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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Oratio Tone

(177 words)

Author(s): Praßl, Franz Karl
[German Version] The oratio tone is the model for the chant of the priest’s prayers in the name of the congregation, or liturgies, especially oratios (collects/prayer of the day, super oblata/prayer over the gifts, post communionem/concluding prayer/prayer of thanksgiving), in the broader sense also cantillation formulas for eucharistic prayers (esp. the preface, verba testamenti), the Paternoster etc. with the same structure and significance as reading tones. Cantillated prayers are the oldest form of liturgical communication in words; some autho…


(444 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] I. Oratorians of Saint Philip Neri – II. French Oratory I. Oratorians of Saint Philip Neri (Oratory of Divine Love, Congregation of the Oratory, Philippians, Institutum Oratorii S. Philippi Nerii), congregation of secular priests who lead a common life of prayer and pastoral ministry in the spirit of P. Neri, united only by bonds of mutual love, without vows and binding commitments (albeit under statutes approved in 1612). The congregation was founded in 1552 in the oratory of its founder’s commu…


(1,663 words)

Author(s): Massenkeil, Günther
[German Version] The oratorio (Ital., from Lat. oratorium) is a musical genre, generally an undramatized musical setting of a particular text, usually extensive and religious but not as a rule liturgical, distributed among several soloists or groups. The Latin word denotes both the musical form and, in the Roman Catholic Church, a consecrated liturgical space that is not a parish church (Eng. oratory). This usage points to the origins of the genre. Its roots go back to Catholic reforms after the Council of Trent, more specifically the spiritual exercises i…

Ordeal, Trial by

(1,373 words)

Author(s): Wißmann, Hans | Niehr, Herbert | Ogris, Werner
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Legal History I. Religious Studies Trial by ordeal is a means of decision-making as to the guilt or innocence of a suspect in legal cases where there is no available evidence or testimony, and where no guilty plea has been entered. In place of an oath, but in ¶ line with the inherent logic of the oath, a conditional self-curse was sometimes employed; this would apply in cases where, for example, a slave was disqualified from a hearing under oath, and a divine declaration of the truth was so…


(2,247 words)

Author(s): Kather, Regine | Sieckmann, Jan-R. | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Law – III. Dogmatics – IV. Ethics I. Philosophy The concept of order (Gk τάξις/ táxis, κόσμος/ kosmos; Lat. ordo) is employed in natural philosophy, epistemology, and cultural anthropology. It refers to an arrangement of elements that stand in a particular relationship to one other and form the structure of a larger whole. The concept of order is particularly fundamental to cosmology: for Hesiod, the genesis of the cosmos takes place within “theogony,” and for Plato ( Tim.) through the transition from an undifferentiated primal state to a w…

Order, German

(7 words)

[German Version] Teutonic Order

Orderic Vitalis

(143 words)

Author(s): Houts, Elisabeth van
[German Version] (1075, Atcham, England – 1141, Saint-Evroult, Normandy), son of Odelerius of Orléans and an Englishwoman. At the age of ten he was sent to the monastery of Saint-Evroult in Normandy, where he spent the rest of his life. His entire monastic career was devoted to the writing of history. His earliest work (c. 1109) was a revision of William of Jumièges’s Gesta Normannorum Ducum. His most important work is the monumental Historia Ecclesiastica, a chronicle that began as a local history of his monastery but developed into a wideranging history of Western E…

Order, Rules of a Religious

(393 words)

Author(s): Haering, Stephan
[German Version] These are the written rules for life in religious orders, recognized by the church. The names of such rules vary: Regula, Constitutiones, Consuetudines, Statuta, Formula vitae etc. The authors of the basic rules are usually the founders of an order or a monastery. Early rules were written by monastic fathers, for example Pachomius, Basil the Great, Benedict of Nursia, Columba; see also monasticism (III). When a monastery’s way of life was based on them, they were locally or regionally adapted over time and made more precise by supplementary ¶ normative texts. Benedict…

Orders, Catholic

(2,640 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] I. Concept and Definition – II. History – III. Membership I. Concept and Definition Orders are organized associations of religious communities. The constituent element of belonging to an order ( status religiosus) is a longterm commitment to a particularly close discipleship to Christ (Discipleship, Christian) to the glory of God, the edification of the church, and the salvation of the world ( CIC/1983, c. 573). This way of life is usually set (c. 575) by the evangelical counsels or counsels of perfection (Perfection, Counsels of; poverty, c…

Order, Supreme Ordinator of a Religious

(176 words)

Author(s): Haering, Stephan
[German Version] An unofficial title for the supreme leader ( Supremus Moderator) of centrally structured orders (e.g. Franciscans, Dominicans, Jesuits), secular institutes or societies of apostolic life. The ordinator is elected by the general chapter, in most orders for a limited term. Normally a minimum age and a minimum period of membership of the order are required. The ordinator has full power over the entire institute and its members, and represents it externally. In the performance of official duti…


(161 words)

Author(s): Rees, Wilhelm
[German Version] Resulting from the separation of functions required by the ecclesiastical lawgiver (e.g. CIC/1983 c.135; CCEO c. 985; Jurisdiction, Ecclesiastical), and alongside the diocesan court (Consistory), the ordinariate is the authority in the diocesan curia (cf. CIC/1983 cc. 469–494; CCEO cc. 243–263) which serves the administration of the diocese (also denoted general vicariate; Bishopric) under the direction of the vicar general (cf. CIC/1983 c. 475). Requirements include a chancellor, additional notaries as needed, a property adminstrator, and …


(167 words)

Author(s): Rees, Wilhelm
[German Version] in Catholic church law designates the bearer of regular power of governance (Jurisdiction). In addition to the pope, these include (cf. CIC/1983 c. 134 §1; CCEO c. 984) the diocesan bishops (III, 1), the regional prelates (I) and abbots, the vicars apostolic, prefects, and administrators, the military bishops, the head of a personal prelacy ( CIC/1983 c. 295 §1), as well as the vicars general and bishops’ vicars (not court vicars and officials); in addition, the interim leaders (e.g. diocesan administrator), the higher heads of clerical order institutes iuris pontifi…

Ordinary Time

(200 words)

Author(s): Praßl, Franz Karl
[German Version] Outside the cycle of Easter and Christmas festivals, the Roman liturgy had three formulas, each depending on the date of Easter, for measuring six possible Sundays after Epiphany (Epiphany: V), and 23 for 28 possible Sundays after Pentecost. In the Middle Ages they were numbered both “after Pentecost” (until 1970, Cath. use) and “after Trinity” (Trinity Sunday, Protestant use). All these ordinary (“ferial”) Sundays had the liturgical color (II) green and could be displaced by high…


(8,047 words)

Author(s): Hartenstein, Friedhelm | Sänger, Dieter | Peters, Christian | Brandt, Reinhard | Meßner, Reinhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Church History – IV. Dogmatics – V. Liturgy – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Law and Legal History – VIII. Judaism I. Old Testament The search, mainly from a Protestant perspective, for antecedents of ordination in the Old Testament does not seem very promising, since no direct equivalent to Christian ordination as public commissioning of office-bearers by the community is to be found in the Hebrew Bible. Relevant research is mainly limited to the OT Jewish background of…


(5 words)

[German Version] Consecration/Ordination/Dedication

Ordination and Post-Ordination Education and Training

(5,505 words)

Author(s): Bauer, Karl-Adolf | Rau, Stefan | Schneider, Johann | Pobee, John
[German Version] I. Early Church and Middle Ages – II. Protestantism (Germany) – III. Roman Catholic Church after Trent – IV. Orthodox Church – V. Non-Catholic Churches outside Germany I. Early Church and Middle Ages The New Testament contains scattered statements about the personal qualifications required of someone holding ministerial office in the church (e.g. 1 Tim 3:2–13; Tit 1:6–9) but says nothing about their training. Since the gospel implies understanding and address persons, the question of the theological education and…

Ordination of Priests

(830 words)

Author(s): Meßner, Reinhard | Plank, Peter
[German Version] 1. Catholic understanding. In Roman Catholic usage, the expression ordination of priests (or presbyters; Ordination: V, 1) reflects a specific, sacerdotal understanding of ecclesiastical office (VI, 3). The Christian priesthood is associated in the first instance with baptism (IV, 1). Postbaptismal anointing is the ritual sign of inclusion in the priestly people of God through participation in the priestly office of Christ. In the Roman tradition in particular, this anointing has always been associated with…


(414 words)

Author(s): Foley, Edward B.
[German Version] The term ordo was borrowed from Roman law and civil administration and acquired various ecclesial, liturgical meanings within Christianity. Already in Tertullian ( De exhortatione castitatis, 7) ordo refers to clergy, distinguishing them from laity ( plebs). In subsequent centuries ordo is used for denoting different categories of the ordained (e.g. ordo episcoporum). Later ordo is employed to designate various Christian rituals, ritual segments or ritual arrangements. The term thus appears through canon 4 of the Council of Braga (56…

Ordo Romanus Primus

(287 words)

Author(s): Klöckener, Martin
[German Version] (OR I), the oldest liturgical order of the pope’s mass within the stational liturgy in the city of Rome (late 7th/early 8th cent.), transmitted in two versions. The title in the manuscripts runs Incipit ordo ecclesiastici ministerii romanae ecclesiae vel qualiter missa caelebratur, with variations (modern title from eds. such as J. Mabillon, 1689; M. Andrieu, 1948). OR I is one of the early medieval sources called ordo (Ordo/Ordines). OR I is a complex description of procedure (without prayer texts) with a clear structure (opening – ministry of the…

Ordo Salutis

(1,102 words)

Author(s): Marquardt, Manfred | Huxel, Kirsten
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics I. Dogmatics The focus of the problems addressed by the Protestant doctrine of ordo salutis is the relationship between the action of God’s grace ( gratia dei applicatrix) and the human experience of salvation. Based on the Reformers’ doctrine of justification but also going beyond it, it describes the working of the Holy Spirit or God’s grace in the life of the justified believer in all its unity and diversity. The beginnings of the doctrine are already visible in the Augsburg Confession of 1530 ( CA 6 and 12) and – in greater detail – in the…
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