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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Soteriology

(5 words)

[German Version] Redemption/Soteriology

Soto, Domingo de

(189 words)

Author(s): Augusto Rodrigues, Manuel
[German Version] (1495, Segóvia – Nov 15, 1560, Salamanca), a Dominican, was one of the most important masters of the “school of Salamanca” and among the most important representatives of late Scholasticism in Spain. After studying in Alcalá and Paris, where he heard the lectures of Francis of Vitoria, he became a professor at the University of Salamanca. He was a theological adviser to Emperor Charles V and represented the Dominican order at the Council of Trent. He defended B. de Las Casas in th…

Soto, Pedro de

(169 words)

Author(s): Müller, Gerhard
[German Version] (c. 1495, Alcalá – Apr 20, 1563, Trent), Catholic controversialist. He joined the Dominicans in 1518 and supported the reform of his order. In 1542 he was appointed confessor to Charles V, an office from which he resigned in 1548 because he thought the imperial court was not attacking the Reformation vigorously enough. He played a role in founding the University of Dillingen, where he lectured in theology from 1549 to 1555. In 1555 he accepted a posting to England but remained onl…

Soubirous, Bernadette, Saint

(179 words)

Author(s): Ries, Markus
[German Version] (baptized Marie- Bernarde; religious name: Marie-Bernard; Jan 7, 1844, Lourdes – Apr 16, 1879, Nevers), joined the Sisters of Charity of Nevers as a novice in 1866 but did not take ¶ permanent vows until 1878. Bernadette was born to an impoverished family and suffered from asthma, cholera, and tuberculosis of the bone. Between Feb 11 and Jul 16 of 1858, she experienced 18 visions in a grotto beside the Gave near Lourdes, encountering a white “something” ( aquerò), then a luminous “small young lady” ( uo pétito demizéla), which she experienced as an apparition of the …

Soul

(8,968 words)

Author(s): Hoheisel, Karl | Seebass, Horst | Gödde, Susanne | Necker, Gerold | Rudolph, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Phenomenology Western, Christian connotations of the concept of the soul, imposed on the religio-historical evidence by outside studies, must be generally excluded if the soul is understood as the principle of manifestations of life that are perceptible (or culturally considered to be perceptible), although they are rarely categorized under a common umbrella term. It is therefore reasonable to speak of a multiplicity of souls – for example four among the Ob-Ugrians (Hasenfratz, Einführung, 38–41), five among the Proto-Germanic peoples ( ib…

Soul Bird

(169 words)

Author(s): Hoheisel, Karl
[German Version] The fugitive soul is represented pictorially in many forms. Late, principally Roman sarcophagi depict Prometheus (Culture hero) forming a human being as a statuette, to which Athena adds a butterfly (Gk ψυχή/ psychḗ ). Frequently the soul is represented as a bird. The soul bird itself comes from ancient Egypt. In the earliest period, a bird resembling a stork, later a falcon, was considered the embodiment of divine powers called ba. Probably on account of a later shift in meaning, this term was already translated by Horapollon as psychḗ or “soul.” In the Old Kingdom…

Soul, Sleep of the

(275 words)

Author(s): Link, Christian
[German Version] According to Augustine of Hippo ( De haeresibus 83; MPL 42, 46), the notion of a sleep or death of the soul was already current among the “Arabs” in the time of Origen. This means that souls in the “intermediate sate” share the fate of their mortal bodies, rising to life again with them only on the Last Day. This idea, with various rationales, was later advocated by Pope John XXII, the Renaissance savant P. Pomponazzi, a few Anabaptist groups, A. v. Karlstadt, and Luther. The arguments f…

South Africa

(1,920 words)

Author(s): Hofmeyr, Johannes Wynand
[German Version] I. General South Africa, located at the southern tip of the African continent (Africa), extends across around 1,220,000 km2. In the new South Africa there are nine provinces: Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, North-West, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, and Western Cape. South Africa’s population is estimated to be about 42 million (75.2% Black, 13.6% White, 8.6% Colored, and 2.6% Indian). Some 60% of Whites are of Afrikaner descent and most of the rest are of British descent. Th…

South African Missions

(362 words)

Author(s): Hexham, Irving
[German Version] Roman Catholic missionaries entered South Africa during the 16th century. The first serious Protestant missionaries were Moravian Brethren (Bohemian and Moravian Brethren: II,4) who arrived in 1792. London Missionary Society missionaries followed in 1799. The British annexation of the Cape in 1806 led to conflicts between missionaries like J.T. van der Kemp and J. Philip. The British expelled Roman Catholic missionaries in 1806, only allowing them officially to return in 1837. The…

South America

(8 words)

[German Version] America, Latin America

Southcott, Johanna

(177 words)

Author(s): Noll, Mark A.
[German Version] (April 1750 [baptized Jun 6, 1750, Devonshire] – Dec 27, 1814, London), a self-described prophet, gathered a considerable following in the early 19th century. Coming from a farming family, in 1792 she joined the Methodists, but two years later broke with them after she began to issue prophecies. Her first tract, “The Strange Effects of Faith” (1801), described her expectation of a speedy end of the age and her own role in the Last Days, influenced by Richard Brothers (1757–1824), …

South-East Asia

(1,659 words)

Author(s): Mürmel, Heinz
[German Version] comprises the modern continental countries Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Singapore, together with the island states of Indonesia, Brunei, East Timor, and the Philippines. The territory of Malaysia comprises both continental and insular regions (see the map at Asia). In the year 2000, the population was about 522 million; 27.2% were Buddhists, 2% Hindus, 26.8% Muslims, 21.4% Christians (14.7% Catholics), and 22.6% other. South-East Asia is extraordinarily varied – ethnically, linguistically, culturally, and religiously.…

Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)

(359 words)

Author(s): Leonard, Bill J.
[German Version] is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States and the largest Baptist denomination (Baptists: II) in the world, claiming some 17 million members in over 40,000 churches. The convention began in 1845 as a result of debates over slavery between Baptists North and South, specifically related to the appointment of slaveholding missionaries. Southerners pledged to evangelize the world and supported the Confederacy. After the American Civil War, the denomination was rebuil…

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

(152 words)

Author(s): Luker, Ralph E.
[German Version] In 1957, M.L. King Jr. and other black ministers organized SCLC to attack racial disfranchisement and segregation in the southern United States (Civil rights, Discrimination). Except for a platform for King’s oratory, SCLC was fairly ineffective in its early years. Other civil rights organizations sustained legal challenges to de iure segregation, launched the sit-in movement to contest segregation at restaurants, lunch counters, and theaters, and staged freedom rides to test federal orders to desegregate interstate transportati…

Souverain, Jacques

(279 words)

Author(s): Ohst, Martin
[German Version] (probably died in England in 1698). Not until years after his death was Souverain identified as the author of Le Platonisme dévoilé, ou Essai touchant le verbe Platonicien, published by the Unitarian S. Crell in 1700, supposedly in Cologne but in fact in Amsterdam. Souverain, probably from Languedoc, was removed from his office as a Reformed preacher on grounds of heresy shortly before the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (Huguenots: I, 1), whereupon he moved to the Netherlands. When he offended the Dutch …

Sovereignty

(970 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] The term sovereignty – as defined by J. Bodin after antique and medieval precursors – does not denote a legal title but a social reality, the reality of an effective social power to preserve external and internal peace in the territory over which it holds sway, a “commonwealth.” The term itself implies its peculiar mode of operation: recognition of its bearer as possessing the coercive power ( vis) necessary to assure sufficient compliance internally with the laws it issues, to make appointments to office and vest them with authority, and also to…

Soviet System

(540 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] Theory. Soviets (councils) are formed through equal, free, but not necessarily secret ballots (Elections) by an electorate organized by factory or military unit, and in part also by residential district. They are broadly responsible for economic, political, and legal matters. The concentration of all power in these soviets eliminates separation of powers. The elected members of these councils, whose discussions and decisions are ongoing and always public, are subject to an imperat…

Soviet Union

(736 words)

Author(s): Stricker, Gerd
[German Version] I. General The Soviet Union (officially Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, USSR) was born out of V. Lenin’s so-called October Revolution (Nov 7/8, 1917); it lasted until Dec 31, 1991. Its area of 22.4 million km2 made it the largest country in the world; at the end, it comprised 15 national republics. Its 1989 population of 290.7 million included 90 national groups, 40 ethnic groups, and hundreds of smaller population groups. In 1989 the 145.1 million Russians constituted 50.02% of the total population, the 44.2 …

Soyo

(293 words)

Author(s): Spindler, Marc
[German Version] The modern port of Soyo, on the south bank of the Zaire estuary, is flourishing economically because of coastal petroleum reserves. It has the same location as earlier settlements – the city of Santo Antonio do Zaire and the port of Mpinda – from which African slaves were shipped to Brazil for several centuries. Soyo was also a coastal province of the famous ancient kingdom of Kongo in the 15th and 16th centuries and an important part of its history. After the Battle of Ambuila in…

Sozialdienst katholischer Frauen (SKF)

(291 words)

Author(s): Hümmeler, Elke
[German Version] founded in 1899 as the Verein vom Guten Hirten by Agnes Neuhaus (1854–1944). Its mission was and still is to help women, girls, and young children in situations of social endangerment. Today the SKF is a Catholic women’s professional association engaged in social work in several areas: aiding children and young people, women and families in situations of particular strain, and endangered women and families; caring for the mentally ill and exercising guardianship under the guardia…
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