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.

Subscriptions: see brill.com

Sobornost

(9 words)

[German Version] Church, Catholicity of the Church

Sociability

(874 words)

Author(s): Oberdorfer, Bernd | Nicol, Martin
[German Version] I. Ethics 1. In a broad sense, sociability denotes the fundamental anthropological structure of human beings as social animals. But the Greek concept of the ζῷον πολιτικόν/ zṓon politikón already suggests a narrower understanding, since it addresses the specific way of life of free citizens, relieved of the burden of obtaining the necessities of life, in which the destiny of human beings is realized. Loosely based on this tradition, with special attention to Aristotle’s theory of friendship ( Eth. Nic. VIII and IX) and influenced by aspects of Pietism and th…

Social Change

(339 words)

Author(s): Schieder, Rolf
[German Version] This technical sociological term does not cover the multitude of change processes within a society but attempts to provide a theoretical framework for profound changes in the social structure itself. The first systematic presentation of the concept was published by William F. Ogburn (1886–1959), who deliberately isolated it from such concepts as evolution, development, and progress. He was unwilling to associate himself with any theory of development, optimistic or pessimistic, cy…

Social Classes

(8 words)

[German Version] Class Statistics/Social Classes

Social Contract

(776 words)

Author(s): Kersting, Wolfgang
[German Version] Social contract theories are socio- and politico-philosophical conceptions that consider the legitimation of political authority and social order to be grounded in a hypothetical contract entered into by free, rational, and equal individuals to improve their lot on a pre-social context under idea, non-compelling conditions. Such theories make universal capacity to consent their fundamental criterion of legitimacy. Restriction of freedom in any form, from the establishment of state…

Social Darwinism

(6 words)

[German Version] Darwinism

Social Democracy, German

(1,992 words)

Author(s): Däubler-Gmelin, Herta | Schmude, Jürgen
[German Version] I. History and Present Situation The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) was an outgrowth of the General German Workers’ Association, founded by F. Lassalle in 1863, and the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Germany, founded by A. Bebel in 1869; they merged in 1875 to form the Social Democratic Workers’ Party. The name was changed to the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1890. In the party’s Eisenach Program of 1869, Bebel said: “Today’s political and social conditions are unjust in the extreme. . . . The struggle to free the working…

Social Disciplining

(190 words)

Author(s): Schubert, Anselm
[German Version] is a term coined by the historian G. Oestreich for the military and bureaucratic control of people’s life and work in an absolutist territorial state. In a broader sense, it denotes the structural social homogenization of subjects in modern (and early modern) states by formal moral control and church discipline. The term was used heavily in the research paradigm ofconfessionalization (Schilling). The concept is related to the theory of N. Elias – recently challenged – that the structure of our complex modern society since the ¶ Middle Ages has meant increasing sel…

Social Education

(1,623 words)

Author(s): Thiersch, Hans
[German Version] In Germany the term social education ( Sozialpädagogik) is generally used alongside social work in the doublet social education/social work; alternatively it may be used only for one specific, fundamental aspect within the broader context of social work, although this latter use has not gone unchallenged. This situation is the result of developments in social work during the past half century. This article will briefly trace the tradition of social education and then describe the nature of social work today. I. The Term and its History Social education as assistanc…

Social Ethics

(124 words)

Author(s): Stroh, Ralf
[German Version] Social ethics deals with the proper ordering (Order) of human coexistence – as intended, because it respects the transcendental conditions of the conditio humana. It is the indispensable counterpart to individual ethics, which examines the intended form of an individual’s life praxis. Since both social and individual ethics seek to unravel the ethical implications of one and the same transcendental concept of the conditio humana, they cannot be at odds within a single fundamental anthropological conception. Conflict can arise only between diff…

Social Gospel

(984 words)

Author(s): Toulouse, Mark G.
[German Version] is a loosely organized movement that developed among Protestants in the United States in the late-19th century. Precise dates for the movement’s beginning and ending are not easily identified. The Social Gospel combined traditional evangelical piety with a new call for the redemption of the social order. Impulses that led to the movement are found in at least four distinct sources: 1. Social crises external to the church, rooted in the economic struggles of a modern industrial soc…

Social History

(4,845 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph | Schaper, Joachim | Hezser, Catherine | Leutzsch, Martin | Herrmann, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology and Theory In its scientific exploration of the past, all historiography aims at a synthesis in the sense of a valid overview of what has gone before. At best, however, the quest can succeed only paradigmatically and typically, because any reconstruction of an histoire totale is doomed to failure. Nevertheless historiography cannot abandon the ven-¶ ture of viewing history (History/Concepts of history) as a whole, because otherwise the incalculable mass of detail would rule out any interpretation of historical processes. …

Socialism

(3,591 words)

Author(s): Altvater, Elmar | Ruddies, Hartmut | Dorn, Jacob H.
[German Version] I. Terminology The word socialism can denote a theoretical school of thought, a political movement (Parties), and a way of organizing the state and society. As a theoretical school, modern (as distinct from premodern) socialism emerged in the 19th century as a response to the unreasonable demands of dynamically expanding capitalistic control of the means of production (Capitalism). All conceptions of socialism share rejection of the individualistic profit principle based on a private …

Socialism and Theology

(8 words)

[German Version] Religious Socialists

Socialist Parties

(1,318 words)

Author(s): Brakelmann, Günter
[German Version] Lorenz v. Stein’s Der Socialismus und Communismus des heutigen Frankreichs (1842) provided the first systematic survey of the group of socialist and communist theoreticians (Socialism, Communism) in France in the first half of the 19th century. Stein understood their various philosophical, sociocritical, and future-oriented blueprints as responses to the social and political situation of the emerging proletariat under the conditions of a capitalistic economy (Capitalism). The attempts of w…

Socialization

(1,371 words)

Author(s): Bochinger, Christoph | Mette, Norbert | Schweitzer, Friedrich
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The term socialization is used in various academic fields, especially sociology, (social) psychology, and the educational disciplines (Education, Theory of ). Already used by É. Durkheim in 1907, it experienced a wave of popularity in the 1960s and again in the 1980s. Initially it emphasized the formation of individuals by society; recently it has focused more on the interaction between individuals’ own activity and outside influences and between individuation and …

Social Liberalism

(536 words)

Author(s): Schwarke, Christian
[German Version] The term social liberalism covers a variety of movements in various periods and places; all have combined the liberal tradition of the 18th century with the social challenges of modern industrial societies. ¶ There is no generally accepted definition, but the core of social liberalism has always been the same: the demand for moderate state intervention in the economy to mitigate the consequences of glaring social differences. In contrast to the ideas of socialism, the priority of the individual over society is emphasized. The ideas and programs of social liberal…

Social Movements

(884 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] I. Definition Social movements are agents of social change that concentrate on revolutionary transformation of society (social-revolutionary movements), reform within an existing social system (reform movements), or defense or restoration of a status quo (resistance movements). They play a central role in understanding social conflicts and analyzing social change. II. History The expression social movement arose in Europe in the late 18th century, initially in Britain and France. Its earliest clear use in Germany is in the work of Lo…

Social Partners

(6 words)

[German Version] Partnership

Social Policy

(651 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] A basic function of the liberal state is to enable people to enjoy maximum freedom for the best possible exercise of their opportunities to live self-determined lives. The requirement of free decision also implies freedom from constraints imposed by others in the economic sphere and leads to the system of a market economy. In this system, limits must be placed on the market that facilitate fair and socially just results. The freedom to enter into contracts must not be used as a we…

Social Psychology

(1,678 words)

Author(s): Fraas, Hans-Jürgen | Huxel, Kirsten | Santer, Hellmut
[German Version] I. The Concept Social psychology studies the modes of social experience and behavior and the interaction processes both of individuals and between individuals and social systems (Community and the individual) of varying complexity (microsystems like partnerships, families [Family], groups; mesosystems like organizations and institutions; macrosystems like social, political and cultural entities), as well as the relationship of social systems to each other. The basic issues, which are…

Social Question

(1,023 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] I. Definition The term social question is linked indissolubly to the social history of the 19th century; it denotes the diagnoses of the crises produced by the emergence of industrial society and the strategies for dealing with it. By the 1840s, soziale Frage was already in use in Germany as a translation of the French question sociale; against the background of dramatically rising mass poverty and the first food riots, it summarized various social transformations that were experienced as extreme crises. In particular, we can identify …

Social Reform

(347 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] By social reform, we mean the reform of the existing social security system in general. The need for such a reform in the Federal Republic of Germany is clear for several reasons. Expenditures related to social policy, more than half of all government spending, consumes the lion’s share of all public spending. In the year 2000, the statutory social security system alone cost 416 billion euros. At present the total “social budget,” which includes government spending ¶ occasioned by distributional policy (such as social welfare and unemployment assistance), …

Social Research, Empirical

(725 words)

Author(s): Feige, Andreas
[German Version] Empirical social research is a significant requirement for the social sciences (sociology, psychology, ethnology, economics) to the extent that they consider themselves factual sciences. It comprises the development and application of methods and techniques for discovering theoretically relevant information about social issues and situations, confirmed by explicitly systematic study. This information includes (a) objective data (e.g. legal structures, institutional structures, str…

Social Safety Net

(605 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] In Germany, anyone who is unemployed, disabled, sick, or care-dependent is supported by a system of various transfer payments. Until 2004 social welfare provided a basic level of security for all the needy, both the disabled and those able to work. The long-term unemployed came under unemployment assistance. Social welfare and unemployment assistance were changed by the social legislation of 2004. Now a distinction is made between the disabled and those able to work. Since Jan 1, …

Social Sciences

(595 words)

Author(s): Schäfers, Bernhard
[German Version] I. Like many other terms in the language of politics and society, the term social sciences emerged in France in the late 18th century ( sciences sociales) and spread in the late 19th century. It is a collective term for the academic disciplines devoted to human sociality in its various forms and senses. The German term Gesellschaftswissenschaften, often treated as synonymous, is not quite accurate, since strictly speaking only sociology, politology (Political science), and economics relate unambiguously to society ( Gesellschaft). All other disciplines called…

Social Science Statistics

(550 words)

Author(s): Kretzschmar, Gerald
[German Version] The notion of social stratification, which implies a sequence of superimposed ¶ social strata (or layers), is inspired from the model of geological stratification and originated in American structural functionalism. Various efforts to analyze social inequalities in modern societies lie at the root of the concept of social stratification, for which there is no generally accepted definition. While “social stratum” serves as a generic term for caste, estate, or class, it is also used as a synonym for “social class,” or as a concept that is in fact not to be confused wit…

Social Security

(700 words)

Author(s): Cansier, Dieter
[German Version] Social security has a long history in Germany. The golden age of social legislation was the end of the Bismarck era. The year 1883 saw the introduction of statutory health insurance, followed by accident insurance in 1884 and disability and old age insurance in 1889 (Security, Social). Social changes associated with the breakdown of the traditional security community of peasants and artisans led to the emergence of a workforce dependent on wages (Pay and reward: II), which ceased …

Social State

(1,223 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] I. Term and History The concept of the social state needs to be distinguished from that of the welfare state. The former emphasizes the responsibility and cooperation of all for socially just structures within a society; the latter tends to suggest a “nanny state” that guarantees social security (Security, Social) and is concerned primarily with the redistribution of social resources. The social state attaches great importance to subsidiarity, i.e. helping people to help themselves th…

Social Welfare

(374 words)

Author(s): Muckel, Stefan
[German Version] is secondary, non-contributory public assistance to needy individuals. The oldest form of social benefit (Social safety net, Social security), it developed out of poor relief (Poor, Care of the), with roots going back to the public law codes and poor laws of the 15th and 16th centuries. Today the function of welfare is no longer just to guarantee the minimum necessities of life. It is intended to put the recipient in a position to live a life commensurate with human dignity. In Ge…

Social Work

(1,010 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] I. Definition Since the early 20th century, social work has been defined as “organized assistance on the part of the state and municipalities, public corporations, and private organizations . . . provided to individuals, families, and groups to avert internal and external hardship and meet their essential needs” (Heyne, 917). Related concepts are relief and social welfare. The term Sozialarbeit was accepted only gradually in Germany, obviously influenced by the Anglo-American term social work and the notion of social work as a distinct profession. II. Organiz…

Societas Liturgica

(234 words)

Author(s): Pahl, Irmgard
[German Version] The Societas Liturgica was founded in Driebergen, the Netherlands, in 1967 on the initiative of Wiebe Vos. Its is an international ecumenical association for liturgical research and renewal, with the purpose of promoting ecumenical dialogue on liturgical questions and serving the unity of the church (Liturgical studies: II, 3). Vos was already pursuing the same goal in 1962 when he founded the quarterly Studia Liturgica, which became the official organ of the Societas Liturgica in 1987. As of Jul 1, 2003, the society had 455 members on all con…

Société des Missions Étrangères de Paris (MEP)

(214 words)

Author(s): Legrand, Hervé
[German Version] Founded in 1663 (a mission seminary since 1660) on the initiative of lay members of the Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement, the society was supported by the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. Its Instructions name three purposes: to reduce the dominance of Spanish and Portuguese missionary patronage in Asia, to adapt to local customs and cultures, and to create an indigenous clergy. As vicars apostolic, subject directly to Rome, its bishops ordained indigenous secular priests. The society, which served as a model for some ten similar societies, has…

Societies, Benevolent

(364 words)

Author(s): Gohde, Jürgen
[German Version] are combinations of sponsoring organizations or institutions that represent the common professional interests and individual interests of those concerned to public policy makers (Politics) and society as a whole; they also facilitate self-organization. They are dedicated to the common good. Today there are some 3,600 such societies in Germany. As a rule, the criterion for membership is engagement in not-for-profit activities. Societies are usually organized (Voluntary associations…

Societies of Apostolic Life

(155 words)

Author(s): Kalb, Herbert
[German Version] The societies of apostolic life found today in both the Eastern Uniate churches and the Latin Church came into being in the late 16th century. To avoid the ecclesiastical and social isolation imposed at that time by the legal corset of monastic life, quasi-monastic communities were formed that aimed at a more flexible community structure. The unfortunate definition in CIC c. 731 notwithstanding, these societates are societies of common life without monastic vows, but – depending on their individual constitutions – they make commitments of othe…

Societies, Theological

(534 words)

Author(s): WilhelmGraf, Friedrich
[German Version] The roots of scientific societies go back to the learned societies of the Enlightenment. In the secular form of private associations, scholars began joining in specialized societies in the post-Napoleonic period (Vormärz); they wished to articulate their interests, influence public opinion, and organize discussions of central questions in their fields. Communication within these societies took the form of congresses, circular letters, and specialized journals. Historians of cultur…

Society

(6,607 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Kippenberg, Hans G. | Thiel, Winfried | Wehr, Lothar | Münch, Richard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The word society ( societas, société) has changed from a term denoting particular forms and modes of human coexistence to a term (in both sg. and pl.) denoting the totality of human coexistence; it has thus become the basic term of the theoretical sciences that deal with human coexistence. The German equivalent, Gesellschaft (from OHG sal, “room,” and selida, “dwelling place”), suggests ties that arise from sharing the same room (cf. Geselle, “apprentice,” etymologically “someone ¶ sharing accommodations” with a master) or belonging to the sa…

Society for Ethical Culture

(166 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] was founded in New York in 1876 by F. Adler. Raised a Reform Jew (Reform Judaism), Adler came to reject traditional notions of monotheism, though he continued to look at the Hebrew Scriptures and the person of Jesus for inspiration. Adhering to the slogan, “deed not creed,” Adler encouraged the efforts of individuals rather than formal institutions and ritualized traditions. The Society for Ethical Culture with its regular Sunday services and Adler’s humanistic addresses became th…

Society for the Propagation of the Faith (SPF)

(335 words)

Author(s): Collet, Giancarlo
[German Version] The Society was formed from what had been four separate church organizations officially declared pontifical institutions in 1922 and 1980; its purpose is to promote the worldwide mission of the Catholic Church (Mission: II, 3). It structure is defined in its 1980 statutes. The Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith was founded in Lyon in 1822 by M.-P. Jaricot and a group of laity; it was introduced into Germany as the Franziskus-Xaverius or Ludwig-Missionsverein (know…

Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG)

(277 words)

Author(s): Carter, Grayson
[German Version] The SPG was established under royal charter by T. Bray in 1701 to supply the “want of learned and orthodox ministers” in the plantations, colonies, and “factories beyond the seas.” The rapidly expanding British Empire presented both challenges and opportunities for the Church of England. The SPG set out to “settle the State of Religion” for the colo­nists before undertaking “the conversion of the Natives.” During the 18th century the SPG’s efforts focused on the American colonies,…

Society of Jesus

(7 words)

[German Version] Jesuits

Society of the Divine Word (Steyler Missionaries)

(242 words)

Author(s): Rivinius, Karl Josef
[German Version] The Society of the Divine Word (Societas Verbi Divini, ¶ SVD) was founded by A. Janssen, a secular priest, on Sep 8, 1875, in Steyl in the Netherlands. He intended the Mission House to be a missionary training center, but it soon developed into a religious congregation with simple public vows. Its statutes were confirmed by the local ordinary on Jan 23, 1889; papal approbation was granted on Jan 25, 1901, definitive approval of the constitution on Apr 5, 1910. The generalate was at the moth…

Socinians/Socinianism

(955 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] This term, first used in the 17th century, denotes the main stream of the anti-Trinitarian movement (Antitrinitarians), moderated in many respects by F. Socinus after 1579. The Socinians explicitly kept the Trinitarian formula in the command to baptize (Matt 28:19). According to the Racovian Catechism, anyone who rejected it could not be a Christian. It was the Early Church’s doctrine of the consubstantiality of the Father and the Son and the personhood of the Holy Spirit that the…

Socinus, Faustus

(162 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (Dec 5, 1539, Siena – Mar 3, 1604, Lucławice, near Cracow), a leading thinker of the antitrinitarian movement (Antitrinitarians, Socinians) of his era, shaped its churches in Poland and to some extent in Transylvania. Born a patrician, he served from 1562 to 1574 as a jurist at the Medici court in Florence; inspired by his uncle Lelio Sozzini, who did not believe the doctrine of the Trinity, he devoted himself to theological study, primarily at Basel, from 1572 to 1578, attracting attention with his first writings (including De Jesu Christo servatore, printed in 1594).…

Sociobiology

(579 words)

Author(s): Meisinger, Hubert
[German Version] Sociobiology has improved our understanding of the social life of human beings and animals on the basis of a neo-Darwinian theory of evolution (Neo-Darwinism; cf. Meisinger, 187ff., with bibl.). Grounded in ethology (Behavioral research) and building on population genetics and the theory of kin selection, sociobiology was popularized in the 1970s by Edward O. Wilson and Richard Dawkins, becoming a separate area within biology. It was intended to take its place as a fundamental dis…

Sociology

(5,316 words)

Author(s): Schäfers, Bernhard | Leppin, Volker | Meyer-Blanck, Michael | de Boutemard, Bernhard Suin | Knoblauch, Hubert
[German Version] I. Definition Sociology is an empirical social science; its field of study encompasses the relatively enduring forms and structures of social action (Action, Science of ) and the resultant social units, from entities like the family and kinship group and social groups to large-scale organizations and states. The word itself is an artificial combination of Latin socius (“companion, fellow”) and Greek logos (“word, truth,” in an extended sense “knowledge”). It appears for the first time in vol. IV of the Cours de philosophie positive of A. Comte (1838). As a scie…

Sociology of Knowledge

(525 words)

Author(s): Kreinath, Jens
[German Version] The sociology of knowledge inquires into the social conditions under which knowledge is generated, acquired, and communicated. Its beginnings are closely interwoven with positivist criticism of religion and ideology (Religious criticism, Ideological criticism). K. Marx pioneered the sociology of knowledge with his recognition that the content of knowledge is conditioned by social and economic factors. E. Durkheim began instead with the forms of knowledge; starting with an analysis…

Sociology of Religion

(3,710 words)

Author(s): Knoblauch, Hubert | Mürmel, Heinz | Otto, Eckart | Ebertz, Michael N. | Stuckrad, Kocku v. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology The sociology of religion studies religion’s social aspects and manifestations, clearly including religious institutions, organizations, and social groups. It also studies more situational forms, less clearly defined, such as gatherings, ceremonies, and collective rituals (e.g. processions [Rite and ritual]). In an extended sense, characteristic of the German-language tradition since M. Weber, religious sociology deals with all social or socialized behavior focused on…

Sociology of the Church

(1,158 words)

Author(s): Daiber, Karl-Fritz | Feige, Andreas
[German Version] I. Practical Theology The systematic study of the church as a social entity (Churched) began with A. v. Oettingen in the 19th century. In the context of practical theology, the church studies published by P. Drews beginning in 1902 produced accurate descriptions of the life of the church. These were joined in subsequent decades by smaller individual studies, especially of the religiosity of industrial workers. Pastoral sociology began to take shape in France and the Netherlands, buil…

Sociology of Youth

(849 words)

Author(s): Ferchhoff, Wilfried
[German Version] In the early 21st century, youth studies as an empirical discipline is increasingly becoming an interdisciplinary subject, to which scholars from various fields contribute, including social anthropology, philosophy, social history, biology, psychology, education, medicine, and sociology. It embraces sociologically based attempts that draw on both single and multiple disciplines to cast light on the circumstances and lifeworlds of young people in various historical, social, cultura…

Socrates

(1,072 words)

Author(s): Figal, Günter
[German Version] (470 or 469, Athens – 399, Athens), is the prototypical philosopher. He embodies the dialogical character of thinking, the possibility of articulating thoughts in such a way that they are no longer simply stated, as in the case of the “pre-Socratic” thinkers Heraclitus and Parmenides, but can be repeatedly reformulated and tested to determine their coherence. Only in this process can the authority of ideas be proved – whatever is important enough for people to take the trouble to …

Socrates Scholasticus

(359 words)

Author(s): Hansen, Günther Christian
[German Version] (Socrates of Constantinople; the epithet Scholasticus is not found in any early tradition; after 380, Constantinople – before 443, Constantinople), author of a history of the church from the time of Constantine the Great (305) to his own day under Theodosius II (439). He probably belonged to the Novatianist church (Novatian), and may have been ordained. Initially basing his work on Eusebius of Caesarea (and Gelasius of Caesarea and Rufinus of Aquileia [Rufinus, Tyrannius] before him), …

Socratic Method

(490 words)

Author(s): Rupp, Horst F.
[German Version] The Socratic or erotematic method is a teaching method modeled on Socrates. It was used in the late 18th and early 19th centuries – i.e. the era of the Enlightenment and philanthropism – in all academic subjects, but particularly in religious education. M. Schian calls the Socratic method the “fashionable theory and practice of rationalism” and describes it as the “pedagogical and catechetical hobbyhorse of the Enlightenment” (Schian, 1). Alluding to his mother’s profession, Socra…

Soden

(737 words)

Author(s): Ott, Katrin
[German Version] 1. Hermann von (Aug 16, 1852, Cincinnati, OH – Jan 15, 1914, Berlin), pastor and New Testament scholar. After serving as a pastor from 1881 to 1889 (after 1887 in Berlin), he gained his habilitation in 1890 and began to teach as Privatdozent in NT; in 1893 he was appointed associate professor of NT in Berlin and honorary professor in 1913. His major achievement was the publication of a four-volume edition of the Greek NT with 40 colleagues collating the manuscripts. His goal was to analyze the entire manuscript corpus and…

Söderblom, Nathan

(464 words)

Author(s): Horyna, Břetislav
[German Version] (baptized Lars Olof Jonathan; Jan 15, 1866, Trönö – Jul 12, 1931, Uppsala), Swedish Protestant theologian, historian of religion specializing ¶ in ancient Iranian religions, and an advocate of comparative phenomenology in religious studies. He was appointed archbishop of Uppsala in 1914 and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1930 for his lifetime achievement. Although he is associated with the phenomenology of religion (I) in religious studies, in all his works he remained faithful to a theological perspect…

Sodom and Gomorrah

(321 words)

Author(s): Loader, James Alfred
[German Version] unidentified cities, in the Old Testament tradition located south of the Dead ¶ Sea outside Canaan. They are often associated with Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar (Gen 10:19; 14:2, 8) as the “Pentapolis” (Wis 10:6). According to Gen 19, what had once been a fertile area (Gen 13:10) was destroyed by a rain of fire and brimstone, suggesting volcanic activity, for which there is evidence only prior to the 2nd millennium. The theory that the tradition preserves a memory of Early Bronze Age cities (south)…

Soetefleisch, Johann

(159 words)

Author(s): Hammann, Konrad
[German Version] (Oct 16, 1552, Seesen – May 19, 1620, Wunstorf ). After studying at the Pädagogium in Gandersheim (1571), he served as choirmaster in Halberstadt (1575); he received his M.A. and Dr.phil. from Helmstedt in 1578. In 1578 he was appointed rector in Burg, near Magdeburg. In 1581 he was appointed professor of dialectics and ethics at Helmstedt and professor theology there in 1587. In 1589 he was appointed general superintendent of Göttingen and in 1608 of Calenburg. As a member of the…

Sofer

(5 words)

[German Version] Scribe

Soferim (Treatise)

(6 words)

[German Version] Talmud

Soga, Tiyo

(346 words)

Author(s): Williams, Donovan
[German Version] (1829, Mgwali River, Tyhume Valley, Nqgika [Xhosa] Territory – Aug 12, 1871, Tuturha [later Somerville], Gcaleka Territory, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa), the first Black minister in South Africa ordained abroad in an established church. He was missionary among the Xhosa on the eastern frontier of the Cape Colony, writer, hymnographer, and translator. Soga received his early education at the mission school run by the United Presbyterian Church in Tyhume. Between 1844 and 18…

Sohm, Rudolph

(568 words)

Author(s): Pawlowski, Hans-Martin
[German Version] (Oct 29, 1841, Rostock – May 16, 1917, Leipzig), studied law in Rostock, Heidelberg, and Berlin; after his habilitation in Göttingen in 1866, he was appointed to professorships at Freiburg (1870), Straßburg (now Strasbourg; 1872), and Leipzig (1887). ¶ He had intended initially to devote himself primarily to legal history, but in Straßburg he found himself compelled to take a position on the “struggle between state and church just [triggered] . . . in Germany . . . by the Vatican Council” (Pawlowksi, 307f.) – later cal…

Söhngen, Gottlieb

(179 words)

Author(s): Neuner, Peter
[German Version] (May 21, 1892, Cologne – Nov 14, 1971, Munich), Catholic fundamental theologian and philosopher of religion. He headed the Albertus Magnus Academy in Cologne from 1924 to 1930. In 1937 he was appointed professor at Braunsberg. From 1947 to 1958 he held the chair of fundamental theology and philosophical propaedeutics at the University of Munich. Within the context of Neoscholasticism, he sought to break through a purely restorative Thomism and open theology to the sweep of salvati…

Söhngen, Oskar

(256 words)

Author(s): Bunners, Christian
[German Version] (Dec 5, 1900, Wuppertal-Barmen – Aug 28, 1983, Berlin). A student of R. Otto’s, he ¶ received his Dr.phil. in 1922 and his Lic.theol. in 1924. In 1926 he was appointed to a pastorate in Cologne and in 1932 became a consultant to the High Consistory in Berlin. In 1936 he became chief consistorial councilor. From 1951 to 1969 he served as spiritual vice-president in the chancery of the Evangelical Church of the Old Prussian Union in Berlin, where he also taught at the Academy of Music as a lecture…

Sohn, Georg

(195 words)

Author(s): Mahlmann, Theodor
[German Version] (Dec 12, 1551, Rosbach vor der Höhe, Wetterau – Apr 23, 1589, Heidelberg), began his studies in Marburg in 1566 and moved to Wittenberg in 1569; a conversion experience in July of 1570 led him to change from law to theology, receiving his M.A. on Sep 6, 1571. In 1572 be was back in Marburg, where he was appointed professor of theology in 1574, receiving his Dr.theol. on Jan 9, 1578. In 1584 he went to Heidelberg. In Marburg he developed the Melanchthonianism of his Wittenberg teac…

Sōka Gakkai

(280 words)

Author(s): Hase, Thomas
[German Version] (“Value-Creating Society”), a lay Buddhist organization (Buddhism: I, 2.e) established in Japan in the 20th century and today one of the largest of the Japanese new religious movements (I; Japan: VI, 2). The predecessor organization of the Sōka Gakkai was founded in 1930 by Tsunesaburō Makiguchi (1871–1944) and Josei Toda (1900–1958), both adherents of Nichiren Buddhism, which traces its roots back to Nichiren. Borrowing from Nichiren, Makiguchi created a theory of values and educ…

Sokolow, Nahum

(179 words)

Author(s): Schäfer, Barbara
[German Version] ( Jan 16, 1861, Wyszogród, Poland – May 17, 1936, London), Hebrew writer, journalist, and leading Zionist politician. His tireless journalistic activity in all the major Jewish media of his time served as his platform, so that he counts as one of the founding fathers of Hebrew journalism. He held high offices in Zionism early on: he was invited to become general secretary in 1906, and in 1911 he was elected to the Zionist Executive; from 1920 to 1931 he was its chairman. From 1931…

Solano, Francisco

(172 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] (Mar 10, 1549, Mantilla, Andalusia – Jul 14, 1610, Lima, Peru), joined the Franciscan order in 1569 and worked initially as a domestic missionary. In 1589 he was sent to Peru aboard a ship carrying African slaves; from Peru he was sent to Santiago del Estero in what is now Argentina. Using that as a base, he preached the gospel for 15 years among the Tonokoté, counseled their chiefs, and healed the sick. He returned to the Franciscan house in Lima as guardian. Today many places in…

Soler, Mariano

(223 words)

Author(s): Toepsch, Alexandra
[German Version] (Mar 25, 1846, San Carlos, Uruguay – Sep 26, 1908, Gibraltar), studied theology from 1868 to 1874 at the Gregorianum in Rome, earning a Dr.theol. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1872. In 1875 he returned to Uruguay, where he founded the Catholic Club of Montevideo, a lyceum for university studies – the first free university in Uruguay and the Society of Science and the Arts. In 1879 he became a parish priest in Montevideo. From 1884 to 1890, he served as vicar general of the …

Solesmes Abbey

(238 words)

Author(s): Saulnier, Daniel
[German Version] The Benedictine Abbey of Solesmes, in western France 50 km from Le Mans, was founded c. 1010 and survived until the French Revolution (1792). In 1833 P.L.P. Guéranger acquired the abbey and established it as a retreat house for prayer and study, marking the beginning of the revival of Benedictine monasticism in France. The abbey gained increasing fame through the role of Dom Guéranger in the life of the church in the 19th century. His Institutions liturgiques (1840–1851) and L’année liturgique (1841–1866) contributed substantially to the renewal of liturgical…

Solidarity

(1,545 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann | Zürcher, Markus Daniel | Baumgartner, Alois
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The term solidarity (from neo-Lat. solidaritas, derived from solidus, “solid, firm”; Fr. solidarité) denotes the cohesiveness of a “group,” ultimately society, expressed in a generally ethical sense of cohesion. In the history of the term, originally borrowed from legal usage (Wildt, Baumgartner), É. Durkheim (1893) distinguishes the “organic solidarity” of a differentiated modern society from the “mechanical solidarity” of so-called primitive societies, in which the individ…

Solin

(155 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram
[German Version] in Croatia near Split, was an Illyrian city that became a Roman colony under Julius Caesar. It flourished under the Empire, since it had an excellent harbor and good communications with the interior, and became the capital of the province of Dalmatia. Christianity spread very early and intensively in Salona. The city and its surroundings and the nearby island of Brattia (Brac) contain the ruins of a large number of churches and buildings over the tombs of martyrs, dating from the…

Sölle, Dorothee

(376 words)

Author(s): Kuhlmann, Helga
[German Version] (Sep 30, 1929, Cologne – Apr 27, 2003, Göppingen). After studying classical and Germanic philology, philosophy, and Protestant theology, she taught in a Gymnasium and was an adviser in higher education. She received her habilitation in Cologne in 1971; from 1975 to 1987 she was professor of systematic theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York; in 1994 she received an honorary professorship from Hamburg. From the late 1960s on, she was active in organizing political nighttime prayers in Cologne, in church conferences, in the peace movem…

Solmization

(166 words)

Author(s): Boisits, Barbara
[German Version] is a method of learning the individual musical pitches of a piece of vocal music by means of specific solmization syllables; it goes back to Guido of Arezzo, who derived it from the hymn assigned to the feast of John the Baptist ( Ut queant laxis Resonare fibris/ Mira gestorum Famuli tuorum,/ Solve poluti Labii reatum,/Sancte Johannes). The initial pitches of each half-line of the hymn melody (not specifically liturgical in the MA) produce a rising six-tone scale or hexachord (C=ut, D=re, E=mi, F=fa, G=sol, A=la). ¶ Scales from F to D ( hexachordum molle) and from G to E ( hexach…

Solomon

(1,558 words)

Author(s): Dietrich, Walter | Lattke, Michael
[German Version] I. Bible 1. Literary analysis. The primary source for Solomon (Heb. ְׁשׁלמה/ šĕlōmōh) is 1 Kgs 1–12. It has a chiastic structure centered on the account of the design, construction, and dedication of the Jerusalem temple (II, 4; 1 Kgs 5–8); it is flanked by descriptions of Solomon’s illustrious wisdom and reign (1 Kgs 3f. and 9f.), with narratives of his rise and decline constituting the outward framework (1 Kgs 1f. and 11f.). This overall structure is a product of Deuteronomistic historiogra…

Solomonic Writings

(3,079 words)

Author(s): Lattke, Michael
[German Version] I. Wisdom of Solomon 1. Canonicity and versions. The Wisdom of Solomon ( Sapientia Salomonis) is classified as a deuterocanonical or apocryphal book (Apocrypha). Both terms reflect its inclusion in the Septuagint, but the Muratorian Canon (Muratorian Fragment) even recognizes the book of Wisdom written in Greek by “friends of Solomon” as part of the New Testament. In general, though, it is classed among the antilegomena of the Old Testament. In the LXX, which itself influenced the (initially an…

Solovetsky Monastery

(312 words)

Author(s): Troitski, Aleksandr N.
[German Version] The Solovetsky Monastery (Spaso Preobraženskii Soloveckii monastyr’), with the ¶ Redeemer Cathedral of the Transfiguration, is the most famous monastery of northern Russia (Russian monasteries); it was founded on the Solovetsky Islands in 1436 by St. German (died 1479/1484), who lived there from 1429 to 1435 together with St. Savvattii (died Sep 27, 1435) and St. Zossima. By 1450 the monastery had already been given the entire archipelago; later it also received extensive mainland propertie…

Solovyov, Vladimir Sergeyevich

(894 words)

Author(s): George, Martin
[German Version] ( Jan 16/28, 1853, Moscow – Jul 31/Aug 13, 1900, Uzkoe, near Moscow), mystic, poet, pamphleteer, and theologian; still the most significant religious philosopher produced by Russia. Growing up in a devout and cultured family, Solovyov began to engage in ascetic exercises while still a child. He studied the natural sciences in Moscow from 1869 to 1872. His personal involvement with the philosophy of Plato, B. Spinoza, F.W.J. Schelling, A. Schopenhauer, and E. v. Hartmann brought hi…

Solstice

(314 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen
[German Version] In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice marks the reversal of the sun’s apparent movement and hence the beginning of summer (with Jun 21/22 as the longest days); the winter solstice on Dec 21/22 with the shortest days similarly marks the beginning of winter. These turning points determine the chronology of the recurrent seasons of the year in the form of a calendar. The calendar in turn determines major feast days and times of ritual observance (Feasts and festivals). Preh…

Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isayevich

(267 words)

Author(s): Fischer, Christine
[German Version] (Dec 11, 1918, Kislovodsk – Aug 3, 2008, Moscow) studied, among other things, mathematics and literature in Rostov na Donu. In 1945 he was sentenced to eight years in a labor camp. He was rehabilitated in 1957. In 1969 he was expelled from the Soviet writers’ union and the following year was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1974 he was deported from the Soviet Union and emigrated in 1976 to the United States, returning to Russia in 1994. His short stories include: A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962) – the diary of a day in the prison camp from a prison…

Somalia

(806 words)

Author(s): Spindler, Marc
[German Version] The Republic of Somalia was created on Jul 1, 1960, from a merger of British Somaliland Protectorate and Italian Somalia. It covers an area of 637, 657 km2, mostly flat desert with mountains in the north. Somalia is known for its recurring droughts, sporadic floods, and an overwhelmingly torrid climate. According to the last reliable count of 1975 Somalia is approaching a population of 8 million, including a large number of nomads. Permanent warfare has displaced large numbers of people in the country and abroad. Consequently, a…

Somaschi

(178 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Ordo Clericorum Regularium a Somasc[h]a, CRS), an order of regular clergy founded in Somasca, Lombardy, in 1534 by the Venetian noble Gerolamo Miani (St. Emiliani, c. 1486–1537) in the spirit of Catholic reform as a Compagnia dei Servi deipoveri (“Society of servants of the poor”). It was to have a pastoral, charitable, and educational apostolate, focused especially on education of orphans. After a difficult beginning, the order consolidated but almost died out c. 1800. Later it experienced a slow revival, which las…

Sombart, Werner

(333 words)

Author(s): Aldenhoff-Hübinger, Rita
[German Version] ( Jan 19, 1863, Ermsleben ­– May 28, 1941, Berlin). After studying political science, Sombart received his doctorate from Berlin, where he studied with G. Schmoller, the leader of the “younger” historical school of economics. After a brief period of practical work, he joined the University of Breslau (Wrocław) as an associate professor in 1890; in 1906 he moved to the Berlin School of Commerce. Finally in 1917 he succeeded A.H.G. Wagner as a full professor at the Frederick William University in Berlin. His Sozialismus und soziale Bewegung im 19. Jahrhundert (1896; ET: So…

Soner, Ernst

(160 words)

Author(s): Hauptmann, Peter
[German Version] (or Sohner; Dec 1572, Nuremberg – Sep 28, 1612, Altdorf, near Nuremberg), appointed district physician in Nuremberg in 1603 and professor of medicine at the Reichsstädische Akademie in Altdorf in 1605. In 1607/1608 he served as its rector. During an educational tour in 1598, he had been converted by Andreas Wojdowski and Christoph Ostorodt in Leiden to the theological views of their teacher F. Socinus; on his return to Altdorf, he promoted their ideas among his close friends. He w…

Song of Songs, The

(1,290 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter | Otto, Eckart
[German Version] I. Place and Date While individual poems like Song 1:9–11 may go back to the preexilic period, collections, redaction(s), and linguistic revision(s) date from just before and especially during the 3rd century bce. The text contains several loanwords: pardēs (4:13: “orchard,” from Old Iranian), ¶ ʾ appiryôn (3:9: “palanquin,” most likely from Gk), and qinnāmôn (4:14: “cinnamon,” ultimately from Malay kayu manis, “sweet wood”), along with several words borrowed from Old Indic. Beside numerous lexical and grammatical Aramaisms, it exhibits fea…

Song Sermon

(289 words)

Author(s): Henkys, Jürgen
[German Version] A song sermon (or hymn sermon) is a liturgical address based on a hymn (Church song) as an embodiment and anchor of faith and thus meets the obligation of public preaching to be biblical, ecclesiastical, and contemporary. The hymn sermon’s roots go back to the 16th century ( J. & C. Spangenberg). It flourished well into the 18th century, when it also provided fertile soil for the growth of hymnology, but it ¶ disappeared with the arrival of rationalism, which was so at odds with the stock of traditional hymns. It was the studies of Rößler and work don…

Songs Rabbah

(8 words)

[German Version] Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah

Sonntag, Karl Gottlob

(169 words)

Author(s): Jung, Martin H.
[German Version] (Aug 10, 1765, Radeberg – Jul 17, 1827, Riga), Protestant theologian inclined toward moderate rationalism (III); he left a deep impression on the ecclesiastical and spiritual life of Livonia. After studying at Leipzig from 1784 to 1788, he became rector of the cathedral school in Riga. He was appointed senior pastor in 1791, assessor of the Livonian supreme consistory in 1799, and general superintendent in 1803. He deserves credit for reshaping the liturgy, creating a hymnal, prom…

Son of God

(2,958 words)

Author(s): Zeller, Dieter | Karrer, Martin | Nüssel, Friederike
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Son of God as a title applied to an individual must be distinguished from children of God (Child of God) applied to several individuals or a group (e.g. the Israelites). The New Testament title alludes to Davidic messiahship, based on 2 Sam 7:14a (Messiah: II, 2), where God promises Solomon fatherly oversight and appoints him as his representative on earth. Ps 2:7 (cf. Pss 89:27f.*; 110:1–3) uses that text to assert the worldwide dominion of the king of Israel. The “begetting” a…

Son of Man in the New Testament

(1,001 words)

Author(s): Müller, Mogens
[German Version] The expression Son of Man (Gk ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνϑρώπου/ ho hyiós toú anthrṓ pou) is the most frequent self-designation of Jesus in the Gospels, appearing in 82 passages – 69 in the Synoptics (14 in Mark, 30 in Matthew, 25 in Luke), 13 in John. Not counting parallels, there are 38 Synoptic Son-of-Man logia. In addition there are 24 Synoptic logia whose parallels lack the expression, frequently substituting I. Except for John 12:34 (and Luke 24:7), Son of Man appears in the Gospels only on the lips of Jesus; outside the Gospels, it appears only in Acts 7:56 (cf. L…

Sonthom, Emanuel

(184 words)

Author(s): Sträter, Udo
[German Version] (anagram of E. Thomson; dates unknown), English merchant in Danzig (Gdansk) and Stade (presence documented from 1599 to 1612). Under the title Güldenes Kleinot der Kinder Gottes (Frankfurt am Main, 1612), he translated the First Booke of the Christian Exercise (1582) of the English ¶ Jesuit Robert Persons (or Parsons), which he knew in a Protestant version by Edmund Bunny ( A Booke of Christian Exercise, 1584). After the edition published in Lüneburg in 1632, which included a third section probably written by J. Gesenius, “Sonthom” (so called f…

Soothsayer

(5 words)

[German Version] Divination/Manticism

Sophia of Jesus Christ (NHC III, 4; BG 8502/3; SJC)

(88 words)

Author(s): Hartenstein, Judith
[German Version] In the Sophia, the risen Christ instructs his disciples concerning the supreme God and his emanations. The work probably originated in the 2nd century as a revision of Eugnostos (NHC III, 3; V, 1; Nag Hammadi), combining Christian and Gnostic ideas. Judith Hartenstein Bibliography Ed.: D. Parrott, ed., Nag Hammadi Codices V,2–5 and V,1, NHS 27, 1991 J. Hartenstein, “Eugnostos und die Weisheit Jesu Christi,” in: Nag Hammadi Deutsch, vol. I, GCS.NF 8, 2001, 323–379 (bibl.).

Sophiology

(579 words)

Author(s): Ruppert, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] In the West, the liturgical and doxological veneration of Sophia as the personified wisdom of God (Prov 8; Wis 8; Sir 24), still found in Alcuin’s church poetry, was gradually relegated to a mystical and esoteric fringe ( J. Böhme, New Age); in Russian Orthodox piety, however, Sophia remained a living reality in the church – in liturgical lections and hymns, and above all in church dedications and iconography. The earliest Russian churches were dedicated to St. Sophia – for exampl…

Sophistic School

(1,021 words)

Author(s): Rese, Friederike
[German Version] a school of Greek philosophy (I) in the 5th and 4th centuries bce. After the pre-Socratics, who were more interested in natural philosophy, and prior to Socrates, the Sophists turned their attention to political life. They thought of themselves as teachers who would be paid to teach young Greek men faculties they could employ to gain political influence, especially the faculty of “speaking well” (εὖ λέγειν/ eú légein) but also the faculty of political virtue (Virtues; ¶ ἀρετή/ aretḗ ). This classic era of Sophistics was followed by a second phase during th…

Sophocles

(269 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Bernhard
[German Version] (497/496, Athens – 406 bce), Athenian tragedian, who had his debut in 470. Seven of his plays (out of probably 113) have survived: Ajax and the Trachinian Women, written in the 450s, Antigone (c. 440), Oedipus the King (436–433), Electra (a late work), Philoctetes (409), and Oedipus at Colonus (performed posthumously in 401). His tragedies present individuals in extreme situations, whose behavior can overstep the limits of hubris. The protagonists are contrasted with figures representing the average person (Chrysothemis, Ismene…

Sophronius

(226 words)

Author(s): Perrone, Lorenzo
[German Version] (c. 550, Damascus – Mar 11, 638, Jerusalem). After studying rhetoric, Sophronius traveled to Palestine in 578 and there became a monk. He and John Moschus undertook journeys to Egypt, Sinai, Syria, Cyprus, Rome, and North Africa. In 634 he became patriarch of Jerusalem. In his synodal letter to Sergius I of Constantinople, he stated his resistance to Monenergism as a possible resolution of the conflict with the Monophysites. Shortly before his death, he surrendered the holy city t…

Sopron

(187 words)

Author(s): Csepregi, Zoltán
[German Version] a city on the western edge of Hungary. Already affected by the Reformation in 1520, it had become predominantly Lutheran by the mid-16th century. Simon Gerengel was active as a preacher from 1565 to 1571. The Counter-Reformation put an end to the city’s unique symbiosis of Protestants and Catholics, but Protestant worship was able to continue even during the “decade of mourning” of Hungarian Protestantism (1671–1681). In the 17th century, many noble Austrian families took refuge …

Sorcery

(5 words)

[German Version] Magic

Sosthenes

(6 words)

[German Version] Paul’s Associates

Soter

(175 words)

Author(s): Lampe, Peter
[German Version] presbyter-bishop in Rome between c. 166 and 175, responsible for external relations: his responsibilities included Christians traveling to Rome, organizing aid missions, and probably correspondence with the Corinthians (Dionysius of Corinth in Eus. Hist. eccl. IV 23.10f.). In the second half of the 2nd century, the presbyters in charge of external relations became increasingly more important than the other presbyters in the city, so that Anicetus and Soter became the forerunners of monepiscopacy in Rome. The Roman…
▲   Back to top   ▲