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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Communio sanctorum

(195 words)

Author(s): Schäfer, Rolf
[German Version] The expression communio sanctorum, an explanatory addition to “the holy church” in the Apostles' Creed, first appears in the context of pre-baptismal instruction in the catechetical sermon De symbolo of Bishop Nicetas of Remesiana. It soon came into widespread use, especially in Gaul. It may be interpreted as a reference to the sanctorum omnium congregatio (Nicetas), to those who have achieved perfection (in the context of veneration of the saints), or to participation in the sacraments. Luther recognized communio sanctorum as a gloss clarifying the signific…

Communism

(3,984 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. History and Church History I. Philosophy 1. Terminology Communism (<Lat. communis, “common”) denotes (a) notions of a future social order in which private ownership is abolished and the means of production are owned collectively and administered by agencies of society. Consumption, i.e. the distribution of goods and services, is also regulated by collective distribution of the goods produced by society on the basis of its members' ma…

Communitarianism

(1,435 words)

Author(s): Reese-Schäfer, Walter | Schoberth, Wolfgang
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Ethics – III. Philosophy of Religion, Fundamental Theology, and Practical Theology I. Philosophy The social philosophy of communitarianism originated in the USA in the 1980s. Its starting point was a fundamental philosophical critique of John Rawls's liberal contract theory of justice (Liberalism). According to the critique, this theory understands individuals totally apart from their social contexts and favors a republic where justice is only pro…

Communities

(355 words)

Author(s): Krug, Edith Therese
[German Version] History: religious associations known as “communities” invoke the communal structures that have existed throughout church history ever since the primitive church (Acts 2:42): the Desert Fathers and Mothers (Anchorites), cenobitic monasticism (Cenobites), medieval orders, semimonastic and fraternal impulses in Pietism (N. v. Zinzendorf, G. Tersteegen), mission homes, the liturgical movement at the beginning of the 20th century. The …

Communities, Missionary

(525 words)

Author(s): Werner, Dietrich
[German Version] The substantive presuppositions of the study Strukturen missionarischer Gemeinden (Stuctures of Missionary Communities = SMC) issued in 1961 at the commission of the World Council of Churches include the external integration of the WCC and the International Missionary Council (IMC) (1961), the efforts at a renewal of the theology of missionary proclamation begun already in the 1950's, the emphasis on the missionary responsibility of the laity, and the r…

Community

(5,842 words)

Author(s): Kehrer, Günter | Rüterswörden, Udo | Banks, Robert J. | Hauschild, Wolf-Dieter | Marquardt, Manfred | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Dogmatics – VI. Ethics – VII. Practical Theology – VIII. Church Law – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. History of Religion In the following comments the term community will refer exclusively to a religiously motivated association of people. From the standpoint of the history of religion, the formation of communities is more the exception than the rule. The fact that associations such as tribes, as well, howe…

Community and the Individual

(5,279 words)

Author(s): Williame, Jean-Paul | Görg, Manfred | Popkes, Wiard | Zenkert, Georg | Thomas, Günter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy – V. Dogmatics – VI. Sociology, Ethics – VII. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies In the context of their understanding of God and related obligations, human beings make connections of solidarity and feel, with more or less intensity, that they are members of the same community. Religion brings people closer together and creates social ties: the umma of the Muslims, Christian brotherhood and ecumeni…

Community Movement

(3,740 words)

Author(s): Geldbach, Erich | Lippy, Charles H.
[German Version] I. Europe – II. North America I. Europe There has been a community or “fellowship” movement (Ger. Gemeinschaftsbewegung), an organized form of pietism in practice, since the 19th century in various European countries, especially in Scandinavia, as well as in eastern and southeastern European countries, although it was or is not as important there as in the German-speaking countries (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Alsace, as well as Holland). Its impact (with regional variations), in terms of numbers too, has been greatest in Germany. The historical roots of t…

Community of Goods

(1,409 words)

Author(s): Marguerat, Daniel | Schöllgen, Georg | Honecker, Martin
[German Version] I. New Testament – II. History – III. Ethics I. New Testament The summary descriptions in Acts paint a picture of the first Christian community in Jerusalem in which the ¶ unanimity of the believers finds expression in the community of goods (2:44f.; 4:32–35). This community is depicted as free, not forced (5:4), and not egalitarian: The goods offered to the community were divided according to the needs of each individual (2:45; 4:35). The community of goods is only an element of the koinōnía of worship, prayer and Eucharist that charact…

Community Work

(611 words)

Author(s): Götzelmann, Arnd
[German Version] The designation community work is employed in widely divergent meanings. Generally speaking, community work (Ger. Gemeinwesenarbeit) is “a concept of action requiring closer definition, designed to counteract the dangers that appear in the individual systems of scientific/technological civilization” (Strohm 196). Community work (also called community action, community development etc.) refers to the “third method” of social work alongside social case work and s…

Como

(201 words)

Author(s): Krahwinkler, Harald
[German Version] Diocese in northern Italy. St. Felix is attested as the first bishop of Como (ordained in 386 by Ambrose of Milan). The diocese of Como, originally subject to the metropolitan of Milan, became a suffragan of Aquileia under bishop Agrip(p)inus, probably in 607 and no later than 612. It remained so until 1751. After belonging to Görze, Como returned to Milan at the end of 1789. Abundius, the diocesan patron, was bishop of Como around the middle of …

Compassion

(1,239 words)

Author(s): Deeg, Max | Huxel, Kirsten | Mürmel, Heinz
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Christianity – III. Buddhism I. Religious Studies The term compassion bears Christian connotations: compassion (cf. Lat. compassio; Gk συμπάϑεια/ sympátheia) refers to the capacity or ability to share concretely in the suffering of others, to sympathize and to draw consequences for one's own behavior. In this regard, the religions answer the question of the appropriate object for compassion – for example all people, only people of a certain group, …

Compensation

(6 words)

[German Version] Restitution

Compensation Theory

(461 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann
[German Version] Derived from the Latin compensatio (“balance/balancing”), the term “compensation” found its way into various historical areas of culture and religion as well as into a number of scholarly disciplines (theology, jurisprudence, education, [individual] psychology, ecology, economics, etc.). In the study of religions, “compensation theory” refers to a critical theory of religion according to which religion represents a form of compensation, and notions o…

Competence

(340 words)

Author(s): Stroh, Ralf
[German Version] In its broadest sense, the variously used notion of “competence” refers to the ability to lead a responsible and self-determined life in all practical aspects of one's conduct of life. Basic competence, however, manifests itself only belatedly and indirectly in outwardly discernible actions, so-called “performance” (Noam Chomsky). Its foundation consists more of an inner constellation which proves capable of handling all situations in an emotiona…

Competence (Authority)

(134 words)

Author(s): Stroh, Ralf
[German Version] For long periods of time, the word competence (or competency) denoted a person's means of subsistence. From the 17th century onward, it has been used systematically in its technical legal sense ¶ of responsibility or jurisdiction and has become a standard technical administrative term in the context of the modern state with its division of functions. Competence defines the responsibilities and mandates of organs of state, agencies, and other administrative bodies – including private entities…

Competency, Pastoral

(310 words)

Author(s): Schibilsky, Michael
[German Version] “Competency” refers to the skills and abilities associated with the pastoral office. It denotes the professional standards acquired during theological studies and in in-service training (Ordination and post-ordination education and training), as required in the day-to-day context of parochial or functional pastoring. While a theological education imparts hermeneutical, exegetical, historical, and theoretical skills, an application-centered…

Competition

(890 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Economics – II. Ethics I. Economics The term “competition” is linked with the idea of rivalry, but the Latin competere makes it clear that the notion ultimately has to do with several players seeking a prize together. As competitors they strive together in an activity that demands that they give their best. Everyone profits from their competition – in economics no less than in sports. Economic competition benefits society in general precisely when those involved do no…

Complementarity

(386 words)

Author(s): Russell, Robert John
[German Version] The principle of complementarity was first formulated in 1927 by Niels Bohr (1885–1962) in the context of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics. According to Bohr, our knowledge ¶ of atomic and subatomic phenomena is subject to fundamental restrictions. In contrast to the epistemology of traditional physics, Bohr maintains that it is no longer possible to describe atomic processes in their spatial and temporal progression while simultaneously assigning them a causal expl…

Compline

(9 words)

[German Version] Liturgy of the Hours
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