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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Rhalles, Konstantinos

(201 words)

Author(s): Potz, Richard
[German Version] (Sep 17, 1867, Athens – Dec 22, 1942, Athens). After studying from 1886 to 1889 in Leipzig, he received his habilitation in Roman law in Athens. He began working in the ministry of culture in 1897, then accepted appointment to the chair of canon law at the faculty of theology in Athens. In 1916 he moved to the faculty of law, where he also held the chair of canon law until he retired in 1937. With ¶ H. Alivisatos, Rhalles came to dominate the study of Greek canon law. Within his impressive oeuvre, his unfinished handbook on the canon law of Greece deserves…


(212 words)

Author(s): Brusniak, Friedhelm
[German Version] from Greek ῥάπτειν/ rháptein and ᾠδή/ ōdḗ, “stitched song.” In classical Greece, a rhapsodist sang fragments of the Homeric epics in improvised sequence. The word appeared in English c. 1540 in the sense of “epic poem.” In the literature of German-speaking Europe, Rhapsodie was first used by C. Celtis in 1505 as a term for a sequence of literary compositions without a fixed form or mandatory constraints; it was used in that sense by Luther in 1530, then in the 18th century by Christian Ewald v. Kleist (1765) and I. Kant (“Rhapsodie von Wahrnehmungen,” Kritik der reinen Ver…

Rhau, Georg

(167 words)

Author(s): Boisits, Barbara
[German Version] (Rhaw, Rau; 1488, Eisfeld, Franconia – Aug 6, 1548, Wittenberg), German composer, music theorist, and publisher. After studies at Erfurt and Wittenberg, Rhau served as cantor of the Thomasschule in Leipzig. A supporter of the Reformation, he went to Wittenberg in 1523 and set up a print shop, from which he published mostly collections of polyphonic Protestant church music with Latin and German texts but also the first printings of Luther’s Large Catechism and the Augsburg Confession. Rhau made Wittenberg a publishing center. His Newe deudsche geistliche Gesenge are ¶ a…

Rhegius, Urbanus

(276 words)

Author(s): Zschoch, Hellmut
[German Version] (Rieger; May 1489, Langenargen – May 27, 1541, Celle). A student of J. Eck’s, Rhegius was appointed preacher at Augsburg cathedral, but in 1521 he accepted Luther’s understanding of the gospel and lost his position. After preaching in Hall and Tirol, he returned to Augsburg in 1524, where he served as a Protestant preacher in the city’s employ. He wrote numerous works expounding the doctrine of the Reformation movement, concentrating on the message of justification of sinners and …

Rheinberger, Gabriel Joseph

(200 words)

Author(s): Klek, Konrad
[German Version] (Mar 17, 1839, Vaduz – Nov 25, 1901, Munich). At the age of 12, Rheinberger went to Munich for musical training. In 1859 he was a lecturer and in 1867 a professor at the Musikhochschule, with an international reputation as a teacher of composition and organ. He worked as an organist, a répétiteur for opera, and choral director, and served as court Kapellmeister from 1877 to 1894. He composed ¶ piano and chamber music, vocal music for solo and chorus, operas, and symphonies. His liturgical music includes motets and 14 Mass settings. Symphonic choral works are his Requiem (opus…

Rhenius, Karl Theophil Ewald

(174 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] (1790, Graudenz [Grudziądz, Poland] – 1838, Palayamkottai, India). After attending J. Jänicke’s mission school in Berlin, Rhenius was ordained as a Lutheran and moved to England; in 1814 he traveled to Madras (Chennai) in service of the Church Missionary Society (CMS). In 1820 he moved to Palayamkottai, with responsibility for the Tirunelveli district. The CMS’s increasing church-centeredness (esp. after 1833) brought the Pietistic Lutheran missionary into conflict with episcopal …


(4,336 words)

Author(s): Schirren, Thomas | Mitchell, Margaret M. | Ueding, Gert | Zachhuber, Johannes | Helmer, Karl | Et al.
[German Version] I. Antiquity 1. Greek. The expression ῥητορικὴ τέχνη/ rhētorikḗ téchnē was coined by the Sophistic school, which created the theoretical foundation for a form of communication thought of – especially in the Greek world – as an agon: the appearance of one or more communicators before the public, engaging in a linguistic contest. The cultural background of such performance events ¶ (Speech act) was the literary agon and the forensic contest, already mentioned by Homer ( Il. 18.497–508). It was the particular achievement of the Greek Enlightenment of the 5th…

Rhetorical Criticism

(190 words)

Author(s): Watson, Duane F.
[German Version] denotes the analysis of New Testament texts with respect to the “invention” ( inventio) of their argument, the arrangement ( dispositio) of their components, and their style ( elocutio). It may be based on classical Jewish and Greco-Roman rhetorical standards, modern theories of rhetoric, or a combination of both. Rhetorical criticism based on classical rhetoric is a historical discipline that analyzes NT texts in the context of their contemporary oral and written culture. It presupposes that the NT authors …


(1,203 words)

Author(s): Mühlen, Karl-Heinz zur
[German Version] I. By resolution of the Congress of Vienna (1815), in 1822 the Prussian Rhine Province (Prussia) was formed out of the Prussian Rhine provinces of Jülich-Cleves-Berg (administrative districts of Cleves, Düsseldorf, and Cologne) and the Grand Duchy of the Lower Rhine (administrative districts of Aachen, Koblenz, and Trier); its territory was coexstensive with that of today’s Evangelische Kirche im Rheinland (independent since 1948). It also includes the district of Wetzlar and the …

Rhodes, Alexandre de

(335 words)

Author(s): Phan, Peter C.
[German Version] (Mar 15, 1593, Avignon – Nov 5, 1660, Isfahan, Persia), French missionary in Vietnam and representative of accommodation in approaching the cultures of Asia. Rhodes joined the Jesuit order in 1612 in Rome, in order to pursue a mis-¶ sionary vocation in China or Japan. He left Lisbon on Jul 20, 1619 and arrived at Macao on May 29, 1623; from there he was sent to Vietnam in December, 1624. In 1627 he was recalled to Macao, and was then sent to North Vietnam to found a new mission station. Initially successful as a missio…


(93 words)

Author(s): Greschat, Katharina
[German Version] came from Asia Minor and taught in Rome c. 180 as a disciple of Tatian (Eus. Hist. eccl. V 13.1–9). His works included a treatise against the Roman Marcionites (Marcion), whom he accused of divisiveness in their doctrine of first principles. He engaged Apelles in a disputation to show that the latter’s form of the single first principle doctrine was without merit. Katharina Greschat Bibliography K. Greschat, “‘Woher hast du den Beweis für deine Lehre?’ Der altkirchliche Lehrer Rhodon und seine Auseinandersetzung mit den römischen Marcioniten,” StPatr 34, 2001, 82–87.

Rhythmical Offices

(220 words)

Author(s): Hiley, David
[German Version] (rhymed offices, verse offices). The term office here denotes a cycle of hymns and chants for the daily office of a particular feast. The texts are verse compositions. The medieval term for a chant cycle was historia; therefore the rhythmical office is a subtype of the historia genre. Only textually, not liturgically or musically, does the rhythmic office constitute a distinct ¶ genre. As early as the 9th century, we find chants with texts in verse, primarily in new historiae for non-Roman feasts like that of Medardus of Soissons (mid-9th cent.), Trinity Sunday, the Invent…

Ribera, José de

(165 words)

Author(s): Buttler, Karen
[German Version] ( Lo Spagnoletto; baptized Feb 17, 1591, Játiva, Valencia – Sep 3, 1652, Naples), Spanish painter, graphic artist, and etcher. After periods of residence in Parma (1611) and Rome (1613–1616), Ribera settled permanently in Naples from 1616; he soon came to be the city’s leading painter. Ribera’s realistic chiaroscuro, following Caravaggio, is characteristic ( The Five Senses, c. 1613–1615; The Beggar Philosophers, 1630); from 1632 he modified it by means of a differentiated use of light and color ( The Immaculate Conception, 1635). Ribero caused irritation espe…

Ricardo, David

(256 words)

Author(s): Gerlach, Jochen
[German Version] (Apr 18[19?], 1772, London – Sep 11, 1823, Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire) is considered, together with A. Smith, the main representative of classical national economics (Economy). He became very rich through stock exchange deals at an early age, bought a country estate, and devoted himself to study of the natural sciences. He was stimulated by Smith’s work to concern himself from 1799 with national economics. In 1810 The High Price of Bullion appeared, with convincing and politically effective criticism of the Bank of England’s monetary policy. Ricardo’s magnum op…

Ricci, Matteo

(616 words)

Author(s): Collani, Claudia v.
[German Version] (in Chinese, Li Madou; Oct 6, 1552, Macerata, March of Ancona – May 11, 1610, Peking), SJ (from 1571), pioneer of the modern China mission (China: V, 3; Catholicism: IV, 4) and the method of accommodation (Colonialism and mission: I, 2.a) in China. After studying philosophy and mathematics at the Collegio Romano (under Christopher Clavius SJ) Ricci was sent to China in 1577. There he studied theology in Goa in 1578, and from 1582 in Macao. China was closed to all foreigners. On the orders of the Jesuit visitor A. Valignano…

Ricci, Scipione de’

(289 words)

Author(s): Campi, Emidio
[German Version] (Jan 9, 1741, Rignana near Florence – Jan 27, 1810, Rignana), bishop of Pistoia and Prato, one of the most important representatives of Italian Jansenism. From 1775…

Richard of Mediavilla

(135 words)

Author(s): Rieger, Reinhold
[German Version] (Middleton; called doctor solidus; c. 1249 – c. 1308), gained his bachelor’s degree in theology between 1278 and 1284, and his master’s ¶ degree in 1284/85. Until 1286/1287 he was provincial of the Franciscans in France, and taught theology in Paris. In 1283 he participated in the condemnation of P.-R. Olivétan. From 1286 to 1297, Richard was tutorto the son of Charles II of Naples. Followin…

Richard of St. Victor

(202 words)

Author(s): Berndt, Rainer
[German Version] (died Mar 10, 1173, Paris). The date of Richard’s entry into St. Victor’s in Paris is unknown; he became subprior in 1159, and prior in 1162. Following his teacher Hugh of St. Victor, Richard put forward an encyclopedic conception of learning that entailed a Scriptured-based theology. The Liber exceptionum is just as much an introduction to the liberal arts as to Holy Scripture. In contrast, De Emmanuele deals with hermeneutical problems in 12th-century exegesis. Richard became famous for his work De trinitate, a treatise on the love of God. In it he rejects t…

Rich, Arthur

(280 words)

Author(s): Gerlach, Jochen
[German Version] (Jan 21, 1910, Neuhausen/Rheinfall – Jul 25, 1992, Zürich), one of the most important representatives of Protestant social and economic ethics in the post-World War II period. At the center of his thinking, which was inspired by religious socialism (Religious Socialists), is the definition of the relation between the absolute claim of eschatological reality and human praxis, especially in the formation of institutions. Before becoming a theologian, Rich had experienced the problem…

Richelieu, Jean Armand du Plessis, Duke of

(700 words)

Author(s): Klueting, Harm
[German Version] (Sep 9, 1585, Paris – Dec 4, 1642, Paris), French statesman and cardinal (1622). Richelieu gained the degree of Dr.theol. at the Sorbonne in 1607; in 1608, with papal dispensation because he was under the canonical age, he became bishop of Luçon, and in that capacity took part in the assembly of the States-General of 1614. In its final session he made a speech supporting the policies of the regent Marie de Medici, who in 1616 appointed him a minister in the council of state. After…
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