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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(580 words)

Author(s): Feige, Andreas
[German Version] The history of modern opinion surveys begins with the Gallup Institute in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. Today politics, economics, and culture are inconceivable without such surveys: complex liberal democratic systems driven by a market model need a feedback instrument based on reliable ¶ systemic information to guide decision-making processes. The opinions of individuals are an essential part of such information; within limits, theoretically, these opinions reflect orientations that determine action. The published…


(302 words)

Author(s): Dupré, Wilhelm
[German Version] In cultural and religious history, the term survivals denotes the continued presence of cultural elements and mindsets whose original context belongs to the past. Examples include the survival of folk costumes and dances, social and political structures, pre-Christian customs (cults of sacred springs [Water], times, and sacred sites), and ideas of “divine” punishment and reward. E.B. Tylor introduced survivals as a key theoretical concept for interpreting cultural and religious history as a history of progress. He understood survivals…


(271 words)

Author(s): Koch, Heidemarie
[German Version] (Elamite šu-šá, šu-šá-an/-in, šu-še-en, šu-šu-un, modern Shush). Susa was founded c. 4200 bce as a ¶ religious and administrative center; it was conspicuous for its superb pottery and the unusual iconography of its seals. Susa played a key role in the development of writing in the second half of the 4th millennium. Over the centuries, it and Anshan ( an-ša-an, an-za-an, present-day Tall-e Malyan), near Persepolis, were the capitals of the Elamite empire, which at the beginning of the 2nd millennium bce embraced all of Mesopotamia along with what are today part…


(7 words)

[German Version] Daniel, Additions to

Süskind, Friedrich Gottlieb

(184 words)

Author(s): Kirn, Hans-Martin
[German Version] (Feb 17, 1767, Neuenstadt am Kocher – Nov 12, 1829, Stuttgart). In 1795 Gottlieb was appointed deacon in Urach, in 1798 professor of theology in Tübingen. In 1805 he succeeded G.C. Storr as senior court chaplain and consistorial councilor in Stuttgart. As a student of Storr, Süskind together with J.F. and K.C. Flatt were among the preeminent representatives of the early Tübingen School. He intensified the school’s apologetic conflict with the philosophy of I. Kant, J.G. Fichte, an…

Susman, Margarete

(147 words)

Author(s): Steer, Martina
[German Version] (Oct 14, 1872, Hamburg – Jun 6, 1966, Zürich), Jewish author. After publishing several volumes of poetry ( Mein Land, 1901; Neue Gedichte, 1907), Susman turned to essays, writing for the Frankfurter Zeitung, Der Jud e, and Der Morgen. Her pioneering literary reviews, including discussions of the work of F. Kafka, were published in 1910 as Das Wesen der modernen Lyrik. In 1933 she emigrated to Switzerland, where she joined the circle led by the religious socialist L. Ragaz. In Das Buch Hiob und das Schicksal des jüdischen Volkes (1946) she sought to analyze and come t…

Suso (Seuse), Heinrich

(426 words)

Author(s): Enders, Markus
[German Version] (Mar 21, 1295/1297 in or near Constance – Jan 25, 1366, Ulm), OP, Christian mystic; alongside J. Tauler the most important student of Meister Eckhart, whom he came to know at the studium generale in Cologne between 1323/1324 and 1326/1327. After returning to his home convent in Constance, he held the office of lector. At around the age of 40, he experienced a turning point that was to be crucial for his spiritual life: recognizing that all that was necessary for salvation was the suffering sent by God, he discontinued the excessive …


(427 words)

Author(s): Pree, Helmuth
[German Version] The earliest evidence of punitive suspension from performing liturgical functions or any official function dates from the late Roman era. At the close of the 11th century, we find suspensio ab officio et beneficio (including loss of emoluments); the loss of income represents a reinforcement ( Corpus iuris canonici, Liber extra [X] 2.21.2; X 5.19.7). Suspension from the power of orders alone first appears toward the end of the 12th century (X 5.8.1). In CIC/1917 suspension appears as both a coercive penalty and an atonement penalty. It is one of three co…


(258 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] in general means permanence or durability. In an environmental context (Environment/Ecology), the terms sustainability and sustainable development are generally used synonymously, although different meanings lie below the surface: sustainability characterizes a present state (static population size), whereas sustainable development refers to a process (dynamic flow). The most generally accepted definition of sustainable development appears in the Brundtland report: it is “ . . . development that meets the needs of the…

Sutel, Johann

(177 words)

Author(s): Schäfer, Rolf
[German Version] (1504, Altmorschen, near Melsungen – Aug 26, 1575, Northeim). After receiving a master’s degree at Erfurt, he became rector of the Latin school in Melsungen, for which ordination was not required. In 1530 the city council of Göttingen appointed him pastor of Sankt Nikolai and commissioned him to introduce the Reformation into the city; in 1535 he became superintendent and pastor of the Johanniskirche. Upon his inquiry, Luther advised him against a belated ordination (letter of Mar 1, 1542). In 1542 Philip of ¶ Hesse called him to introduce the Reformation in Schw…

Sutherland, Graham

(217 words)

Author(s): Robinson, Duncan
[German Version] (Aug 24, 1903, Streatham – Feb 17, 1980, London). As a student at Goldsmith’s School of Art in London, Sutherland was deeply impressed by the etchings of the 19th-century artist S. Palmer. In 1926, the year he joined the Roman Catholic Church, he began to teach engraving at the Chelsea School of Art. He started to paint in the 1930s, inspired by the landscape of Pembrokeshire. His interest at the time in organic forms paralleled that of Paul Nash and H. Moore, with whom he was ass…


(379 words)

Author(s): Klaus, Konrad
[German Version] (Sanskrit, lit. “thread”; Pāli: sutta); the word denotes both certain lengthy texts of Indian literature and the minor subunits into which several of them are traditionally divided. In many areas of Indian spiritual life (Hinduism: III, 3; Buddhism: I, 5), the knowledge contained in the sūtras constitutes the foundation on which the entire tradition builds. Therefore the topics treated in the extant sūtras are highly diverse. Scientific textbooks like Pāṇini’s Aṣṭādhyāyī (c. 5th cent. bce), a grammar of Sanskrit, and Piṅgala’s Chandaḥsūtra (c. 2nd cent, bce), a …

Suttner, Bertha von

(183 words)

Author(s): Cymorek, Hans
[German Version] ( née Countess Kinsky v. Wchinitz und Tettau; Jun 9, 1843, Prague – Jun 21, 1914, Vienna), novelist and pacifist. From 1876 to 1885, she lived in western Georgia, where she began her pseudonymous literary activity ( Hanna, 1882; Inventarium einer Seele, 1883). Raised as a Catholic but strongly influenced by theories of social evolution, in 1889 she embodied social criticism and pacifist optimism about the future in her programmatic novel Die Waffen nieder! (ET: Lay Down Your Arms, 1894); it was very popular, and she quickly became a central figure in the in…

Süvern, Johann Wilhelm

(253 words)

Author(s): Bloth, Peter C.
[German Version] (Jan 3, 1775, Lemgo – Oct 2, 1829, Berlin). After studying theology and phi-¶ lology in Jena and Halle, Süvern taught in Gymnasiums in Berlin, Thorn (Toruń; 1800), and Elbing (Elbląg; 1803). In 1807 he was appointed professor of “ancient literature” at Königsberg in Prussia (now Kaliningrad in Russia). At the time of the Treaty of Tilsit, alongside J.G. Fichte his “way of understanding antiquity and applying it to national education” (W. Dilthey, 210) gained influence in the Prussian court and …

Suzuki, Daisetsu Taitarō

(170 words)

Author(s): Repp, Martin
[German Version] (D.T.; Nov 11, 1870, Kanazawa – Jul 12, 1966, Tokyo), Japanese Buddhist thinker. Through the influence of his Zen (II) master Shaku Sōen, from 1897 to 1908 Suzuki worked with Paul Carus in the United States translating East Asian religious works (Buddhism: I, 2.f); he returned to Japan in 1909. In 1921 he was appointed profesor of East Asian philosophy at Otani University in Kyoto. He wrote works on Mahāyāna Buddhism and Amitābha. Beginning in 1950, he engaged extensively in lectu…
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