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

Constantius II

(508 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (Aug 7, 317 – Nov 3, 361). The Roman emperor Constantius II was the second son of Constantine and Fausta. He was made Caesar in 324; upon Constantine's death in September of 337, he became Augustus over the eastern half of the empire. Because his primary military challenge was securing the eastern border, until 350 he spent most of his time in Antioch. After the death of Constantine II in 340, the rivalry between Constantius and his younger brot…

Constantius of Sinai

(219 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] (1770, Constantinople – Jan 5, 1859, Constantinople) was the nephew of the Sinai bishop Cyril II and officiated as archbishop of Sinai from 1804 until his death in 1859. He studied at Constantinople, Iaşi, and Kiev, and was afterwards known as “the Byzantine” on account of his education. In 1795, he became a Sinai monk in Cairo and, in 1797, abbot of the subsidiary monastery in Kiev. In 1804, he was appointed archbishop of Sinai as Constantius II…


(1,114 words)

Author(s): Albani, Matthias | Böcher, Otto | Hübner, Wolfgang
[German Version] I. Ancient Near East and Old Testament – II. Greco-Roman World and the New Testament – III. Early Church I. Ancient Near East and Old Testament The starry heavens were the object of enthusiastic study in the ancient Near East from earliest times. This is ¶ associated with the importance of the star cycles for the calendar and with belief in the divinity of the stars (Astral religion). From veneration of the stars, astral divination or astrology developed in Mesopotamia based on the conviction that …


(748 words)

Author(s): Mohnhaupt, Heinz
[German Version] I. Every consolidated social system relies on an order (II) by which it ensures its existence and regulates its procedures of self-government. The details of the order document normative elements defined either empirically and extra-juristically, or juristically. The history of the concept since antiquity reflects its course of development into the dominant modern juridical understanding of constitution. Three elements overlap in the concept of a…

Constitutionalism, Church

(379 words)

Author(s): Ohst, Martin
[German Version] The period between the Napoleonic Wars and World War I saw ongoing ¶ debate over the structure of the Evangelical Church in Germany. Those involved were primarily theologians and jurisprudents. – A group around F.D.E. Schleiermacher, combining collegialist ideas (Collegialism) with elements of the presbyterial and synodal structure (Presbyter/Presbytery) of the Reformed Church, put forward demands for a self-governing church organized on the basis of the local congregations. Vis-à-vis conceptions of the church and church polity based on mi…

Constitutions, Apostolic

(130 words)

Author(s): Rees, Wilhelm
[German Version] In the Catholic Church, the term constitutions (from Lat. constituere, “set up, appoint”) refers to the decrees of a pope or council (cf. CIC/1983, c. 754) as well as the statutes of religious orders. Today, it is used primarily for statutes decreed ¶ by the pope as Constitutiones apostolicae in the style of an ordinary bull (Bullae) and administrative actions by the heads of curial offices. In the law governing religious orders, the statutes of institutes of consecrated life, secular institutes, and societies of the apostolic life are called constitutions. Wilhelm Ree…


(501 words)

Author(s): Stephan, Achim
[German Version] Generally speaking, the term constructivism denotes positions that focus on the concept of construction as a constitutive aspect of their theory of human (cultural) products, whether these be artworks, scientific or philosophical theories, or mental states and processes such as emotions and perceptions. In German Idealism, the concept of construction refers primarily to the building of a “system” of philosophy in accordance with the principles of…


(286 words)

Author(s): Steiger, Johann Anselm
[German Version] After transsubstantiation, the doctrine of consubstantiation is the most prominent explanation of the miraculous bodily presence of Christ in the Eucharist (II, 2) proposed by medieval Scholasticism. This theory, whose roots go back to the christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries, maintains that the eucharistic consecration does not transform the substances of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, annihilating the former. Instead the substantiae of Christ's caro and sanguis are added to the substantiae of panis and vinum to constitut…

Consuetudines monasticae

(260 words)

Author(s): Maier, Peter
[German Version] Important from the 6th century to c. 1500, the Consuetudines Monasticae stand conceptually and factually next to the monastic rule; they supplement and interpret the rule; occasionally they change the rule, but basically they secure and support it. The consuetudo is a life order for monks, given by a competent authority and carrying the force of law. The unwritten consuetudo existed already in the 6th century; the oldest evidence of a written consuetudo dates to …


(181 words)

Author(s): Rees, Wilhelm
[German Version] (Lat. consultare, “ask for advice”) in Catholic canon law means the seeking of advice that preserves the ultimate responsibility of the seeker, yet at the same time involves that person in a collegial conferring process (cf. Priests' council College of Consultors [Consultors, College of], Diocesan Income Administrative Council, Diocesan Pastoral Council; Diocesan synod). Canon 127 CIC/1983 (c. 934 CCEO) standardizes the agreement rights of third parties. Consultation grows out of the communio structure of the church, as wel…

Consultation on Church Union

(189 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] The Consultation on Church Union emerged from a proposal in December 1960 by the American Presbyterian Eugene Carson Blake for an organic union of churches “truly catholic, truly evangelical, and truly reformed.” The Consultation was established in 1962 by representatives of four mainline Protestant denominations. After mergers and the addition of new bodies, nine churches have continued as full members: African Methodist Episcopal Church, Afric…

Consultors, College of

(95 words)

Author(s): Rees, Wilhelm
[German Version] In Catholic canon law the College of Consultors is the prescribed and required organ of consultation that the diocesan bishop (Bishops: III, 1) calls freely in his diocese from the members of the priests' council for a period of five years (c. 502 CIC/1983; c. 271 CCEO; Cathedral chapter). It has agreement rights and duties when there is a vacant see (See, Vacant). Wilhelm Rees Bibliography KanR II, 1997, 399–401 O. Stoffel, MKCIC, c. 502 (as of Apr 1997) H. Schmitz, “Die Konsultationsorgane des Diözesanbischofs,” HKKR2 , 1999, 457–459.


(349 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] Consumers demand goods and services (Service sector) in order to satisfy their needs. They express their preferences through their demand for different goods. If consumer selection takes place in a free economic system – as is the case in a market economy – then producers are stimulated by consumer demand to produce the desired goods: the consumer is sovereign. This should also be true for goods and services not produced by the market but …


(352 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] Income is consumed by individuals, saved, or paid in taxes. The state also spends a portion of its income – in addition to investments, transfers, and subsidies – for consumer products. Consumption refers to all activities by private economic parties that serve the immediate satisfaction of needs. State consumption is entered into the gross national product under the key word “consumption by the state” (expenditures by the s…

Contarini, Gasparo

(430 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] (Oct 16, 1483, Venice – Aug 24, 1542, Bologna). Born into a patrician family in Venice, the diplomat and church reformer Gasparo Contarini began studying law in Padua in 1501. His interest in religious matters was awakened by friends. In 1511, he came to realize that his salvation depended on Christ alone, and not on his own merits (Jedin: Contarini's “tower experience”). Contarini remained a layman, but devoted himself to theology as an autodida…


(6 words)

[German Version] Meditation/Contemplation


(454 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred
[German Version] Originating in Greek antiquity, contest or competition carried out on a field with the objective of victory entered metaphorical usage, in Christianity as elsewhere, as Agon. In a broader sense, however, competition and sport are attested in many religious contexts or can be used and interpreted in religion. In this regard, competition continues essentially to be competition with the goal of victory, while the term “sports,” used in England since the 16th century (from Latin disportare, “to amuse, entertain oneself”), refers to physical training i…


(164 words)

Author(s): Weber, Franz
[German Version] Messianic-millenarian insurrectionary movement in the border region between Santa Catarina and Paraná (southern Brazil), where the peasant population, whose existence was threatened by land theft and railroad construction, tried in an eschatological “holy war” to bring in a “new age.” After the murder of the “monk” José Maria de Santo Agostinho (1912), who was venerated as a prophet, government troops wiped out the movement in 1916. German Franci…


(238 words)

Author(s): Miege, Frank
[German Version] is derived etymologically from Latin contextere (“weave/twine together”) or contextus (“connection”). In general, context means the environment in which something belongs or can be placed. More precisely, context means connections that are constitutive for the understanding of something. Linguistically one may distinguish between intratextual context as the parts of a text with which one part is directly connected (also called “cotext”) and extratextual c…


(730 words)

Author(s): Feldtkeller, Andreas | Miege, Frank
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology – II. Ethics and Practical Theology I. Fundamental Theology “Contextuality” denotes a set of circumstances that became a theological issue in the wake of contextual theology, though it is of fundamental relevance to any theology. The concept arose from the fact that Christian theology is not only shaped by the biblical text but also by its own distinct context. This context, furthermore, does not simply consist of other texts in the litera…

Contextual Theology

(850 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo | Küster, Volker
[German Version] I. Systematic Theology – II. Missiology I. Systematic Theology “Contextual theology” denotes that form of theological work, with a primarily inductive approach, for which the deliberate inclusion of the cultural and religious environment as the starting point and goal of theological reflection is constitutive. Unlike a local theology, i.e. a theology defined simply by its cultural setting, contextual theology takes its cultural determination self-reflexively into account, claiming particular relevance while at the same time maintaini…


(1,312 words)

Author(s): Stoellger, Philipp
[German Version] I. Chance vs. Contingency – II. Accident vs. Essence – III. Chance vs. Order – IV. Paradigms of Chance I. Chance vs. Contingency Chance (Contingency/Chance) and contingency are among the theologically significant constructs of conceptual history. The word contingency derives from Lat. contingere (translating συμβαίνειν/ symbainein or ¶ ένδέχεσϑαι/ endechesthai, first used by Marius Victorinus); chance derives through Old French from Lat. cadere, “fall/befall” and accident from accidere/accidentia, with the German loan-translation Zufall first used…

Contingency and Necessity

(535 words)

Author(s): Wegter-McNelly, Kirk
[German Version] What is contingent could have been otherwise; what is necessary could not have been otherwise. These simple definitions are the starting point for discussions about the religious significance of chance, but their appropriate application is still a matter of vigorous debate. In fact both terms often have quite different meanings in different contexts. In logic, necessary propositions are propositions that cannot be false, while contingent propositions are possible (i.e. they are not self-contradictory) but not necessary…


(2,299 words)

Author(s): Russell, Robert John | Mörth, Ingo | Schütt, Hans-Peter | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Natural Sciences – II. Religious Studies – III. Philosophy – IV. Systematic Theology I. Natural Sciences The concept of contingency/chance occurs in various contexts and meanings in the natural sciences. In the simplest case, contingency denotes an event, a process or a property, the finality of which exists without an immediately discernible or determinable cause. Although we inaccurately assert that something happened by chance, the latter really implies the lack …

Continuing Education

(9 words)

[German Version] Education of adults


(383 words)

Author(s): Kreß, Hartmut
[German Version] Protestant ethics approves of a responsible and well-considered planning of pregnancy and family (Family planning). In an attempt to avoid negative connotations, it has become customary to speak of “birth control” rather than contraception. As a hormonal contraceptive preventing the fertilization of the ovum and thus pregnancy, the “pill” is one of the methods for birth control. Methods that block the nidation of an already fertilized ovum and provoke an early abortion are to be ¶ distinguished from the pill. The intra-uterine device, for instance,…


(1,461 words)

Author(s): Repgen, Tilman | Alles, Gregory D. | Pies, Ingo
[German Version] I. Law – II. Religious Studies – III. Sociology and Social Ethics I. Law Potential for development is of the essence of human personality. The legal instruments that promote this development include the contract, understood as a bilateral or multilateral agreement governing a legal relationship, entered into by the parties. Mutual assent ( consensus ad idem) of the parties to a contract has been constitutive since the beginning in both the ancient world and Judeo-Christian culture. Matt 20:1–16, for example, takes it …


(8 words)

[German Version] Nicholas of Cusa

Contradiction, Logical

(281 words)

Author(s): Kober, Michael
[German Version] A necessarily false set of statements contains a logical contradiction (Antinomy). Logical calculuses and theories should generally be free of contradiction (consistent) since, according to traditional logic all kinds of arbitrary conclusions can proceed from a falsehood ( ex falso quodlibet). Aristotle ( Metaph. Γ 1005 b 17–34) formulated the “principle of contradiction (to be excluded)” (which can be interpreted logically, psychologically and ontologically in his thinking) as a fundamental principle of …


(108 words)

Author(s): Flynn, Jane
[German Version] from medieval Latin contrafacere, “imitate,” vocal music in which the original text is replaced by new lyrics. Before 1450, contrafactum could refer to a secular song for which new lyrics had been written or to a new liturgical text in place of an older plainchant. After 1450, contrafactum was used for a piece of sacred music that originally had a secular text; for example, the song “O Welt, ich muss dich lassen” (“O world, I must leave you”) is a contrafactum of H. Isaac's popular tenor song “Innsbruck, ich muß dich lassen.” Jane Flynn Bibliography R. Strohm, The Rise of Eur…
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