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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Hicksite Friends

(156 words)

Author(s): Hamm, Thomas D.
[German Version] (or Hicksites) were the smaller of two groups to emerge from a separation among American Quakers/Society of Friends in 1827–1828. The name derives from Elias Hicks (1748–1830) of New York. Hicks criticized the evangelical tendencies among the Quakers, especially the emphasis on biblical authority at the expense of the traditional Quaker doctrine of the Inner Light. Hicks's opponents, the “Orthodox Friends,” in turn branded him an infidel or deist (Deism: IV). The controversy came …

Hidalgo y Costilla, Miguel de

(178 words)

Author(s): Altmann, Werner
[German Version] (1753–1811), Catholic priest and first leader of the movement for Mexican ¶ independence. He completed his university studies in theology in 1773. As professor in Valladolid, he taught using prohibited works of the Enlightenment (III). As a priest in Dolores, on Sep 16, 1810, he called for a war of independence, with the battle cry: “Long live religion! Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe! Long live America! Death to the evil regime!” As the banner of the rebels, Our Lady of Guadalupe became the …

Hiddenness of God

(1,913 words)

Author(s): Krötke, Wolf
[German Version] The hiddenness of God in the world is the reason why certainty of God (Certainty: II, III) can only exist in faith. Were God accessible to us through the senses, as the world is, there would then be no need of faith that rests on that which cannot be seen (Heb 11:2). As long as people are confronted with God in this world, they must also come to terms with the hiddenness of God. This concealment, however, cannot remain absolute, since a certainty of God could never arise if he wer…


(138 words)

Author(s): Goehring, James E.
[German Version] (late 3rd – 4th cent., Egypt) was a creative Christian scholar who formed a separatist ascetic community in the city of Leontopolis. Influenced by Origen's thought, his teachings included the rejection of marriage, belief in a spiritual resurrection, and the identification of the Holy Spirit with Melchizedek. He wrote in both Greek and Coptic, composing canticles and commentaries for use in his community. Rejected by the institutional church, he is known today chiefly through the hostile report of Epiphanius of Salamis ( Haer. 67). James E. Goehring Bibliography A. H…

Hierapolis (Asia Minor)

(186 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram
[German Version] Phrygian Hierapolis (modern Pamukkale, “Cotton Castle”) is situated near the Maeander on silica terraces alongside a vigorous spring, high above a fertile plain. It was founded in the 2nd century bce by colonists from Pergamum and flourished from the 1st through the 3rd centuries (theater; nymphaeum; temple of Apollo by a cleft in the earth thought to be an entrance to the netherworld; thermae; impressive necropoleis with mausolea and sarcophagi) and again in the 5th/6th centuries ce (city walls; several churches within the city; a church in the northern …

Hierapolis (Syria)

(338 words)

Author(s): Lehmann, Gunnar
[German Version] An ancient town in northern Syria (modern Arab. name Manbiğ, also Mambiğ), Hierapolis is perhaps to be identified with the Late Bronze Age PBḪ mentioned in Egyptian sources or with the Papaḫḫi of Hittite texts, which is probably to be equated with the Neo-Assyrian Nappigi/Nampigi. During the Hellenistic-Roman period, it was known as Bambyke, the Byzantine/Syriac Mabbog and Greek Hierapolis. A prominent cult center of the goddess Astarte (local name: Atargatis) and of the god Hadad…


(1,081 words)

Author(s): Wiedenhofer, Siegfried | Ciobotea, Daniel | Schöpsdau, Walter
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Catholic Understanding – III. Orthodox Understanding – IV. Protestant Understanding I. Terminology The term hierarchy, apparently coined (c. 500 ce) by Ps.-Dionysius Areopagita, initially had the metaphysical meaning (etymologically from the Greek ἱερά/ hierá and ἀρχή/ archḗ, “sacred origin, sacred order, sacred dominion”) of a layered reality and perception (Dion. ¶ Ar. Cael. hier. 3.1; 4.3; 6.1). Since the Middle Ages, in the Catholic Church, it has referred to the legally ordered, layered clerical authority o…

Hiereia, Council of

(7 words)

[German Version] Constantinople/Byzantium


(7 words)

[German Version] Priesthood: II, 3

Hierocles of Alexandria

(290 words)

Author(s): Cürsgen, Dirk
[German Version] Hierocles of Alexandria, a Neoplatonist who held lectures in Alexandria from c. 412 to 450. He was a student of Plutarch of Athens. Two of his works are preserved: On Providence (frgm.) and the commentary on the Pythagorean Golden Verses. Hierocles combines Platonic-neoplatonic (Platonism), Aristotelian (Aristotle), and Stoic (Stoics) ideas and argues in favor of a simplified metaphysics and ethics contrasting with Neoplatonism. A henology is lacking. Instead, the demiurge (as the supreme principle) is presented as the…

Hierocles, Sossianus

(170 words)

Author(s): Ulrich, Jörg
[German Version] was governor in Bithynia at the beginning of the 4th century, then prefect in Egypt. In 303 he wrote a pamphlet entitled Φιλαληϑεῖς λόγοι/ Philalētheís lógoi, in which he addressed the Christians and attempted to refute them and to convert them to a pagan monotheism. The fragments preserved in the works of Lactantius ( Inst. V 2f.) and Eusebius of Caesarea ( Contra Hieroclem 2) as well as Eusebius's retorts show that Hierocles's argumentation, which drew on Celsus and Porphyry while expanding upon Philostratus's Vita Apollonii, concentrated on proving that the NT …


(133 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Johann
[German Version] A hierodeacon (Gk ἱεροδιάκονος) is an Orthodox monk (Monasticism: III) who officiates as deacon (VII) during the liturgy of the hours (IV) and the regular liturgy (VI). The number of deacons consecrated as hierodeacons or as hieromonks is limited, because only as many receive ordination (II) as are absolutely necessary for the conduct of the religious service in the monastery church. Like the priest-monks, the deacon-monks hold no elevated rank in the monastery, except during worship…


(5 words)

[German Version] Palaeography


(132 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Johann
[German Version] A hieromonk (Gk ἱερομόναχος/ hieromónachos) is an Orthodox monk (Monasticism: III) who also serves as a priest (Priesthood: III, 3). Since its beginnings in Late Antiquity, Eastern monasticism has remained fundamentally a separate group within the church, distinct from both clergy (Clergy and laity: I, 2) and laity (III, 2). Therefore the monks allow only as many of their number to be ordained as priests as are absolutely necessary for the liturgy of the hours (IV) and the eucharistic…


(170 words)

Author(s): Jaspert, Nikolas
[German Version] The Hieronymites are members of the Ordo Sancti Hieronymi (OSH), which evolved from a community of hermits founded c. 1350 by a Castilian nobleman at the church of San Bartolomé near Lupiana (Guadalajara), dedicated to an ascetic life modeled after that of St. Jerome. Obedience to the Rule of St. Augustine according to the practice of the monastery of S. Sepolcro in Florence was affirmed by Gregory XI in 1373. After exemption and the establishment in 1414 of a general chapter head…

Hieros Gamos (Sacred Marriage)

(370 words)

Author(s): Pongratz-Leisten, Beate
[German Version] The term hieros gamos, a transliteration of the Greek ἱερὸς γάμος, was originally applied to the sexual intercourse between Demeter and the mortal Jason described in the Homeric epic (Hom. Od. V, 125–128). In 19th-century scholarship in the history of religions, it was then applied to comparable rites in Greece and the ANE (J.G. Frazer). Frazer, a proponent of the Myth and Ritual School, along with Albert Klinz and M.P. Nilsson, associated the hieros gamos with any sexual intercourse anchored in myth (Myth/Mythology) and cult (Cult Religion and Cult/Wor…


(7 words)

[German Version] Stephan bar Sudaili

High Church Movement

(2,141 words)

Author(s): Mosig, Jörg | Riplinger, Thomas
[German Version] I. Great Britain – II. Germany I. Great Britain The theological definition of the Anglican concept of the church (Anglican Church) faces the difficulty that several divergent ecclesiological traditions have coexisted in the Church of England from the outset. “High Church” traditionally denotes the faction that emphasizes the unbroken catholicity of the post-Reformation Church of England and assumes a “high” standpoint especially on questions of the authority of the church, the sacraments…

Highest Good

(2,585 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] Any understanding of “good” and “goods” is determined by an understanding of the highest good. 1 The so-called “good” is that which, as the perfection of the present, is experienced as attractive and thus as something to strive for (cf. Arist. Eth. Nic. 1094 a3, 1172b; Thomas Aquinas, In Metaphysicam Aristotelis commentaria, 1926, Liber IV, n. 317). Every present-action context defines the good in three configurations: (a) as a determination of the present-action context that has become world-immanent (the realized bonum); (b) as still outstanding possibiliti…

High Priest

(1,797 words)

Author(s): Schaper, Joachim | Schwartz, Daniel R. | Klauck, Hans-Josef | Link-Wieczorek, Ulrike
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Early Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics I. Old Testament Before the Exile, the Jerusalem priesthood was headed by a primus inter pares – called either הַכֹּהֵן/ hakkohen (“the priest,” e.g. 1 Kgs 4:2; 2 Kgs 11:9; 12:8*) or כֹּהֵן הָרֹש/ kohen hāroš (“chief priest,” cf. 2 Kgs 25:18 par. Jer. 52:24) –, but not by a high priest. The term הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדֹל/ hakkohen haggādol (“high priest”) is securely ¶ attested only after the Exile; it emphasizes the importance of the office (Num 35:25, 28 [P; cf. Lev 21:10; Josh 20:6]; …
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