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 …

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 1…


(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 dif…


(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 …


(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 …

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 2:23f. are significant. Throughout most of Christian history, being made in the image of God was generally treated as referring to …


(2,195 words)

Author(s): Recki, Birgit | Linde, Gesche

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.…

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 ima…

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 (


(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 (…


(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 Hu…


(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…

Immediate Parish

(154 words)

Author(s): Hübner, Hans-Peter
[German Version] An “immediate parish” (Ger. Immediatgemeinde) is a congregation outside the geographical parochial (Parish/diocese) structure that reports directly to the governing body of the church (Church governance) – formerly mostly palace and court congregations, since abolished, today only the cathedral parish in Berlin. Two factors make it unique: Protestants living anywhere in Berlin can be enrolled as members, and, despite its geographical association with the Evangelische Kirche in Berlin-…

Immensee, Bethlehem Mission

(126 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] In 1896 the French priest Pierre-Marie Barral (1855–1929) founded the Bethlehem Institute at Immensee in Switzerland, an apostolic school to prepare clergy for missionary vocations. On May 30, 1921, Rome issued a decree erecting the Societas Missionum Exterarum de Betlehem in Helvetia (SMB); Pietro Bondolfi (1872–1943) became its first superior general. Its sole purpose was to support the missionary ministry of the church. The understanding of missions that emerged from Vatican II…

Immer, Karl

(146 words)

Author(s): Nicolaisen, Carsten
[German Version] (May 1, 1888, Manslagt, East Frisia – Jun 6, 1944, Bad Meinberg, Lippe). Immer became director of the Neukirchener Erziehungsverein in northern Germany in 1925. From 1927 to 1944, he served as a Reformed pastor in Barmen-Gemarke. In 1933 he co-founded the Confessing Church in the Rhineland and became head of the Coetus Reformierter Prediger. In May of 1934 he was host to and organizer of the Confessing Synod in Barmen (Barmen Declaration); subsequently he was a leading member of the Confessing Church and one of its most important voices. Carsten Nicolaisen Bibliography Wo…


(5 words)

[German Version] Migration

Imminent Parousia Expectation

(387 words)

Author(s): Rosenau, Hartmut
[German Version] The term imminent Parousia expectation refers in the first place to the primitive Christian expectation, in the context of an apocalyptic conception of the world (Apocalypticism), of the imminent return (Parousia) of the crucified and risen Lord for the final establishing of the kingdom of God still in the lifetime of the first generation of Christians (cf. 1 Thess 4:17; Phil 4:5; 1 Cor 7:29). This eschatological (Eschatology) orientation (ἐλπίς/ elpís) resulted from the liberating (Liberation) experience of having overcome life-threatening and ungo…


(3,692 words)

Author(s): Friedli, Richard | Zachhuber, Johannes | Heiligenthal, Roman | Hartmut Rosenau | Thiede, Werner | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Christianity – IV. Taoism I. Religious Studies It is inherent in the conditio humana that we are forced to master everyday situations and withstand critical moments. To do so, members of every society need handy codes of conduct to survive the manifold crises. Life and death, time and eternity, meaning and meaninglessness mark such critical moments in both individual lives and the course of the world. The responses of cultures and religions to these questions document our yearning for immortality. 1. Models We …


(427 words)

Author(s): Kalb, Herbert
[German Version] In Roman law, immunitas meant exemption from public charges ( munera). The immunity of the early Middle Ages built on this concept, but its legal meaning changed in the middle of the 7th century. The immunity given by royal privilege to monasteries and churches of Empire ( Reichskirche ) did not extend to the publica iudiciaria potestas, the functions of which accrued to those holding the privileges. Within these grants of immunity, a “narrower immunity” was set apart, a special sanctuary with enhanced protection limited to the interio…


(775 words)

Author(s): Kracht, Klaus Große
[German Version] I Following a standard definition by J. Schumpeter, the term “imperialism” (from Lat. imperium, “dominion,” “empire”) refers in general to “the objectless disposition of a state to engage in violent expansion without ascertainable limits” (see II below). In this sense, one may always speak of imperialism when a state configures its relations to other states or societies in terms of the continuing expansion of its territorial dominion without restrictions of time or purpose. This general definition contrasts with a narrower conception of imperialism as …

Imperial Reform (Holy Roman Empire)

(1,644 words)

Author(s): Kohnle, Armin
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Early Approaches to Imperial Reform – III. The Maximilian Era and the Diet of Worms 1495 – IV. Offshoots in the 16th Century I. Concept “Imperial reform” (Ger. Reichsreform) refers to the reform efforts of the emperor and the imperial estates that began in the first half of the 15th century and partly continued on into the middle of the 16th century. It aimed to solve the most pressing domestic problems: the suppression of feuds by securing the Landfriede (public peace), the removal of flaws in the administration of justice, in the law conc…

Implicit Religion

(317 words)

Author(s): Bailey, Edward I.
[German Version] is a concept that seeks to overcome the categorical division between religious and non- religious behavior. The term has been used by Edward Bailey since 1968 to refer particularly (but not exclusively) to secular faith. It points to that aspect of humanity which may find expression in organized religion (or in anti-religious movements) or in behavior that is analogous to such religion, either in traditional societies or in industrial and post-industrial societies. Luckmann takes …

Impostores tres

(174 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (“the three impostors”). In continuation of the religion-critical motif of deceit, known since antiquity, the claim that the three religion-founders Moses, Jesus, and Muḥammad deceived humanity has been in circulation since the Middle Ages (thus in the charge brought by Gregory IX against Emperor Frederick Hohenstaufen). In the late Middle Ages, rumors concerning the existence of a tractate entitled De tribus impostoribus began to spread, leading to numerous attributions and suspicions. The first attested text is the pamphlet De impostoris religionum, which w…


(615 words)

Author(s): Körtner, Ulrich H. J.
[German Version] The intransitive meaning of the German verb verelenden, which is already attested in Middle High German, is “to sink into misery,” while its transitive use means “to drive someone into poverty.” ¶ The related verb verelendigen means “to drive out of the land, to bring misery upon someone.” Elend (misery) was the term with which the social criticism of the early 19th century denounced the impoverishment of large segments of the population that accompanied the simultaneous increase of general prosperity resulting from progressing…


(2,038 words)

Author(s): Kitschen, Friederike
[German Version] I. Concept and Representatives – II. Character and Painting Technique – III. Rise and Development – IV. Influence – V. Dissemination I. Concept and Representatives Impressionism is a movement in art, predominantly in painting and the graphic arts, that developed in France in the 1860s, and until the first third of the 20th century extended to the art of other countries. Impressionism worked for a renewal of art in form and content, and thus, like Romanticism and Realism before it, opposed the neoclas…

Imprimatur/Imprimi potest

(91 words)

Author(s): May, Georg
[German Version] Imprimatur/Imprimi potest, certification of the ecclesial license to go to print, after due examination. According to CIC (1983) cc. 822–832 and 838, the following require the approbation or permission of the local pastoral authority, Bishops' Conference, or Apostolic See: 1. publications and translations of Holy Scripture, 2. liturgical texts and prayer books, 3. catechisms and theological textbooks, 4. compilations of church decrees or official documents. It is also recommended to solicit the j…

Imprinting (Environmental Conditioning)

(384 words)

Author(s): Fraas, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] Imprinting denotes that part of human personality (Personality/Personality psychology) for the shaping of which external factors are responsible. In behavioral research (Konrad Lorenz), imprinting refers to a learning process in a sensitive phase during which an instinctive action (a genetically determined, typal behavior) that is not innately set in motion is irrevocably linked to a triggering signal. One may also assume that the early phase of human life is characterized by a ne…


(258 words)

Author(s): Huxel, Kirsten
[German Version] As an ethical and legal term, imputability denotes (in a person who has reached the age of discretion) the normally assumed capacity to recognize the morality (Morality and immorality) or legality of an action in a given situation and to act on this recognition by voluntarily choosing whether or not to act, thus becoming legally and morally responsible for any consequences. The concept is a product of the theory of imputation (see also Justification) as developed in 17th- and 18th-centu…


(768 words)

Author(s): Maurer, Ernstpeter | Huxel, Kirsten
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics I. Dogmatics “Imputation” (Lat. imputare, Gk λογίζεσθαι/ logízesthai) specifies that the justification of the sinful person is through the effective judgment of God: God ascribes the righteousness of Christ to the sinner through faith. Human self-justification encounters the quite different righteousness of God which takes human sin upon itself and does away with it in Jesus Christ. This confrontation aims at a new relationship with God on the part of the individua…


(1,360 words)

Author(s): Salomon, Frank L.
[German Version] I. General Characteristics of Andean Religions – II. Inca Religion's Hegemony – III. Inca Religion and Christianity During its short supremacy over western South America, the Inca empire (c.1400–1532 ce) established religious hegemony by co-opting a vast array of pre-existing cults and integrating them into the central cult. The capital Cusco with its sun temple became a global and religious center point for the new empire, with which various local cults were connected. The Inca priesthoods were now superi…


(476 words)

Author(s): Alles, Gregory D.
[German Version] Incantations, as ritualized speech or writing, most closely resemble prayers. But whereas a prayer can be either spontaneous or formulaic, an incantation almost always uses traditional formulas. Prayers are addressed to personal powers such as gods, but incantations can also be addressed directly to natural forces. Normally prayers attempt to persuade a personal power through praise, whereas an incantation – also using words of praise and persuasion – attempts to coerce. If a pray…

Incantation Bowls

(395 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa
[German Version] Simple ceramic bowls from houses and tombs, bearing incantation texts and called incantation bowls, have been found in great numbers since 1851 in Mesopotamia (including Nippur, Babylon, Borsippa, Kutha, Kish, Ctesiphon, and Nineveh) and adjacent Huzistan (Susa), along with scattered finds in Syria. Most of the texts, dating from roughly the 5th to 7th centuries ce, are written in Aramaic (Assyrian AS 10a) square script; many are also in Mandaic. Less common are Estrangela, Manichaean script, and (rarely) Pahlavi. There are also many …


(164 words)

Author(s): Rees, Wilhelm
[German Version] In Catholic canon law, incardination denotes the obligatory incorporation of all clergy into a clerical collegiate body (particular church, personal prelature, etc.) at the time of their ordination to the diaconate (cf. CIC/1983 cc. 265–272; CCEO cc. 357–366). Through incardination the cleric comes under the authority of his ordinarius proprius and at the same time acquires a legal claim to ministerial employment, supervision, and economic support. In the case of religious institutes and clerical societies of the apostolic life,…


(1,365 words)

Author(s): Burger, Maya | Gunton, Colin
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. History of Dogma and Dogmatics I. Religious Studies Until very recently, the use of the term incarnation in religious studies was borrowed from ideas current in Christianity. From the perspective of systematics, incarnation or “enfleshment” goes hand in hand with a body and soul polarity, implying a particular conceptualization ¶ of the relationship between God and the world as well as with the concept of the individual and person, and with religious legitimation of authority (rev…


(5 words)

[German Version] Frankincense

Inclusive Education

(649 words)

Author(s): Preuss-Lausitz, Ulf
[German Version] The concept of inclusive education (inclusive education for children with special educational needs) is used for the theory and praxis of the common education of disabled and non-disabled children and youth in kindergartens, public schools, day homes and vocational schools. The “Disabled” here are children and youth people who, within the institution in question, require personnel and/or material support in addition to the standard provision. Thus, “disabled” in the educational co…

In coena Domini

(199 words)

Author(s): Krämer, Peter
[German Version] This name is given to a collection of papal sentences of excommunication (Excommunication: I) which were read solemnly on Maundy Thursday (hence the title “At the Last Supper of the Lord”; originally, they were read on other days too). In the ¶ course of the centuries, the collection expanded considerably. The earliest known version was made in 1229 under Gregory IX; the development reached its final form with the bull Pastoralis Romani Pontificis of Urban VIII in 1627. Absolution from these sentences was reserved to the pope. They were pronounced aga…


(341 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] originates in two ways in the process of production. Producers obtain income through the sale of goods and services at market prices. Households earn income through the application of the factors of production, labor, capital, and property. The sum of all income produced in a period comprises the national income. The source aspect of income contrasts with its usage aspect: income can be either consumed or saved. Saving implies interest income in the subsequent periods. The distrib…


(99 words)

Author(s): Germann, Michael
[German Version] In the legal sense, this is the exclusion of an office/ministry (VII) from combination with another office or profession. The intention of incompatibility is to ensure an exercise of office that is appropriate to the task. The leading ideas to be emphasized include: the separation of powers in state law and the protection of the preaching task of the pastoral office in church law. Michael Germann Bibliography H.H. Klein, “Status des Abgeordneten,” in: J. Isensee & P. Kirchhof, eds., Handbuch des Staatsrechts der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, vol. III, 32005, §51, 26–30 H…


(5 words)

[German Version] Appropriation/Incorporation


(469 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz
[German Version] Incubation (Lat. incubare, Gk enkatheúdein, enkoimán, “to sleep in a sanctuary”) is the ritual practice of sleeping in a sanctuary for the purpose of experiencing a divine epiphany in one's dreams and of receiving help. The practice was especially cultivated in the healing sanctuaries of Asclepius, although it is also attested in other cults in which healing (Amphiaraos in Oropus, Isis and other gods in Kanopos-Menouthis in the Nile Delta) or dream oracles were sought. Incubation is at…


(2,650 words)

Author(s): Grundmann, Christoffer H. | Arens, Edmund | Francis, Mark R. | Hoedemaker, Bert | Wolfinger, Franz
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Systematic Theology – III. Liturgical Importance – IV. Missiology – V. Ecumenical Importance I. Religious Studies While the concept of inculturation is on the point of becoming a standard term in missiology (see IV below), the field of religious studies uses it to refer to the fundamental cultural-hermeneutical problem of determining a significant difference between culture and religion, this being a particularly relevant issue for the articulation of identity in the co…


(350 words)

Author(s): Schmitz, Wolfgang
[German Version] Incunabulum, from Latin incunabula, “diaper,” refers to early printing, up to and including the year 1500. In contrast to wood-cut prints, J. Gutenberg's invention (c. 1440–1450 in Straßburg or Mainz) consists in the production of texts by using movable individual letters which can be cast identically in an unlimited number with the aid of a casting device and in the development of a printing press. The boundary 1500 marks the approximate date of the emanicipation of printing from th…


(372 words)

Author(s): Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth
[German Version] Indebtedness differs from guilt/debt, which refers generally to an ethical circumstance as the omission or transgression of a duty, as a concrete, unfulfilled duty or a specific transgression of a requirement. In this regard, one thinks, first, of debts in the economic realm incurred through private, national or international borrowing. The term itself also echoes the understanding of indebtedness as a failure in the general moral sense. Both aspects converge from the standpoint o…

Independent Church Movements

(1,500 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus | Ludwig, Frieder
[German Version] I. History – II. Missiology I. History Independent local forms of Christianity and the aspiration to be emancipated from the control of European missionaries appeared early on in the history of the emerging churches of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Examples include the movement initiated by the female African prophet D.B. Kimpa Vita in the Congo during the early 18th century, which temporarily threatened Portuguese rule in the region. Independent church movements became a widespread…

Independent Evangelical Missionary

(184 words)

Author(s): Ludwig, Frieder
[German Version] (Ger. Freimissionar), a person carrying out missionary work without ecclesial mandate. Since a comparable mission authority was lacking in German Protestantism until the founding of the Danish-Halle Mission, individually operating missionaries played an important role, as for instance J. v. Welz, who, after an unsuccessful call for mission, traveled to Surinam, and P. Heyling, who was active in Ethiopia. During the 19th century, independent Evangelical missionaries such as K.A.F. G…


(384 words)

Author(s): Albright, John R.
[German Version] In 1927, Werner Heisenberg discovered the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics. The previously held theory of classical mechanics had been deterministic. The one-dimensional movement of a particle is described by its coordinates of position and momentum as functions of time. These two quantities define the space of phases in which the particle is represented as a point on a trajectory. From Newtonian laws (I. Newton) it follows that the movement proceeds deterministically if…


(5 words)

[German Version] Determinism

Index librorum prohibitorum

(416 words)

Author(s): Kalb, Herbert
[German Version] (“Index of Forbidden Books”). Taking his lead from antecedents such as the indexes of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition, Pope Paul IV ordered the creation of the Roman Index (1559). Of prime importance for the censorship were the Tridentine rules (Trent, Council of), which stipulated penalties for printers, librarians, testamentary executors, and others. Believers who read indexed books were threatened with the excommunicatio latae sententiae (i.e. immediate excommunication, simultaneously occurring with the offense). The Tridentine index…


(4,173 words)

Author(s): Kiehnle, Catharina | Frasch, Tilman | Schimmel, Annemarie | Koschorke, Klaus
[German Version] I. General – II. History and Culture – III. Religious History – IV. History of Christianity I. General The designation “India,” Gk ἰνδός/ indós, Latinized as indus, goes back to Sanskrit sindhu (orig. “boundary”?) through the intermediary of Old Persian hindu; it is a designation of the River Sindhu and of the Indus region, from which Persian Hindūstān, “Place/territory of the Hindus,” is derived. The Indians themselves called the land (among other designations) Bhārata, “[Land of the] Descendants of Bhārata” (the l…

Indian Dance

(350 words)

Author(s): Moser-Achuthath, Heike
[German Version] A western definition of “dance” can scarcely do justice to the manifold performing arts of India. “Dance-Theater” would be a more suitable description. In India the boundaries between dance and theater are fluid: they both make use of rhythm and stylized body movements. “Theater” involves elements of dance (Kūṭiyāṭṭam), whereas “dance” – as in Oḍissi – often involves sung text with stylized hand gestures and miming. Nāṭakam is the term used for dance-theater forms whose text is re…

Indian Missions

(392 words)

Author(s): Selvanayagam, Israel
[German Version] Despite nearly 2,000 years of Christian presence, 500 years of Roman Catholic mission, and 300 years of Protestant missions, Christians in India remain a minority of 2.5%. This has motivated Indian Christians in particular to offer intensive commitment to mission. “Mission by Indians, for Indians with Indian means” was a slogan that reflected nationalist aspirations at the beginning of the 20th century and more intensely since independence in 1947, which led to the foundation of t…


(886 words)

Author(s): Grube, Dirk-Martin | Ebertz, Michael N.
[German Version] I. Systematic Theology – II. Ethics – III. Practical Theology I. Systematic Theology The term “indifference” is used particularly in classical Catholic theology, where it has a positive meaning, applied to a distancing from the world motivated by the coming of the kingdom of God (see also II). This indifference is sharply distinguished from the negative concept of “indifferentism,” denoting indifference regarding claims to transcendent knowledge, and as such was officially condemned (DH 291…


(7 words)

[German Version] Native American Indians


(983 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[German Version] The modern Western missionary movement led to an encounter with a multitude of non-European societies as well as different models for the resulting cultural contact. These have ranged from the various versions of a tabula rasa theory – which denied non-Christian cultures any intrinsic religious value – to understanding of the need for a culturally authentic interpretation of Christianity. Conceptions such as accommodation (II), indigenization, and contextualization (contextuality: I) display many similarities, but …


(7 words)

[German Version] Native American Indians

Indirect Rule

(194 words)

Author(s): Ludwig, Frieder
[German Version] After early beginnings in India (the “princely states”), the British developed the classic model of indirect rule in northern Nigeria. Frederick Lugard ( The Dual Mandate, 1922) sought to use the existing emirate structures for administering the territory (co-opting local legislation, administration of justice, and collection of taxes). Dependence on the British weakened the emirs but enabled them to extend their influence to ethnic groups over which they had previously had no control, leading to conflict…


(8 words)

[German Version] Community and the Individual

Individual Ethics

(1,644 words)

Author(s): Heesch, Matthias
[German Version] I. Definition of Terms – II. History – III. Reflections on the Present I. Definition of Terms 1. Individual ethics includes the whole realm of ethical problems related to fulfilling the purpose of individuals. It must be distinguished from social ethics, because the purpose of individuals cannot be reduced to the purpose of collectives or the ordering of life in a group. 2. For every acting subject, in the context of Christianity, God is the absolute reference point of responsibility, situated …


(1,082 words)

Author(s): Gräb, Wilhelm
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Methodological Individualism I. Concept Individualism is a programmatic concept that surfaced around 1900 amid the ideological and ideopolitical debates of the modern bourgeois cultural world. Even at the time of its historical origin, it had negative overtones: it was thought to express a Zeitgeist that made the individual absolute, subordinating institutions and communities to the self-defined ends of the individual, and thus undermined the basic foundations of society (Community and the individual). Collectivism came into use as the …


(516 words)

Author(s): Krüggeler, Michael | Daiber, Karl-Fritz
[German Version] I. The Concept – II. Sociology of Religion – III. Practical Theology I. The Concept Present-day sociology considers individualization a central feature of modern societies (Society: I, II). It is rooted in the process of social differentiation or, more precisely, in the development of functional subsystems that for the most part have their own organizational structures. Individuals no longer necessarily belong to every subsystem. Commonly – though not always – membership in subsystems comes t…


(122 words)

Author(s): Caleffi, Paula
[German Version] José Carlos Mariátegui (1895–1930), known as the founder of Peruvian communism, proposed in his philosophy that Indo-America, arisen from the cultural heritage of the Indians and the Europeans, had constituted itself in Latin America in order to produce a socialist revolution (Socialism). The socialist revolution of Indo-America must, despite its peculiarities, be part of the worldwide socialist revolution: “In this world order, Indo-America can and must have individuality and style; but neither its own culture nor its own fate” (J.C. Mariátegui, Carta coletiv…


(7 words)

[German Version] Vietnam Laos Cambodia

Indo-European Religions

(918 words)

Author(s): Allen, Nick J.
[German Version] The term Indo-European applies primarily not to religions or cultures, but to languages: the Indo-European languages are those that share descent from a common ancestor, “proto-Indo-European.” The systematic similarities between the Indo-European languages cannot be otherwise explained, and although proto-Indo-European was not written down by its speakers, it can in part be reconstructed by linguists. Where and when it was spoken remains unclear, but one established theory situates it on the South Russian steppes c. 3500 bce. From there it would have spre…

Indo-Malayan Religions

(716 words)

Author(s): Sastrapratedja, Michael
[German Version] The term “Indo-Malayan” or “Indo-Malay” refers to a cultural entity in the Southeast Asian archipelago which is now geographically and politically included in the territories of Indonesia, Malaysia, and (southern) Thailand. In other words, the term denotes pre-modern Indonesia and Malaysia. Prior to the arrival of Islam, religious life on the Indo-Malayan archipelago was influenced by the religious traditions of India, namely Hinduism and Buddhism. The Indian influence was united with autochthonous religiosity to result …


(2,955 words)

Author(s): Peacock, James | Schumann, Olaf | Becker, Dieter
[German Version] I. Non-Christian Religions – II. Christianity A presidential republic since 1945, Indonesia is an archipelagic state in Southeast Asia (13,677 islands, 6,044 of them inhabited). Divided into 27 provinces, it comprises the Malay Peninsula, the Greater Sunda Islands (Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi [formerly Celébes]), the Lesser Sunda Islands (including Bali), the Moluccas, and Papua (western New Guinea; Irian Jaya 1969–2002). Its capital is Jakarta. Its population was 234 million in 2007. Some 360 ethnic groups are represented, including 3% Chinese. Indones…

Indonesian Missions

(319 words)

Author(s): Becker, Dieter
[German Version] Indonesian churches are limited in performing their missionary task by edicts issued by the ministry of religion in 1978 which prohibit “oral propaganda,” the “distribution of printed materials,” the use of material “means of enticement” or visiting the homes of fellow-citizens of recognized religions (Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity). On the other hand, the state calles upon adherents of the so-called tribal religions to join one of the recognized religions. The Indone…


(257 words)

Author(s): Wohlrapp, Harald
[German Version] Induction refers to the inference of a universal statement concerning an entire subject area on the basis of single statements concerning individual objects. The justification for an inference of this type, i.e. the problem of induction, has been a central issue in the epistemological tradition (Epistemology) ever since Aristotle. The validity of a principle of “complete induction” is considered proven in formal disciplines ¶ (logic, mathematics) with self-constituted subject areas. However, it has been clear since D. Hume's critique of the co…

Inductive Pastoral Care

(211 words)

Author(s): Klessmann, Michael
[German Version] The term inductive pastoral care was coined to describe the approach to pastoral care of S. Hiltner, a leading American pastoral psychologist and theoretician; it was later extended to represent the methodological approach of the pastoral movement of the 1970s and 80s in Germany as well. In Germany, thanks to the influence of dialectical theology, the theory of pastoral care has usually been derived deductively from a particular concept of proclamation (e.g. E. Thurneysen), but Hiltne…


(1,315 words)

Author(s): Ohst, Martin | Müller, Gerhard L.
[German Version] I. History – II. Modern Catholicism I. History Indulgences ( indulgentia as a fixed technical term since the early 13th cent.; previously also remissio, relaxatio, or absolutio generalis) are rooted in the early medieval system of scheduled penances (Repentance: IV), which allowed fixed forms of satisfaction to be replaced by other acts (“commutation”) or payment of a monetary sum (“redemption”), all meant to be equivalent. The new element in indulgences was the discontinuation of this required equivalenc…

Indulgence, Declaration of

(296 words)

Author(s): Sheils, William J.
[German Version] Indulgence, Declaration of, issued by King James II of England on Apr 4, 1687, granted full liberty of worship (Freedom of religion) to Protestant nonconformists (Dissenters) and to his fellow Roman Catholics provided the magistrates were informed, removed the requirement for Crown servants to take the oath of supremacy, and guaranteed security of tenure to the owners of former monastic lands. Similar declarations had been issued by Charles II, in 1662 and 1672, but both were with…


(78 words)

Author(s): Rees, Wilhelm
[German Version] Indult, from Lat. indulgere, “be lenient, grant.” In Catholic church law indult is the granting of a usually temporary exemption from a legal requirement (Dispensation, Privilege) by a bearer of sovereign leadership authority (cf. e.g. CIC [1983] cc. 306; 320 §2; 684 §2; 692; 727f.; 743; 995; 1015 §2; 1019 §2; 1021). Wilhelm Rees Bibliography KanR I, 1991, 256f.; 505, n. 8 I. Riedel-Spangenberger, Grundbegriffe des Kirchenrechts, 1992, 133 A. McCormack, The Term “Privilege”, 1997.

Industrial Chaplain

(518 words)

Author(s): Belitz, Wolfgang
[German Version] This article focuses on the situation in Germany. There are currently about 60 industrial chaplains working in the majority of the regional churches that belong to the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). Their working field is now termed Kirchlicher Dienst in der Arbeitswelt (Church Ministry in the Working Environment; KDA). As a rule, this ministry is performed in close cooperation with social secretaries and socioscientific as well as economic consultants. It comprises three ma…


(1,534 words)

Author(s): Brüggemeier, Franz-Josef
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Aspects and Development Trends – III. Preconditions – IV. Germany – V. Phases I. Concept The term industrialization designates a historical process which originated in Europe and especially in England towards the end of the 18th century and which has in the meantime spread to the entire planet. The developments and changes associated with this process are so momentous that it is often referred to as an industrial revolution. This designation is problematical inasmuch as these c…

Industrial Society

(525 words)

Author(s): Brakelmann, Günter
[German Version] Industrial mass production is one of the fundamental realities of modern history, a presupposition of which was a progressive accumulation and concentration of productive capital. A complicated money and banking system developed. The growth of an industrial labor force which was willing to sell its labor to the owners of the means of production at the prevailing market prices corresponded to this process. Within this dependent labor force, a social differentiation according to pro…


(1,975 words)

Author(s): Brakelmann, Günter | Schibilsky, Michael
[German Version] I. History of Economics – II. Industrial Work Environment – III. Industrial Congegration I. History of Economics In a long, continuous process, modern industrialism (Industrialization) developed from crafts, household industry and manufacturing. The so-called Industrial Revolution led to a differentiated factory system and the machine became the symbol of the new industrial era. Systems of factories and machines became entwined in a novel form of production and communication. Major technical in…


(2,805 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Baumann, Urs | Hünermann, Peter
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology – II. Dogmatics and History of Doctrine – III. Ethics – IV. Catholic Understanding I. Fundamental Theology Infallibility, understood as unswerving inerrancy or being held unshakably in the truth, is a theme of both Reformation and Roman Catholic theology. Both traditions of Western theology affirm the NT statement that the Holy Spirit will guide the faithful and the community of believers into all truth (John 14:16; 16:13) and that the church is therefore “the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). 1. Reformation theology sees he…


(176 words)

Author(s): Landau, Peter
[German Version] The legal institution of infamy, adopted into canon law from Roman law, means loss of honor and hence severe degradation within the church. First found in legal sources in 419, it took on great importance for the church through the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals (9th cent.) and later through inclusion of these texts in the Decretum Gratiani ( Corpus Iuris Canonici ). Infamy precluded bringing legal charges or testifying in court and was an impediment to ordination. Post-Gratianic canon law distinguished infamia facti, actual loss of reputation, and infamia iuris, impose…

Infancy Gospels

(502 words)

Author(s): Hock, Ronald F.
[German Version] are a series of popular and influential Christian narratives that expanded and revised the stories of Jesus' birth that are found in the canonical Gospels (Matt 1–2; Luke 1–2). They expand Matt and Luke where they are brief, as in Matt's sketchy account of Joseph, Jesus' father's trip to Egypt in Matt 2:13–15; they fill them in where they are silent, as in Luke's narrative gap between Jesus' birth and his trip to Jerusalem at the age of 12 (Luke 2:42–51); and they extend them backwards to include the birth, childhood, and early adulthood of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The most im…

Infancy Narratives

(408 words)

Author(s): Radl, Walter
[German Version] In the literature of antiquity, the grandeur of important persons is already announced in the miraculous circumstances of their birth and childhood. These are not understood as personal proofs of divine favor for the child and the parents, but as signs for the benefit of the people or realm in question. The content of the mostly legendary sources includes: the child's noble or even divine origin (sometimes attested by a genealogy), his extraordinary conception, the announcement, p…

Infant Baptism

(6 words)

[German Version] Baptism


(1,645 words)

Author(s): Hühn, Lore | Evers, Dirk
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Dogmatics I. Philosophy Infinity is a key concept of ancient philosophy that combines a wide spectrum of meanings under the title ἄπειρον/ ápeiron: boundlessness and indeterminacy of the origins from which becoming emerged, that is, the fundamental principle of the physical world and of its objects (Anaximander); the limitlessness, to be evaluated negatively, which stands in opposition to the positive delimitation effected by number or measure (Pythagoras); t…


(834 words)

Author(s): Stephan, Achim | Leiner, Martin
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Ethics I. Philosophy In colloquial usage, the term “information” is often employed in the sense of “disclosure” or “message.” Various media can convey the same information: A x-ray conveys information to a physician that his or her patient is suffering from lung cancer and then the physician can inform the patient in a conversation. Furthermore, the same message can hold different information for different recipients (the patient or the insurance company). In contra…

Information Technology

(365 words)

Author(s): Tinnefeld, Marie-Theres
[German Version] Information technology is the branch of computer science that is devoted to the creation of systems for the collection and processing, as well as the transmission, distribution, and presentation of digital, information-bearing data (in text, words, pictures, and graphics). In the application of information technology, at least four interrelated components are significant: hardware, software, organizational structures, and users or recipients. In the early days of data processing a…


(811 words)

Author(s): Link, Christian
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Fundamental Theology I. Dogmatics The terms infralapsarianism and supralapsarianism designate the alternate positions in the 17th-century dispute between the various schools of Reformed theology regarding the understanding of predestination. The controversial issue was: who is the eternally chosen or damned human being? The yet to be created and fallible person (thus supralapsarianism: T. Beza, F. Gomarus, in certain respects already Calvin) or the already created and…

Inglis, Charles

(190 words)

Author(s): Goodwin, Daniel
[German Version] (1734, Glencolumbkille, Ireland – Feb 24, 1816, Aylesford, Nova Scotia, Canada), born to an Irish family of Scottish descent, emigrated to the USA at 20 years of age, worked there for three years as a teacher, and was ordained an Anglican priest on Dec 24, 1758. He was a loyalist during the American Revolution and returned to Britain in 1783. In 1787 Inglis was appointed the first bishop of Nova Scotia. Upon assuming his duties, Inglis encountered clergy that were antagonistic tow…

Ingoli, Francesco

(309 words)

Author(s): Metzler, Josef
[German Version] (Nov 21, 1578, Ravenna – Apr 24, 1649, Rome), studied civil and canon law at the University of Padua, received the Dr.iur.utr. in 1601, was appointed to a lectureship in law in Padua, became junior lawyer of the cardinal legate of the Romagna, was private tutor to the nephew of Gregory XV, and on Jan 6, 1622 he became secretary of the Cardinal's Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith ( de Propaganda Fide, today “for the Evangelization of the Peoples”; Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith), which was established on the same day. Ingoli g…

Ingolstadt, University of

(488 words)

Author(s): Müller, Rainer A.
[German Version] The Bavarian university of Ingolstadt, planned as early as 1453 and chartered by Pope Pius II in 1459, was able to open its doors to students in 1472. Its founder was Duke Ludwig the Wealthy of Bavaria (1450–1479), the chancellor of the bishop of Eichstätt. Modeled on Paris (II) and the statutes of Vienna (II), the university comprised four faculties. It soon became a center of Humanism, numbering among its teachers C. Celtis, J. Reuchlin, J. Aventinus, and Jacob Locher. With 300 …

Inheritance Law

(848 words)

Author(s): Lindner, Thomas
[German Version] I. Inheritance law is the sum of those legal norms of private law that regulate the transfer of a natural person's (testator) property rights and obligations after death to another (natural or juridical) person (inheritance law in the object sense); in addition, inheritance law refers to the totality of all rights and claims that devolve upon one with respect to inheritance upon the death of the testator (inheritance; inheritance law in the subjective sense). German inheritance law is primarily regulated in the fifth volume of the Civil Code (§§1922 to 2385). II. The fu…


(7 words)

[German Version] Rites of passage

Initiation Groups

(376 words)

Author(s): Waldmann, Helmut
[German Version] The concept of initiation groups is a sub-category of the concept of the male society. It denotes the initiatory stages – often linked with a certain age – which an individual passes through in order to attain full membership in a male society. The most famous historical examples are the kardakes in the Spartan educational system and the Swiss disciplinary groups, in more recent times, groups in the youth movement, and then in the Hitler Youth. Church examples are catechumens, aco…

Inland Mission

(2,172 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] I. Origins – II. The Concept – III. Wittenberg, the Central Committee and the Organization of Christian Charity – IV. Inland Mission, Church, and the Ermergence of the Social State – V. Third Reich, New Beginning, and Incorporation into the Diaconal Ministry I. Origins The end of the ancien régime also had consequences for the regional Protestant churches and the self-conception of its subdivisions at the turn of the 18th to the 19th century: the early bourgeois society encouraged the development of a “whole church” awarene…
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