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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Comprehensive Approach

(361 words)

Author(s): Shenk, Wilbert R.
[German Version] The Conference Message of the International Missionary Council (IMC) in Jerusalem in 1928 said: “The one inclusive purpose of the missionary enterprise is to present Jesus Christ to ¶ men and women the world over as their Redeemer, and to win them for entrance into the joy of His discipleship. In this endeavor we realize that man is a unity, and that his spiritual life is indivisibly rooted in all his conditions – physical, mental, and social. We are therefore desirous that the program of…

Compulsory Schooling

(668 words)

Author(s): Meyer, Meinert A.
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Historical Development – III. Importance of Education – IV. International Developments – V. Prospects …


(406 words)

Author(s): Becker-Richards, Joicy
[German Version] In recent years the computer has dramatically impacted many facets of human life. While no one can predict how this technology will ultimately affect the practice of theology and the faith community, it is clear that as a tool, the computer presents both opportunities and challenges. In the academic setting, the computer is used for research and to facilitate learning. Connected to the Internet, computers provide a link to the worldwide community of researchers and academic institutes. Students from around the w…

Comte, Auguste

(434 words)

Author(s): Zenkert, Georg
[German Version] (Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier; Jan 19, 1798, Montpellier – Jul 5, 1857, Paris), French philosopher and sociologist who acted as secretary to C.H. de Saint-Simon and as an examination coach in Paris, and who became known primarily through his public lectures. Comte is the founder of modern sociology, which owes him both its name and its systematic definition, and is considered one of the leading representatives of positivism along …

Comunione e Liberazione

(124 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (CL; “Community and Liberation”) is a church renewal movement founded in 1954 in Milan by the Catholic student minister Luigi Giussani (born 1922) a…

Concentration Camps

(394 words)

Author(s): Benz, Wolfgang
[German Version] The Reichstag Fire Decree of Feb 28, 1933, suspended civil liberties and enabled the National Socialists (National Socialism) to arrest and imprison political opponents outside the judicial system. Throughout Germany some 80 detention centers were set up, which came to be called concentration camps; the term itself had been used for internment camps etc. before National Socialism. Except for Dachau, these “early concentration camps,” usually admi…


(128 words)

Author(s): Flynn, William
[German Version] (Lat.: “a singing together; concord, agreement”) was an equivalent term in classical Roman usage to the Greek loan words symphonía and harmonía, meaning sounding together, or being in (musical) agreement. In the 16th century the term acquired a technical meaning at least in the treatise Musice active micrologus by Andreas Ornithoparcus (Leipzig 1517). In this treatise concentus refers to chants with a pronounced melodic content, for example hymns, sequences, antiphons, responsories, introits, tropes etc. Ornithoparcus …


(186 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Nuns of the Immaculate Conception; see also Immaculate Conception, Order of the) was founded as a strictly contemplative order with the support of the Castilian court in 1484 in Galliana near Toledo by the Portuguese Beatriz de Silva y Meneses (Saint, c. 1426 – c. 1491), previously a lady at the court of Queen Isabella I of Castile, and confirmed by pope Innocent VIII in 1489. They originally lived by the rule and statutes of the Cisterc…

Concept of Our Great Power, The (NHC VI, 4)

(15 words)

[German Version] Nag Hammadi

Conciliar Process

(487 words)

Author(s): Lienemann, Wolfgang
[German Version] (for justice, peace and the preservation of creation). I. The 6th plenary assembly of the World Council of Churches in 1983 challenged churches to enter into a “conciliar process of mutual obligation (covenant) for justice, peace and the preservation of creation” (JPC). The German Protestant Church Conference ( Kirchentag ) of 1985 followed with the appeal to “the churches of the world to convene a council of peace.” Causes at the time were the intense political tensions between East and West,…

Conciliar Theory

(1,651 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Hans | Wohlmuth, Josef | Birmelé, André | Becker, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] I. Church History – II. Dogmatics – III. Church Law I. Church History Conciliarism (conciliar theory) is the doctrine that the general council is the highest ecclesial authority such that even the pope is subject to its supremacy. Its roots lie primarily in the discussions of medieval canon law concerning the relationship between papal immunity and responsibility. A discussion concerning the relationship of the infallibility of the church promised Peter (Matt 16:18) to …


(8 words)

[German Version] Pope, Election of


(402 words)

Author(s): Sommaruga, Giovanni
[German Version] I. If a statement Q is the logical consequence of the statements P1,…,Pn (n>0), Q is called the conclusion, while P1,…, Pn are the premises of the fundamentally logical and, in particular, semantic relationship of the logical consequence. Q is the logical consequence of P1,…,Pn if, under all conditions under which P1,…,Pn are true, Q is also true. Now, the definition of the logical consequence offers no handhold for determining whether the relati…


(433 words)

Author(s): Hinz, Wolfgang
[German Version] In the Middle Ages, the dual elements of the Eucharist became a(n intellectual) problem for the Latin West that sought the truth more in the factual than in image or metaphor. Anselm of Canterbury found it necessary to resist the view that in the bread one receives only the body, in the wine only the blood or soul of Christ. Rather, in each element received separatim, Christ is wholly present (PL 159, 255f.). Quod totus Christus sub utraque specie sit et sumatur became the standing formula. Alexander of Hales coined the term concomitantia (Lat. concomitari, “to accompany”)…


(190 words)

Author(s): Hieke, Thomas
[German Version] (from med. Lat., concordare, “to agree”) designates an alphabetic listing of all the words in a literary work, especially the Bible, with references and brief textual excerpts. The biblical concordance is arranged in the order of the biblical books. It serves the purpose of locating specific Scripture passages and in biblical interpretation (Exegesis). The first concordances of the Latin Bible were used in the Middle Ages to demonstrate the internal…


(2,071 words)

Author(s): Hollerbach, Alexander
[German Version] I. Term – II. Historical Overview – III. Basic Questions in Concordat Law – IV. Outlook I. Term Concordat is the term for the classical form of a contract between the state and the Roman Catholic Church (Church and state). In the limited and proper sense, concordat means the codified contract with the Holy See, concluded on the level of international law in diplomatic form, and designed, in principle, to regulate legally and permanently all matters of common interest…

Concord, Formula of

(1,247 words)

Author(s): Wallmann, Johannes
[German Version] The Formula of Concord ( Formula Concordiae) of 1577 is the result of the trans-regional settlement effort conducted in protracted, tedious negotiations intended to provide a common doctrinal basis for the Lutheran state churches that had splintered through doctrinal disputes after Luther's death and had separated into various doctrinal traditions – notably that of the Philippists (adherents of Melanchthon) and the Gnesio-Lutherans. Through its inclusion in t…

Concord, The Book of

(375 words)

Author(s): Wallmann, Johannes
[German Version] The Book of Concord is the most widely circulated collection of Lutheran articles of faith (I). It was published (in German) under the title Concordia. Christian, Reiterated, Unanimous Confession of the Undersigned Electors, Princes, and Estates who Embrace the Augsburg Confession and of the Theologians of the Same Doctrine and Faith on Jun 25, 1580, the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the Augsburg Confession. It contains the three major creeds (Apostles' Creed, Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, …

Concursus Dei

(370 words)

Author(s): Plathow, Michael
[German Version] This expression denotes God's creative cooperation (or “concurrence”) in the relative acts of creatures (Free will) against the background of the noetic distinction between being and action. With the emergence of Aristotelianism in the 13th century, the term, which originated in Roman civil law (“coincidence of multiple claims”), was applied to the philosophical/theological problem of cooperation between causa prima and causae secundae (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae 1, q. 105, a. 5); it was an important issue in the complex differences …
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