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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Succession, Apostolic

(3,002 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Wohlmuth, Josef | Felmy, Karl Christian | Campenhausen, Axel Frhr. v. | Neuner, Peter
[German Version] I. Terminology Especially in ecumenical discussion (Ecumene), there is a widespread assumption that the expression apostolic succession denotes a primitive and clearly defined attribute of ecclesiastical office. However, the notion that the marks of the church (Notae ecclesiae) include an unbroken chain of office holders going back to the apostles and that each of these office holders was placed in office through the laying-on of hands of another legitimate office holder appeared on the scene rel…


(103 words)

Author(s): Stephan, Christian
[German Version] a massive Byzantine encyclopedia compiled in the 10th century. The work contains over 31,000 entries, which provide material from a very wide variety of sources: lexical works, historical excerpts, biographies, works of theology and philosophy, and texts of classical Greek authors. Since the compilers’ goal was to include all the knowledge of their age, the Suda represents a unique collection of material, some of which would otherwise have been lost. Christian Stephan Bibliography Source: A. Adler, ed., Suidae Lexicon, 5 vols., 1928–1938 Bibl.: H. Hunger, “Was …


(779 words)

Author(s): Scholz, Piotr Otto
[German Version] since 1956 an independent Islamic republic (Jumhūrīyat as-Sūdān). Before South Sudan seceded in 2011, its 2.5 million km2 made it the largest territory in Africa (see the map of Africa), with 33 million inhabitants, speaking 134 languages and dialects. Its capital is Khartoum ( EI 2 9, 1997, 746–752). In the north, the Sahara extends as far as Khartoum; the river system of the Nile dominates the country’s ecology and economy. In the south, nomadism constitutes the primary source of sustenance. Cotton is the most important export…

Sudermann, Daniel

(137 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Volker
[German Version] (1550, Liège – after 1630, Straßburg [Strasbourg]). Though born into a Catholic family, Sudermann came into contact with Calvinism, Lutheranism, and Anabaptism early on. Having worked as a private tutor, after 1585 he served as an educator of the nobility at the Bruderhof in Straßburg. He had already come in contact with the ideas of K. v. Schwenckfeld, some of whose writings he began publishing in 1584. He dated his own attraction to Schwenckfeld’s teaching from a conversion expe…


(190 words)

Author(s): Vielberg, Meinolf
[German Version] The son of the equestrian Suetonius Laetus, Suetonius was born c. 70, probably in Hippo. He was educated in grammar and rhetoric in Rome. With Pliny the Younger as patron, under Hadrian he held various offices in the imperial central administration. After he was dismissed in 121/122, he was active as an author. In Lives of the Twelve Caesars from Caesar to Domitian, he interpreted the principate as an imperial history individualized in the figures of the emperors. With his corpus of biographies, despite their simple, anecdotal style and …


(186 words)

Author(s): Herbers, Klaus
[German Version] The original homeland of the Suevi has not been clearly identified (Elbe-Germanic or Baltic region?). After crossing the Rhine in 405, they passed through Gaul and arrived in the Iberian Peninsula, where they settled between 409 and 411 in the region of ancient Lusitania. Hermericus (abdicated 438) is considered the founder of their kingdom, which at one time or another also included Astorga, Lugo, Mérida, and Seville. Establishment of a court, restoration of the old imperial fisci, accumulation of wealth, and diplomatic relations stabilized the kingdom. …


(8,720 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Mürmel, Heinz | Halm, Heinz | Fabry, Heinz-Josef | Avemarie, Friedrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. General Suffering is a concept that needs to be approached constructively in comparative religious study as it takes fundamental negative human experiences to a comparative level. On this interpretive level, suffering is understood as one of the fundamental experiences of human life. What people experience as suffering depends on their particular interpretation of the world and hence on their religious system for interpreting the world. The point at which religi…

Sufferings, Paul’s List of

(277 words)

Author(s): Ebner, Martin
[German Version] Lists of Paul’s sufferings and hardships appear in Rom 8:35; 1 Cor 4:11–13; 2 Cor 4:8f.; 6:4–10; 11:23–29; 12:10; Phil 4:12. German New Testament scholars call such a list a Peristasenkatalog, reflecting the terminology of Stoic and Cynic popular philosophy (Stoics, Cynics), where we also find such lists of adverse “circumstances” ( peristaseis). Suffering them demonstrates the realization of philosophical theory in life (cf. Epict. Dissertationes I 24.1). In a Christian context, in Rom 8 Paul cites example of peristaseis that cannot separate the believer fr…

Suffragan, Suffragan Diocese

(97 words)

Author(s): Rees, Wilhelm
[German Version] (from Lat. suffragium, “support, right to vote”). In Roman Catholic usage, a suffragan is a diocesan bishop subordinate to a metropolitan ( CIC/1983 cc. 435–437; cf. CCEO cc. 133–139) within an ecclesiastical province ( CIC/1983 cc. 431–446; cf. LG 23, para. 4; CD 39f.). The diocese is called a suffragan bishopric. Wilhelm Rees Bibliography H. Paarhammer, “Kirchenprovinz – Metropolit – Provinzialkonzil,” in: idem, ed., Uni trinoque Domino. FS K. Berg, 1989, 469–496 O. Stoffel, MKCIC cc. 431–446 (as of August 1997) KanR 2, 131997, 309–312, 349 H. Maritz, “Die Kirche…


(5 words)

[German Version] Islam


(206 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph
[German Version] (c. 1081, Argenteuil – 1151, St.-Denis), was born to a wealthy family; c. 1091 he became an oblate in the royal Frankish abbey of St.-Denis before the gates of Paris. In 1101 he took his solemn vows; in 1107 he defended the exempt status of the abbey before Pope Paschal II. After serving in various political and ecclesiastical offices, he was elected abbot in 1122. He reformed his own abbey and also served as regent of France from 1137 to 1140 and from 1147 to 1149. His partial reconstruction of the abbey church (1140–1144) is famous; he discussed it in his De consecratione and De o…

Suhard, Emmanuel Célestin

(219 words)

Author(s): Sesboüé, Bernard
[German Version] (Apr 5, 1874, Brains-sur-les-Marches, Département Mayenne – May 30, 1949, Paris). In 1899 Suhard was appointed professor at the Grand Seminary of Laval; in 1928 he was appointed bishop of Bayeux and in 1930 archbishop of Reims. He was made a cardinal in 1935. After his appointment as archbishop of Paris in 1940, he was confronted with the German invasion. He was held hostage for a time in his residence. Later he opposed anti-Jewish raids and finally saved the lives of 50 hostages …

Suicer, Johann Caspar

(179 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (Hans Kaspar Schwei[t]zer; Jun 26, 1619 or 1620, Frauenfeld – Dec 29, 1684, Zürich), Reformed theologian and philologist. The son of a pastor, Suicer was educated in Zürich, Saumur, and Montauban; in 1643 he was appointed pastor in Basadingen, in Thurgovia. In 1644 he moved to Zürich, initially as a teacher, then after 1646 as superintendent of the seminary and professor of Hebrew. In 1649 he was appointed professor of catechetics and in 1656 professor of Latin and Greek at the Co…


(4,006 words)

Author(s): Hoheisel, Karl | Kuhlemann, Frank-Michael | Kuhn, Thomas K. | Aebischer-Crettol, Ebo | Honecker, Martin
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Suicide is the violent taking of one’s own life by one’s own hand; it also includes voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide. Cultural traditions vary greatly regarding the admissibility of suicide. In tribal cultures, the aged and infirm in the Kalahari or other extremely arid regions ask their relatives for death. Kings and chiefs in African tribal cultures must kill themselves when the fortunes of war turn against them or they grow frail. To avoid dying in bed…

Suidbert, Saint

(197 words)

Author(s): Padberg, Lutz E. v.
[German Version] (died March 713; feast day Mar 1), Anglo-Saxon missionary, monastic bishop and abbot of Kaiserswerth. All we know about him comes from the Ecclesiastical History (V 11) of the Venerable Bede, who lists Suidbert among the monks accompanying Willibrord on his mission to the kingdom of the Franks. Nevertheless his ties to Wilfrith of York suggest that his home abbey was Ripon and that he evangelized in independent Frisia. The anti-Christian policy of King Radbod after 679 forced a change of plans. Consecrat…

Sullivan, Harry Stack

(158 words)

Author(s): Plieth, Martina
[German Version] (Feb 21, 1892, Norwich, NY – Jan 14, 1949, Paris), neopsychoanalyst of Irish ¶ ancestry. After receiving his doctorate from Chicago in 1917, he worked as a psychiatrist and lecturer in Maryland from 1923 to 1930/1931, where he became cofounder and director of the Washington School of Psychiatry (1936). He taught as a professor in Maryland (1925–1931) and Washington (1939–1944). He devoted himself to the treatment of schizophrenia, sketched the basis of an interpersonal theory of personality, an…


(205 words)

Author(s): Eder, Manfred
[German Version] (Prêtres du Clergé, Congregatio Sulpitiensis, Societas Presbyterorum a Sancto Sulpitio, PSS), a congregation of secular priests (without vows) founded in 1641 by Jean-Jacques Olier (1608–1657), pastor of St.-Sulpice in Paris, for the education and spiritual formation of seminarians and priests in the spirit of the Tridentine decree on seminaries. It is named after Archbishop Sulpicius II of Bourges (615–647). Their spirituality is christological, eucharistic, and Marian and was st…

Sulpicius Severus

(304 words)

Author(s): Schubert, Christoph
[German Version] (c. 363 – c. 420). Born to noble Aquitanian parents, Sulpicius worked as a lawyer after training in rhetoric. Widowed at an early age, under the influence of Martin of Tours and following the example of his friend Paulinus of Nola, in 394 he relinquished his wealth and led an ascetic life, after 399 in his own estate at Primuliacum (Paulinus Ep. 5 and Gennad. ¶ Vir. ill. 19). His works on St. Martin ( Vita S. Martini, with three letters and two books of Dialogi) are less historical than edifying; they reveal him as an admirer of Martin, a defender of monasticism, …

Sulze, Emil

(203 words)

Author(s): Winkler, Eberhard
[German Version] (Feb 26, 1832, Kamenz, Upper Lusatia – May 29, 1914, Bad Oeynhausen). As a pastor in Osnabrück, Chemnitz, and Dresden, Sulze recognized the need for church reform through congregational renewal. The mammoth metropolitan parishes (60,000 “souls” in Dresden-Neustadt!) were to be divided into districts, each headed by a “paterfamilias” responsible to the pastor. The goal was diaconal and pastoral “ministry of all to all” ( Gemeinde, 49). “The laity learn from the clergy and vice versa” ( Reform, 94). Theologically, it is essential for the concept of the unive…

Sulzer, Salomon

(174 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Esther
[German Version] (Mar 30, 1804, Hohenems, Vorarl­berg – Jan 17, 1890, Vienna), pioneer of the modern Jewish cantorate. The son of a businessman, Sulzer began his three-year cantorial training at the age of 13 with Lippmann, a Swiss cantor. On its completion, he became a cantor in Hohenems; in 1825 he was appointed chief cantor in Vienna. Retaining the use of Hebrew, Sulzer founded a four-part boys’ and men’s choir; borrowing from traditional synagogue melodies, he composed choral music in contemporary Viennese style. In 1840 he published his Schir Zion (part 2, 1865), choral synagog…

Sulzer, Simon

(214 words)

Author(s): Kuhn, Thomas K.
[German Version] (Sep 22, 1508, Schattenhalb, Canton Bern – Jun 22, 1585, Basel), important Swiss theologian.After studying in Bern, Lucerne, Straßburg (Strasbourg), and Basel, where he met B. Haller, O. Myconius, M. Bucer, W. Capito, and S. Grynaeus, he served initially as a teacher in Bern. In 1537 he received his M.A. at Basel. After 1536 he displayed a preference for Lutheran theology and advocated a Swiss-German confessional union. In 1538, against growing resistance, he attempted to introduc…


(5 words)

[German Version] Mesopotamia

Summa theologiae

(401 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] In the 12th century, a scholarly work briefly summarizing the totality of important knowledge in a particular field (Robert of Melun: singulorum brevis comprehensio) came to be called a Summa (later also Summula). Various disciplines were represented: Summa grammaticae/grammaticalis; Summa super Priscianum; Summa dictaminis/artis notariae; Summa logicae ( Summulae dialectices/logicales/logicae); Summa de modis significandi; Summa philosophiae; Summula philosophiae naturalis; Summa de anima, etc. Compendia of civil and canon law were also called Summae…

Summenhart, Konrad

(160 words)

Author(s): Feld, Helmut
[German Version] (c. 1458, Calw – Oct 20, 1502, Schuttern Abbey near Lahr), natural philosopher, theologian ( via antiqua), and canonist in Tübingen. Summerhart began his study in the faculty of arts at Heidelberg in 1472. In 1478 he earned his master’s degree in Paris. In the same year, he registered at Tübingen, where he was accepted into the Magistri regentes of the arts faculty in 1483. After receiving his Dr.theol. on Oct 13, 1489, he held a chair at the theological faculty until his death. His extensive, multifaceted work makes him one of the most …

Summepiscopate of the Princes

(468 words)

Author(s): Link, Christoph
[German Version] The summepiscopate of the princes is a 19th-century term for the governance of the Protestant churches, but its roots go back to the 16th century. After the breakdown of episcopal jurisdiction, with the approval of the Reformers the Protestant estates of the Empire set about restructuring the governance of the church; only “out of Christian charity” (Luther), it was to be put in the hands of the sovereign as praecipuum membrum ecclesiae (Melanchthon), but not by virtue of his temporal authority. Therefore Luther was not the progenitor of the princes’…

Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL)

(134 words)

Author(s): Sørensen, Jørgen Skov
[German Version] The organization previously known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics (now SIL International) was founded in 1934 by the American William C. Townsend as a series of annual language training programs for missionaries, with an emphasis on Bible translation. SIL grew substantially, and the organization eventually spread to Australia, Asia, Africa, and Europe. The main activity today is systematic linguistic work with unwritten languages: linguistic analysis, publishing educational…

Summer Seminars, Theological

(306 words)

Author(s): Orth, Gottfried
[German Version] Summer seminars are a rediscovered learning model for the education of adults and young people; their history goes back to the Jugendbewegung in the early 20th century. Theologically trained lay people and specialists come together – usually during the summer break – to work together on current theological issues. Prior to seminars devoted to issues of politics, development, and feminism, the summer programs at the Centro Ecumenico Agape of the Waldenses in Italy have a comparatively long tradition: for some 50 years, the center has been the site of an annual campo theo…


(2,816 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Hartenstein, Friedhelm | Cancik, Hubert | Schroer, Silvia | Wallraff, Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The sun is omnipresent; in the phenomenal world, it marks and accentuates the course of our chronological and spatial lifeworld. The range of associated structures, interpretations, and ambivalences (light and dark, life-giving and life-consuming) makes it only natural that the sun should acquire religious symbolisms and orientations in many ways and in many areas: (1) orientation in time (annual calendrical cycle, identification of sacral seasons and hours of th…

Sun Dance (Native American)

(309 words)

Author(s): Goodman, Felicitas
[German Version] Performed today by many Native American Indians (II, 2) throughout the Great Plains of North America, the Sun Dance ritual varies from one tribe (Lakota [Blackfoot Indians]) and from one occasion to another but usually begins with the procurement of a tree that is stripped of bark and erected as a pole around which the participants perform. Historically, a bison would be sacrificed, and even today the animal plays a central role in the symbolism of the ceremony. The male dancers d…


(1,697 words)

Author(s): Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich | Hofhansl, Ernst W. | Rinderspacher, Jürgen P.
[German Version] I. History 1. Sunday (Lat. dies solis, Ger. Sonntag, Dutch zondag, Danish Søndag) is the second day of the Greco-Roman planetary week, which displaced the original Roman eight-day week in the 2nd century ce. Influenced by the model of the Jewish seven-day week but also by astrological notions from the Near East, it associated the days of the week with the seven known “planets” (including the sun and moon). As Mithraic religion and the cult of sol invictus (celebrated on Dec 25; introduced by the emperor Aurelian in 274 ce) gained influence, Sunday took on special sign…

Sunday, Billy

(200 words)

Author(s): Dorsett, Lyle
[German Version] (William Ashley; Nov 19, 1862, Ames, IA – Nov 6, 1935, Chicago, IL). Born to a poor family, Graham entered an orphanage soon after his father’s death. At the age of 13, he began to play baseball; in 1883 he was signed by the Chicago White Stockings (National League). In 1886 he became a committed Christian; he began to deliver evangelical sermons during the breaks, soon establishing a reputation as a preacher that eclipsed his reputation as a player. In 1888 he married Helen Thomp…

Sunday Obligation

(306 words)

Author(s): Althaus, Rüdiger
[German Version] Since the age of the apostles, the church has transformed the Old Testament commandment of Sabbath observance into a requirement that the faithful participate in a eucharistic celebration on Sunday. This Sunday obligation, like Sunday observance, became one of the so-called precepts of the church. By canon law, every member of the faithful over the age of seven is obligated to participate in a celebration of the Eucharist (in some Catholic rite) on every Sunday and holy day of obl…

Sunday Observance

(503 words)

Author(s): Rinderspacher, Jürgen P.
[German Version] In Jewish and Christian tradition, observance of a weekly holiday (Holidays) is associated with an injunction to refrain from labor. Unlike other religions, Christianity and Judaism consider interruption and rest – with differing emphasis among the various religious groups – constitutive elements of their identity. Public debate about the modern form of Sunday observance began with industrialization. After various precursors in the 19th century, the struggle of the churches and th…

Sunday School

(1,424 words)

Author(s): Hörnig, J. Thomas | Grundmann, Christoffer H. | Reiss, Wolfram
[German Version] I. Europe and America Traditionally school and worship have also served to hand on the tradition of the faith to children and to communicate values (Children’s church: I). In the 18th century, the philanthropic English system of charity schools pioneered the Sunday school. Initially, because of child labor, Sunday schools were charity schools held on Sundays (Thomas Stock and R. Raikes). What they taught was based primarily on the catechism and, to a lesser extent, the Bible, using th…

Sundén, Hjalmar

(169 words)

Author(s): Belzen, Jacob A. van
[German Version] (Nov 28, 1908, Eksjö, Sweden – Dec 30, 1993, Stockholm), the most important Scandinavian pioneer of the psychology of religion in the postwar era. In his “role theory of religion,” he argued that religious experience is the product of appropriating and subsequently activating a religious frame of reference. Religious traditions consist of stories in which deities interact with human beings. Thanks to “phase changes,” familiarity with a religious tradition enables a cognitive restr…

Sundermann, Wilhelm Heinrich

(186 words)

Author(s): Hummel, Uwe
[German Version] (Oct 29, 1849, Ladbergen – Apr 24, 1919, Göttingen), Protestant missionary and linguist, originally an agriculturalist. Between 1871 and 1875, he was trained at the seminary of the Rhenish Missionary Society in Barmen (United Evangelical Mission); afterwards he served until 1910 as a missionary on the island of Nias off the northwest coast of Sumatra. In 1882 he founded a school for so-called gurus (missionary teachers) in Dahana. From 1882 to 1902 he served as president of the Nias mission. He engaged in intensive cultural and linguistic stu…

Sundkler, Bengt

(191 words)

Author(s): Steed, Christopher
[German Version] (May 7, 1909, Degerfors-Vindeln, Vaster­botte, Sweden – Apr 5, 1995, Uppsala, Sweden), Swedish bishop and Africanist. A Church of Sweden missionary in South Africa (1937–1942) and Tanganyika (1942–1945), and again between 1961 and 1964 as bishop of Bukoba. From 1949 to 1947, he was professor of church and mission history at Uppsala University and editor of the periodical Svensk Missionstidskrift. He pioneered research on African Independent Churches and the groundwork in the communities. His magnum opus, A History of the Church in Africa (written together with …

Sung, John

(103 words)

Author(s): Tze Ming Ng, Peter
[German Version] (1901, Putian, Fujian Province, China – Aug 18, 1944, Peking, China), obtained a doctorate in chemistry from Ohio State University and studied at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He then returned to China and started serving the Methodist Church in Putian in 1927. Since 1931, he began evangelistic campaigns in China, preaching from Shandong, Shanghai Guangzhou, Fuzhou and throughout China. From 1934, he extended his work in Southeast Asia, healing the sick by the laying-on of hands and prayers. Peter Tze Ming Ng Bibliography Works include: My Testimony, trans.…


(298 words)

Author(s): Halm, Heinz
[German Version] (Arab. ahl as-sunna wal-ǧamāʿa, “people of the tradition and community”), collective term for adherents of mainstream Islam (II, 1), embracing some 90% of all Muslims. The term arose to differentiate the Sunnis from earlier sectarian groups and movements. Their characteristic feature is recognition of the tradition or practice ( sunna) of the prophet Muḥammad and the generation of his companions ( ṣaḥāba), initially transmitted orally in a multitude of anecdotal reports ( ḥadīṯ) and then set down in writing, as binding models for the everyday conduct…

Superintendent, Church

(255 words)

Author(s): Barth, Thomas
[German Version] (“overseer,” based on a lit. Lat. trans. of Gk ἐπίσκοπος/ epískopos). In Germany a superintendent is the clerical leader of a midlevel church administrative district (or deanery; Church polity: IV, 2) comprising several parishes or congregations. Synonymous titles include dean, provost, district pastor, and chief district pastor. The superintendent is basically a pastor with his own congregation; in addition he is responsible for the life of the church in his district, where he conducts vis…

Supernatural Birth

(463 words)

Author(s): Beinhauer-Köhler, Bärbel
[German Version] In myths and legends, the motif of supernatural birth distinguishes deities and saviors who procreate, give birth, and are born supernaturally. Zeus’s potency is a token of his divinity and enables him to beget additional deities. Goddesses sometimes give birth without conception; examples include Hephaestus’s birth from Hera and Gaṇeśa’s birth from Parvati. Paradoxically, virginity (Virgin birth) is associated with goddesses of fertility (Ishtar, Venus). Gods appropriate the bir…


(3,603 words)

Author(s): Küenzlen, Gottfried | Sparn, Walter | Stolz, Fritz | Hollenweger, Walter J.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Terminology. Like the equivalent German term Aberglaube, the word superstition is pejorative in tone and so is inherently critical and polemical: to speak of superstition as a perverted belief implies that the speaker is doing so from the perspective of correct belief or knowledge. 2. Semantic history. The normative, judgmental character of the term shaped its semantic history. In ancient Rome, superstitio was used to describe an exaggerated religious anxiety, just as Greek δεισιδαιμονία/ deisidaimonía meant anxious servility toward …

Supervision (Professional)

(348 words)

Author(s): Karle, Isolde
[German Version] The word supervision in the sense of this article originated in the field of psychosocial work; it denotes a form of professional guidance related to professional practice; its goal is to improve the quality of professional work. Under the guidance of a trained specialist, workers reflect on the psychological, social, and institutional dimensions of their professional activity. There is individual supervision, but also group supervision (Clinical pastoral education) and team supervi…


(6 words)

[German Version] Ecclesia supplet/Suppletion


(6 words)

[German Version] Ecclesia supplet/Suppletion

Suprasl Monastery

(132 words)

Author(s): Pracki, Roman
[German Version] The Monastery of the Annunciation founded c. 1498 in Gródek and moved to Suprasl a few years later is significant for its scriptorium: it and the Kiev Cave Monastery (Kiev, Cave Monastery) were the only monasteries in Poland-Lithuania to have major scriptoria. In 1695 the scriptorium was replaced by a print shop. The richly endowed manuscript collection of Suprasl included an 11th-century manuscript of the Suprasl Codex ( Mineia četia, March Menology; Liturgical books: II), the earliest source of Old Church Slavonic. Destroyed by German troops in 1…

Supreme Being

(391 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz
[German Version] a term that entered religious studies in the 19th century; rejecting evolutionary theories of all kinds, scholars used it to denote universal supreme deities (or in some cases divine couples) even among peoples with very simple social organizations. Andrew Lang in particular considered belief in a supreme being a basic component of all human religions: polytheism (Monotheism and polytheism), magic, etc. are secondary developments. The primitive monotheism theory of W. Schmidt and…

Surgant, Johann Ulrich

(296 words)

Author(s): Hennig, Gerhard
[German Version] (c. 1450, Altkirch, Alsace – Sep 20, 1503, Basel). After studying at Basel, he moved to Paris in 1468, where he was influenced by J. Heynlin of Stein and his combination of Scholasticism and Humanism. In 1472 he became parish priest of Sankt Theodor in Kleinbasel; in 1479 he was appointed to teach canon law at the University of Basel, where he served four terms as rector. Surgant, Heynlin, S. Brant, J. Wimpfeling, J. Geiler von Kaysersberg were among the outstanding representatives of Upper German and Alsatian Humanism and its understanding of a reformatio of the church a…

Surius, Laurentius

(171 words)

Author(s): Rasch, Christian Willm
[German Version] (Lorenz Sauer; 1523, Lübeck – May 28, 1578, Cologne) first came in contact with the Reformation while studying in Frankfurt an der Oder, thanks to his interest in Humanism and proficiency in ancient languages. But his friendship with P. Canisius after 1537 led to a fascination with Reform Catholicism, which combined his interests in the Reformation, Humanism, and the Early Church. In 1540 he joined the Carthusians in Cologne; in 1543 he was ordained to the priesthood. Efforts towa…


(787 words)

Author(s): Renftle, Barbara Regina
[German Version] Surrealism is a movement in modern painting and literature that seeks to represent the unconscious and the dreamworld, influenced by the insights of S. Freud’s psychoanalysis. It was an outgrowth of the numerous events staged by the Dadaists: before 1924 most artists of the Paris surrealist group belonged to the provocative satirical Dadaist Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich. Its literary roots were primarily in the works of Arthur Rimbaud, Guillaume Apollinaire, the Comte de Lautréamont…
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