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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Hyginus, Gaius Julius

(173 words)

Author(s): Scherf, Johannes
[German Version] Hyginus, Gaius Julius, a scholar in the time of Augustus, a student of Cornelius Alexander. Born in Spain or Alexandria, he came to Rome in 47 bce with Caesar. He was emancipated by Augustus, head of the Palatine ¶ library, and friends with the poet Ovid (Suet., De grammaticis, 20). He authored philological commentaries (on the Propempticon Pollionis of Helvius Cinna and on Virgil) and historical-antiquarian works (such as Exempla, De familiis Troianis or De viris illustribus) and agricultural works ( De agricultura, De apibus), of which only fragments are availa…


(7 words)

[German Version] Israel and Egypt

Hymmen, Johannes Peter

(203 words)

Author(s): Melzer, Karl-Heinrich
[German Version] (Dec 28, 1876, Barmen – Mar 18, 1951, Bonn). Hymmen studied theology, pastored, became director of the regional church's Diaspora Seminary in Soest in 1912, became consistorial councilor/chief consistorial councilor in Münster in 1926, was deposed in the fall of 1933 after the Deutsche Christen assumed power, returned to Münster in 1934 as administrator of the office of the Westphalian general superintendent. On Mar 1, 1936, he became a member of the high consistory of the Evangelical Church in the Old Pr…


(2,107 words)

Author(s): Käppel, Lutz | Hossfeld, Frank-Lothar | Lattke, Michael | Praßl, Franz Karl
[German Version] I. Term and Genre – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Liturgical Studies I. Term and Genre The Greek word ὕμνος/ hýmnos, whose etymology is obscure, originally meant, quite unspecifically, simply “song” (the verb ὑμνεῖν/ hymneín, “ to sing”; cf. Hes. Theog. 11.33; Hom. Hym. 3.178, etc.). Yet, from the ¶ 5th/4th century bce at the latest, it meant “song for a god” (cf. Plato, Leges 700 b 1–2; Xenophanes 21 B 1.13 DK; Xenophon, Cyrupaideia 18.1.23) and thence became the general term for “religious song,” and finally for “festival song,” “song o…


(6,019 words)

Author(s): Völker, Alexander | Klek, Konrad
[German Version] I. History – II. Musical History – III. Physical Appearance – IV. Worship – V. Education I. History 1. General A hymnal is usually a book containing a collection of Christian chant and song, including texts taken from the Bible. Starting in the 16th century, hymnals developed out of such precursors as antiphonaries and graduals, later missals, worship directories, song books, and choir books, becoming an independent and indispensable genre of religious publication – intended as a basis, source, …


(1,473 words)

Author(s): Leaver, Robin A.
[German Version] I. History of the Discipline – II. Modern Research I. History of the Discipline Hymnology, as the scientific study of Christian hymnody with regard to its origins, development, and practice, is a subdivision of practical theology, but closely related to other disciplines. Hymnology has its roots in the 12th century philological and theological commentaries and glosses (scholia) to the office hymns of the church year. An early and popular example is the Liber hymnorum of Hilary of Poitiers, found in numerous manuscripts, and published as Expositio hymnorum (Paris …

Hymn Singing

(11 words)

[German Version] Chant and Song Hymnology Church Music

Hypatia of Alexandria

(153 words)

Author(s): Klein, Richard
[German Version] (c. 370 ce–415 ce). The daughter of the mathematician Theon attained great respect through her scholarly studies and courageous performance as a teacher. As a pagan, according to the witness of her students Synesius of Cyrene and the neo-Platonist Damascius (Suda, Y 166), she continued the Platonic tradition nurtured at the Museion, although there is no evidence of her own philosophical system. Because of her influence, she fell into political disputes between Orestes, the imperial prefect, and Bishop Cyril of Alexandria. According to Socrates Scholasticus ( Histor…

Hyperius, Andreas

(409 words)

Author(s): Schröder, Bernd
[German Version] (Gerhard; Jun 16, 1511, Ypres, Flanders – Feb 1, 1564, Marburg), actually Andreas Gheeraerdts. Hyperius is an important figure in the history of the church in Hessen (so-called Hessian Melanchthon) and as an ancestor of practical theology. In the history of theology, he attests to the “serious ¶ consequences of the transition from the Reformation to orthodoxy” and is considered “a mediator between Humanism and the institutional church of the Reformation” (Krause, 1969, 265). He spent 1522–1541 journeying and studying humanism i…


(343 words)

Author(s): Revenstorf, Dirk
[German Version] Hypnosis refers to the experience and, at the same time, the process of induction and utilization of a so-called hypnotic trance which, like other trance states (induced through meditation, shamanic rites [Shamanism], religious immersion, etc.), represents a subjectively altered state of consciousness for the hypnotized party. The trance can be induced by an appropriately trained person (hypnotist) or as self-hypnosis. Hypnotic t rance describes a state different from everyday consciousness and from sleep. The physiological alterations are a heightened …


(1,371 words)

Author(s): Kippenberg, Hans G. | Lange, Dietz
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Jewish and Christian Antiquity – III. Middle Ages to Modern Times I. History of Religion Hypocrisy as a deliberate feigning of non-existent situations is a special case of concealment. F. Bacon made a distinction between a morally necessary silence and a passive secretiveness, and between both of these and active hypocrisy or pretence. As a sociologist, G. Simmel regarded non-disclosure as a necessary means for enabling social relationships. Here, social distance and pr…


(591 words)

Author(s): Erler, Michael
[German Version] In the context of natural sciences (Hippocrates, Aristotle), the Greek word ὑπόστασις/ hypóstasis has the meaning “underlayer, support or sediment from a fluid.” The metaphorical philosophical meaning “enduring state,” “existence,” “reality” in contrast to the imaginary (Ocellos; Demetrius Laco) is probably related. In philosophy, the hypostasis concept very closely approximates the ousia concept (Substance). Apparently not in use in the terminology of the Hellenistic schools, hypostasis has meanwhile been distinguished as “percep…

Hypostasis of the Archons (NHC II,4)

(215 words)

Author(s): Bethge, Hans-Gebhard
[German Version] is a document, only attested in Coptic translation, attributed to Gnostic Sethianism (Nag Hammadi), the first major section of which chiefly offers a paraphrase of events in Gen 1–4:6, while the second major section portrays a revelatory dialogue between Norea and Eleleth dealing with the origin, essence and power of the archons. The Greek prototype was composed in the late 2nd or first half of the 3rd century. Hypostasis of the Archons ( HA) relies on sources and traditions; the dialogue contains material that also found its way into “On the Origin of…

Hypostatic Union

(410 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] This term refers to the clarification of the mode of the unity of God and human in Christ gained in the course of the Early Church's christological disputes (Christology) by differentiating between the Greek ϕύσις/ phýsis (Lat. natura) and ὑπόστασις/ hypóstasis (Lat. suppositum/ persona): it describes a unity of deity and humanity on the level of the ὑπόστασις (Hypostasis) despite the difference in the natures (Doctrine of two natures). The formula thus attained is extremely capable of and in need of interpretation; the various understa…


(373 words)

Author(s): Tetens, Holm
[German Version] A descriptive statement is a “hypothesis” (from Gk ὑποτίϑημι, “to suppose,” “to presume”) if it cannot now be determined, or it will never be possible to determine, whether the statement is true or false, but it nevertheless plays a role in theoretical deliberation, for instance as a premise for explanations or prognoses. If a hypothetical statement can at some point be definitively demonstrated or refuted after all, it ceases to be a hypothesis. Generally, “authentic” scientific hypothes…

Hypsiphrone (NHC XI/4; Hyps)

(9 words)

[German Version] Nag Hammadi


(301 words)

Author(s): Mitchell, Stephen
[German Version] A heretical sect which Gregory of Nazianzus called Hypsistarians and Gregory of Nyssa Hypsistiani. The father of Gregory of Nazianzus was originally a Hypsistarian, who converted to Christianity in 325. The faith consisted of a mixture of Hellenistic-pagan and Jewish rites (Greg. Naz. Or. 18.5–6). The Hypsistarians venerated their God as ὓψιστος/ hýpsistos (the highest) and Pantokrator, but denied him the name Father (Greg. Nyssa, In Eunomium, II [ GNO 2, 327]). Epiphanius reports about their rites (lighting of lamps, acclamations, hymns), which we…


(374 words)

Author(s): Ilan, Tal
[German Version] I (ascended the throne 135 bce; d. 104 bce). John Hyrcanus was the son of Simon the Hasmonean, the Jewish leader and de facto ruler of Judea 142–135 bce. After Simon's assassination, he succeeded his father, establishing thereby the Hasmonean dynasty (Maccabees). Although he did not carry the title “king” but only High Priest, his reign can be characterized as consolidating Hasmonean rule in Palestine. He attained full independence from the Seleucid yoke and pursued an active expansionist policy, annexing to…

Hyrcanus the Tobiad

(7 words)

[German Version] Tobiads


(228 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Kurt
[German Version] The book of Hystaspes. Early Christian literature (Just. 1 Apol. 20.44; Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 4.5, 43; esp. Lact. Inst. 7.15–21, 24) cites an ¶ apocalyptic work under this name of an old Persian ruler (Avestic Vištāspa), in the theosophy of Aristokritos (5th cent.) with the title Sayings (chrḗseis) of Hystaspes, King of the Persians. In the context of a dream interpretation, it describes the fall of a western power (Rome) with eschatological images (fire, chaos, judgment), from which the “Great King” sent by Jupiter delive…