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.

Subscriptions: see

International Association for Liberal Christianity and Religious Freedom

(158 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] In the wake of the initiatives set in motion by the Boston Unitarian Charles William Wendte, the international organization of religious liberals was founded on May 25, 1900 as the International Council of Unitarian and other Liberal Religious Thinkers and Workers on the occasion of the celebrations accompanying the 75th anniversary of the American Unitarian Association and the British and Foreign Unitarian Association. From 1910 to 1937, the Council or, from 1932, the “Internatio…

International Association for Mission Studies

(197 words)

Author(s): Conway, Martin
[German Version] The IAMS is an international, interconfessional and interdisciplinary forum for the scholarly study of biblical, theological, and practical questions relating to Christian mission. It was formally established in 1972. Regular conferences have since been held in all five continents and now at four-yearly intervals. The 12th conference took place in Balatonfüred (Hungary) in August 2008. The membership stands at 541 individual, 7 corporate, and 17 associate members. The proceedings …

International Baptist Theological Seminary

(269 words)

Author(s): Pierard, Richard
[German Version] The Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board (FMB; Southern Baptist Convention [SBC]) founded the school in 1948 to provide leadership training. The FMB bought a villa in Zürich-Rüschlikon and opened the Baptist Theological Seminary in 1949. It offered a four-year Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.) course but other programs were available. All its presidents, beginning with Norwegian-born Josef Nordenhaug (1903–1969), were Southern Baptists, while the FMB chose the trustees, many of whom w…

International Church of the Foursquare Gospel

(14 words)

[German Version] Church of the Foursquare Gospel

International Council of Christian Churches

(270 words)

Author(s): Smith, Graeme
[German Version] The International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC) ¶ was founded in Amsterdam in 1948 with Carl McIntyre as president, shortly before the first assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC). Fundamentalist churches established the ICCC as an alternative to the WCC. Membership is open to so-called “Bible-believing churches,” who are committed to what the ICCC describes as the “20th century reformation” and who are not members of the WCC. Article 2 of the ICCC constitution commits the…

Internationales Institut für Missionswissenschaftliche Forschungen (IIMF)

(223 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] Internationales Institut für Missionswissenschaftliche Forschungen (IIMF), association of Catholic scholars and friends for the promotion of missiology and research on intercultural relations and developments. The establishment of the IIMF traces back to a suggestion by Matthias Erzberger, a delegate to the Reichstag, and the proposal of Prince Alois of Löwenstein at the Berlin conference of the Missionsausschuss des Zentralkomitees der Katholikenversammlungen Deutschlands [Missio…

International Fellowship for Research in Hymnology

(155 words)

Author(s): Praßl, Franz Karl
[German Version] (Internationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Hymnologie, IAH). The IAH promotes and studies church singing (Singing: III). Church song, open forms of singing and the hymnal are the subjects of international, ecumenical, and interdisciplinary (theology, musicology, linguistics and literature, bibliography, folklore) scholarly study, primarily at conferences and through the promotion of hymnological projects (Hymnology) – often in cooperation with academic institutions – and also in rela…

International Fellowship of Evangelical Students

(242 words)

Author(s): Hutchinson, Mark
[German Version] (IFES). The IFES is an interdenominational evangelical fellowship uniting national networks of university Christian Unions. It emerged out of the formalization of links between Norwegian (Norges Kristelige Studentlag) and British (Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, IVF) evangelical university missions. Robert Wilder (formally Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Mission, SVM), H.W. Guinness, and Douglas Johnson (IVF) and Ole Hallesby (Norges Kristelige Studentlag Skoleungdomslag…

International Law

(3,761 words)

Author(s): Hillgruber, Christian | Reuter, Hans-Richard | Schiemann, Gottfried | Otto, Eckart | Krawietz, Birgit
[German Version] I. Conception – II. Greco-Roman Antiquity – III. Ancient Near East and Israel – IV. Church History – V. Fundamental Theology – VI. Ethics – VII. Church in International Law – VIII. Islam I. Conception 1. Legal conception International law is the quintessence of the legal norms that regulate sovereign relations between the international legal subjects. International legal subjects are primarily states, traditionally also the Apostolic See, the international organizations created by the states on a contractual b…

International Missionary Council (IMC)

(302 words)

Author(s): Yates, Timothy E.
[German Version] The World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh (Edinburgh Conference) developed a “Continuation Committee” with J.R. Mott as chairman and J.H. Oldham as secretary. In 1921 this became the IMC under their leadership. It held its first meeting at Lake Mohonk, New York, and aimed to increase cooperation among missionary societies. A.L. Warnshuis and W. Paton became representatives of the IMC in its New York and London offices. The IMC mounted a major international conference in Jerusal…

International Organizations

(432 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard
[German Version] Political science distinguishes between international governmental organizations (IGOs) and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs). An IGO is a cooperating association which has been formalized in a multilateral treaty under international law by at least three states whose jointly fixed normative standards have internally led to a definition and balancing of expected mutual reactions; at the same time, the IGO functions externally by interacting with the member state…


(574 words)

Author(s): Bobert-Stützel, Sabine
[German Version] The internet (“Interconnected Networks”) is a combination of local, national, and international computer networks administered according to a decentralized principle. It is, among other things, the result of the efforts by the United States American Department of Defense (1958–1969) to develop a disruption-resistant computer network that would automatically redirect data transmissions (ARPAnet) in the event of the destruction of one or more computers. The internet ¶ supports the following important individual media or services: E-mail (“Electron…


(328 words)

Author(s): Figal, Günter
[German Version] Interpretation, from Lat. interpretatio, “analysis,” “translation,” generally refers to the elucidation of works and texts. F. Nietzsche elevated the term's prominence in philosophy. In analogy to human behavior toward the world, he understood vitality in general as interpretation. Interpretation is the attempt “to become lord over something” ( Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. XII, 314); it is the selective and harmonizing mastery of an infinitely manifold reality. Only through interpretation, and that means, from relative perspec…

Interpretation of Knowledge (NHC XI, 1; Interpr)

(284 words)

Author(s): Bethge, Hans-Gebhard
[German Version] Interpr (or the Interpretation of Knowledge) is a partly very fragmentary Christian-Gnostic text which is only preserved in Coptic translation. Some scholars attribute the text to Valentinianism, although it probably cannot be associated with any known religious movement. It can be classified as a homily of mostly ecclesiological and christological content. Its unknown author is the representative of a particular historical reception of the canonical Gospels and Pauline Epistles known to him, but also of Colossians and Ephesians. Interpr points to a persecu…

Interpretatio Romana/Graeca

(422 words)

Author(s): Cancik-Lindemaier, Hildegard
[German Version] 1. Latin interpretari means, similar to Gk ἑρμηνεύω/ hermeneúō, “to interpretet, to translate, to make understandable.” Interpres (translator, mediator, exegete) and interpretatio are technical terms of exegesis in jurisprudence, literature, and religion. Interpretatio Romana/Graeca are not used technically in classical antiquity; interpretatio Graeca is a modern expression coined in analogy to Tacitus's singular statement ( Germania 43) that two Germanic deities are to be identified with Castor and Pollux “according to Roman interpre…


(364 words)

Author(s): Lähnemann, Johannes
[German Version] The adjective “interreligious” has acquired increased significance since the 1960s. With the emergence of multicultural societies (Multiculturalism) and of global mobility, the points of contact between the religions have multiplied and given rise to a theological and socio-scientific reflection on their mutual relationships, but also to numerous practical initiatives. “Interreligious” stands here for the entire spectrum of relationships between the religions, i.e. on the politica…

Interuniversity Institute for Missiological and Ecumenical Research (IIMO)

(297 words)

Author(s): Jongeneel, Jan A.B.
[German Version] Interuniversity Institute for Missiological and Ecumenical Research (IIMO), Utrecht. The IIMO was founded in Utrecht on Jun 23, 1969, by both secular and Christian universities, as well as Roman Catholic and Protestant missionary and ecumenical bodies in the Netherlands. Two departments were established: the missiological department in Leiden with Evert Jansen Schoonhoven as its first director and the ecumenical department in Utrecht with Alexander J. Bronkhorst as its first direc…

Intervarsity Christian Fellowship

(274 words)

Author(s): Hutchinson, Mark
[German Version] (IVF) is a worldwide evangelical Christian student movement, which emerged out of the British biblicist reaction to the ecumenical Student Christian movement. Formed in 1928 by three evangelical leaders, H.W. Guinness, Douglas Johnson, and Hugh Gough, and influenced by medical and faith missions, the Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union (CICCU), the Plymouth Brethren, and the Keswick Movement, the IVF formalized existing inter-university evangelical union links, which had be…


(8 words)

[German Version] Tolerance and Intolerance, Rigorism


(81 words)

Author(s): Flynn, William T.
[German Version] (Lat. intonatio, Ital. intonazione). 1. Setting the pitch by the celebrant and/or cantor, for instance, for the Gloria or Credo. 2. Introductory notes for liturgical recitatives, for example, psalm notes. 3. Maintaining the pitch in song or other music. 4. An improvised or composed introductory piece to liturgical song by the organ or other instruments. 5. Tonal fine tuning in organ-building. William T. Flynn Bibliography M. Reimann, MGG 1 VI, 1957, 1365–1370 B. Sydow-Saak, “Intonatio-Intonation/intonare-intonieren,” HMT III, 1984.


(413 words)

Author(s): Hoheisel, Karl
[German Version] In religious studies, intoxication is often understood as the state that is induced through the intake of euphoric substances. This is misleading because in an unfavorable setting or basic psycho- mental disposition of the consumer, it is not euphoria but states of anxiety (Anxiety and Fear) and depression that are induced. For this reason, it is preferable, in the history of religion and culture, to define intoxication as a state of enhanced emotionality induced by psychoactive d…


(113 words)

Author(s): Schlapkohl, Corinna
[German Version] In the epistemology of theology, the terms intrinsic and extrinsic refer to the relationship between fundamental theological reflection and the contents of the Christian faith. This relationship is described as intrinsic when the contents of faith are the subject of fundamental theological argumentation. K. Rahner, in particular, criticized fundamental theological extrinsicism. In the doctrine of grace, the terms intrinsic and extrinsic describe the relationship between nature and…


(386 words)

Author(s): Flynn, William T.
[German Version] I. Liturgy – II. Music I. Liturgy The introit was the first song of the mass, sung during the entrance of the celebrant. It is first attested by the Ordo Romanus Primus and must therefore have been introduced before the end of the 7th century. It comprised an antiphon and a complete psalm when it accompanied a papal procession from the secretarium (sacristy near the entrance). The introit acquired its “Gregorian” form after 750 in France (approx. 150 authentic songs). It still lends its name to Sundays ( Laetare, Quasimodo Geniti et al.). II. Music The text and music appe…


(740 words)

Author(s): Enskat, Rainer | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Systematic Theology I. Philosophy Intuition is a term used in epistemology and refers to a special, successful cognitive act. Accordingly, and following the typology of G. Ryle, “intuition” is thus a (cognitive) success word, but it also designates a special cognitive faculty. In many contexts, a performative quality is reserved for the intuitive act, as expressed by the characteristic feature that was probably first noted in Epicurean circles: its instantaneousness (ἀϑρόα/ athróa). Inasmuch as this instantaneousness is understood i…


(619 words)

Author(s): Hultkrantz, Åke
[German Version] (or Eskimo in the recent past) are an Arctic people who are represented both in Asia (the Chuckchee Peninsula) and in America (the coasts of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland). Their diffusion on two continents possibly offers an explanation for their relatively late entrance to North America c. 3000 bce. The Inuit language, which stands quite isolated, is divided into two dialects: Yupik is spoken in south Alaska and Siberia, whereas Inupik is spoken from Alaska to eastern Greenland. The area covered by the Inuit languages covers …


(372 words)

Author(s): Mordek, Hubert
[German Version] denotes, through the image of “outfitting” (property rights; Lat. vestitura, investitura), the formal conveyance to the transferee of property, an office with its appertunances, and later, a fiefdom. The positive, soon substantivized concept of investiture may have developed in the 8th century from the metaphor, mediated through the church, of legal return ( revestire). Apparently, investiture encompassed all common law forms of actual or symbolic/representative transfer of property before witnesses ( manus vestitura by means, for example, of a straw …

Investiture Controversy

(1,009 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, Wilfried
[German Version] The term Investiture Controversy usually denotes the ecclesio-political conflict between the popes and kings at the end of the 11th century and the beginning of the 12th century. Since the Carolingian period, it had been customary for bishops to be appointed and also invested in office by kings. During the Gregorian Reform of the 11th century, this practice had come under fire, especially since the attack on simoniacs published in 1058 by the cardinal bishop Humbert of Silva Candida …

Invisible Church

(7 words)

[German Version] Visible/Invisible Church


(5 words)

[German Version] Epiclesis/Invocation
▲   Back to top   ▲