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…

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…
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