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…


(249 words)

Author(s): Mosig, Jörg
[German Version] is an Anglican diocese in central England, reestablished in 1918 in response to a massive increase in population. Coventry already had the status of an episcopal city in the Middle Ages in the dual diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, but was placed under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Worcester in 1836 after its cathedral had already been abandoned to decay during the Reformation and precedence in designation had been given to Lichfield during the …

Coverdale, Miles

(261 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (c. 1488, York – Jan 20, 1569, London), OSA in 1514, studied philosophy and theology at Cambridge. In 1528 Coverdale left the order under the impact of Luther's theology, which had been taught him by Robert Barnes. In 1534–1535 Coverdale published the first English complete Bible (Bible translationsβ : II, 1.b.). From 1540 Coverdale lived under the pseudonym of Michael Anglus on the continent, in Tübingen and elsewhere and as pastor in Bergzabern from 1543–1547. Coverdale returned to England …


(6 words)

[German Version] Animals

Cowper, William

(128 words)

Author(s): Erlebach, Peter
[German Version] (Nov 15, 1731, Great Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire – Apr 25, 1800, East Dereham, Norfolk), English pre-Romantic poet of great sensitivity, inclined to melancholy. His poems show a new, subjective and lyrical ability of expression in his representation of nature, its God-given soul and the influence of both on personal human development. In this regard Cowper paved the way for Robert Burns and W. Wordsworth. Tossed about between awareness of …

Cowper, William Macquarie

(186 words)

Author(s): Treloar, Geoffrey R.
[German Version] (Jul 3, 1810, Sydney – Jun 14, 1902, Sydney), the first native-born Anglican clergyman in New South Wales and first dean of Sydney. Educated privately and at Oxford (1828–1832), he was ordained in 1833 and served as a curate in Dartmouth 1833–1835 before returning to New South Wales in 1836 to become chaplain to the Australian Agricultural Company in Stroud. In 1855 he moved to Sydney, where bishop Barker appointed him acting principal of Moore C…

Crafts and Artifacts

(1,327 words)

Author(s): Hübner, Ulrich | Lambacher, Lothar
[German Version] I. Archaeology – II. Art History I. Archaeology The term “crafts” refers to the production of objects and implements of all kinds – in other words, what are now usually called the “practical arts.” In the ancient Near East, there was no terminology for crafts, nor were there explicit theories concerning art. Sometimes mythology attributed crafts to culture heroes (Gen 4:22; 6; cf. Philo of Byblos) or some deity or patron like the later figures of Joseph, the …


(866 words)

Author(s): John, Peter
[German Version] I. Production of goods and provision of services (Service sector) by skilled craftsmen is closely associated with the development of humankind and the human economic and social order. In the urban economy of the Middle Ages, it made up the sum total of commercial production in the local economy. As industrial means of production multiplied, there emerged criteria identifying crafts as an autonomous and self-contained economic sector. Crafts are ch…

Cramer, Daniel

(158 words)

Author(s): Gummelt, Volker
[German Version] (Jan 20, 1568, Reetz, Neumark – Oct 5, Stettin), a Lutheran theologian, studied in Rostock, Wittenberg and elsewhere, worked as a teacher in Stettin from 1595, as well as court preacher at St. Marien, Stettin from 1597, and administered the General Superintendency of Pomerania-Stettin from 1613 to 1618. Cramer authored the first complete Lutheran church history of Pomerania ( Das Grosse pomrische Kirchen-Chronicon, 1602, suppl. ed. 1628). Important for Protestant edifying literature (II, 2) are his sometimes polyglot emblematic works ( Emblemata Sacra, 1617/24,…

Cramer, Johann Andreas

(301 words)

Author(s): Jakubowski-Tiessen, Manfred
[German Version] (Jan 27, 1723, Jöhstadt, Saxony – Jun 12, 1788, Kiel), theologian, lyricist, and song-writer. After attending the princes' school in Grimma, Cramer studied theology in Leipzig and became pastor in Kröllwitz, Saxony in 1748, high court preacher and consistorial counselor in Quedlinburg in 1750, and court preacher in Copenhagen in 1754 on the recommendation of F.G. Klopstock; from 1765, furthermore, he was professor of theology there, in 1771 super…

Cramer, Wolfgang

(175 words)

Author(s): Dierken, Jörg
[German Version] (Oct 18, 1901, Hamburg – Apr 2, 1974, Frankfurt am Main), professor of philosophy in Frankfurt from 1951. Cramer's work combined (a) a transcendental ontology of subjectivity classified as category theory with (b) a speculative theory of the absolute. The former (a), starting from the individual subject, answers the “fundamental question” of the ¶ object of knowledge, an object known to be non-posited, with a “monadological” (G.W. Leibniz) and original productivity of consciousness. The latter (b) supplies the q…

Cram, Ralph Adams

(179 words)

Author(s): Howes, Graham
[German Version] (Dec 16, 1863, Hampton Falls, NH – Sep 22, 1942, Boston, MA), the most eminent and influential American ecclesiastical architect of the early 20th century. A passionate medievalist, he worked primarily in the Gothic Revival style for a variety of denominations and educational institutions. His acknowledged masterpieces are St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue (1906–1914), the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (1914–1941), both in New York City, and Princeton …

Cranach, Lucas, the Elder

(514 words)

Author(s): Vinzent, Jutta
[German Version] (1471, Kronach – Oct 16, 1553, Weimar), painter, copper etching and wood engraving artist, has gone down in history as Saxon court artist in Wittenberg, friend, and de facto official portrait-painter of Luther. Before he was called by elector Frederick the Wise to Wittenberg as court painter in 1504, he spent a number of years in Vienna. His first documented painting is the Crucifixion (1503, Munich, Alte Pinakothek), which displays characteristics of the Danube School. In Wittenberg he was quick to open a studio (in 1507 the fi…

Cranmer, Thomas

(375 words)

Author(s): Ehrenschwendtner, Marie-Luise
[German Version] (Jul 2, 1489, Aslockton, Nottinghamshire – Mar 21, 1556, Oxford), an English reformer who made a significant contribution to the formation of the via media of the Anglican Church. Stemming from the lower landed gentry, Cranmer studied from 1503 in Cambridge. After his M.A., he was elected in 1515 as a fellow in the Jesus College (consecrated to the priesthood c. 1520); he concluded his studies in 1526 as a D.D. (Doctor of Divinity). In these years, Cranmer was concerned…

Crasselius, Bartholomäus

(181 words)

Author(s): Miersemann, Wolfgang
[German Version] (Feb 21, 1667, Wernsdorf near Glauchau, Saxony – Nov 10, 1724, Düsseldorf). In 1688 Crasselius entered the University of Leipzig, where he joined the Pietistic movement. In the course of anti-Pietist repression he followed his teacher A.H. Francke to Erfurt in 1690 and to Halle later. After a time in East Prussia working as a collector for the Halle orphanage, he began a clerical ministry in 1702 as deacon in Nidda (Wetterau). From 1708 until his…

Crato von Crafftheim

(201 words)

Author(s): Scheible, Heinz
[German Version] (Johannes Kraft; Nov 20, 1519, Breslau – Oct 19, 1585, Breslau) came to Wittenberg to study in 1535 and lived with Luther for six years, though he did not participate in the transmission of the table-talks. From 1543 he studied medicine in Leipzig, and in 1546 in Padua and Bologna (1549 In 1550 he became city physician in Breslau and served in the fight against the plague. As a supporter of Melanchthon in his doctrine of the Eucharist (…

Creamer, David

(168 words)

Author(s): Leaver, Robin A.
[German Version] (Nov 20, 1812, Baltimore, MD – Apr 8, 1887, Baltimore, MD), a Methodist and the earliest American hymnologist. Between 1832 and 1857 he was a partner in the family timber merchant business and from 1861 to 1879 he held minor positions in the federal government in Baltimore. He wrote poetry, articles for journals, and was the co-editor (1836–1838) of the weekly newspaper Baltimore Monument. Creamer developed an interest in hymnody, especially the hymns of Methodism. Through contacts with booksellers in England Creamer assembled a…


(367 words)

Author(s): Peters, Ted
[German Version] is the term for the teaching that the human soul is brought to life by means of a direct act of God. This view follows from the assumption of a noncorporeal or spiritual nature of the soul. Creatianism differs from traducianism (Tertullian, An. XVIII), according to which the soul of the parents is passed on physically to their children through reproduction. Since the soul is noncorporeal, however, it cannot be subject to such a physical generation. Creatianism is at odds with metempsychosis or transmi…

Creatio continua

(566 words)

Author(s): Link, Christian
[German Version] (“continuous creation”) aims to express the idea that the created world is dependent at each moment in its temporal existence on the active presence of God for its maintenance and subsistence. ¶ The term interprets the conservatio and at the same time shifts it in the closest conceivable proximity of the concept of initial creation (VI): “For God, creation and maintenance are one and the same thing” (Luther). If creation is not to remain a speculative idea, of no consequenc…

Creatio ex nihilo

(1,915 words)

Author(s): Groß, Walter | Link, Christian
[German Version] I. Bible – II. Dogmatics I. Bible 1. Hebrew Bible Older interpretations (most recently: Copan) of Gen 1:1, 2, that God created the tohuwabohu, etc. from nothing (Creation; Chaos: II) in order subsequently to shape it in the six days of creation have been abandoned. However one assesses the syntax of Gen 1:1–3, the consensus maintains: the framework of Gen 1:1+2:4a speaks of the creation of the ordered world of life, but Gen 1:2 mentions (de-mythologizing Me…


(11,110 words)

Author(s): Friedli, Richard | Janowski, Bernd | Herrmann, Klaus | Wischmeyer, Oda | Gunton, Colin E. | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. History of Theology – VI. Creation and Preservation – VII. Religious Education – VIII. Islam – IX. Science – X. Art History I. History of Religion 1. Fundamentals Life, nature, the environment, the passage of time – these are everyday experiences for any society. But reality also includes the danger that this world may be imperiled or perilous. Chaos and death are part …

Creation, Christ as Agent of

(684 words)

Author(s): Plasger, Georg
[German Version] The doctrine of Christ as the agent of creation relates God's actions in the con¶ texts of creation and redemption to one another and opposes an understanding of creation that is not associated with Jesus Christ as well as a conception of redemption that bears no relationship to creation. The concept of the agent of creation is defined in reference to 1 Cor 8:6: all things are through Jesus Christ. The notion that the second person of the Trinity created the world is also attested in Col 1:15–17; Heb 1:3; John 1:3, 10; Rev 3:14. In…


(274 words)

Author(s): Maddox, Marty Miller
[German Version] refers broadly to the view that the origin of life corresponds to a literal understanding of the Bible, especially of Genesis 1 and 2. Creationists represent the opinion that God, in accordance with the infallible, authoritative Scripture, directly and supernaturally created the natural world and the various biological species in it by means of special procedures that are no longer operative. They often refer to the flood as the universal, catast…

Creation, Order of

(1,032 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics I. Dogmatics The revelation (V) of Christ discloses to faith that the meaning and truth of Jesus' life for human life in the present is creation in the process of realizing its goal, the consummation of God's kingdom. At the same time, it discloses the mystery of Jesus' person as the incarnate Logos of the Creator and thus the true nature of his work, grounded in the Creator's eternal will for ¶ communion, reconciliation, and consummation (Dogmatics: II): the work of creation that provides human life in the present. Its purpose …


(1,697 words)

Author(s): Stoellger, Philipp | Martin, Gerhard Marcel | Lukas, Josef
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion – II. Dogmatics – III. Ethics – IV. Practical Theology – V. Psychology I. Philosophy of Religion Creativity became an issue in the Judeo-Christian context with regard to the Creator. In contrast to the Platonic demiurge or to the Aristotelian unmoved mover, the triune God is creative. The (re-)assigning of creativity to the human being should be understood against this background. It applies to the human only in a limited way. From the perspective of the philosophy of religion, creativity exhibits different accentuat…


(6 words)

[German Version] Creation

Creator Spiritus

(356 words)

Author(s): Wainwright, Geoffrey
[German Version] designates the third person of the Holy Trinity in his capacity as “Creator Spirit.” In the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed the Holy Spirit (Spirit/Holy Spirit) is confessed as “sovereign, life- giving.” Traditional Christian theology sees an OT witness to the presence and operation of the Spirit at the beginning of creation (Gen 1:2; cf. Ps 33:6, “by the breath of his mouth”), and in the renewal of “the face of the earth” (Ps 104:29–30) and of “the house of Israel” (Ezek 37:1–14). In the NT the Holy Spirit is the …


(757 words)

Author(s): Schwöbel, Christoph
[German Version] Insight into the createdness of the world and human beings is rooted in the Christian belief in the triune God as Creator of the world (Creation). The confession of God as Creator must thus be formulated as a statement about one's own creatureliness: “I would believe that God has created me together with all creatures” (Luther, Short Catechism, art. 1, BSLK 510). Human experience of oneself and of the world is interpreted entirely in the horizon of one's relationship to God. Thus the structures of the experience of life ar…


(391 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] A credit establishes an in personam relationship between a credit-giver (creditor) and a credit-receiver (debtor). The creditor lends the debtor an amount of money fixed by contract. In return, the debtor takes on the obligation to repay the entire amount to the creditor at the end of the term of the credit. As a fee for the credit, a specified interest rate (Interest) is agreed upon which the debtor must pay the creditor within a defined period for t…


(932 words)

Author(s): Marthaler, Berard L. | Flynn, William
[German Version] I. Liturgy – II. Music I. Liturgy The Creed (Confession [of faith]) has always had a prominent part in the liturgy. It had its beginnings in the liturgy in the three-part interrogations that asked those to be baptized: “Do you believe in God the Father… Do you believe in Jesus Christ… Do you believe in the Holy Spirit…?” By the end of the 2nd century, the declaratory form that is common today had begun to develop. By the 4th century it was customary i…

Creed of Union 433 CE

(14 words)

[German Version] Ephesus, Council of, Nestorian Controversy
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