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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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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