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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(401 words)

Author(s): Bümlein, Klaus
[German Version] The Roman civitas of Nementum is mentioned as the seat of a bishopric as early as 345. Since the 7th century, the episcopal list of Speyer has been preserved almost without a gap. The Salian dynasty (1024–1125; Salians), beginning with Conrad II, had the cathedral rebuilt (Church architecture: II, 2.b with fig. 12). The monumental Romanesque cathedral was intended as the burial place of the Salian emperors. By 1294 the city had generally achieved independence from episcopal rule. It…


(6 words)

[German Version] Composite Beings

Spiecker, Friedrich Albert

(282 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph
[German Version] (Feb 19, 1854, Boppard – Jul 10, 1937, Berlin), businessman. After an apprenticeship in Hachenburg (Westerwald), in 1872 he began language study in Antwerp and London. In 1879 he was appointed director of the Missions-Handels-Actien-Gesellschaft of the Rhenish Missionary Society in Barmen. In 1902 he was appointed to the executive board of Siemens in Berlin. Spiecker embodied the novel figure of the Protestant economic self-made men, who by virtue of personal competence and commun…

Spiegel zum Desenberg, Ferdinand August von

(314 words)

Author(s): Jordan, Stefan
[German Version] (Dec 25, 1764, Schloß Canstein, Westphalia – Aug 2, 1835, Cologne), descended from ancient Westphalian nobility, buried in the choir of Cologne cathedral. From 1777 to 1783 he studied at an aristocratic boarding school in Fulda, then from 1783 to 1785 he studied law, political science, and economics in Münster, where he was appointed to the canonry in 1793 and elected dean of the cathedral in 1799. In 1796 he was appointed privy councilor in the secular district administration of …

Spiera, Francesco

(100 words)

Author(s): Weinhardt, Joachim
[German Version] (1502, Cittadella, – Dec 27, 1548, Cittadella). In 1548 Spiera, an Italian jurist, recanted his Protestant belief in justification by faith before the Inquisition. He fell into a depression because he believed he had committed the unforgiveable “sin against the Holy Spirit” and soon died a natural death. Bishop P.P. Vergerio cared for him and ascribed his conversion to Protestantism to this experience. His widely published account of Spiera’s death (later with a foreword by Calvin) warned crypto-Protestants against concealing their faith. Joachim Weinhardt Biblio…

Spieth, Andreas Jakob

(98 words)

Author(s): Jones, Adam
[German Version] (Nov 2, 1856, Hegensberg – May 28, 1914, Hamburg). In 1874 he entered training at the headquarters of the Basel Mission. From 1880 to 1901, he worked in Ho (now southeastern Ghana) as a missionary of the Norddeutsche Mission; after 1901 he worked in Tübingen. He was the most important translator of Ewe for the Norddeutsche Mission; he and Diedrich Westermann were its leading ethnographers. His publications include Die Ewe-Stämme: Material zur Kunde des Ewe-Volkes in Deutsch-Togo (1906) and Die Religion der Eweer in Süd-Togo (1911). Adam Jones Bibliography MNDMG 75, 19…

Spifame, Jacques

(187 words)

Author(s): Klueting, Harm
[German Version] (1502, Paris – Mar 23, 1566, Genega), seigneur de Passy. After studying law, he was appointed counselor of state and parliamentary counselor in Paris; he was appointed bishop of Nevers in 1548. In 1559 he resigned, fled to Geneva, and became a Protestant, having been suspected of Protestant sympathies for some time. In the background was an adulterous relationship in the distant past and a desire to legitimate a love affair and the children it produced. Together with T. Beza, Spif…

Spina, Bartolomeo de

(152 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] (c. 1475, Pisa – Apr 3, 1547, Rome). After joining the Dominicans in 1493, Spina taught in Modena, Bologna, and Padua. He had contacts with S.M. Prierias but nevertheless harshly attacked T. de Vio Cajetan for not correctly teaching the immortality of the soul. He served as an inquisitor and also considered the prosecution of witches essential. He did not agree with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. In 1542 Paul III appointed him Magister Sacri Palatii, an office that ena…

Spinner, Heinrich Wilfrid

(116 words)

Author(s): Hamer, Heyo E.
[German Version] (Oct 12, 1854, Bonstetten – Aug 31, 1918, Weimar), Dr.theol. (Zürich, 1891). In 1878 he was appointed pastor of the Zürcher Kirche. In 1884 he was a co-founder of the Allgemeiner Evangelisch-protestantischer Missionsverein (AEPM; Ostasien-Mission); from 1885 to 1891 he was the first missionary of the AEPM in Japan, establishing German-speaking congregations in Tokyo (1885) and Yokohama (1886). From 1892 to 1896, he served as senior pastor in Ilmenau, Thuringia; from 1896 to 1918 h…

Spinola, Christoph de Royas y

(13 words)

[German Version] Royas y Spinola, Christoph de

Spinoza, Baruch

(1,120 words)

Author(s): Bartuschat, Wolfgang
[German Version] (Nov 24, 1632, Amsterdam – Feb 21, 1677, The Hague). I. Life Spinoza was born into an immigrant Jewish merchant family from Portugal and grew up in the Jewish milieu of Amsterdam. He began working in his father’s business in 1649. In 1656 he was excommunicated from the Jewish community for heresy. In 1660 he moved to Rijnsburg, where he worked as a lens grinder, wrote his earliest philosophical works, and began the first draft of his Ethica. He moved to Voorburg in 1663. With a lifelong interest in the politics of his country, in 1665 he began work on a th…


(582 words)

Author(s): Bartuschat, Wolfgang
[German Version] The term Spinozism denotes a system that onesidedly emphasizes certain elements of B. Spinoza’s philosophy, usually with polemical intent. Until the end of the 18th century, theologians used the term synonymously with atheism on the basis of Spinoza’s rejection of a Creator God in his Ethica and his attack on revealed religion in his Tractatus theologico-politicus. Spinoza’s expression Deus sive Natura, used only in passing, was understood as positing the simple identity of God and nature. His thesis that God acts solely out of the necessi…


(3,560 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Clayton, Philip | Stolzenberg, Jürgen | Rosenau, Hartmut
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Since time immemorial, the use of the term spirit has been influenced by Christian usage, especially by the concept of the Holy Spirit, including connotations of Latin spiritus and Greek πνεύμα/ pneúma. Spirit has a wide range of meaning; it can denote both a spiritual and a mental attitude, dynamic, or quality ascribed to an individual and a projection of such phenomena into the external world. An anthropomorphic concretion of such projections can then refer to “beings” that in earlier times might have been called “trolls” or the like. 2. In religi…

Spirit and Flesh

(9 words)

[German Version] Flesh and Spirit

Spirit and Spiritual Gifts

(2,816 words)

Author(s): Lewis, Ioan M. | Oeming, Manfred | Dunn, James D.G. | Wainwright, Geoffrey
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Wherever notions of “supernatural” anthropomorphic powers arise, so does the notion of spirit possession. A spirit can enter into a person’s body and sometimes supplant the spirit or soul (considered the same in many cultures) of the host’s body; often the spirit settles in the host’s head or on his or her shoulders. It is then described as being “in the saddle” and “riding” its human means of transportation. If a relationship develops between the spirit and the …

Spirit Baptism

(6 words)

[German Version] Baptism

Spirit/Holy Spirit

(8,121 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Oeming, Manfred | Dunn, James D.G. | Ritter, Adolf Martin | Leppin, Volker | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies and History of Philosophy The dogmatic definition of the Holy Spirit as a person within the one divine substance (Trinity/Doctrine of the Trinity) presupposes not only a particular philosophical context but also a religio-historical horizon. A formative influence on the conceptualization of the Holy Spirit was exercised by the various anthropomorphic interpretations of elemental anthropological or normative qualities in the context of polytheistic interpretations of …


(479 words)

Author(s): Bergunder, Michael
[German Version] Spiritism (or spiritualism) denotes a movement whose adherents believe in the empirically demonstrable possibility of contact with the dead in the spirit world. It reached its peak in the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century. The roots of spiritism lie in the penumbra of Mesmerism (F.A. Mesmer, J. Kerner), especially Mesmer’s experiments in ascribing paranormal abilities like clairvoyance and automatic writing to “somnambulists.” Spiritism followed two parallel lines of development. In the United States, the mesmerist Andrew Jackson…

Spirit, Orders of the Holy

(537 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] 1. Order of the Holy Spirit (Hospitallers). A lay brotherhood going back to the Hospital of the Holy Spirit founded in Montpellier c. 1170/1175 by Guido of Montpellier, which was recognized as an order in 1198 by Innocent III (following the Augustinian Rule [Augustine, Rule of Saint], with a special vow of hospitality and statutes based on those of the chivalric hospitallers); in 1204 the hospital of Santa Maria (later Santo Spirito) at Sassia in Rome was transferred to them. The o…


(4 words)

[German Version]

Spiritual Franciscans

(247 words)

Author(s): Schmucki, Oktavian
[German Version] The Spiritual Franciscans were rigorist Franciscan reform groups in southern France and central Italy c. 1274–1337, who lived by the ideal of absolute poverty (IV, 2), preferred hermitages for contemplation, urged observance of the Testament as well as the Rule, and eschewed books and academic studies. Their roots went back to Francis of Assisi and his earliest companions (per Brother Leo and Giles). After the ideas of Joachim of Fiore pervaded the order, they exalted its founder as a “second Christ” ( alter Christus) and ascribed to the order a special mission …


(2,439 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker | Weigelt, Horst | Ludwig, Frieder | Sparn, Walter
[German Version] I. Definition The use of spiritualism as a precise technical term was shaped by the Soziallehren of E. Troeltsch, who used it to distinguish between two groups Luther had lumped together as Schwärmer (“Enthusiasts”): spiritualists and Anabaptists. The common characteristic shared by the groups called spiritualists is their belief in the direct effect of the Holy Spirit (Spirit/Holy Spirit) within each individual, in contrast to the outward working of the Spirit through the words of Scripture. As a rule, this belief i…


(5,031 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich | Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth | Grethlein, Christian | Kim, Kirsteen | Mendes-Flohr, Paul
[German Version] I. Terminology The growing popularity of the term spirituality and its equivalents in other Western languages in religious and theological literature is a 20th-century phenomenon. Although the adjective spiritalis (or spiritualis) appeared in early Christian Latin, translating Pauline πνευματικός/ pneumatikós (1 Cor 2:13–3:1, etc.), along with its antonym carnalis (for σαρκικός/ sarkikós) and rapidly became common, the noun spiritualitas did not appear until the 5th century and then only sporadically. In the 12th century, it began to app…

Spiritual Regulation of Peter the Great

(413 words)

Author(s): Härtel, Hans-Joachim
[German Version] The Dukhhovny Reglament (“Spiritual/Church Regulation”) was the basic law governing the Russian Orthodox Church from 1721 to 1917. After the death of Adrian, the patriarch of Moscow, in 1700, Peter the Great decided to abolish the patriarchate and replace it with a council. Under Peter’s supervision, his colleague F. Prokopovich composed the Reglament, which was published on Jan 21, 1721. On Feb 14, 1721, the council had its first meeting as the Most Holy Governing Synod (Sviateishii Pravitel’stvuiushchii Sinod); its membership var…


(569 words)

Author(s): Dauer, Alfons Michael
[German Version] In the United States, great numbers of hymns and songs in popular use have been collected and published as spirituals or gospel hymns (Gospel music) since the 1860s; from the outset, discussion of their structure and musical character has been unending. Since the 13 original states of the United States were formerly British colonies, their church bodies belonged ¶ to the Anglican and Protestant churches and sects of the home country, and their religious music followed the musical styles of New England (Church song: I, 13). What was overlo…


(431 words)

Author(s): Klek, Konrad
[German Version] 1. Carl Johann Philipp (Aug 1, 1801, Hanover – Sep 28, 1859, Burgdorf ), hymnodist in the revival movement. After studying at Göttingen, where he had contact with H. Heine, he served as a tutor in Lüne and as pastor and superintendent in Sudwalde, Hameln, Wechold, Wittingen, and Burgdorf. His Psalter und Harfe was widely influential (first collection with 66 hymns 1833, second collection with 40 hymns 1843); six of his hymns are in the Evangelisches Gesangbuch. Konrad Klek Bibliography Works include: Psalter und Harfe, ed. H.-C. Drömann, 1991 On Spitta: D. Klahr, BBKL X,…

Spitteler, Carl

(130 words)

Author(s): Stauffacher, Werner
[German Version] (Apr 24, 1845, Liestal, Switzerland – Dec 29, 1924, Lucerne), writer. After studying theology in Zürich, Heidelberg, and Basel, Spitteler worked as a tutor in St. Petersburg from 1871 to 1879. He began working as a freelance writer in 1892. He soon rejected Christianity and the notion of a benevolent Creator God, taking Prometheus as the prototype of the introverted individual ( Prometheus und Epimetheus, 1880/1881; ET: Prometheus and Epimetheus, 1931; Prometheus der Dulder, 1924; ET: Prometheus the Suffering, 1924). He considered creation a misadventure ( Extramun…

Spittler, Christian Friedrich

(183 words)

Author(s): Raupp, Werner
[German Version] (Apr 12, 1782, Wimsheim, near Pforzheim – Dec 8, 1867, Basel), vigorous organizer of the revival movement (Revival/Revival movements) in southern Germany. After receiving training in public administration, in 1801 he was appointed secretary of the Deutsche Christentumsgesellschaft in Basel, where he inspired or founded several missionary and philanthropic institutions, including the Basel Bible Society (1804) and the Basel Mission (1815), a training center for teachers in ragged s…

Spittler, Ludwig Timotheus

(163 words)

Author(s): Hammann, Konrad
[German Version] (Nov 11, 1752, Stuttgart – Mar 14, 1810, Stuttgart), historian and statesman. After studying theology in Tübingen, in 1775 he went on an educational trip to northern Germany. In 1777 he was appointed lecturer at the Tübinger Stift. In 1779 he was appointed professor of church history and in 1784 of political history in Göttingen. He entered the Württemberg civil service in 1797, being appointed minister of state in 1807; he served as a trustee of the University of Tübingen and hea…

Spizel, Theophil

(190 words)

Author(s): Blaufuß, Dietrich
[German Version] (Gottlieb; Spicelius, Licespius; Nov 9, 1639, Augsburg – Jan 17, 1691, Augsburg), studied at Leipzig from 1653 to 1660; his teachers included J. Hülsemann and M. Geier. A journey via Hamburg (to J.B. Schupp) to the Netherlands (where he met J.A. Comenius and came to know the ideas of R. Descartes and J. Cocceius) brought him to Straßburg (Strasbourg) and finally to J. Buxtorf (II) in Basel. After 1661 he served the church of Sankt Jakob in Augsburg, being appointed senior pastor i…

Spoils, Right of

(326 words)

Author(s): Landau, Peter
[German Version] ( ius spolii) refers to the custom, attested since Late Antiquity, of allowing the estate of a cleric to be claimed by other clerics or laity. This claim contravened the principle that the property of deceased clergy should preferably accrue to the church. Canon 22 of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 already prohibited appropriation of a bishop’s property by the clergy ¶ after the bishop’s death. The right of spoils was also claimed by bishops and archdeacons in the case of the estate of abbots and presbyters, although councils of the 6th and …


(225 words)

Author(s): Figal, Günter
[German Version] from Neo-Latin spontaneitas, based on Latin spons, “incentive, will,” the ablative of which ( sponte), means “of one’s own accord,” self-motivated. A movement is spontaneous if it is not caused by something inherent in the person who moves or in someone or something else. In this sense, Aristotle already distinguished between motion that arises “from itself ” (ἀπὸ ταυτομάτου/ apó tautomátou, Metaph. VII 7, 1032a 13) and motion caused by nature or art (τέχνη/ téchnē). The notion first became prominent, however, in modern philosophy under the category of…


(735 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] Generally, the term sport can be understood to cover all manifestations of regulated, agonal, motor interaction that qualify as ludic (Play) and as such subserve corporeal self-awareness (prowess, body control, achievement [II; Contest], pleasure) and corporeal expression of the participants’ sense of self. Such phenomena have been present in all ages and all cultures, though with varying public impact. In pre-Christian antiquity, sport played a major public role (the classical Olympic Games from 776 bce to 393 ce [Olympia]), which shrank as Christianity b…

Spranger, Eduard

(426 words)

Author(s): Retter, Hein
[German Version] ( Jun 27, 1882, Lichterfelde, now part of Berlin – Sep 17, 1963, Tübingen), member of the Prussian and Saxon Academies of Science and of the order Pour le Mérite, and recipient of an honorary doctorate from Budapest (1935). He entered the University of Berlin in 1900, studying with Friedrich Paulsen, W. Dilthey, and Otto Hinze; he received his doctorate in 1905 and his habilitation in 1909. In 1911 he was ¶ appointed professor of philosophy and education at Leipzig. From 1920 to 1945 he taught in Berlin, from 1946 to 1952 in Tübingen. From his univer…

Sprengel (Parish/Diocese)

(147 words)

Author(s): Schöllgen, Georg
[German Version] The German Sprengel, originally an implement for sprinkling (holy) water, denotes the area of a priest’s responsibility (and in Austria, also a secular administrative area). Historically, it first denoted the area of a bishop’s responsibility (bishopric). As a synonym of parish, in pre-Carolingian times it could also already stand for the area of a priest’s responsibility. Beginning with the Reformation reor-¶ dering of church law structures (cf. the 1533 Wittenberg church order), Sprengel comes to refer generally to a specific area (under the persona…

Sprögel, Johann Heinrich

(211 words)

Author(s): Peters, Christian
[German Version] (Oct 11, 1644, Quedlinburg – Feb 25, 1722, Stolp, Pomerania [Słupsk]), Lutheran theologian, a leader of the Pietist movement in Quedlinburg, and father-in-law of G. Arnold. After studying in Leipzig, he taught at the abbey Gymnasium in Quedlinburg and was appointed a deacon of the abbey in 1681. After bitter conflicts with the abbess Anna Dorothea, duchess of Saxony-Weimar (governed 1684–1704), his ties with Pietism (journey to Leipzig in 1689; close contacts with A.H. Francke, at…

Spurgeon, Charles Haddon

(257 words)

Author(s): Bitzel, Alexander
[German Version] ( Jun 19, 1834, Kelvedon, Essex – Jan 31, 1892, Menton, France). A conversion experience led Spurgeon to join the Baptist Union (Baptists); in 1850 he became an assistant pastor. He moved to London in 1854, where his unusual rhetorical gifts were quickly evident; they would soon make him the most famous preacher in England (III, 1.e). In 1855 he began to preach in large halls in London. His success as preacher led to the building of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, with 5,600 seats. H…

Sremski Karlovci

(196 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Johann
[German Version] (Hung. Karlócza), a city on the Danube in Syrmia (Srem), Serbia, a Baroque ecclesiastical center of Orthodox Serbs within the Catholic Habsburg empire. From 1713 to 1920, it was a metropolitan (II) see, autocephalous (Autocephaly) after the abolition of the patriarchate of Peć in 1766. With the help of Russian theologians from Kiev, Sremski Karlovci became an intellectual and theological center (seminary opened in 1774, the first Serbian Gymnasium in 1791). The “national church co…

Sri Lanka

(1,137 words)

Author(s): Koschorke, Klaus
[German Version] Christianity in Sri Lanka can look back over a remarkably long history. After a sporadic presence on the island since the 6th century and a continuous presence since the early 16th, it subsequently went through a development that was sometimes in step with the various stages of European colonial rule and at other times took a significantly different course. The earliest reliable evidence for the existence of Christian communities in Sri Lanka is a comment in the ¶ Christian Topography of the Nestorian merchant and writer Casmas Indicopleustes around the year…


(350 words)

Author(s): Klaus, Konrad
[German Version] ̣In Hinduism (II, 1.a; III, 3) the terms śruti (Sanskrit, lit. “hearing,” usually translated freely as “revelation”) and smṛti (Sanskrit, lit. “memory,” usually rendered freely as “tradition”) serve to classify the Sanskrit texts that conservative Brahmanic circles recognize, at least nominally, as authoritative sacred tradition. The term śruti usually denotes the Veda or, more precisely, the Vedic Saṃhitās and Brāhmanas together with the Āraṇyakas and Upaniṣads, whereas smṛti primarily denotes the Dharmaśāstras and Vedic Sūtras, as well as th…

Stäblein, Bruno

(130 words)

Author(s): Haug, Andreas
[German Version] (May 5, 1885, Munich – Mar 6, 1978, Erlangen). After studing musicology and music (Dr.phil. 1918), he worked as a conductor and Gymnasium teacher; in 1953 he was appointed director of the Instut für Musikforschung in Regensburg, which he had founded in 1945. In 1946 he received his habilitation and in 1956 was appointed professor of musicology at Erlangen, where he founded the “Monumenta monodica medii aevi” series. His studies on the musical literature of the Latin Middle Ages se…

Staël, Anne Louise Germaine de

(80 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] Baroness de Stäel-Holstein (Apr 22, 1766, Paris – Jul 14, 1817, Paris). As an exile during the French Revolution, Mme. de Staël was the central figure of a European network of communication. Refracting the ideas of J.-J. Rousseau through the lens of early German Romanticism, she wrote in criticism of the social conventionality restricting women, and preached the perfecting of humanity in history. Volker Leppin Bibliography C. Blennerhassett, Madame de Staël, 1889 (Eng.).


(172 words)

Author(s): Berger, Rupert
[German Version] a support for the elderly and a token of power (Exod 4:2ff.; 2 Kgs 4:29); a shepherd uses the crook of his staff to keep his flock together (Ps 23:4). The staff used as a means of support by elderly monks turned into an abbatial staff, first attested in the case of St. Columbanus. The bishop’s staff or crozier, probably borrowed from official Byzantine ceremonial, developed as an extra-liturgical token of jurisdiction (first attested for Caesarius of Arles); from the 9th century on, it was conferred by the king at investiture. The first mention ¶ of the episcopal crozier in…

Staffing Rights, Church

(540 words)

Author(s): Thiele, Christoph
[German Version] In a broad sense, church staffing rights involve the fundamental issue of the extent to which churches and religious organizations have the right to administer their own affairs in issuing their own employment and labor regulations. The development of ecclesiastical employment and labor law in a way appropriate to the church’s mission is their own concern, as stated in German Basic Law art. 140 with Weimar Constitution art. 137 §3. This right of self-determination (see also Church…

Staffort Book

(190 words)

Author(s): Dingel, Irene
[German Version] (1599). The Staffort Book is witness to the change of confessional allegiance of Margrave Ernst Friedrich v. Baden-Durlach, one of the three sons of Margrave Charles II, on whose behalf the guardians Louis, elector palatine, Philip Louis, count palatine of Neuburg, and Duke Louis of Württemberg had signed the Formula of Concord after the margrave’s death. The book, printed at Schloß Staffort near Durlach, consisted – in its larger version – of a rejection of the Formula of Concord…

Stahl, Friedrich Julius

(363 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] ( Jan 16, 1802, Munich – Aug 10, 1861, Brückenau), Protestant jurisprudent and politician. Stahl (orig. Jolson) was of Jewish parentage; in 1819 he converted to Lutheranism and took the name Stahl when he was baptized. In 1832 he was appointed associate professor at Erlangen and in the same year full professor at Würzburg; in 1834 he was ¶ appointed full professor at Erlangen. As representative of the university in the Bavarian Landtag, he was reprimanded on account of a conflict with the government; in 1840 he therefore accepted an appointment in Be…

Stählin, Wilhelm

(252 words)

Author(s): Schwab, Ulrich
[German Version] (Sep 24, 1883, Gunzenhausen – Dec 16, 1975, Prien am Chiemsee). After studying Protestant theology in Erlangen, Rostock, and Berlin, Stählin served as a pastor in Bavaria. He received his doctorate from Würzburg in 1913 with a dissertation on the metaphorical language of the New Testament. In 1914 he founded the Gesellschaft für Religionspsychologie in Nuremberg. After 1918 he was one of the leading theologians in the Jugendbewegung. From 1922 to 1932 he was a leader in the Bund Deutscher Jugendvereine. In 1923 he helped establish the Berneuchen …

Stained Glass

(1,567 words)

Author(s): Kurmann-Schwarz, Brigitte
[German Version] I Stained (or painted) glass is a type of monumental painting whose effect is dependent on the translucence of its material. It consists of flat pieces of colored glass held together in a grooved lead (came) framework to form a representational or ornamental composition. In representational compositions and sometimes in ornamental compositions, the pieces of glass are painted with black stain of varying density. Annealing in a special furnace bonds the painting to the surface of the glass. II Around 1100 Theophilus Presbyter described the technique of making…


(478 words)

Author(s): Creuzberger, Stefan
[German Version] The term Stalinism was not coined by the “Stalinists” but by their opponents. It is commonly accepted as denoting the authoritarian and bureaucratic system of government established under J. Stalin- between 1928/1929 and 1953, together with the dictatorship of a party leader who imposed his arbitrarily defined political line, employing an entourage of compliant functionaries ( nomenklatura) and terrorism against enemies real and supposed. Ideologically speaking, Stalinism was rooted in the theories of V. Lenin. It did not consider itse…

Stalin, Joseph

(572 words)

Author(s): Creuzberger, Stefan
[German Version] (Vissarionovich Jughashvili; Dec 6 [18], 1878, Gori, Georgia – Mar 5, 1953, Moscow). Stalin’s family was poor. From 1888 to 1894, he attended the church school in Gori and then the Orthodox seminary in Tiflis. When he was expelled in 1899 on account of his contacts with underground Marxist circles (Marxism), his membership in the Georgian Social Democratic Mesame Dasi (1898) brought him into the Tiflis organization of the Russian Social Demo-¶ cratic Labor Party (RSDLP) in the fall of 1901. Under the cover names Koba and Stalin (“the man of steel”), he engaged in re…
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