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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Ihmels, Ludwig

(194 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] (Jun 29, 1858, Middels, East Frisia – Oct 7, 1933, Leipzig). After studies at various universities from 1878 to 1881, Ihmels became a pastor in 1883. In 1884 he was appointed director of studies at the seminary in Loccum. In 1898 he became professor of systematic theology in Erlangen (Erlangen School); in 1902 he was called to Leipzig. Appointed as the first bishop of the regional church in Saxony, he became active in the ecumenical movement. Ihmels was an enormously effective pre…

Ilgen, Karl David

(158 words)

Author(s): Gertz, Jan Christian
[German Version] (Feb 26, 1763, Sehna, Thuringia – Sep 17, 1834, Berlin). In 1789 Ilgen became rector of the municipal Gymnasium of Naumburg/Saale; in 1794 he became professor of Near Eastern languages and (after 1799) theology at Jena. From 1802 to 1830 he served as rector of Schulpforta, which under his leadership was transformed from a princely school of Saxony into a Prussian Gymnasium. In his major work, Die Urkunden des Jerusalemischen Tempelarchivs in ihrer Urgestalt (part 1, 1798), he expanded the earlier documentary hypothesis (Pentateuch) by identifying in Ge…

Illuminated Manuscripts

(1,331 words)

Author(s): Kuder, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Introduction and Overview – II. Book Types, Manuscripts, and Miniatures I. Introduction and Overview The written word has always been highly esteemed in the cultures shaped by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (IV). Before the invention of printing (III) around 1440, books were reproduced by copying. Afterwards, bibliophiles encouraged the production of manuscripts well into the 16th century, despite the superior efficiency of printing. When papyrus was finally given up during the 4th centur…


(294 words)

Author(s): Klueting, Harm
[German Version] (Enlightened). The secret society of the Illuminati was founded in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt, banned in 1785, and dissolved in 1787. It was especially widespread in Bavaria, but also in the rest of Germany and in Austria. The Illuminati were a radical Enlightenment order, which was reflected in the self-designation “Illuminatos” (see also Alumbrados; Enlightenment [Spiritual]: III). They differed from the Freemasons in their atheist orientation (reading P.H.D. Baron v. Holbach and He…


(664 words)

Author(s): Stoellger, Philipp
[German Version] General: The German word Illusion originally meant criticism of art as a mental delusion (Plato); in the 17th and 18th centuries, it came to denote trompe l'oeil art. In English illusion in the sense of “deceptive appearance” came into use in the 14th century. Criticism of Metaphysics: British empiricism (I) employed illusions pejoratively in the sense of “erroneous notions.” T. Hobbes blamed the devil for the illusory allegorical misinterpretation of Scripture. J. Locke attacked illusion in the sense of imagination and poetry, an…


(174 words)

Author(s): Hildebrandt, Henrik
[German Version] From Roman Illyria, the territory of the Illyrian kingdom, Illyricum originally denoted the Roman province between the Adriatic and the Danube; Paul considered it the limit of his missionary territory (Rom 15:19). From the 3rd century ce onward, the word referred to a customs area on the southern Danube, from the Alps to the Black Sea. After the division of the Empire, Illyricum was the name of both an Eastern ¶ prefecture and a Western diocese. Illyrian Christianity first surfaces in a commentary by Victorinus of Pettau; in the 4th century, it is at…


(1,333 words)

Author(s): Gladigow, Burkhard | Scholz, Oliver R. | Huizing, Klaas
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy – III. Philosophy of Religion I. Religious Studies Images are among the oldest and simplest human expressions which can “survive” their original communicative setting. It is this relative independence of their origin which in religious contexts has led to attribute an efficacy to sketches, colorful murals (Art and Religion, Prehistoric art), as well as to the three-dimensional statue, which significantly exceeds the possibilities and intentions of the pr…

Image, Devotional

(642 words)

Author(s): Hengevoss-Dürkop, Kerstin
[German Version] To be a “devotional image” in the sense of excitandum devotionis affectus (Thomas Aquinas, Sententiae III dist. 9 q.1a2), that is, to elicit a feeling of devoutness, is, according to the Christian doctrine of images, the task and justification of all images. The corresponding German word formation Andachtsbild is traced back to J.W. v. Goethe, who also spoke of Andachtsgebäude (“devotional buildings”). In common usage, devotional images were usually small-sized, mostly graphic images that were fixed to the wall or placed in the prayer boo…

Image of God

(2,928 words)

Author(s): Janowski, Bernd | Markschies, Christoph | Wielandt, Rotraud
[German Version] I. Old Testament and Judaism – II. Christianity – III. Islam I. Old Testament and Judaism 1. Only in three passages does the Old Testament speak of humankind's being made in the image of God (collective use of הָ]אָדָם]/[ ] ʾādām in Gen 1; cf. Gen 1:27: male and female): in the relationship between God and human beings in Gen 1:26f. and 9:6, and in the relationship between human beings in Gen 5:1, 3 (all P). Substantially the same idea is conveyed in Ps 8:6–9*; for later treatment of the theme, Sir 17:3–7 and Wis 2…


(2,195 words)

Author(s): Recki, Birgit | Linde, Gesche
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Ethics – IV. Power of Imagination I. Philosophy Imagination or fantasy (Gk φαντασία/ phantasía, Lat. phantasia; Lat./Eng./Fr. imaginatio[n], “appearance, mental image, idea”; cf. also Gk φάντασμα/ phántasma, “appearance, dream image, vision”) is the primarily pictographic conception of things that dominates in memory and recreation (as in dreams). Its elementary activity also contributes to academic insights, technical inventions, and artistic production. Ever s…

Imago Dei

(8 words)

[German Version] Image of God


(83 words)

Author(s): Halm, Heinz
[German Version] The Arabic word imām, “leader, master,” is used in Islam as a general term for someone with religious authority on a wide range of levels, from the prayer leader in a mosque to the supreme leader of all Muslims. In the latter sense it is used primarily by the Shi'ites (Šīʿa/Shiʾites), for whose teaching the recognition of twelve imāms as the legitimate successors of the Prophet Muḥammad is constitutive. Heinz Halm Bibliography W. Madelung, “Imāma,” EI 2 III, 1971, 1163–1169.

Imitatio Christi

(366 words)

Author(s): Wolf, Gerhard
[German Version] In the history of art, imitatio Christi is used as a general term for all forms of the graphic visualization of imitating and following Christ (Discipleship, Christian). While this had hardly been a topic of early Christian art, it can be found in the ceremonies and images of the medieval Byzantine and Western empires under the premise of monarchic christomimesis, and in a more complex manner also among popes and bishops. In icons and hagiographic illustration cycles (Hagiography), vari…

Immaculate Conception

(501 words)

Author(s): Beinert, Wolfgang
[German Version] is the concise term for the belief of the Roman Catholic Church that Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ was, from the very beginning of her life (passive conception by her parents), preserved from original sin (as the “loss of holiness and righteousness” [ DH 1511f.]), or, in positive terms, that she was granted an innate holiness through the electing love of God that chose her to become the mother of the Messiah. The churches of the Reformation rejected this belief as incompatible with Scripture, likewise the Orthodox church…

Immaculate Conception, Order of the

(438 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] Numerous congregations of this name exist. Most of them were founded after 1854, the year in which the immaculate conception of Mary became a dogma. The largest congregations are (as of 2000): The Brothers of the Immaculate Conception of Maastricht ( Congregatio Fratrum Immaculatae Conceptionis Beatae Mariae Virginis, FIC), founded in Maastricht (the Netherlands) in 1840 by Ludwig Hubert Rutten (1809–1891) and Jacob Adrian Hoecken (1810–1880) for the training of young people and teachers as well as for social-educational work.…


(7 words)

[German Version] Transcendence and Immanence

Immanent/Economic Trinity

(512 words)

Author(s): Mühling, Markus
[German Version] Economic Trinity refers to the relationship of the triune God to the world in salvation history with respect to creation, atonement, and perfection, as already formulated by Irenaeus of Lyon and Tertullian. Immanent Trinity designates the mutual relationship of the three consubstantial hypostases or persons (IV): Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; it is initially described, for instance in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, as the relationship established by the birth (γέννησις/ génnēsis) of the Son from the Father and by the emanation (ἐκπόρευσις/ ekpóreusis) of…


(90 words)

Author(s): Mühling, Markus
[German Version] Immanentism in the wider sense is employed as an external designation of conceptions of reality that deny any reference to transcendency. Immanentism in the strict sense is classified by the Catholic Church (encyclicals Pascendi dominici gregis [1907] and Humani generis [1950]) as one of the objectionable forms of modernism alongside pragmatism, idealism, and existentialism (philosophy), and refers to efforts, undertaken under the influence of M. Blondel's philosophy, to anchor revelation (like any form of being) in the consciousness. Markus Mühling Bibliogra…


(434 words)

Author(s): Schmid, Konrad
[German Version] or Emmanuel, Heb. עִמָּנוּאֵל / ʿimmānûʾel (“God is with us” or “May God be with us”), is the name of a (royal?) child promised in Isa 7:14 (8:8; cf. 8:10). Isa 7:14 originally had no messianic overtones (Messiah/Messianism: II; but cf. the secondary interpretation in 7:15), since neither the child nor his mother plays any role: the point of the text is instead the symbolic name Immanuel, which offers the prospect of deliverance for King Ahaz, who is under attack from Damascus and Sama…


(819 words)

Author(s): Hühn, Lore | Korsch, Dietrich
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Philosophy of Religion I. Philosophy Ever since Aristotle, immediacy has been placed on a par with the highest concept of judgment (syllogism) and of evaluation (self-evidence), the principle of a first cause and that of a presuppositionless beginning. The theoretical enhancement of the subject's immediate self-awareness proposed by R. Descartes as the secure foundation of philosophical knowledge was further emphasized by early Idealism. For J.G. Fichte and F.W.J. Sch…
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