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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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 English Pietism, and especially by J. Bunyan, his thematic series of paintings entitled “The course of the Empire” (1833–1836) portrayed the history of humanity as a sort of pilgrimage from primal state to downfall. Inspired by C. Lorrain, Cole sought to make the spiritual quality of…

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). From 1492 to 1496, he travelled to Italy and France to pursue his studies; it is uncertain whether his preoccupation with Neoplatonism and Marsilio Ficino began during this period. In 1498, he was ordained to the priesthood, and he was made dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, London…

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 three sections: an invocation to God (with predication), a petition, and a mediation (“through Christ our Lord”) closing with a Trinitarian doxology (III) and the Amen (II). The root of the word “collect” is the Latin verb colligere, meaning “to collect.” The Latin nouns collecta and collectio finally came to be used for the…

College of Bishops

(10 words)

[German Version] Bishops, College of

Colleges and Universities, Christian

(783 words)

Author(s): Benad, Matthias | Ringenberg, William Carey
[German Version] I. Europe – II. North America I. Europe In many European countries there are non-state church universities and colleges which provide research, doctrine, degree studies and professional qualifications. In the main these are faculties of theology; in line with its broad cultural standing, however, the Catholic Church also maintains some 25 universities in Italy, France, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Ireland and the Netherlands. In Hungary there is…

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…
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