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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Conditio humana

(298 words)

Author(s): Adriaanse, Hendrik Johan
[German Version] The expression conditio humana can best be understood against the background of the philosophical anthropology that developed into an independent discipline in the course of the 20th century. It appears already in a non-technical sense in Cicero ( Tusc. I, 8, 15). B. Pascal describes the condition de l'homme as inconstancy, boredom, and anxiety ( Pensées [Lafuma] 20). The expression refers to human life or the human condition as such, its general character, raising the fundamental anthropological question: what makes hum…

Confederación Latinoamericana de Religiosos (CLAR)

(380 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] (CLAR) was founded on Mar 2, 1959 at the wish of the Apostolic See and the Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (CELAM) with approbation of the statutes. It is subject to the papal Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and consists of the national conferences of the leaders of the higher orders of the Latin American and Caribbean countries. The executive board consists of the president and three representatives. Th…

Conference of European Churches

(1,002 words)

Author(s): Linn, Gerhard
[German Version] I. Origin, Membership, and Goals – II. Development and Concerns – III. Expectations, Charta Oecumenica I. Origin, Membership, and Goals The Conference of European Churches (CEC) was founded on the initiative of Protestant church leaders from Germany, France, and the Netherlands as a platform for dialogue and cooperation among the churches of Europe on both sides of the Iron Curtain. After ¶ preparatory meetings in Brussels (1955) and Liselund, Denmark (1957), an invitation to a founding assembly of the CEC in Nyborg, Denmark, went …

Conference of German Protestant Labor Organizations

(108 words)

Author(s): Kraft, Friedhelm
[German Version] The Conference of German Protestant Labor Organizations was founded in Berlin in 1916 as a union of the institutions of social Protestantism, with the significant participation of the Home Missions. Its activities were restricted to practical fields of work, primarily in the moral sector. As the lobbying body of free Protestantism, it secured the latter's representation in the newly constituted self-administration boards of the Church. Its significance declined over the years, leading to its dissolution in 1933. Friedhelm Kraft Bibliography KJ 1916, 157–167 (…

Conference of Missionary Societies in Great Britain and Ireland (CBMS)

(177 words)

Author(s): Elliott, Donald W.
[German Version] Following the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910, the CBMS was founded on Jun 12, 1912. It drew on the experience of the London Secretaries' Association, founded in 1819 by four British missionary societies (English Missions). J.H. Oldham was its first salaried Secretary. The primary object was “the periodical consideration of matters relating to Foreign Missions” that is “among the peoples not professing the Christian religi…

Conferences, Church

(1,704 words)

Author(s): Lessing, Eckhard
[German Version] Church conferences are official or privately arranged gatherings for the discussion or negotiation, at an appropriate level, of issues that need to be decided or prepared for a decision, possibly because the committees in charge have not come to a decision or are unable to do so. The term indicates occupation with issues or organizational questions which are not clearly determined in a legal sense, even if the legal status of the church conference in …

Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil

(389 words)

Author(s): Beozzo, José Oscar
[German Version] (CNBB; National Conference of Brazilian Bishops) was established in Rio de Janeiro on Oct 14, 1952 to promote the unity of the Catholic episcopacy, to coordinate the pastoral activity of the 115 dioceses and prelatures, and to nurture relations between the Brazilian church (Brazil) and the Holy See, other bishops' conferences, and the organs of the state. The founder and first General Secretary (1952–1964) was the auxiliary bishop of Rio de Jane…

Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil

(17 words)

[German Version] CNBB (Conferencia Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil)

Confessing Church

(2,616 words)

Author(s): Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter
[German Version] I. Background – II. Establishment – III. Fundamental Difference: Two Types – IV. Schism in the Confessing Church (Bekennende Kirche; BK). “Bekennende Kirche” was the self-designation of those who, from 1934, appeared alongside and in opposition to the administrative bodies dominated by the Deutsche Christen (“German Christians”) at the levels of the Reich, the state, and the community, with their own forms of organization suited to the confession. Depending on the respective legal sit…

Confessing Synods,

(666 words)

Author(s): Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter
[German Version] the supreme administrative organs of the Confessing Church (Bekennende Kirche), which legitimized the creation of alternative church structures since the fall of 1934. In contrast to the national synods of the German Evangelical Church and to the administration of the church of the Reich under L. Müller, the first “Confessing Synod of the German Evangelical Church” in Barmen (May 29–31, 1934) declared itself the sole legal representative of the German Evangelical Church. (H. Asmussen probably coined the term “Confessing Synod” [ Bekenntnissynode]). Tensions in…

Confessio Augustana

(8 words)

[German Version] Augsburg Confession

Confessio Belgica

(9 words)

[German Version] Articles of Faith

Confessio Dosithei

(9 words)

[German Version] Articles of Faith

Confessio Gallicana (Confession de foi)

(12 words)

[German Version] Articles of Faith

Confessio Helvetica

(282 words)

Author(s): Bächtold, Hans Ulrich
[German Version] In the majority of cases, Confessio Helvetica doesn't refer to the Confessio Helvetica prior that originated in Basel in 1536, but to the more significant Confessio Helvetica posterior. Drawn up by H. Bullinger, this confession was published in 1566 – by request of Count Palatine Frederick III both in Latin and in German. It consists of 30 chapters arranged according to loci and deals with the Reformed doctrine of Zwingli as modified by Bullinger. Though pragmatically mild in tone, Bullinger remained adamant on crucial issues …


(2,836 words)

Author(s): Gerlitz, Peter | Ohst, Martin | Sattler, Dorothea | Root, Michael | Ivanov, Vladimir | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Church History – III. Dogmatics – IV. Practical Theology – V. Missiology I. Religious Studies Confession and absolution, expressive of the substantiality of guilt (I) and the impact of the spoken word with its magico-ritual power, are among the “most widespread means of structured confrontation of the ego with itself” (Hahn & Knapp, 7). They appear already in tribal societies (Kikuyu, Nuer, Acholi in East Africa) as part of purificati…


(518 words)

Author(s): Lienhardt, Conrad | Praßl, Franz Karl
[German Version] I. Architecture – II. Liturgy and Practice I. Architecture A simple or throne-like, originally open, seat in the church as seating for the father confessor and the person making confession, the place for individual confession (Confession). Beginning in the 16th century, especially after the Council of Trent and the Instructiones of ¶ C. Borromeo, the originally simple wooden armchair underwent rich development. In general, from the early 17th century on, one finds the symmetrical three-part confessional, the central…

Confessional Age

(424 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] In its original usage by E. Troeltsch the term “confessional age” designated the 16th and 17th-century period of European history, distinct from the Middle Ages and the modern era, in which the “power of ecclesial culture,” in principle broken by Protestantism or the Reformation, continued to shape culture and society in the form of three “mutually exclusive and restrictive infallible churchdoms” ( HZ 1906, 29; 1911, 46); in the process of the “relative pulverization” ( ibid.) of the three confessions, the “modern world” arose. The concept of the …


(636 words)

Author(s): Wilhelm Graf, Friedrich
[German Version] The origins and the history of the concept have scarcely been investigated. The earliest known German attestations date from the Vormärz , around 1830. In terms of its conceptual history, confessionalism is thus a specifically modern phenomenon. It reflects upon dramatic processes of religio-cultural change. In many European societies, from c. 1780 onward, the drifting apart of state and society as well as a growing socio-cultural differentiation concided wit…


(931 words)

Author(s): Klueting, Harm
[German Version] I. Research Paradigm – II. Recent Developments – III. 19th Century I. Research Paradigm Confessionalization is the forming of state, society, and culture as a result of the formation of a denomination in the sense of the construction of a dogmatic system of doctrine. Confessionalization is seen in association with the early-modern state and social discipline, the backgrounds of which are sought in church discipline. The starting point was the Reformation (Schilling, Konfessionskonflikt; Reformierte Konfessionalisierung). After criticism of the term …

Confessional Milieus

(264 words)

Author(s): Blaschke, Olaf
[German Version] is a closer specification of milieus that are not defined on the basis of social (e.g. ¶ Bourgeoisie) and/or political-ideological (e.g. social democratic labor milieu) criteria, but constituted or academically conceived (i.e. analyzed from this perspective) irrespective of class positioning and on the basis of confessional (e.g. Catholicism) or inner-confessional (e.g. Old Catholics) preferences. Such communities of socialization and commun…

Confession Cultures

(566 words)

Author(s): Wilhelm Graf, Friedrich
[German Version] The relatively recent concept of confession cultures belongs to the terminology of modern cultural studies, where it is employed in conjunction with the analysis of the processes of confessional socialization, especially in Germany, but also in other multi-denominational European societies. Following the end of the confessionally homogeneous society of the old German Reich, during which ecclesial and political authorities had effected a denomina…

Confession de la Foy (foi)

(12 words)

[German Version] Articles of Faith

Confession (Denomination)

(410 words)

Author(s): Oberdorfer, Bernd
[German Version] In the 16th and 17th centuries, which would later be called the period of confessionalization, the newly arisen situation of different, but coexistent religious and theological trends and ecclesial institutions was still described by reference to “religious parties.” The fact that instead of this term, beginning in the 19th century, “confession” could diverge from its original meaning of confession (of faith) and become the common general term for …

Confessionis Augustanae Apologia

(400 words)

Author(s): Peters, Christian
[German Version] (Apology of the Augsburg Confession). Following delivery of the Augsburg Confession by the Protestant estates of the empire on Jun 25, 1530 and the start of work by Roman Catholic theologians on the Confutation , by mid-July Electoral Saxony had already taken the decision to defend the Protestant Confession with a further document, should this prove necessary. On Aug 3, 1530, the Confutatio was read out but not handed out to the Protestants. So for their work on the Apology, which began immediately, Melanchthon and his colleagues were dependent on the…

Confession (of Faith)

(12,201 words)

Author(s): Bochinger, Christoph | Kreuzer, Siegfried | Reumann, John | Staats, Reinhart | Holze, Heinrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Bible – III. Church History – IV. Systematics – V. Practical Theology – VI. Law – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. History of Religions The term confession refers to various phenomena, including the confession of faith and of sin. A confession of faith can be understood as an officially sanctioned, formulaic summary of the central doctrines of a religious or a confessional community (“denomination”). Recited in cultic procedures and/or in everyday piety, i…

Confession of Sins

(949 words)

Author(s): Schwier, Helmut
[German Version] As a constituent of repentance and confession, the confession of sins has a poimenic function, although its liturgical configuration shows that it was originally intended as a preparation for the reception of communion. While the early liturgies usually emphasized the importance of the reconciliation required by Matt 5:23f. as a prerequisite to the offering of sacrifice, the mandatory linking of confession and Eucharist established itself as a characteristic feature of Roman Catholicism from the Fourth Lateran Council ¶ onward: As an act of repentance and …

Confessio Orthodoxa

(9 words)

[German Version] Articles of Faith

Confessio Scotica

(9 words)

[German Version] Articles of Faith

Confessio Tetrapolitana

(9 words)

[German Version] Articles of Faith


(351 words)

Author(s): Frend, William H.C.
[German Version] is the title given to Christians in the early centuries ce, who suffered for their faith but did not pay for their confession with death. In the first century ce ὁμολογία/ homología (confession) and μαρτυρία/ martyría (witness) were used synonymously, as in 1 Tim 6:13. The first hint of a distinction between two grades of suffering for the “Christian law” comes in Herm. Sim. VIII 3.6–7, where the prophet distinguishes between those “who have wrestled with the devil,” and “have been crowned” and those “who were persecuted for the…

Confirmation (Catholic)

(1,560 words)

Author(s): Leimgruber, Stephan
[German Version] In the Roman Catholic understanding, confirmation is one of the seven sacraments of the Church, more precisely, one of the three sacraments of Christian initiation (Baptism, confirmation, Eucharist). Together with baptism, it effects reception into the Church and aims at a life in communion with God in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, understood as following in the footsteps of the inspired lives of the prophets and especially…

Confirmation Classes

(1,509 words)

Author(s): Schröder, Bernd | Browning, Robert L.
[German Version] The theological justification for confirmation depends largely on the assumptions about what confirmation really is (Confirmation [Protestant], cf. Confirmation [Catholic]). It also depends on the understanding of the relation of confirmation to baptism and Eucharist implied in any particular educational/liturgical design. In the following discussion of the effectiveness of various educational designs found to be consistent with several, but not…

Confirmation (Protestant)

(2,425 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian | Germann, Michael
[German Version] I. History and Practical Theology – II. Law I. History and Practical Theology Confirmation, understood here in a narrower sense as a rite in Protestant churches, has been interpreted and shaped differently. Today, it is common in almost all Protestant churches, even in families that are rather distanced from the church. The problems of confirmation already appeared in the Reformation period when confirmation began to develop as an independent rite in Protestant ch…


(585 words)

Author(s): Püttner, Günter
[German Version] I. Ethics – II. Law I. Ethics Ethics shaped by Christianity and liberal secular ethics, in essence, assumes the ethical justification and protection of private property, including ownership of the means of production. Accordingly, confiscation can occur only in exceptional cases in the interests of public welfare. In contrast, radical socialists (esp. K. Marx) saw in private property, especially private ownership of the means of production, the…


(119 words)

Author(s): Kaczynski, Reiner
[German Version] Designation of the general confession of sins derived from the first word of the Latin ( confiteri, “to confess”). The corresponding texts, which initially showed considerable variations in wording (they were not harmonized until after the Council of Trent), developed from private penitential prayers in the manner of the apologies. According to Vatican II, the confiteor represents a form of the general confession of guilt to be recited at the beginning of mass and of the ¶ compline; it is prescribed during the communion for the sick, the anointing …


(1,082 words)

Author(s): Heesch, Matthias
[German Version] I. Existential Conflicts – II. Social Conflicts – III. Theological Interpretation of Social Conflicts The issue of conflict is relevant to theology from two perspectives, namely as an existential and as social conflict. The Christian interpretation of conflict attempts to elucidate both aspects. I. Existential Conflicts Paul describes existence as a conflict between the will to do good and the incapacity to accomplish it (Rom 7:7–25), but also as a conflict between one's old life and the new one attained thro…

Conflict of Duty

(604 words)

Author(s): Stroh, Ralf
[German Version] For reasons of principle pertaining to the foundations of ethical theory, the acute experiencing of a so-called “conflict of duty” can only be acknowledged and taken up by theory through the conceptions of a specific type of ethics, while the majority of ethical systems are bound to classify it as something that merely appears to be a conflict. This has to do with the fact that the concept of duty unfolds the paradigm of the tasks which our exist…


(276 words)

Author(s): Krech, Volkhard
[German Version] Generally speaking, conformity refers to the observance of the conventions, norms, behavioral patterns, opinions, etc. of a social unit (Group, Milieu, etc.) on the part of its members. Depending on the type and the extent of a unit's social influence and of its integration mechanisms, conformity may range from an external or even unwilling accommodation all the way to voluntary approval and interiorization. The study of conformity thus distingui…

Confraternities of Christian Doctrine

(363 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] Since the turn of the 14th to the 15th century, in the wake of Humanism and of J. de Gerson's pastoral work with children, youth fraternities and communities of Christian doctrine in northern Italy (e.g. in Florence and Bologna) had already begun to devote themselves to the main interests of the later Christian doctrine brotherhoods. The latter emerged in the second half of the 16th century as a reaction to the confessional conflicts of the time and aim…


(4,681 words)

Author(s): Moritz, Ralf | Clart, Philip
[German Version] I. History (to the 19th Century) – II. Confucianism in the 20th Century – III. Confucianism outside China – IV. Ethics and Social Philosophy – V. Religious Elements in Confucianism – VI. Literature I. History (to the 19th Century) Confucianism is an ethico-political teaching with reli- gious elements (see V below), which originated in ancient China and which derives the order of the world from the moral qualification of the individual. Its basic inventory of norms and values was formed between the 6th and 3rd centuries bce. At first, this was derived from …


(705 words)

Author(s): Moritz, Ralf
[German Version] (551 bce Qufu, state of Lu [Shandong/Shantung] – 479 bce, state of Lu) was the founder of the ethico-political system of Confucianism. The Chinese form of his name is Kong Qiu; to the family name Kong was added the personal name Qiu, after Ni Qiu, a hill where people prayed for the gift of children. The syllable ni became part of the name Zhongni, which he received upon reaching the age of majority (20), Zhong literally meaning “second child” – his father having previously had a disabled son with a concubine. He was…

Confutation of the Augsburg Confession

(323 words)

Author(s): Peters, Christian
[German Version] The Confutation ( Confutatio) was a Catholic response to the Augsburg Confession ( CA), which had been presented to the emperor. Late in June 1530, some 20 Catholic theologians (including J. Eck, J. Cochlaeus, and J. Fabri) were instructed to compose a refutation of the CA. The form it should take was disputed: the imperial court wanted a confessional presentation of Catholic teaching, while the papal legate wanted a definitive rejection of the teaching of the CA. There are three dis¶ tinct texts of the Confutation: (1) the Responsio theologorum (CR 27, 85–97),…

Congar, Yves

(300 words)

Author(s): Gy, Pierre-Marie
[German Version] (Apr 13, 1904, Sedan – Jun 22, 1995, Paris), French theologian and a Dominican (from 1925 onward). He began teaching theology at the Dominican faculty of Le Saulchoir in 1931. From 1940 to 1945 he was a prisoner of war in Germany. Congar lost his chair in 1954 as a result of the dispute over the Nouvelle Théologie and was expelled from France. John XXIII appointed him conciliar theologian for Vatican II. He became cardinal in 1994. Congar's theol…

Congo, Democratic Republic

(995 words)

Author(s): Wild-Wood, Emma
[German Version] (officially, in Fr. République Démocratique du Congo; until 1997: Zaire), the third-largest country in Africa (Africa, map), covers 2.3 million km2. Much of this area is equatorial forest in the Congo river basin, with lakes and mountains to the east, and savannah to the south and north. It is rich in mineral resources but the majority of its population live in poverty. Ethnologically and linguistically diverse, Congo is home to over 200 people groups, of whom 80% are Bantu. The …

Congo Kingdom

(8 words)

[German Version] Kongo Kingdom

Congo, Republic of,

(476 words)

Author(s): Sundberg, Carl
[German Version] officially, in French République du Congo (RC), country lying astride the equator in west central Africa, covering an area of 342,000 km2 with a population of 2,516,000 (1994; Africa, map). The capital is Brazzaville with 750,000 inhabitants (1992). Pointe Noire (450,000 inhabitants, 1992) on the Atlantic coast is the major industrial and commercial center. RC, formerly a part of French Equatorial Africa, became independent in 1960. The southern parts of the RC belonged to the sac…

Congregational Christian Churches

(521 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] When Congregationalists merged with the Evangelical and Reformed Church to form a new denomination, the United Church of Christ, in 1957, they were the major representatives in the USA of historic Anglo-American Congregationalism. These churches were descendents of separatist movements that had begun among English Protestants during the 2nd half of the 16th century. A pamphlet published in 1582 by R. Browne, A Treatise of Reformation without Tarrying for Any, proclaimed principles that would define the movement: Christ is the sole head of th…

Congregational Council

(9 words)

[German Version] Presbyter/Presbytery, Church Polity


(754 words)

Author(s): Shoemaker, Stephen
[German Version] which emphasizes the autonomy of the individual congregation, traces its roots back to post-Reformation England. In the late 16th and early 17th centuries proto-Congregationalists, then called Puritans, were distracted by the need for reform within the Church of England. They desired a pure Protestant church, and toward the end of creating this, a number removed themselves to the context of New England. The Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620, followed by a larger Puritan ¶ settlement of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (Boston) in 1630…

Congregational Order

(159 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph
[German Version] Norms for the life and theology of Christian communities in the first century were primarily set by the two-Testament Bible, which had become a collection of authoritative texts, but also by church orders in the true sense, by the developing confession (of faith), initially set down in free formulations, and by theology, condensed into dogmas since the imperial councils of the 4th century (Nicea, Constantinople: IV). Naturally, after the demise o…

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

(598 words)

Author(s): Schwedt, Herman H.
[German Version] The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei) is the office of the Roman Curia that promotes and safeguards the church's doctrine on the faith and morals. At present it is made up of 23 cardinals and bishops, headed by a prefect. To promote better understanding of the faith ( fidei intellectus), it supports and publishes scholarly studies; to safeguard theological truth and moral integrity, it scrutinizes and if necessary rejects various writings. It can prosecute offences against the …

Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith

(404 words)

Author(s): Rivinius, Karl Josef
[German Version] The origins of the “Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith” ( Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, 1622; since 1967: Congregatio pro Gentium Evangelisatione) reach back to the middle of the16th century. Pope Gregory XV established it as a permanent institution in the Inscrutabili Divinae constitution of Jun 22, 1622. It was assigned the task of spreading the faith, notably in the territories lying outside of Europe, and of preserving the unity of the church (Church unity) throughout the world. It als…


(248 words)

Author(s): Riedel-Spangenberger, Ilona
[German Version] (Catholic Church). Among the departments of the Roman Curia, the congregations are on an equal legal footing with the Secretariat of State, papal tribunals, councils, offices, and other dicasteria. They exercise a pastoral ministry by supporting and representing the pope in the performance of his duties as supreme pastor and in the exercise of his sovereign juridical leadership over the universal church (cf. CIC/1983, c. 360). Nine dicasteria are expressly designated as congregations: the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for…

Congreso Latinoamericano de Evangelización

(118 words)

Author(s): Altmann, Walter
[German Version] (CLADE; Latin American Evangelization Congress). CLADE is the designation for a broad movement among Protestant and Pentecostal Christians in Latin America who have committed themselves to the Covenant of Lausanne (Evangelicalism: IV) of 1974. To date, four major evangelization congresses have taken place (1969 in Colombia, 1979 in Peru, 1992 in Ecuador, 2000 in Colombia). The movement regards the Latin American continent mainly as a mission fiel…


(263 words)

Author(s): Stephan, Achim
[German Version] is a relatively new paradigm of cognitive science. Instead of reducing mental processes to sequential algorithmic symbol processing, as postulated by the traditional computer model of the mind, it attempts to simulate intelligent behavior with the help of artificial neural networks (so-called “connectionist architectures”). Such networks exhibit a highly parallel mode of operation, and are error-tolerant as well as adaptive. Neural networks consi…

Conolly, Philip

(171 words)

Author(s): Prentis, Malcolm David
[German Version] (1786, County Monaghan, Ireland – Aug 3, 1839, Hobart, Van Diemen's Land [now Tasmania], Australia), Catholic priest. Conolly was educated and ordained at Maynooth College, Ireland. In 1820 he and John Joseph Therry were the first two officially sanctioned Catholic priests to minister to the Roman Catholic community in the penal colony of New South Wales. He was sent to Van Diemen's Land in April 1821 and was the only Catholic pastor for the whol…

Conrad, Joseph

(332 words)

Author(s): Kretzer, Ulrich
[German Version] (Teodor Józef Konrad Korzeniowski; Dec 3, 1857, Berdichev, Ukraine – Aug 3, 1924, Bishopsbourne, England), author. The son of the Polish patriot Apollo Korzeniowski, he went to Marseille at the age of seventeen as an orphan. There he gambled away his money, smuggled weapons for the Carlists, had a passionate love affair, and shot himself in the chest. He began his naval career as an ordinary seaman on sailing ships and eventually became a captain…

Conrad, Paul

(163 words)

Author(s): Andresen, Bernd
[German Version] (Apr 1, 1865, Berlin – Sep 9, 1927, Berlin), ordained in 1891, was pastor and superintendent in Berlin, from 1910 pastor of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, from 1917 privy counselor to the Supreme Consistory, and after 1912 a part-time member of the Senior Church Council of the Protestant Churches of the Old Prussian Union, in which he succeeded J. Kaftan as clergy vice president. If he seemed to many of his contemporaries an interim in this …

Conring, Hermann

(174 words)

Author(s): Mager, Inge
[German Version] (Nov 9, 1606, Norden – Dec 12, 1681, Helmstedt) was a philosopher, historian, scholar in diplomatics, legal historian, political scientist, physician, and author of theological writings. Having studied in Helmstedt and Leiden, he became professor of natural philosophy (1632), medicine (1637), and politics (1650) in Helmstedt; he also officiated as private physician and adviser at the courts of several princes (including Wolfenbüttel, Mainz, Paris, Copen…

Consalvi, Ercole

(504 words)

Author(s): Alberigo, Giuseppe
[German Version] (Jun 8, 1757, Rome – Jan 24, 1824, Rome). Raised without a father, Consalvi was sent to the Piarists in Urbino to be educated in 1763; in 1771, he entered the seminary in Frascati; from 1776–1782, he studied at the Accademia Ecclesiastica in Rome; in 1783/1784, he began a steep ecclesiastical career when he was appointed referendario della segnatura. Two years later, he became a member of the Congregazione del Buon Governo responsible for the administration of the secular goods of the Church; in 1789, he became votant of the Signatura and in 1792 auditor of the Rota. Despite …


(4,604 words)

Author(s): Hermsen, Edmund | Käppel, Lutz | Dautzenberg, Gerhard | Härle, Wilfried | Mokrosch, Reinhold
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Greco-Roman Antiquity – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics and Ethics – V. Practical Theology I. History of Religion The original meaning of the word, (divine) “joint knowledge, knowledge, consciousness, and self-consciousness” (Gk syneídēsis, Lat. conscientia), had already changed in antiquity to refer to an evaluative consciousness of one's own actions. Western philosophical and theological discourse formed various metaphors: the internal; the inner voiced ( daimónion; daimon), also interpreted as the voice …

Conscience Formation

(569 words)

Author(s): Mokrosch, Reinhold
[German Version] The terms conscience training and conscience formation are used interchangeably today. Following J.H. Jung-Stilling the two ( Gewissenserziehung and Gewissensbildung) were distinguished, however: conscience formation was associated with the formation of the temperament and the psyche (Gemüt), conscience training, in contrast, with the sharpening of reason and the will. I. Kant still distinguished between conscience cultivation and conscience training. Today, however, the …

Conscientious Objection

(1,284 words)

Author(s): Grube, Andreas | Reuter, Hans-Richard | Hennig, Martin
[German Version] I. Law – II. Ethics – III. Practical Theology I. Law The right to conscientious objection in Germany, which long existed only as a special privilege granted to the members of the historic peace churches (e.g. the Mennonites in Prussia; see II below), today enjoys special constitutional protection through art. 4 III of German Basic Law (“No one may be forced into armed military service against his conscience”) as the most common example of freedom of cons…


(1,601 words)

Author(s): Waldenfels, Hans | Horowski, Reinhard | Hampe, Michael | Dierken, Jörg
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Natural Sciences – III. Philosophy – IV. Philosophy of Religion and Fundamental Theology I. Religious Studies The modern development of the concept of consciousness, in conjunction with the simultaneous concern for data in religious studies, has led to the question of the locus and understanding of consciousness in non-European systems of thought and religion. The underlying reality of the basic Western understanding of consciousness, which was rathe…

Conscription/National Service

(2,668 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard | Ennuschat, Jörg
[German Version] I. Concept and History – II. Current Legal Situation – III. Ethics – IV. Conscription/National Service of Ministers I. Concept and History 1. Concept Conscription refers to a system of military recruiting based (in contrast to voluntary military ser¶ vice in an army of professional and/or regular soldiers) on the public, legal duty of all citizens capable of serving. Depending on the respective composition of the state's military, conscripted military service can be performed either in militia units or in a standing mobile troop. 2. History The basic notion of …

Consecrated Title

(261 words)

Author(s): Puza, Richard
[German Version] The consecrated title guarantees the support of clerics in higher orders (Consecration/Ordination/Dedication: I). In Old Church law, consecrated title relates to office and ministry, and the source of support. Consecrated titles were the titulus beneficii (sinecured office), patrimonii ([private] assets), pensionis (lifelong payments from assets) and mensae (title to the table, a third party's promise of support in emergencies), in the modern period, servitii dioecesis (service in the diocese) and missionis (in the area of the Propaganda fide). In the CIC/191…


(190 words)

Author(s): Haunerland, Winfried
[German Version] Consecrare (“sanctify, consecrate”) and consecratio refer, especially since the patristic period (Tertullian, Ambrose of Milan) to the eucharistic transformation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ (Real Presence; see also Eucharist/Communion: I; II). Despite all distinction from the Catholic teaching of transsubstantiation, Luther – though not other Reformation traditions and many Lutherans – held fast to the idea of consecra…


(724 words)

Author(s): Grethlein, Christian
[German Version] I. Theology – II. Church Law – III. Practical Theology I. Theology Consecration (Ger. Einsegnung) is a theologically vague term of liturgical (or more specifically benedictional) practice. It denotes the public ceremony, with laying-on of hands, that communicates God's blessing to certain individuals at special times in their lives. Without being clearly distinguished from other forms of blessing, consecration today denotes primarily the blessing of ¶ young people at confirmation and of other members of the congregation at the beginnin…


(1,422 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard Ludwig | Felmy, Karl Christian | Hofhansl, Ernst W. | Germann, Michael
[German Version] I. Catholic Church – II. Orthodox Church – III. Protestantism – IV. Canon Law I. Catholic Church The term consecration is used to render various liturgical and canon law terms: ordinatio, dedicatio, consecratio, benedictio. This demonstrates that the content of the notion of consecration extends broadly. Common is the conviction of faith that an object of earthly reality is connected in a particular way with God and the saving work in Christ. This connection is related to the theology of …

Consejo de Indias,

(250 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] Indian Council ( Consejo Real y Supremo de las Indias). Initially, the Casa de la Contratación (CC) had been founded in 1504 in Seville as the sole executive organ for American affairs. Gaspar de Gricio (died 1507) and Juan Rodríguez de Fonseca (died 1524), the bishops of Palencia, acted simultaneously as royal advisers for Indian affairs. In 1508, Lope de Conchillos was appointed secretary to Fonseca, whereupon a state bureaucratic authority responsible for all ¶ administrative matters gradually took shape. Functioning as a kind of office for Indian …

Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano

(361 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] (CELAM; Latin American Council of Bishops) is an organ of the Catholic Church established at the request of the bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean at their first general conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1955; it was approved by Pope Pius XII in the same year. After several extremely fruitful years occupied primarily with responding creatively to the decisions of Vatican II, the second general conference in Medellín in 1968 led to a …

Consejo Latinoamericano de Iglesias

(158 words)

Author(s): Altmann, Walter
[German Version] (CLAI; Latin American Council of Churches). The CLAI was established provisionally in 1978 (Oaxtepec, Mexico), and definitively in 1982 (Huampaní, Peru). It was preceded by various church congresses (including the Mission Conference in Panama, 1916) and ecumenical organizations (esp. Movimiento pro Unidad Evangélica Latinoamericana [UNELAM] and Iglesia y Sociedad en América Latina (ISAL). Membership of the CLAI is currently held by 144 (and other orthod…

Conselho Indigenista Missionario

(294 words)

Author(s): Süss, Paulo Günter
[German Version] (CIMI; Indigenous Missionary Counsel), an advisory panel of 25 missionaries and bishops that was convened in Brasilia by the Brazilian Bishops' Conference to draft a policy on the legal status of the indigenous population. It first met on April 23, 1972, on the historical background of the ethnocidal economic policies of a military dictatorship, but also in the context of sharp criticism expressed by anthropologists over the church's missionary a…


(1,749 words)

Author(s): Schwöbel, Christoph
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology – II. Dogmatic Theology – III. Ethics I. Fundamental Theology Both in fundamental theology and in philosophy, there is considerable dissent as to the justification, significance, and function of consensus (from Lat. consensus, “agreement, unanimity”). In the philosophical context, the recourse to universal consensus, or to the consensus of all rational people, with respect to controversial claims of truth and validity is found as early as Plato ( Gorg. 487e) and Aristotle ( Top. A1, 100b21–22). Cicero ( Div. I 1; Tusc. I 36) invokes it …

Consensus gentium

(7 words)

[German Version] Consensus

Consensus patrum

(123 words)

Author(s): Niemann, Franz-Josef
[German Version] Since the 4th century, the “consensus of the (church) Fathers” has been considered a criterion of the revealed truth of doctrines of the faith; according to the Council of Trent (DH 1507) and Vatican I (DH 3007), it is a norm of scriptural interpretation, whereas the Reformers subordinated the Fathers to Scripture. Since Vatican II (DH 4211, 4217–4219, 4230), Catholic theology has used arguments based on the history of theology and dogma to qualify the witness of the Fathers; in the interpretation of Scripture, consensus patrum clearly plays a lesser role than his…

Consensus quinquesaecularis

(8 words)

[German Version] Calixtus, Georg

Consensus theologorum

(74 words)

Author(s): Beinert, Wolfgang
[German Version] In theological epistemology, consensus theologorum as a criterion of truth refers to the consensus of experts regarding the substance and/or formulation of a doctrine of the faith, based on appropriate interpretation of Scripture, ecclesiastical tradition ( consensus patrum ), and the belief of Christians ( consensus fidelium) under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Wolfgang Beinert Bibliography P. Scharr, Consensus fidelium, 1992 D. Wiederkehr, ed., Der Glaubenssinn des Gottesvolkes, 1994.

Consensus Tigurinus

(8 words)

[German Version] Bullinger, Heinrich

Consequence/Inherent Consequences of Actions

(588 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] Every action has inculculable inherent consequences, and even its actual consequences are only partially foreseeable. This is due to the fact that action originates from a presence of action within this world, whose restrictions govern the impact of its effects. By choosing one of several available present possibilities of further becoming, action transforms this possibility into the determination of the presence to act as one that has become. This determination is inherent in the action as its effect. The effects of an action are different in importance, …


(8 words)

[German Version] Deeds and Consequences


(561 words)

Author(s): Grotefeld, Stefan
[German Version] embraces a group of moral theories that claim that actions with the best consequences ¶ are morally correct. Nonconsequentialism asserts that what is morally correct is not (or not solely) determined by the consequences of an action. Consequentialism represents a modern form of the teleological theory of ethics (Teleology: IV), inasmuch as it defines what is right by relating it to what is good. Unlike classical teleological ethics, consequentialism has ascribed only instrumental value to correct actions. Every consequentialist moral theory is characterize…


(205 words)

Author(s): Plathow, Michael
[German Version] is the theological term for the way God sustains the being of creation through time (Creatio continua). Despite human sin, God sustains his creation faithfully and patiently until redemption comes with the advent of Christ. Conservatio includes an aspect of innovation in the pneumatological context of an eschatological perspective. In the “classical” doctrine of providence, conservatio has its place before concursus Dei and gubernatio, as also in the work of such theologians as K. Barth and E. Schlink. In the coherence framework of …


(906 words)

Author(s): Ribhegge, Wilhelm | Schieder, Rolf
[German Version] I. Ethics – II. Practical Theology I. Ethics Conservatism as a political movement emerged as a reaction to the changes in European society brought about by the French Revolution. The contrast between right and left that today still shapes parliamentary parties manifested itself in two works that became classics: E. Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) and T. Paine's The Rights of Man (1791–1792). Burke condemned the revolutionary transformation of society on the basis of abstract (“metaphysical”) principles. In his r…

Conservative Judaism

(474 words)

Author(s): Brämer, Andreas
[German Version] In spite of later attempts to gain a foothold in Israel and in other countries, the initial shaping of Conservative Judaism took place in the specific context of American Jewish society (North America: II), where it established itself as a religious movement. At the same time, however, conservative Judaism can also point to historical roots in European Judaism (III). As early as the 1840s, when German Judaism was engaged in intensive debates regarding ¶ the modernization of faith and of its practical forms of expression, Rabbi Z. Frankel had alre…

Consistent Eschatology

(327 words)

Author(s): Zager, Werner
[German Version] In the first place, the notion of “consistent eschatology” was used by A. Schweitzer to designate his proposed solution for the historical ¶ problem of the life of Jesus (Life-of-Jesus research), according to which not only Jesus' proclamation (as held by J. Weiß), but also his behavior and deeds were conditioned by the eschatological expectation of an imminent parousia. In addition, consistent eschatology also refers to a branch of research that investigates the history of …


(270 words)

Author(s): Barth, Thomas
[German Version] In the Catholic Church, consistory refers primarily to an assembly of the College of Cardinals, convoked and presided over by the pope ( CIC c. 353); today, its functions are largely representative and ceremonial. Consistory is also the name for a part of the diocesan curia; in German-speaking dioceses, it exercises the judicial authority of the bishop, primarily in marital cases (officialate, judicial vicar). In some Austrian dioceses, it serves as an advisory body to the bishop. In the Evangelical Church in Germany, consistory traditionally denotes a p…


(548 words)

Author(s): Wagner-Rau, Ulrike
[German Version] People seek comfort and consolation because their lives are inevitably linked to suffering. Experiences with boundaries and distress lead to the question as to the meaning and cause of suffering and the possibility of finding consolation. I. The Old Testament speaks of human and especially of divine consolation in the context of mourning and in other grievous life situations. The theme is dominant in the psalms of lament: Supplicants express their suffering and experience consolation through God…


(313 words)

Author(s): Maurer, Helmut
[German Version] A bishopric was established around 600 in the former Roman fortress of Constantia, in what is today Baden-Württemberg. In the late 12th century, the episcopal city that had grown up around it also took on the character of a free imperial city. Constance was the site of important imperial diets (Reichstag) under Frederick Barbarossa; from 1414 to 1418, it played host to an ecumenical council (Constance, Council of). Meanwhile the city had …

Constance, Council of

(274 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans
[German Version] The reform Council of Constance met from 1414 to 1418. The joint efforts of the German king, Sigismund (1410–1437), and the pope of the Pisan obedience (Pisa, Council of), John XXIII, to heal the Western Schism led to a council held in the imperial free city of Constance; it became the largest ecclesiastical congress of the Middle Ages. Its major tasks were to restore the unity of the church ( causa unionis), oppose the heresies of J. Wycliffe and J. Hus ( causa fidei), and reform the church ( causa reformationis). When John XXIII sought to evade the council's demand t…

Constantine and Methodius

(10 words)

[German Version] Cyril and Methodius

Constantine, Donation of

(420 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, Wilfried
[German Version] In the canon law collections of the High Middle Ages, but also already in the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, a forgery from the middle of the 9th century, the text of an extensive document is transmitted in which Emperor Constantine gives Pope Silvester I the primacy over all churches as well as a number of imperial rights and possessions. It was above all dominion over Rome and the western half of the Roman Empire, but also imperial …

Constantine of Ostrog

(170 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] (1524/1525 – Feb 13/23, 1608 Ostrog, Volhynia [Ukraine]), voivode of Kiev and marshal of Volhynia, played an important role in the public life of Poland-Lithuania in the age of confessionalization. He was concerned at times with reaching an agreement with representatives of the Reformation, as well as an understanding with Rome. He rejected the union of an Eastern Orthodox state church with Rome without the participation of all patriarchs of the East, a…

Constantine the Great

(582 words)

Author(s): Clauss, Manfred
[German Version] (270/288, Naissus [Niš] – 337, Constantinople). His father was Emperor Constantius Chlorus, his mother the emperor's concubine Helena). After his father's death in 306 Constantine had himself proclaimed emperor. This usurpation was followed by others and Constantine emerged as victor from the ensuing battles for control. Important events were the victory over Maxentius in 312 at the Milvian Bridge and over Licinius in 324 near ¶ Byzantium. Constantine began to stabilize the dynasty after he became sole ruler. He suffered setbacks when he …

Constantine V

(9 words)

[German Version] Veneration of images

Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus

(162 words)

Author(s): Lilie, Ralf-Johannes
[German Version] (905–959) Byzantine emperor (913–959, sole rule from 945) was born to the fourth marriage of his father Leo VI, which was opposed by part of the Byzantine church (tetragamy controversy). His rule was first under the regency of the patriarch Nicholas Mysticus, later he was forced into the position of co-regent by Romanos I Lakapenos. It was not until 945 that he ruled alone. While he was not particularly significant as an emperor his politico-cult…

Constantinian Era

(230 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] The term Constantinian Era is a headword known more in the context of “the end of the Constantinian Era” (Constantine the Great) than as a period delimited by precise historical criteria and is supposed to characterize the symbiosis of church and secular authority that began with the “Constantinian change” (312) and lasted into the modern era, indeed into recent history. It is meant to refer to an alliance in which each side uses the services of the other to reach its ¶ goals: the church uses the state for recourse to secular force and privileges; the st…


(7,786 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram | Ritter, Adolf Martin | Ludwig, Claudia | Thümmel, Hans Georg | Ohme, Heinz | Et al.
[German Version] I. Archaeology – II. Early Church – III. After 600 – IV. Councils – V. Patriarchate – VI. Literature – VII. Art – VIII. Church Music – IX. Judaism I. Archaeology Settlers from Megara settled Byzantium in the early 7th century on a previously inhabited hill on the Bosphorus, the most important water route from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea; a deep bay, the “Golden Horn” offered additional protection. In 324 ce, after the victory over Licinius, Constantine chose Byzantium as a new capital and dedicated it on May 11, 330 as Nea Roma, “New Rome”; soon the name …

Constantinople, Council of

(8 words)

[German Version] Byzantium/Constantinople
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