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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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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