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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(189 words)

Author(s): Johnston, Elva
[German Version] Iona, small island of the inner Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland where St. Columba founded a monastery in 563. Conall mac Comgaill, king of the Dál Riada, granted Iona to Columba and his associates. The monastery became the center of an association of monasteries encompassing Ireland and Britain. It played an important role in the Christianization of Scotland and Northumbria. Its most eminent abbot was Adamnan. The first Irish annals were written in the Iona monastery. D…


(442 words)

Author(s): Gödde, Susanne
[German Version] According to the group of Trojan sagas, Iphigenia is the daughter of the Mycenaean king Agamemnon and of Clytemnestra. When the winds for the departure for Troy failed in Aulis, Agamemnon, at the behest of the seer Calchas, was to sacrifice Iphigenia to Artemis ( Procli Cypriorum Enarratio ll. 68f. [ EpGF 32]; Aesch. Ag. 198–249; Eurip., Iphigenia in Aulis – Homer does not mention the sacrifice, cf. Il. 9.144f.). The sources mention several motives for Artemis's ill-will (e.g. Sophoc. El. 566–569). Iphigenia was enticed to Aulis on the pretense of espousal to…

Iqbāl, Muḥammad

(140 words)

Author(s): Schimmel, Annemarie
[German Version] (Nov 9, 1877, Sialkot – Apr 21, 1938, Lahore), leading poet-philosopher in modern Islam. Iqbāl was schooled in English and German philosophy and was an admirer of J.W. v. Goethe and M.Ğ. Rūmī. In his Persian (6 vols.) and Urdu (3 vols.) poetry, he developed his dynamic worldview, in which love appears as the force that stengthens the individual on the path to God and wherein the defeat of Satan through continuous struggle plays an important role. In his lectures (1928), Iqbāl atte…


(6,293 words)

Author(s): Koch, Heidemarie | Shaked, Shaul | Richard, Francis | Halm, Heinz
[German Version] I. Geography – II. History – III. Society – IV. History of Religion I. Geography Iran has a total surface of 1,648,195 km2 and is about the size of the combined area of Germany, France, Great Britain and Spain. Roughly half the country is covered by mountains; the Demāvand, an old volcano in the Elburz mountain range to the north of the capital Tehran, is the country's highest elevation with an altitude of 5,670 m. Some 8% of Iran's total surface is covered with forest, 55% with open steppes, and 2…


(1,155 words)

Author(s): Anschütz, Helga
[German Version] ( Al-Jumhuriyah al-ʾIraqiyah, “Republic of Iraq”) covers an area of 437,072 km2 between the Kurdish highlands and the Persian Gulf. The rivers Euphrates and Tigris and their tributaries are the determining factors of the ancient cultivated land of Mesopotamia. Deserts stretch accross the west and south of the country. The oil industry and agriculture (esp. the cultivation of wheat, barley, and dates) are the main economic sectors. Iraq belonged to the Ottoman Empire until the end of World Wa…

ʿIrāq el-Emīr

(205 words)

Author(s): Hübner, Ulrich
[German Version] (east of the Jordan) in the Wādī ṣ-Ṣīr approx. 25 km west of ʿAmmān is identical with Tyros (Sourabitta and Tauros). In the 3rd century bce, Tyros was in the possession of a branch of the Jerusalemite Tobiads, who acted in Tyros as commanders of a semi-autonomous military colony in the service of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Following disputes with the Oniad family, the Tobiad Hyrcanus ben Joseph retreated to Tyros (2 Macc 3:11; Jos. Ant. XII 186–236; cf. CIJ 868). It is uncertain whether the half-Judahite or – Ammonite Tobyah mentioned in Nehemiah 2–4; 6; 13 ¶ (5th cent. bce) was an…


(2,091 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Richter, Michael
[German Version] I. General Facts – II. Christianity I. General Facts Lying west of Great Britain in the North Atlantic, Ireland belongs to the British Isles and covers an area of 84,421 km2. Its (esp. in the west) strongly cleft coastline has a total length of 3,173 km. Numerous small offshore islands and reefs played an important role in the history of Ireland as places of refuge, bridgeheads, and the like. The island's interior is relatively flat with a general altitude of approx. 60–120 m above sea level. Mountains, whic…

Ireland, John

(168 words)

Author(s): Carey, Patrick W.
[German Version] (Sep 11, 1838, Burnchurch, County Kilkenny, Ireland – Sep 25, 1918, St. Paul, MI) was ¶ a Catholic bishop (1884–1888) and archbishop of St. Paul, Minnesota (1888–1918). Ireland was known as an Americanist bishop after the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884) because he zealously tried to get the Catholic Church to assimilate American values. An eloquent and gifted orator, Ireland called for the Americanization of the new immigrants and Catholic cooperation with the public schools. Within his…

Irenaeus of Lyon

(690 words)

Author(s): Wyrwa, Dietmar
[German Version] (c. 135 – c. 200). Irenaeus, who compiled the products of the Early Church's theological work in the 2nd century and effectively brought this phase to a close, may be regarded as one of the great church fathers (Patristics/Patrology) or certainly as the most significant of the “old Catholic fathers.” Originally from Asia Minor, where he had received a solid pagan education as well as his theological formation, he later moved to Gaul. As presbyter of the Lyon congregation, he trave…

Irenaeus of Tyre

(206 words)

Author(s): Böhm, Thomas
[German Version] (died c. 450) took part in the Synod of Ephesus (Ephesus, Councils of; 431) as a supporter of Nestorius. The Antiochene minority sent him to Theodosius II in Constantinople ( Epistula ad episcopos Orientales; PG 84, 613–616; ACO I/5, 135f.). Irenaeus ¶ was banished in 435 as an adherent of Nestorianism; however, the precise grounds for this sentence remain obscure, since Theodoret of Cyrrhus ( Ep. 110) emphasizes the correctness of Irenaeus's dogmatic views and Irenaeus had recognized the union of 433. During his exile, Irenaeus wrote his Tragoedia (PG 84, 551–864; A…

Irenäus, Christoph

(227 words)

Author(s): Koch, Ernst
[German Version] (Summer 1522, Świdnica [Schweidnitz], Poland – c. 1595, Buchenbach, Germany). Irenäus studied in Wittenberg in 1544 and became the head of a school in Bernburg in 1545, then in Aschersleben in 1548. On Feb 17, 1549, he received his M.A. in Wittenberg. After his ordination in Wittenberg (1552), he became deacon in 1553, in 1559 archdeacon in Aschersleben, in 1562 pastor in Eisleben, in 1566 court chaplain to Duke Johann Wilhelm of Saxony-Weimar in Coburg and Weimar, in 1570 visitat…


(667 words)

Author(s): Recki, Birgit | Köhler, Wiebke
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Practical Theology I. Philosophy Irony (from Gk εἰρωνεία/ eironeía, “dissimilation,” attested since the 4th cent. bce; Lat. dissimulatio) is disingenuous speech for the purpose of demonstrative exposure or derisive goading: through the expressive characterization of ambiguity, the opposite of what is meant is said. Rectification through reversal is the method of irony, which is employed as an aesthetic means, in the broader sense, of gaining reflexive distance in philosophy, poli…


(822 words)

Author(s): Grasmück, Oliver
[German Version] The term Iroquois, in the narrower sense, refers to those North American Indian tribes which, according to their own tradition, joined together around 1570 to form the Iroquois League (alliance of the five “nations” [Haudenosaunee, see below]: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca; in 1740, the Tuscarora joined as well), or, in a broader sense, to the members of the Iroquois language family which were prevalent in the area around Lakes Ontario, Huron and Erie, in the modern …

Irving, Edward

(190 words)

Author(s): Geck, Albrecht
[German Version] (Aug 4, 1792, Annan, Scotland – Dec 7, 1834, Glasgow), Scottish revivalist preacher. He studied in Edinburgh, became a school director in Kirkcaldy in 1812, assistant preacher with T. Chalmers in Glasgow in 1819, and pastor of the Scottish congregation in London in 1822. In 1824, he encountered the prophetically-oriented H. Drummond, experienced charismatic phenomena (Glossolalia) in worship in 1831, and, in 1832, joined the Catholic Apostolic Church founded by like-minded persons…


(367 words)

Author(s): Geck, Albrecht
[German Version] Irvingians/Irvingism, an “eschatological community” associated with the Scottish revival preacher ¶ E. Irving, also called the Catholic Apostolic Church. It originated in five “prophetic conferences” on the estate of H. Drummond in Albury near Guildford (1826–1830). On the basis of intensive Bible study, the participants interpreted the political and religious crises of the time as an expression of eschatological turmoil. Against this background, they saw themselves called to gather all Chri…


(886 words)

Author(s): Blum, Erhard | Niehoff, Maren
[German Version] I. Bible – II. Ancient Judaism I. Bible Isaac (יִצְחָק/ yiṣḥāq, “he laughs/smiles,” presumably a short form of the theophoric יִצְחָק־אֵל/ yiṣḥaq-ʾel, “El/God laughs/smiles”) is the second patriarch of Israel in the Genesis narratives: the son of Abraham and Sarah (Gen 21:1ff.) and, with his wife Rebekah, the father of Jacob/Israel and Esau/Edom (25:20ff.). In comparison to the narrative cycles of Abraham and Jacob, the Isaac tradition is remarkably less prominent. At the same time, the figure of Is…

Isaac ben Abraham

(177 words)

Author(s): Dan, Joseph
[German Version] (the Blind; c. 1160, Posquières, Provence – 1235) was the author of the first non-anonymous kabbalistic work (his Commentary on the Sefer Yetzirah, Kabbalah) and the most prominent kabbalist in the early circle in southern France in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. It is not known whether he was blind from birth or became blind as an adult. His commentary and several other short treatises, for example, On the Secret of the Sacrifices and On the Intentions of Prayer, and the many quotations from his teachings found in the writings of his disciples, reve…

Isaac ha-Cohen

(197 words)

Author(s): Dan, Joseph
[German Version] (of Castile; born in Soria, Spain) was a key figure in an influential group of kabbalists ¶ (Kabbalah) in Castile in the second half of the 13th century. Other important figures were his father, Jacob ha-Cohen, his elder brother, also called Jacob, and his disciple Moshe (ben Solomon ben Simeon) of Burgos. These kabbalists derived their esoteric knowledge mainly from the Gerona kabbalists in the first half of the 13th century, the book Bahir and the teachings of the early kabbalists in the Provence. The works of Isaac, especially his work on the emanation ( Treatise on the …

Isaac, Heinrich

(149 words)

Author(s): Mohr, Burkhard
[German Version] (Isaak, Henricus; c. 1450, Netherlands [?] – Mar 26, 1517, Florence), was a musician and diplomat who worked in many places: in Italy from c. 1480 for one of the Medici; in the German-speaking realm from c. 1497 until 1514 as court composer for Emperor Maximilian I. As an important master of the Dutch school, he composed many masses, motets, etc. in polyphonic style, but in his instrumental works and courtly tenor songs he also approched the melodious style of the Renaissance (cf.…

Isaac I

(142 words)

Author(s): Lilie, Ralph-Johannes
[German Version] (Comnenus; c. 1007 – end of 1060, Constantinople), Byzantine emperor, 1057–1059. After a predominantly military career in Asia Minor, which led him to the highest ranks, Isaac was proclaimed emperor by his troops in June 1057. After a short civil war, he was crowned emperor on Sep 4. During his rule he mainly worked for an improvement of the finances and the military services. In the ecclesiastical realm, he came into conflict with the self-confident patriarch of Constantinople, M…
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