formulation of the principle that the validity of common law rested on the t…

Common Sense Law

(9 words)

[German Version] Natural Law

Common Sense Realism

(764 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] has two histories. The first concerns the effort by Thomas Reid (1710–1796) to refute the skeptical conclusions that D. Hume had drawn from the sensationalist epistemology of J. Locke. Reid's main argument was that sense perceptions, operating under normal conditions disclose the material world as it is.They are not, as Locke had suggested, merely “ideas.” Reid suggested rather that the human mind is structured in such a way that it is impossible to act…

Commonwealth of Independent States

(147 words)

Author(s): Hübner, Michael
[German Version] (CIS), a union founded in 1991 of the successor states of the former USSR: Azerbaijan (not 1992–93), Armenia, Georgia (from 1993), Kazakhstan, Kirgistan, Moldavia (beginning 1994), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Belarus (White Russia). A 1995 human rights convention adopted by only some of the states formulated freedom of religion (art. 10) in line with the OSCE, though with a limitation wi…

Communauté Évangélique d'Action Apostolique

(144 words)

Author(s): Zorn, Jean-François
[German Version] (CEVAA; Evangelical Community for Apostolic Action) was founded in Paris on Oct 31, 1971 as the successor organization of the Société des Missions Évangeliques de Paris (Mission de Paris). Originally conceived as an association of 23 churches (the Protestant churches of France, Switzerland and Italy, as well as the churches that arose from their missionary activities in Africa and ¶ Oceania), the CEVAA currently numbers 47 member churches (now also including churches in Latin America). As a religious organization of the post-…

Communicatio idiomatum

(498 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] denotes the “mutual interchange of attributes” of the second person of the Deity with the human person Jesus of Nazareth or attributes of humanity with the second person of the Deity in the person of Jesus Christ (Christology). It manifests first in the language of worship (prayer addressed to Jesus; predication of Mary as Theotokos) as well as in the biblical documents and ecclesiastical tradition (1 Cor 2:8b; Mark 2:10). The Chalcedonian Defin…

Communicatio in sacris

(592 words)

Author(s): Wagner, Harald
[German Version] In accordance with the Leuenberg Concord (1974), most Lutheran, Reformed, and Union churches in Europe (and beyond) practice ecclesial and liturgical fellowship ( communicatio in sacris), as realized in pulpit and eucharistic fellowship. This has been extended to include the Old Catholic Church (Old Catholics) and the Church of England. By way of “Eucharistic hospitality,” members of other churches are also allowed to partake of the Eucharist, while the members of the former churches …


(3,420 words)

Author(s): Brunkhorst, Hauke | Knoblauch, Hubert | Pöttner, Martin | Geissner, Hellmut K. | Engemann, Wilfried
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Religious Studies – III. Fundamental Theology – IV. Ethics – V. Practical Theology I. Philosophy In the 20th century, philosophical issues were primarily treated as issues of language and communication. While Rorty spoke of a “linguistic turn,” and thereby focused on methodological innovations in theoretical philosophy, Apel and Habermas postulated an objective shift of paradigm from consciousness to communication that is meant to have revolutioni…


(1,627 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk | Geissner, Hellmut K. | Fechtner, Kristian
[German Version] I. Theory – II. Ethics – III. Practical Theology I. Theory “Communications” in the broadest sense encompasses the interdisciplinary study of communication in biological, technological, and social systems, insofar as it manifests itself as a purposeful exchange of information through a system of signs. The subject of study is ultimately the communication process as a whole, including both its mutually interacting components (c…

Communication Theory

(806 words)

Author(s): Krech, Volkhard
[German Version] I. General – II. Recent Theories – III. Religion as Communication I. General Communication theories are not only developed in the natural sciences (physical information theory, cybernetics, biology) but also in the humanities and social sciences (Philosophy; Psychology; Sociology; Anthropology; Philology and linguistics; Semiotics, etc.), and are accordingly of heterogeneous nature. Where an interdisciplinary exchange does take place in the process of …

Communicative Action

(322 words)

Author(s): Hauke, Brunkhors
[German Version] In its current usage, the concept of “communicative action” goes back to J. Habermas's critical theory (I). It had previously only been used occasionally in empiricist sociology and behavioristic communication research (behaviorism). Habermas, however, treats the subject from the perspective of G.H. Mead's pragmatic social behaviorism. He integrates Mead's notion of communicative personality development (socialization) with M. Weber's typo…


(2,855 words)

Author(s): Schäfer, Rolf | Thompson, J. Michael | Aymans, Winfried
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Liturgy – III. Music – IV. Canon Law I. Dogmatics In the Vulgate, the Latin term communio, along with the more frequent translations communicatio and societas, renders the New Testament word κοινωνία ( koinōnía). It gained ecclesiological content primarily through the Apostles' Creed, which adopted Augustine's description of the church as the communio sanctorum including not only the elect, but also the angels. The communio evidenced in the NT as participation in the benefits of salvation in worship became the startin…


(6 words)

[German Version] Eucharist/Communion


(333 words)

Author(s): Nikolasch, Franz
[German Version] The original meaning of “communion” (from Lat. communio) is “community, solidarity, togetherness.” In the Catholic understanding of 1 Cor 10:16ff, communion refers to the community of the Christians with Christ and with each other, as established by the reception of the Eucharist (II): the partaking of the one bread causes us to become members of the one body of Jesus Christ. Thus, communion constitutes and manifests ecclesial community. In antiquity, t…

Communion Fellowship

(7 words)

[German Version] Intercommunion

Communion for the Sick,

(455 words)

Author(s): Richter, Klemens
[German Version] like commendation of the dying, traces back to earliest Christianity. According to Just. 1 Apol. (65:5), deacons brought communion to the faithful who could not participate in the congregational celebration of the Eucharist (Communion: II) – probably primarily the elderly, sick, and dying. The Council of Nicea (canon 13) desired that no Christian should die without communion (cf. John 6:54). If possible, it was delivered in both elements (until the discontinuance of the communion cup in the 12th cent.) directly from the celebra¶ tion of the Eucharist, also by th…

Communion of Churches

(790 words)

Author(s): Lessing, Eckhard
[German Version] The term Kirchengemeinschaft (communion of churches = “full communion, ecclesial fellowship”) was introduced in the 19th century as a self-designation for the German United Churches (Unions, Church) and a term covering the organizational integration of Protestant regional churches in Germany, with frequent reference to CA 7. It did not acquire a precise terminological meaning, however, until the reorganization of the Old Prussian Union after World War II (Evangelische Kirche der Union ¶ [EKU]), as a consequence of theological understandings reached during the K…

Communion of Saints

(1,296 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard Ludwig | Track, Joachim
[German Version] I. Catholic Understanding – II. Protestant Understanding I. Catholic Understanding The expression “communion of saints” ( Communio sanctorum ) is attested in the writings of Nicetas of Remesiana ( Explanatio symboli 10) as an addendum to the Apostles' Creed (DH 19) and signifies an interpretation of the concept of the church. In its very essence, the “Holy Catholic Church” is to be seen in three interwoven ¶ levels of meaning: the common participation of all the baptized in Christ's gifts of salvation; the personal unity of all in faith,…

Communion Preparation

(189 words)

Author(s): Felmy, Karl Christian
[German Version] (in the Orthodox Church). In reference to 1 Cor 11:27–29, the Orthodox Church only allows laypersons to receive communion (Eucharist/Communion) after they have been given express pemission to do so, the latter usually (but not necessarily always) being granted in confession. In some places, a week of fasting and frequent attendance at worship are required. The minimum requirement for priests and laypersons, which may only be departed from in situ…
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