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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Lortz, Josef

(199 words)

Author(s): Wolf, Hubert
[German Version] (Dec 13, 1887, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg – Feb 21, 1975, Luxembourg), Catholic church historian. After studying in Rome, Fribourg (Switzerland), and Bonn, he earned his Habilitation with Sebastian Merkle in Würzburg (1923), and was professor in Braunsberg (1929) and in Münster (1933). In his “history of ideas” turn to the objective, to authority, and community, Lortz saw intersections between National Socialism (I) and Catholicism. Lortz was removed from his chair in 1945 mainly because of his writing Katholischer Zugang zum Nationalsozialismus (A Catholic ap…

Löscher, Valentin Ernst

(412 words)

Author(s): Wallmann, Johannes
[German Version] (Dec 29, 1673, Sondershausen – Feb 12, 1749, Dresden). As the son of the Wittenberg professor of theology Caspar Löscher (1636–1718), Valentin Löscher also studied in Wittenberg. After a study tour (extending as far as Holland and Denmark), he received a master's degree and became an adjunct to the faculty of philosophy in 1692. He was appointed pastor and superintendent in Jüterbog (1699), superintendent in Delitzsch (1702), professor of theology in Wittenberg (1707), pastor of t…


(441 words)

Author(s): Kotiranta, Matti
[German Version] 1. Nikolay Onufriyevich (Dec 6, 1870, Kreslavka, Belarus [today Latvia] – Jan 24, 1965, Sainte-Genviève-des-Bois, France), one of the most important Russian philosophers at the turn of the 20th century. He identified with the Intuitivists, and his thought was influenced by the monadology of G.W. Leibniz and the intuitivism of H. Bergson. After studies in St. Petersburg, Lossky earned a doctorate in Germany with W. Wundt. Because of his religious convictions, Lossky felt compelled to …

Losungen (Watchwords)

(605 words)

Author(s): Neijenhuis, Jörg
[German Version] The first Losung was given orally on May 3, 1728, by N. v. Zinzendorf of the Moravian Church (Bohemian and Moravian Brethren: II) in the context of evening worship as a watchword for the next day. Every day from then on, the Brethren took the daily watchword given by Zinzendorf to the 32 houses of the Herrnhut community in Saxony, so that it could shape the community's common spiritual life. Zinzendorf chose a verse from the Bible or a line from a hymn. From this initial phase, a written fragment from the year 1729 has survived. The Losungen entered a second phase when they w…

Los-von-Rom-Bewegung (Free-from-Rome Movement)

(522 words)

Author(s): Landersdorfer, Anton
[German Version] The Los-von-Rom-Bewegung was a movement within the Habsburg territories between 1897 and 1918 that encouraged people to leave the Catholic Church and to join the Protestant and Old Catholic Churches (Old Catholics). Its primary goals were to Protestantize Austrian Catholics and incorporate the German-speaking regions of Austria into the German Empire. It was triggered by a decree of Prime Minister Kasimir Felix Badeni recognizing Czech as an administrative language in Bohemia and M…


(385 words)

Author(s): Pye, Michael
[German Version] (Skt. Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra, i.e. “ Sūtra on the lotus blossom of the true dharma ”), a fundamental text of early Mahāyāna Buddhism and a work of prime importance in the Chinese Tiantai school (Jap. Tendai) as well as in Japanese Nichiren Buddhism. The most important Chinese translation by Kumārajīva (406) bears the title Miaofa Lianhua Jing (“ Sūtra on the lotus blossom of the sublime dharma”), which gave rise, in Japan, to the frequently used prayer formula Namu myōhō renge kyō. Sanskrit manuscripts are of later date. In terms of content, the concept of “(skill…

Lotzer, Sebastian

(163 words)

Author(s): Jung, Martin H.
[German Version] (Weygelin, Wergelin; Basty, Beste; c. 1490, Horb am Neckar – after 1525, Switzerland?). Between 1523 and 1525, Lotzer, a craftsman (furrier?) ¶ and lay theologian, published five pieces supporting the rights of the laity and the Reformation. Together with C. Schappeler he led the Protestant movement in the imperial city of Memmingen, where early in January of 1525 he participated in a disputation with Catholic traditionalists and helped introduce the Reformation. Writing in support of the rebellious peasants, the Baltringer Haufen, he composed the most import…

Lotze, Rudolf Hermann

(389 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (May 21, 1817, Bautzen – Jul 1, 1881, Berlin). After receiving degrees in medicine and philosophy, Lotze was appointed professor in Göttingen in 1844. His significance in the history of philosophy is twofold. He released philosophy from speculative Idealism by contrasting the realism of the natural sciences. He was also the author of an epistemology that was not naturalistically reducible, such as would be developed by Neo-Kantianism in the person of Lotze's student W. Windelband …

Lotz, Johannes Baptist

(278 words)

Author(s): Haeffner, Gerd
[German Version] (Aug 2, 1903, Darmstadt – Mar 3, 1992, Munich), a Jesuit since 1921, was appointed professor of metaphysics at Pullach in 1936; after 1952 he also taught in Rome. His thought moved between Thomas Aquinas, German Idealism, and M. Heidegger. He espoused a philosophy of being and subject that takes its starting point in the positional nature of judgment, expressed by its vehicle “is,” possible only by advancing toward the supercategorial extension and absoluteness of “Being.” With G.…

Louis IX (Saint)

(672 words)

Author(s): Wolf, Gerhard Philipp
[German Version] (Apr 25, 1214, Poissy – Aug 25, 1270, Carthage), king of France; eldest son of Louis VIII (reigned 1223–1226) and Blanche of Castile (1188–1252). Louis became king of France at the age of twelve, initially under the guardianship of his mother, who remained coregent even after 1234. Louis's foreign policy was determined by three great spheres of influence: Byzantium (Constantinople/Byzantium), Islam, and the Mongol Empire. The alliance of the French king with the Mongols against Is…

Louis of Toulouse (Saint)

(167 words)

Author(s): Schmucki, Oktavian
[German Version] (of Anjou, of Marseille; Feb 1274, probably in Brignoles, Provence – Aug 19, 1297, Brignoles), son of Charles II of Anjou. From 1288 to 1295 he was held hostage for his father in Catalonia, where two Franciscans saw to his education; they also brought him into contact with Peter Olivi. After the death of his elder brother, Louis renounced the throne in favor of his younger brother Robert and joined the Franciscan order. In 1296 he was appointed and consecrated archbishop of Toulou…

Louis the Bavarian

(264 words)

Author(s): Müller, Rainer A.
[German Version] (1282? – Oct 11, 1347, Puch, near Fürstenfeldbruck), German king and Holy Roman emperor, son of Duke Louis II of Bavaria (d. 1294). Duke of Upper Bavaria from 1302, Louis was elected as the German king in 1314 against the Habsburg candidate, Frederick III. After his victory over the anti-king at the Battle of Mühldorf in 1322, Louis vigorously pursued a policy of territorial expansion, with Wittelsbach acquisitions including Mark Brandenburg (1323), Tirol (1342), and Holland (1346). Because of his Italian policy and the conciliarist position taken by members of his ¶ cou…

Louis the Pious

(186 words)

Author(s): Hartmann, Wilfried
[German Version] (714, Chasseneuil-du-Poitou near Poitiers – Jun 20, 840, near Ingelheim am Rhein). The third son of Charlemagne, Louis was appointed king of Aquitaine in 781 and coemperor in 813; he became sole emperor in 814. Initially he ruled energetically and decisively (Capitularies, reform of the rules for canons and monks with Benedict of Aniane). The ordinatio of 817 governing succession was intended to assure the unity of the empire: the younger sons were made subordinate to Lothar, the eldest. In 829, when Louis awarded a separate kingdom w…

Louis XIV

(240 words)

Author(s): Geiss, Peter
[German Version] (Sep 5, 1638, Saint-Germain-en-Laye – Sep 1, 1715, Versailles), king of France from 1643. Louis's youth was marked by a revolt of the nobility and the Paris Parlement against Cardinal J. Mazarin, who reigned until 1661 on behalf of the king, who was still in his minority. Victory over this “Fronde” in 1653 laid the groundwork for French high absolutism, of ¶ which Louis, the “Sun King,” was virtually the ideal embodiment. Besides the continued expansion of a centralized administration, persecution of Protestants and Jansenists (Jansenism), c…


(494 words)

Author(s): Unterburger, Klaus
[German Version] Lourdes, Marian pilgrimage site in southern France. The roots of the pilgrimage are in alleged apparitions of Mary, beginning on Feb 11, 1858, to a poor 14-year-old miller's daughter, Bernadette Soubirous. In the first apparition, in the grotto of Massabielle she saw a girl wearing a white dress and veil, with a blue belt and yellow roses on her feet. The apparitions were repeated during the following three weeks; the silent apparitions ¶ were followed by a second phase, in which she was told to do penance on behalf of sinners. On Feb 25, at the direct…


(8,725 words)

Author(s): Prohl, Inken | Morgen, Michèle | Stock, Konrad | Steinmann, Michael | Herms, Eilert | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Bible – III. Dogmatics – IV. Philosophy – V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Ethics – VII. Practical Theology – VIII. Judaism I. History of Religion The concept of love describes a relationship of affection, tenderness, or devotion between human beings and between humans and God (Love of/for God) or the gods. The Old Testament speaks of the love of God for humanity; in Judaism, the commandment of obedience to God is followed by the commandment to love God (Deut 6:5) and one's fe…

Love/Charity Orders, Religious

(641 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] Many religious communities have the word love or caritas ( carità, charité, charity, etc.) in their name, referring to love of ¶ God and neighbor and usually further qualified as love of Christ, love of Mary, and so on (Merciful Brothers and Sisters of, Borromeans, Grey Brothers and Sisters, Good Shepherd Sisters, Rosminians, Vincentian Sisters). Frères de la Charité (Brothers of Charity; Congregatio Fratrum a Caritate, FC), founded as a lay congregation in 1807 in Ghent (Belgium) by the priest Pierre- Joseph Triest (1760–1836); today…


(261 words)

Author(s): Ward, Kevin
[German Version] Situated among the Xhosa people, Lovedale Mission, founded in 1826 near the town of Alice in South Africa's Eastern Cape, was named after John Love, secretary of the Glasgow Missionary Society. In 1844 the newly formed Free Church of Scotland took control and developed Lovedale, under William Govan, as one of the foremost educational institutions in Africa for black and white students. In 1866, its new principal, James Stewart, argued for an education more adapted to the social an…

Love Feast (Agape)

(482 words)

Author(s): Söding, Thomas | Tripp, David H.
[German Version] I. Early Christianity – II. Modern Times I. Early Christianity The Agape or love feast is a liturgically structured congregational feast. The first use of the term ἀγάπη ( agápē, “love”) is found in Jude 12 and Ign. Smyrn. 8.2. The phenomenon is widely documented from as early as the 2nd century. Comparable to this are symposia, which are known also to Judaism, not least as a charitable institution ( T. Job 10.1–3). H. Lietzmann assumed that, besides the Eucharist, which derives from Jesus' Last Supper (I), there existed non-sacramental but liturgi…

Love Gifts, Church

(302 words)

Author(s): Götzelmann, Arnd
[German Version] Love gifts have been given since earliest Christian times as donations, collections, bequests, and contributions for Christian welfare within and beyond the congregation and for the leaders or the employees of the congregation. In contrast to fixed levies such as the tithe (Tithing), contributions, or taxes, love gifts are understood to be voluntary and supplementary. Essentially, two types of love gift can be differentiated. 1. Well into the 20th century, not only pastors, but also sextons, clerks, deacons, and others, received gifts of money…
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