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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Cybele and Attis

(330 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] Cybele does not occur first in Greco-Roman Antiquity as a “late oriental” deity, instead, she is venerated as “Mother of the gods” or simply as “Mother” (Mother goddesses) already in the 6th century bce with a temple in the center of Athens. In Rome in 205/204 bce, the Stone of Pessinus (a baityl) was introduced by one of the most prominent families and was provided with a temple at a central location in the city on the Palatine and with an important festival, the ludi Megalenses. The high priest bore the title Áttis; ordinary priests were called Gálloi. Ma…


(1,190 words)

Author(s): Herzfeld, Noreen | Evers, Dirk | Seitz, Manfred
[German Version] I. Science – II. Ethics – III. Practical Theology I. Science Cybernetics denotes the science of the control and communication processes in machines and biological systems. Of particular interest for cybernetics are those systems that can regulate or organize themselves through feedback processes. Norbert Wiener coined the term cybernetics in 1947. It is the transliteration of the Greek κυβερνητική/ kybernētikḗ, “the helmsman's art.” Plato used this term both for the regulation of people and for the steering of a boat. To…

Cydones, Demetrius

(261 words)

Author(s): Podskalsky, Gerhard
[German Version] (c. 1324/1325, Thessaloniki – 1398, Crete), Byzantine minister of state, humanist, translator and theologian, and a productive author in many areas. So as to be able to dispense with translators in political negotiations, he learned Latin at the inspiration of a Dominican from Pera using the Summe contra Gentiles of Thomas Aquinas, which he later translated into Greek along with other works of Latin theology (from Augustine to Anselm of Canterbury to the Summa theologiae of Thomas and an anti-Islamic tractate) and defended in his own writings (esp. on the Filioque


(326 words)

Author(s): Figal, Günter
[German Version] a Greek philosophical school, believed to have been founded by a student of Socrates named Antisthenes (c. 455–360 bce), but whose truest representative was Diogenes of Sinope (died c. 320 bce). The name derives from Gk kýon, “dog,” an association explained by a comment of Philodem (after 110–40/35 bce) to the effect that the Cynics wanted to imitate a dog's way of life ( Stoicorum Index Herculanensis, ed. D. Comparetti, 1875, 339, 8), by which they meant living without shame or following human conventions. The Cynics trivialized the stra…

Cyprian, Ernst Salomon

(284 words)

Author(s): Schäufele, Wolf-Friedrich
[German Version] (Sep 22, 1673, Ostheim vor der Rhön – Sep 19, 1745, Gotha), alongside V.E. Löscher and E. Neumeister, one of the most important representatives of late Lutheran orthodoxy (Orthodoxy: II, 2.a). In 1699 Cyprian became professor of philosophy in Helmstedt; from 1700 to 1713 – having gained his D. theol. in Wittenberg in 1706 – he was director of the Collegium Casimirianum in Coburg. In 1713, Duke Frederick II of Saxony-Gotha called Cyprian to Gotha …

Cyprian of Antioch

(217 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke-Petra
[German Version] The story of Cyprian and Justina is preserved in three books: Conversio, Confessio (before 379), and Martyrium (before 460). The magician Cyprian is to force the love of the Christian Justina. Through prayer and the sign of the cross Justina wards off the love magic and demons, demonstrates their impotence and so succeeds in converting Cyprian. According to the Conversio, Cyprian became bishop of Antioch and Justina a deaconess. In the Confessio, Cyprian looks back on his initiation into the mysteries, his years of instruction, and his journey…

Cyprian of Carthage

(603 words)

Author(s): Wischmeyer, Wolfgang
[German Version] (Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus; after 200 – Sep 14, 258; feast day: in the West orig. Sep 14, now Sep 16; also in the East; in Russia Aug 31) is known for his literary works, distinguished by their clear style and the ubiquitous prose rhythm, for the impact of measures he took as bishop of Carthage in connection with the Decian (Decius) persecution of Christians (I), in the ensuing conflict over whether to accept the lapsi, and in the heresy dispute with Rome (from 255). He is also known for the Vita of Pontius (“presumably the first full-fledged literary Christian…


(2,905 words)

Author(s): Stephan, Christian | Wittke, Anne-Maria | Gstrein, Heinz
[German Version] I. General – II. Antiquity – III. Late Antiquity to the Modern Period – IV. Present I. General Cyprus, Gk Κύπρος/“copper island,” is a state in the eastern Mediterranean that occupies the island by the same name located c. 100 km off the coast of Syria and 65 km off the coast of Turkey. In the north lies the Pentadaktilos mountain range reaching an altitude of 1024 m; to the south extends the central fertile plain, the Messaria, the chief agricultural region of …

Cyriacus the Martyr

(115 words)

Author(s): Dummer, Jürgen
[German Version] was martyred in Rome with five companions under Claudius according to Greek tradition, and under Diocletian-Maximinian according to Latin (Persecutions of Christians: I). The chronographies of 354 first refer to him on Aug 8 with information concerning his burial in the Via Ostiensis. The Latin hagiography indicates the same date, the Greek cites Jan 30 as his memorial day. Whether the titular church of Cyriacus near the Diocletian Baths relates to thi…

Cyril and Methodius

(598 words)

Author(s): Theodorou, Evangelos
[German Version] Cyril (actually Constantine; 826/827, Thessaloniki – Feb 14, 869, Rome) and Methodius (orig. Michael?; c. 815, Thessaloniki – Apr 6, 885, presumably Stare Mesto, Moravia), brothers, Byzantine missionaries to the Slavs, creators of Old Church Slavonic (Ecclesiastical language; Liturgical language) pioneers, and shapers of European and Slavic culture. Constantine received a philosophical education in Constantinople. Michael, initially the senior a…

Cyril IV,

(174 words)

Author(s): Reiss, Wolfram
[German Version] Coptic patriarch 1854–1861 (Dâwûd Tûmâs Bâshût, born 1816 near Ahmîm). In 1828, he entered the monastery of St. Anthony and was elected abbot in 1830. In 1851, he undertook a mission to Ethiopia on behalf of Peter VII. In the conflict over the latter's successor, the reform camp prevailed and elected Cyril patriarch. He introduced comprehensive reforms, which marked the turning point towards modernity within the Coptic Church (Copts: I). He found…

Cyril of Alexandria

(371 words)

Author(s): Vinzent, Markus
[German Version] (c. 375/380, Theodotion – Jun 27, 444, Alexandria). Although Cyril, like his opponent Nestorius, was excommunicated at the third ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431), tradition elevated him as the banner-bearer of orthodoxy – for Chalcedonians (Chalcedon) because of Cyril's letters in opposition to Nestorius, accepted in 451, for the anti-Chalcedonians because of his patriarchal manner, his literary reputation and his theological affinity with the Monophy¶ site position. Cyril's writings ( Exegetica, Easter letters, homilies, anti-Arian and anti-Nest…

Cyril of Jerusalem

(457 words)

Author(s): Röwekamp, Georg
[German Version] (c. 313–386/387) was bishop of Jerusalem and, in this function, determinatively involved in the formation of the “holy sites” and of the church year. His life was marked by Trinitarian controversies (Arius/Arianism), but his contribution to the instruction of baptismal candidates in the period of the imperial church was definitive. Acacius of Caesarea installed Cyril as bishop in 348. Acacius hoped to have in Cyril a homoean comrade. Apparently in Lent…

Cyril of Scythopolis

(262 words)

Author(s): Binns, John
[German Version] (c. 525, Scythopolis [Beth-Shean] – c. 560). Influenced as a boy by the monk Sabas, he became a monk himself and traveled to Jerusalem in 543. He lived briefly at the monastery of Calamon (544), then at the monastery of Euthymius the Great (544). He was part of the group of orthodox monks who occupied the “New Laura” after the expulsion of the Origenists (555). In 557 he moved to the Great Laura, founded by Sabas. At the New Laura he began his literary work, writing the Vitae of the two main monastic leaders of the Judean desert, Euthymius and Sabas, and then shorter Vitae of his sp…

Cyril of Turov

(177 words)

Author(s): Döpmann, Hans-Dieter
[German Version] (1130 – after 1182), Russian saint, a strict ascetic, a sometime stylite, an educated monk, the most important representative of old Russian literature, a most effective preacher (“Russian Chrysostom”), and, after c. 1162, bishop of the city of Turov. He utilized Greek sermons. With artful symbolism and allegory, he interpreted God's love and mercy almost without time and context. Eight sermons on the Sundays of Easter, also dealing with the Coun…

Cyril V

(218 words)

Author(s): Reiss, Wolfram
[German Version] (1824, in the province of Banî Suef – 1927) was a Coptic patriarch from 1874 to 1927, who enjoyed the longest term of office of any Coptic patriarch (53 years). In 1844, he entered the monastery at Barâmûs, where he later became abbot. Before his election as patriarch, he found it necessary to defend the laity's right to have a voice in almost all ecclesial matters in a lay council (Maglis Millî), newly founded in 1874. Cyril repealed the concess…


(8 words)

[German Version] Israel and Persia

Cyrus and John

(162 words)

Author(s): Vinzent, Markus
[German Version] (Abbacyrus, Apa Kyr, ἀββᾶ κῦρος). In order to Christianize a pagan cultic site, Cyril of Alexandria transferred the bones of two martyrs otherwise unknown to history, those of the monk Cyrus and of the soldier John (the bones of the latter could not be distinguished from those of Cyrus when they were discovered), to the Church of the Evangelists in Menouthis (modern Abukir =Abbacyrus). The pagan sanctuary of the κύρα/ kýra of Menouthis was not thereby deprived of power, however, on into the Arab period. According to Sophronius ( Encomium; Report of 70 Miracles), the heali…


(1,128 words)

Author(s): Zückert, Martin
[German Version] I. General – II. Non-Christian Religions – III. Christianity – IV. Present-day Religion The Czech Republic (Česká Republika) comprises 78,864 km2, with a population of 10.3 million; its capital is Prague. The Slovakian Republic (Slovenská Republika) comprises 49,035 km2, with a population of 5.27 million; its capital is Bratislava. They are the successor states of the Czechoslovakian Republic (1918–1939, 1945–1960), the Czechoslovakian Socialist Republic (1960– 1989), and the Czech and Slovakian Federal Republic (1989–1992). I. General Czechoslovakia,…


(173 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] a large city in southern Poland, has been an episcopal see since 1925 (in 1995, with a Catholic population of 837,500 in 286 parishes). A monastery of Pauline hermits (originally Hungarian but now represented only in Poland), founded in 1382 on the Jasna Góra (“Shining Mountain”), is the most important pilgrimage destination in Poland. Devotion centers on the Black Madonna, a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary dating from the 14th century, which has been blackened by the smoke of candles. Since 1655, when the monastery was …
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