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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(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.
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