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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Cotton, John

(187 words)

Author(s): McDermott, Gerald R.
[German Version] (Dec 4, 1584, Derby, England – Dec 23, 1652, Boston, MA), foremost preacher in the first ¶ generation of preachers in Massachusetts Bay Colony. Educated at Cambridge, Cotton won renown for his twenty years of powerful preaching in Boston, Lincolnshire, before he emigrated in 1630. He helped inspire the Great (Puritan) Migration to the New World by preaching that God was leading his flock to a place where they could practice freely “his holy Ordinances.” Cotton laid emph…

Coughlin, Charles Edwards

(138 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (Oct 25, 1891, Hamilton, Ontario – Oct 27, 1979, Bloomfield Hills, MI), pioneer radio broadcaster, was ordained a Catholic priest in 1916. In order to raise money for his new aasignment at the parish in Royal Oak, MI, he took to the airwaves (Radio and television). His programs were at first strictly religious, but after the stock market crash of 1929 he added political commentary. In 1936 he organized the National Union for Social Justice and so…


(4,467 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Schneider, Hans | Schneider, Bernd Christian | Puza, Richard | Neuner, Peter
[German Version] I. Church History – II. Church Law – III. Dogmatics I. Church History 1. Early Church Council (Lat. concilium, Gk σύνοδος [Lat. synodum]; the two terms were first differentiated in modern usage; see also synod) are meetings of bishops from various communities for binding clarification of disciplinary, organizational, or doctrinal questions, whose decisions, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, are not in principle revisable and claim validity for the whole church r…

Council for World Mission

(302 words)

Author(s): Prasad, Andrew
[German Version] (CWM) was formed in 1977 in the United Kingdom as the successor of the London Missionary Society (LMS) and the Commonwealth (previously Colonial) Missionary Society (CMS; founded 1836). The LMS was led mainly by Congregationalists, although they were a non-denominational society. In 1966 the LMS and CMS united to become the Congregational Council for World Mission (CCWM) which later became CWM. In a crucial consultation in Singapore in 1975, the directors of CCWM and leaders from associate (so called “younger”) churches met for the first time. The resolution of CWM Sha…

Council of Brethren

(797 words)

Author(s): Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter
[German Version] ( Bruderrat), designation for the leadership bodies of the Confessing Church ( Bekennende Kirche) at all levels. At first prevalent in especially the (pietistic) community movement ( Gemeinschaftsbewegung), after 1933 it emanated from the emphasis on collegiality and from the ideal of a new kind of “collegial” leadership in opposition to the Führer-principle. I. From Oct 20, 1933, the executive committee of the Pastors' Emergency League was a “Council of Brethren” headed by M. Niemöller; the representative committees …

Council of Christian Churches in Germany

(281 words)

Author(s): Hüffmeier, Wilhelm
[German Version] (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Christlicher Kirchen; ACK). Founded in 1948 by, then, seven member churches (Evangelical Church in Germany [EKD], Old Catholic Church and five Protestant free churches), the ACK corresponds in function to national Christian councils or ecumenical councils in other countries. Legallly, it is a registered association. Its tasks include the promotion of information exchange, the cooperation of its members, and the representation of …

Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland

(564 words)

Author(s): Sheils, William J.
[German Version] (CCBI; founded 1942). The CCBI was originally founded in 1942 as the British Council of Churches, following the establishment in 1940 of the World Council Churches, in which W. Temple and W. Paton ¶ played leading roles. There were many reasons for such an ecumenical endeavor, but the move was accelerated by the need for a combined Christian response to the two atheistic ideologies of Communism and fascism which were advancing in Europe, and by the common threat to humanity presented by war. T…

Council of Indio-Missions

(11 words)

[German Version] CIMI (Conselho Indigenista Missionario)

Council of the Indies

(11 words)

[German Version] Consejo de Indias


(536 words)

Author(s): Browning, Don
[German Version] This discussion will deal with counseling in the context of the modern pastoral counseling movement, which synthesized insights from the secular psychotherapies, especially of psychoanalysis, of the non-directive methods of C.R. Rogers and of object-relations theory with the church's tradition of pastoral care. “Pastoral Counseling” stands for a counseling style performed by congregational ministers and priests or in counseling centers est…

Counsels of Perfection

(1,275 words)

Author(s): zur Mühlen, Karl-Heinz
[German Version] On the basis of 1 Cor 7:25, Catholic moral theology distinguishes between evangelical counsels or counsels of perfection ( consilia) and evangelical precepts ( praecepta) as guidelines for a Christian life. According to Catholic canon law ( CIC 1983, cc. 573–586), the counsels of perfection represent a vocation of particular individuals (c. 574 §1) to radical discipleship (c. 577). As norms of a Christian life made possible by grace, the counsels are a charismatic expression of Christian perfection (c. 573 §1), beyond the precepts given to all. I. Catholic exegesis f…


(6 words)

[German Version] Polyphony


(3,371 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Political and Legal Aspects; Spread – III. Characteristics I. Terminology The term was originally used mostly in the plural to denote individual legal and political measures taken against the Protestants by Roman Catholic rulers on the basis of the ius reformandi . In the singular, as Gegenreformation (cf. Fr. contreréforme, Ital. controriforma) in L. v. Ranke's Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Reformation (1839–1847), it underwent a major historiographical transformation, becoming the designation of the perio…

Court, Antoine

(160 words)

Author(s): Dingel, Irene
[German Version] (Mar 27, 1695, Villeneuve-de-Berg – Jun 13, 1760, Lausanne). While still a young man, Court resolved to become an itinerant preacher for the purpose of consolidating southern French Protestantism, which had been greatly weakened by the persecution of the Huguenots. In order to achieve this goal, the synodal constitution and church discipline, but also the regular formation of theologians were to be reestablished. On Aug 21, 1715, he convened the first s…

Court Preacher

(495 words)

Author(s): Köhler, Wiebke
[German Version] The senior clergymen at Protestant courts (Germany until 1919, the Netherlands, Scandinavia) bear the official title of court preacher (with distinctions of rank between court deacon, court preacher and senior court preacher, in some regions also court chaplain). Their function and the legal status of their positions stand in the tradition of the court chaplains and private confessors (Confession) who are attested as far back as the Byzantine court (Co…

Couturier, Marie-Alain

(168 words)

Author(s): Metzinger, Jörg
[German Version] (Nov 15, 1897, Montbrison – Feb 8, 1954, Paris), OP. As a young artist, Couturier was decisively influenced by M. Denis's Atéliers d'Art Sacré. He entered the Dominican order in 1925 and assumed the joint editorship of the journal L'Art sacré in 1937, in collaboration with Pie-Raymond Régamey. After a period of exile in North America, he returned to France in 1945 and initiated a number of church building projects with the participation of prominent contemporary artists: Assy (George Rouault), Audin…


(6,223 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Gertz, Jan Christian | Backhaus, Knut | Sanders, E.P. | Amir, Yehoyada | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Judaism – V. Christianity I. History of Religions Immediate and comprehensive solidarity appertains only in the most elementary form of human society (in the “family,” which can be variously structured according to culture); all other forms of solidarity are “artificial,” determined by more or less explicit rules; one can subsume this under the term “covenant,” in which the purposes, realms of social…


(357 words)

Author(s): Ryken, Philip Graham
[German Version] The Covenanters were militant Scottish Presbyterians who swore allegiance to the Scottish National Covenant (1638) and Solemn League and Covenant (1643). They sought to promote Reformed theology and Presbyterian church government by resisting the establishment of episcopacy under the Stuart kings of England. Their period of influence in Scotland and England stretched from 1637 to 1690. The Covenanters themselves were influenced not…

Covenant People

(533 words)

Author(s): Fergusson, David
[German Version] The political significance of the concept of the “covenant people” is most marked in the emergence of federal theology (Covenant theology) in the Reformed tradition. Drawing on the biblical concept of covenant, Zwingli and H. Bullinger perceived Reformed Zürich as a covenant community. As in ancient Israel the covenant determined all of society, so in Zürich the church was to be viewed as co-terminous with the civil community. The covenan…

Covenant Theology

(1,733 words)

Author(s): Link, Christian
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Historical Development – III. Results I. Terminology Covenant theology or federal theology (Ger. Föderaltheologie), an old Reformed doctrinal system whose origins are to be sought in Zürich, Heidelberg and Herborn, is the broad attempt to comprehend and portray as a unity the history of God with humanity attested in the OT and NT by means of the biblical covenant concept (Covenant). Correspondingly, the whole substance of dogma, from the creation…
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