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


(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…
▲   Back to top   ▲