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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(448 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Manfred G.
[German Version] The lobby is the entrance hall of parliament beyond which non-parliamentarians may not proceed, and the designation of the place, the interest groups, and the activities of stakeholders (lobbyists) that aim to influence the deeds and non-deeds of officeholders (esp. of the legislative and of the executive authority [Power]) in order to further specific interests. As a rule, the process of exerting influence occurs in a formal or informal manner, especially through the conveying of…

Lobwasser, Ambrosius

(175 words)

Author(s): Pfeiffer, Harald
[German Version] (Apr 4, 1515, Schneeberg, Saxony – Nov 27, 1585, Königsberg), professor of ethics and rhetoric in Leipzig from 1542 and professor of jurisprudence in Königsberg from 1563. Lobwasser was a prolific writer of poetry. His main achievement was the translation of the Geneva or Huguenot Psalter (Huguenots: II), which he “pressed into German in like verses” in 1565 “out of love for the melodious language” (dedication to Duke Albert of Prussia). These psalms, which were sung by the French…

Local Church

(1,563 words)

Author(s): Roosen, Rudolf | zu Schlochtern, Josef Meyer | Ohme, Heinz | Küster, Volker
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Meaning – III. Missiology I. Terminology The term local church owes its theological rediscovery to Vatican II and must be understood against the background of the Roman Catholic understanding of the church (VIII, 2.b). There it denotes the church in a specific region, usually a diocese. From a systematic perspective, it refers to the middle level of ecclesiastical organization, between the Roman Catholic universal church and the Catholic parish. In German Protestantism deaneries (Dean/Deanery) or church districts (Church polity:…

Local Cults

(381 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] commonly refers to those cults and corresponding personifications (Local Deities) that are tied to a specific location. Such local cults are anchored in the social community of people who live together in one place and who also function and understand themselves as a community in their non-religious relations. As a local unit, and as the community with the highest rate of interaction after the family, the local cult may be largely identical with the political community; yet at the…

Local Deities

(540 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] Local adherents of a religion are identified by the representation of “their” god, be it (as in polytheism; Monotheism and Polytheism) in the form of various local deities with individual names, or (as in universal religions) in the guise of secondary local deities, saints (Saints/Veneration of the Saints) or heroes, or in local divine images of the “one” god. This local dimension of a god is manifested in the construction of his house, of his local domain. The fixing of a deity w…

Loccum Abbey

(218 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] Loccum Abbey, a Cistercian monastery lying 50 km northwest of Hanover, founded in 1163 as a filiation of Volkenroda, Thuringia. It was granted papal exemption in 1183 and an imperial charter in 1152. Its imperial immediacy was confirmed in 1530. The monastery gradually made the transition to the Reformation in the late 16th century, although it retained its autonomy. In 1677, G.W. Molanus organized the hospice according to the principles of Protestant monasticism ( Leges Hospitii). From 1792 onward, J.C. Salfeld transformed it into a “Prediger-Seminarium…

Loci Method

(393 words)

Author(s): Nüssel, Friederike
[German Version] The “loci method” refers to the summarizing description of a specific subject area by means of the general or basic concepts (Gk topoi, Lat. loci) that have become traditionally associated with the respective topic. It is rooted in the classical theory of topics elaborated by dialectics and rhetoric. Drawing on the ancient rhetoricians and the writings of R. Agricola and Erasmus of Rotterdam, Melanchthon, in his Rhetoric (1519), advised students to use the loci method for the clear structuring of the subject matter. In his Loci communes rerum theologicarum (1521), he…

Locke, John

(743 words)

Author(s): Puster, Rolf W.
[German Version] (Aug 29, 1632, Wrington, Somerset – Oct 28, 1704, Oates, Essex). The son of an English lawyer and imbued with Puritan values, John Locke attended Westminster School and matriculated at Oxford in 1652, where his studies extended not only to ¶ scholastic philosophy (Scholasticism) but also to areas of the natural sciences, and especially to the field of medicine. Following various academic and diplomatic activities, in 1667 he became a follower of Anthony Ashley Cooper, later the first Lord of Shaftesbury. A journey to Fra…

Lodenstein, Jodocus van

(198 words)

Author(s): van den Berg, Johannes
[German Version] (Feb 6, 1620, Delft, the Netherlands – Aug 6, 1677, Utrecht), came from a patrician family. He studied in Utrecht under G. Voetius, whose spiritual and theological orientation he shared, as well as in Franeker under J. Cocceius, whose theology he did not follow in spite of a personal friendship. He was pastor in Zoetermeer, Sluis, and (from 1653) in Utrecht, where he belonged to the Voetian circle. Lodenstein is a typical representative of the Nadere Reformatie. He fought for a st…

Lods, Adolphe

(215 words)

Author(s): Smend, Rudolf
[German Version] (Aug 17, 1867, Courbevoie/Seine – Mar 10, 1948, Paris), a Protestant Old Testament scholar. Lods studied in Paris, Berlin, and Marburg, and taught in Paris at the Protestant theological faculty (1893–1906) and at the Sorbonne (1906–1937). He critically and independently assessed the issues and conclusions of research in literary and form history in the German-speaking countries and drew on contemporary archaeology, sociology, and the developing comparative religious studies to aut…

Loeffler, Josias Friedrich Christian

(184 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Jan 18, 1752, Saalfeld – Feb 4, 1816, Gamstädt near Gotha), studied in Halle an der Saale from 1769 onward (esp. under J.S. Semler and J.A. Nösselt), served as a preacher in Berlin, was appointed professor of theology in Frankfurt an der Oder in 1782, and general superintendent as well as senior councilor of the consistory in Gotha in 1788. As the ecclesial and theological popularizer of an enlightened rationalism (1803–1816: editor of the Magazin für Prediger [Journal for preachers]), Loeffler's translation (1781, 21792) of Souverain's Le Platonisme dévoilé (1700) …

Loener, Kaspar

(186 words)

Author(s): Scheible, Heinz
[German Version] (1493, Markt Erlbach – Jan 4, 1546, Nördlingen), attended the monastery school in Heilsbronn, studied in Erfurt from 1508 and perhaps in Wittenberg from 1518. He became pastoral administrator in Unternesselbach and celebrant of the early mass in the Cistercian monastery in Birkenfeld (Neustadt/Aisch) in 1520 and preacher in Hof in 1524. Expelled in 1526, he became preacher in Oelsnitz, enrolled at the University of Wittenberg in 1526, but was a court preacher again already in 1529…

Loening, Edgar

(282 words)

Author(s): Landau, Peter
[German Version] (Jun 14, 1843, Frankfurt am Main – Feb 19, 1919, Halle an der Saale). Born as the son of Zacharias Löwenthal, a Jewish publisher from Frankfurt, Loening gained his habilitation after studying law (in Berlin and elsewhere) in Heidelberg in 1868. As professor of state, church, and administrative law, from 1872 Loening worked first in Strasbourg, then in Dorpat and Rostock, and finally from 1888 in Halle, where he was rector of the university from 1899 to 1900. From 1901, he represented the University of Halle in the Prussian first chamber. His major work in public law was the Leh…

Loën, Johann Michael von

(193 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (Dec 11, 1694, Frankfurt am Main – Jul 24, 1776, Lingen). After studying jurisprudence in Marburg and Halle (C. Thomasius) and undertaking educational journeys, especially to the courts of European rulers, Loën lived in Frankfurt am Main from an inherited fortune from 1724. Drawing on the form of the courtly Baroque novel, he developed an ¶ enlightened conception of state politics in Der redliche Mann am Hofe (The candid man at court; 1740). In the essay Die einzig wahre Religion (The only true religion; 1750f.), he elaborated an irenic program on the basis …

Loerke, Oskar

(532 words)

Author(s): Michel, Christoph
[German Version] (Mar 13, 1884, Jungen, Western Prussia – Feb 24, 1941, Berlin-Frohnau) studied German language and literature as well as history in Berlin (1903–1907). His first publication, Vineta, appeared in 1907. He undertook a number of journeys that were fruitful for his lyrical and prose writing: Harz 1908; Riesengebirge 1909; Paris 1910; the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest 1911; North Sea 1912; Algeria and Italy 1914. He published Wanderschaft, a collection of poems, in 1911. From 1909, he became acquainted with M. Buber, Emil Strauss, Alfred Momber…

Logia/Sayings Source/Q

(1,286 words)

Author(s): Schröter, Jens
[German Version] Logia/Sayings Source/Q, terms for a second source (abbreviated with the siglum “Q” [for Ger. Quelle = source] since J. Weiß) that is believed to have existed alongside Mark and from which Matthew and Luke drew in the writing of their own Gospels. The postulated existence of such a document, which is neither attested by manuscripts nor mentioned in other sources, thus rests on the premise that the synoptic question can be resolved by the Two-Source Hypothesis. Within this hypothesis, the assumpt…


(4,125 words)

Author(s): Mühling, Markus
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Theology I. Philosophy 1. Formal logic While signs are determined within the context of a signifying act (semiosis) by their relationship to the sign-users (pragmatic dimension), to the signified (semantic dimension), and to other signs (syntactic dimension) (Semiotics), logic in the broader sense concerns itself with this syntactic relationship of ¶ the signs and sign sequences to one another as well as with the semantic relationship of signs and sign sequences to the structures of subject areas, so that logic m…


(4,012 words)

Author(s): Peppel, Matthias | Slenczka, Notger | Figal, Günter
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Philosophy I. History of Religion The Greek noun logos (λόγος/ lógos), which is derived from the verb λέγειν/ légein, “to say, to speak,” designates the human faculty of speech and ability to reason, usually in combination, as well as numerous individual aspects such as: sentence, topic, oration, prose, teaching, judgment, cause, conclusion, and reason. In its earliest attestations logos refers to an “oration,” whose deceptive effects are frequently emphasized (Hom. Od. I 56) – thus in the personific…


(317 words)

Author(s): Röhlin, Karl-Heinz
[German Version] is a meaning-oriented form of psychotherapy developed by V. Frankl. Its central concept emphasizes the close connection between psychological health and the finding of meaning in life. Frankl considers “will to meaning” the primary human motivation (cf. S. Freud's “will to pleasure” and A. Adler's “will to power”); if it is frustrated, inappropriate neurotic attitudes (Neurosis) can proliferate to fill the vacuum. One task of therapy is therefore to include the mental dimension in…

Løgstrup, Knud Ejler

(427 words)

Author(s): Andersen, Svend
[German Version] (Sep 2, 1905, Copenhagen – Nov 20, 1981, Hyllested) was probably Denmark's most important systematic theologian in the 20th century, especially in the areas of ethics and philosophy of religion. After studying with Hans Lipps and M. Heidegger and a period as pastor, Løgstrup attained the chair in his discipline at the University of Aarhus in 1943. Løgstrup was influenced theologically by Luther and S. Kierkegaard and philosophically by existential phenomenology (Existentialism [ph…
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