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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(1,253 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard | Ehmer, Hermann | Wallmann, Johannes
[German Version] 1. Andreas (Dec 14 or 19, 1496 or 1498, Gunzhausen – Oct 17, 1552, Königsberg [today Kaliningrad, Russia]), Reformer of Nuremberg (Nürnberg) and center of a violent controversy over his doctrine of justification. Osiander matriculated at Ingolstadt in 1515, where he learned Greek and Hebrew and was influenced by Humanism and especially by J. Reuchlin and the Kabbalah. In 1520 he was ordained to the priesthood; in the same year, he was employed to teach Hebrew by the Augustinian Herm…


(7 words)

[German Version] Isis and Osiris


(1,055 words)

Author(s): Persch, Jörg
[German Version] Osnabrück, city and bishopric, founded at the end of the 8th century at the intersection of two ancient military and commercial routes. The Battle of Teutoburg Forest in 9 ce marked the end of Roman influence in the area settled by Teutons. Beginning in the 5th century, Saxons from the north moved in. The major Old Saxon farmstead at the ford of the Hase river became the center of the Threcwitigau. To replace a destroyed missionary station, Charlemagne, who defeated the Saxons under Widukind in 783, ordered a…

Ossietzky, Carl von

(474 words)

Author(s): Kraiker, Gerhard
[German Version] (Oct 3, 1889, Hamburg – May 4, 1938, Berlin), one of the few German journalists during the Wilhelmine Empire and the Weimar Republic to champion vigorously the ideas of a democratic republic (Democracy), pacifism, and social justice (Justice and righteousness: VI). He considered the Weimar Republic an unfinished project that still had to emancipate itself from the legacies of the earlier system and put its constitutional principles into practice. His pacifism was not absolute; it was directed against militarism and violent revisionism; he clearly had sympathy ¶ for …


(5 words)

[German Version] Sarcophagus/Urn/Ossuary

Ostasien-Mission (East Asia Mission)

(299 words)

Author(s): Hamer, Heyo E.
[German Version] The Ostasien-Mission (OAM) was founded in Weimar on Jun 4, 1884,under the name Allgemeiner Evangelisch-Protestantischer Missionsverein (AEPM). It reflected the liberal missionary ideas of E. Buss, a Swiss pastor. The purpose of the AEPM was “…to spread Christian religion and civilization among non-Christian peoples, building on ¶ the elements of truth already present” (§2 of its statutes). The organization was international, with local associations in Switzerland, Germany, Alsace, and Luxembourg; its headquarters was in Berlin…

Ostervald, Jean Frédéric

(263 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (Nov 24, 1663, Neuchâtel – Apr 14, 1747, Neuchâtel), son of a Neuchâtel minister. Ostervald studied theology in Orléans, Paris, and Saumur, graduated in 1683, became a deacon in 1686, and in 1699 a Reformed minister in Neuchâtel. On his own initiative he taught students embarking on theological studies, his goal being a comprehensive reformation. He was considered the most influential Neuchâtel theologian and preacher of his time. His reforms focused especially on dogmatics and et…

Ostfriesische Evangelische Missionsgesellschaft (East Frisian Evangelical Mission Society)

(186 words)

Author(s): Hafermann, Karl-Hermann
[German Version] The OstfriesischeEvangelische Missionsgesellschaft (OEMG) was founded in 1834, succeeding the (East Frisian) Missions-Sozietät vom Senfkorn, founded in 1798, which had responded to appeals of (Pietist) Dutch and English missionary groups, giving them material and personal support. With the founding of the OEMG, this loosely organized society took on more defined form. It did not send missionaries but supported other societies such as the Goßner Mission, the Hermannsburg Mission, and the Bremen Mission by directing t…


(167 words)

Author(s): Oswalt, Julia
[German Version] (250 km northeast of Lviv [Lemberg], Ukraine), chosen seat of the Ruthenian Udel princes of Ostrog; from the mid-14th century steadily built up as a defensive fortress against Tartar attack. With the rise of the princes of Ostrog to the highest rank of the Polish-Lithuanian aristocratic republic, Ostrog gained particular importance as a political and cultural center for the defence of Ruthenian interests, and the strengthening of the position of the Eastern Church in the process o…

Osuna, Francisco de

(185 words)

Author(s): Rodrigues, Manuel Augusto
[German Version] (c. 1492, Osuna [Seville] – c. 1541), Franciscan, one of the most important Spanish mystics. Osuna studied in Alcalá de Henares, and after ordination as a priest retired to the La Salceda hermitage, where he drew up the main lines of his spirituality of inner composure ( recogimento) and wrote his first treatises ( Abecededarios). He had close contacts with the Alumbrados. His best-known treatise is the Third Spiritual ABC, which strongly influenced Theresa of Avila. Manuel Augusto Rodrigues Bibliography Ed.: Tercer abecedario espiritual, ed. S.L. Santidrian, 1998 On…

Otfrid von Weißenburg

(411 words)

Author(s): Rodrigues, Manuel Augusto
[German Version] (c. 800 – c. 871), entrusted, presumably as a child ( puer oblatus; Oblates: I), to the monastery at Weißenburg (Wissembourg) in Alsace; ordained priest c. 830, he received a thorough education at his home monastery, followed by studies in Fulda under Rabanus Maurus. After his return he became, under Abbot Grimald, a teacher, head of the scriptorium, and spiritus rector of a theological program on the Fulda model, directed towards a deeper understanding of Holy Scripture. To this end, Otfrid worked towards a commentary on the whole Bible. …


(2,191 words)

Author(s): Huizing, Klaas | Adriaanse, Hendrik J. | Bayer, Oswald
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Dogmatics – IV. Ethics I. Philosophy Until G.W.F. Hegel, otherness is a basic provision of finitude. The concept “otherness = the other” acquires a specially personal and anthropological significance for the predecessors of “I-thou” philosophy. In a letter of 1781 to J.C. Lavater, F.H. Jacobi discovers the meaning of the other, or “thou,” for the human development of the solitary “I” subject: “I open eye or ear, or I stretch out my hand, and in that very instant I feel inseparably: thou a…


(7 words)

[German Version] Tribes of Israel

Otloh of St. Emmeram

(217 words)

Author(s): Röckelein, Hedwig
[German Version] (Othloh, Othlo; c. 1010, Freising diocese – after 1070, Regensburg). Educated in the monastery school at Tegernsee, and at first a clerk, Otloh entered the Regensburg monastery of St. Emmeram in 1032, and directed the school there (teacher of William of Hirsau). Conflicts with the Freising clergy and the bishops of Regensburg caused him several times to leave Bavaria temporarily, and serve the monasteries of Hersfeld, Fulda, and Amorbach, and the bishop of Würzburg, as a gifted ca…

Otterbein, Philipp Wilhelm

(170 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] ( Jun 2, 1726, Dillenburg, Prussia – Nov 17, 1813, Baltimore, MD), German Reformed minister who became a founder of the United Brethren in Christ. Otterbein went to the United States in 1752 at the invitation of the German Reformed Pietist, Michael Schlatter (1718–1790). Otterbein had been educated in Calvinist and Pietist teachings at the Reformed University of Herborn (Reformed Colleges in Germany). In America, Otterbein energetically encouraged prayer meetings, recruited lay le…

Otter, Jakob

(168 words)

Author(s): Schröder, Tilman M.
[German Version] (c. 1485, Lauterburg, Alsace – Mar 15, 1547, Esslingen). As a schoolboy Otter already came under Humanist influence. In 1505 he matriculated in Heidelberg; in 1507 he became secretary to J. Geiler von Kaysersberg in Strasbourg; in 1517, Lic.theol. in Freiburg; in 1522, preacher in Kenzingen, then in 1525 in Neckarsteinach. Because of his Reformation preaching, Otter was expelled from his posts in 1524 and 1529; he went to Strasbourg, where he became familiar with the theology of M…

Otto, Berthold

(301 words)

Author(s): Roggenkamp-Kaufmann, Antje
[German Version] (Aug 6, 1859, Bienowitz near Guhrau, Silesia – Jun 29, 1933, Berlin), Berlin educational reformer (Educational reform). Otto, son of a Silesian landowner, studied classics, philosophy, psychology, constitutional law, and (under Friedrich Paulsen and others) educational method in Kiel and Berlin. From 1883 he worked as a private tutor, freelance writer, and lexicographer in Westphalia, Berlin, Hamburg, and Leipzig. In 1902, after his writings criticizing schools had brought him to …


(603 words)

Author(s): Ursinus, Michael
[German Version] The Ottomans, sometimes called the Imperial House of Osman (the dynasty’s founder), were the rulers of the Ottoman Empire. In a broader sense, the term denotes the Muslim (and since around the mid-19th cent. officially even the non-Muslim) population of this last Islamic empire. It had arisen from the chaos surrounding the collapse of Mongol rule over the Seljuks, developing from an Anatolian principality into an immediate neighbor and rival of Byzantium, until finally, with the c…


(531 words)

Author(s): Laudage, Johannes
[German Version] The term Ottonians, dating from the 11th century, is a collective designation of the East Frankish (not Ger.) dynasty that reigned from 919 to 1024. Henry I was the founder of the Ottonian dynasty. His decision to adopt individual succession (929/930), reinforced by Otto the Great, marked the transition from the clan principle of the early Middle Ages to the dynastic house of the High Middle Ages; only the artificial scholarly term Liudolfings includes agnatic forebears and collateral lines. The Ottonians’ sense of their ancestry therefore concentrate…

Otto of Bamberg, Saint

(176 words)

Author(s): Gummelt, Volker
[German Version] (c. 1065 – Jun 30, 1139, Bamberg). From 1088 Otto worked at the behest of the emperor Henry IV as chaplain for his sister at the Polish court. From about 1097 he was responsible for the building of Speyer cathedral. In 1102 the emperor appointed him bishop of Bamberg; papal consecration followed only in 1106. Through diplomatic skill, Otto laid the foundation for Bamberg’s episcopal territorial rule. Many monasteries and foundations trace their origin to him. He was given the sobr…
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