Religion Past and Present

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Edited by: Hans Dieter Betz, Don S. Browning†, Bernd Janowski and Eberhard Jüngel

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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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Stavropigial Monasteries

(263 words)

Author(s): Ohme, Heinz
[German Version] The ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451 for the first time set out to “integrate” monasticism, placing it under the authority of the local bishop; the erection of monasteries was made subject to episcopal approval (c. 4). The external sign of a monastic foundation was the erection of a cross, the so-called stavropigia (from Gk σταυρὸν πηγνύναι/ staurón pēgnýnai), mentioned in the civil ecclesiastical laws of Emperor Justinian I ( Cod. Iust. I 3.26; Novella 5.1; 67.1; 131.7), which adopted this canonical legislation ( Cod. Iust. I 3.39; Novella 133.4). The bishop h…

Steck, Karl Gerhard

(202 words)

Author(s): Rendtorff, Trutz
[German Version] (Apr 28, 1908, Markt Nordheim, Middle Franconia – Jul 6, 1983, Frankfurt am Main). As a theological student, he belonged to a small circle of K. Barth’s students at Bonn. In 1936 he was appointed lecturer at the seminary of the Confessing Church in Frankfurt am Main; in 1939 he replaced E. Thurneysenas editor of the series “Theologische Existenz heute.” In 1943 he was appointed pastor in Sulzbach-Rosenberg and in 1948 superintendent of the Protestant house of studies in Göttingen,…

Steck, Odil Hannes

(256 words)

Author(s): Schmid, Konrad
[German Version] (Dec 26, 1935, Munich – Mar 30, 2001, Zürich). After studying theology in Neuendettelsau, Wuppertal, and Heidelberg (doctorate in 1965 under G. Bornkamm, influenced by G. v. Rad), he taught from 1968 to 1976 as professor of Old Testament in Hamburg, from 1976 to 1978 in Mainz, and from 1978 to 2001 in Zürich. His dissertation explored the long arc of transmission of the Deuteronomistic understanding of history (Deuteronomistic History) from the OT into early Christianity, signalin…


(182 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Heinrich
[German Version] The Stedingers were groups of rural settlers (mostly colonists) along the lower Weser north of Bremen, who revolted in 1204 against the counts of Oldenburg and the archbishop of Bremen. Since they refused to pay the taxes they owed the Bremen church even after they were excommunicated (1227?), Archbishop Gerhard II denounced them as heretics for defying God and the church’s power of the keys, sacrilege, and consorting with demons (Bremen Lenten synod, 1230 or 1231). No influence o…

Steffens, Henrik

(352 words)

Author(s): Christophersen, Alf
[German Version] (May 2, 1773, Stavanger, Denmark [now Norway] – Feb 13, 1845, Berlin). Beginning in 1790, Steffens studied natural history in Copenhagen and Kiel, where he taught as a lecturer in 1796. In 1798 he traveled to Jena. J.G. Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre (ET: The Science of Knowing, 2005) and especially F.W.J. Schelling’s Ideen zu einer Philosophie der Natur (1797; ET: Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature, 1988) and Von der Weltseele (1798) influenced him deeply. In Freiberg he studied at the Mining Academy and published Beyträge zur innern Naturgeschichte der Erde (1801), dedi…

Stegmann, Josua

(171 words)

Author(s): Steiger, Johann Anselm
[German Version] (Sep 14, 1588, Sülzfeld – Aug 3, 1632, Rinteln), received his Dr.theol. at Leipzig in 1617. In 1618, on the recommendation of J. Gerhard, he was called to Stadthagen as superintendent and professor at the Academic Gymnasium, which achieved university status in 1621 and was moved to Rinteln, where J. Rist was among his students. When Rinteln was occupied by Brunswick troops in 1623, Stegmann took flight. When he returned, he was appointed ephorus of the county of Schaumburg. With t…

Steil, Ludwig

(113 words)

Author(s): Nicolaisen, Carsten
[German Version] (Oct 29, 1900, Lüttringhausen – Jan 17, 1945, Dachau) was appointed pastor in Holsterhausen in 1929. In 1933 he was one of the cofounders of the Confessing Church in Westphalia and a member of its administrative committee under K. Koch. His criticisms of National Socialist ideology (National Socialism) led to his arrest in September of 1944; in early December he was sent to the concentration camp at Dachau in degrading conditions. Weakened by three weeks of transport and insufficient nourishment, he died soon after his arrival. Carsten Nicolaisen Bibliography G. Steil…

Steinbach, Wendelin

(151 words)

Author(s): Feld, Helmut
[German Version] (1454, Butzbach – Jan 14, 1519, Tübingen), member of the Brethren of the Common Life and professor of theology ( via moderna) in Tübingen. At an early age, Steinbach entered the Sankt Markus house of the Brethren of the Common Life (Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life) in Butzbach. Along with G. Biel, he joined (1477) the monastery of Sankt Amandus in Urbach, founded by Count Eberhard the Bearded. In 1481 he began his theological studies at the University of Tübingen, receiving his Dr.theol. on Oc…

Steinbart, Gotthilf Samuel

(342 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Sep 21, 1738, Züllichau – Feb 3, 1809, Frankfurt an der Oder), was educated in the school at Kloster Bergen; he counteracted its culture of Pietism and transitional theology by privately reading the philosophers of the Enlightenment, including J. Locke and Voltaire. He went on to study theology in Halle (S.J. Baumgarten) and Frankfurt an der Oder ( J.G. Toellner). After teaching in Berlin and Züllichau, in 1774 he was appointed director of the Züllichau orphanage as well as professor of philosophy and associate professor of theology in ¶ Frankfurt; he was promoted t…

Steinbeck, John

(175 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (Feb 27, 1902, Salinas, CA – Dec 20, 1968, New York), American writer and journalist. His realistic novels and short stories, mostly set in California, are characterized by incisive social criticism. His characters are caught between the poles of ethical idealism and materialism ( The Pearl, 1947) and between biological or social determinism and free will ( East of Eden, 1952). He focused repeatedly on the lives of losers – as in Of Mice and Men (1937) and Cannery Row (1944) – and the struggle for economic and social justice, for example in In Dubious Battle (1936) and The Gra…

Steinbüchel, Theodor

(208 words)

Author(s): Lienkamp, Andreas
[German Version] ( Jun 15, 1888, Cologne – Feb 11, 1949, Tübingen), studied philosophy, Catholic theology, and economics in Bonn and Straßburg (Strasbourg), receiving his Dr.phil. in 1911. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1913. In 1920 he received his Dr.theol. and in 1922 his habilitation in theology. He was appointed professor of philosophy in Gießen in 1926, taught from 1935 to 1939 as professor of moral philosophy in Munich, and moved to Tübingen in 1941, where he served as rector for 1946…

Stein, Edith (Saint)

(483 words)

Author(s): Gerl-Falkovitz, Hanna-Barbara
[German Version] (Teresia Benedicta a Cruce OCD; Oct 12, 1891, Breslau [Wrocław] – Aug 9, 1942, Auschwitz), was born to a German Jewish family. In 1911 she began to study philosophy, psychology, Germanic philology, and history at Breslau; her teachers included William Stern and Richard Hönigswald. In 1913 she went to Göttingen to study with E. Husserl, Adolf Reinach, and M. Scheler. In 1916 she received her doctorate under Husserl at Freiburg, where she served as his teaching assistant until 1918.…

Steiner, Rudolf Joseph Lorenz

(380 words)

Author(s): Zander, Helmut
[German Version] (Feb 25, 1861, Kraljevec [now in Croatia] – Mar 30, 1925, Dornach, Switzerland), founder of anthroposophy. He was baptized Catholic but grew up a freethinker. After interrupted study of the natural sciences (1879/1883), he worked until 1897 as editor of J.W. v. Goethe’s scientific writings. In 1891 he received his doctorate with a thesis on J.G. Fichte’s epistemology but failed to earn habilitation. During these years, Steiner was influenced by German Idealism and Goethean natural…

Steiner Schools

(688 words)

Author(s): Willmann, Carlo
[German Version] The Steiner schools (or Waldorf schools) trace their roots to the anthroposophist R. Steiner, whose anthropology they reflect. The first Steiner school was founded in Stuttgart in 1919 as the independent Waldorfschule. Since the 1980s, the number of such private Steiner schools has grown enormously: in 2004 there were 187 schools in Germany, enrolling some 76,000 students; worldwide there were 683 schools. The German schools are organized in the Bund der Freien Waldorfschulen, wit…

Steinhausen, Wilhelm

(96 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] (Feb 2, 1846, Sorau, Niederlausitz – Feb 5, 1924, Frankfurt am Main), painter and graphic designer. His first commission was bookmarks and illustrations for Geschichte von der Geburt unseres Herrn Jesus Christus (1869). He obtained an honorary doctorate in theology from the Halle faculty. As “Protestant painter” he received civil and church commissions: Christ und die Kinder (1888) and Allegorie der Erziehungsgedanken antiker and christlicher Kunst (1899–1902). Diane Apostolos-Cappadona Bibliography Works include: “Christentum, Religion und Kunst,” GlWis

Steinheim, Salomon Ludwig

(152 words)

Author(s): Wiese, Christian
[German Version] (Aug 6, 1789, Bruchhausen – May 19, 1866, Zürich), physician and philosopher of religion. After working in Altona as a physician, he moved to Rome in 1846 and lived there as an independent scholar. Among his poetry, works on the natural sciences, and works on the philosophy of religion, his Die Offenbarung nach dem Lehrbegriff der Synagoge (4 vols., 1835–1865) stands out. Although it had little influence on the contemporary internal debate between Orthodox and Reform Judaism, it shows Steinheim to have been an original thinker. His sys…

Stein, Heinrich Friedrich Karl

(607 words)

Author(s): Jordan, Stefan
[German Version] vom und zum (Baron) (Oct 26, 1757, Nassau an der Lahn – Jun 29, 1831, Schloß Cappenberg, Westphalia). After being educated by a tutor, Stein studied jurisprudence in Göttingen from 1773 to 1777. After an internship with the Imperial High Court and a grand tour through Germany and Hungary, he entered the Prussian civil service in 1780; in 1782 he was appointed senior counselor of mines and in 1784 director of the Westphalian mining authority in Wetter an der Ruhr. In 1785 he was s…

Steinhofer, Friedrich Christoph

(253 words)

Author(s): Meyer, Dietrich
[German Version] ( Jan 16, 1706, Owen unter Teck – Feb 11, 1761, Weinsberg). After studying theology in Tübingen and serving as a pastoral vicar in Biberach an der Riss, in 1729 Steinhofer undertook an educational journey to Franconia and Saxony, were he stayed in Herrnhut in 1731/1732. Since N. v. Zinzendorf was prevented from bringing him to Herrnhut as a pastor, in 1734 he arranged a position for him at the court of Reuß-Ebersdorf. After a lengthy process of examination and clarification, Ebers…

Steinkopf, Karl Friedrich Adolf

(215 words)

Author(s): Jenkins, Paul
[German Version] (Sep 7, 1773, Ludwigsburg – May 20, 1858, London) played a key role in the transnational Protestant awakening in the first decades of the 19th century. In 1790 he went to Tübingen to study theology. From 1795 to 1801 he served as full-time secretary of the German Christianity Society in Basel. From 1801 until his death, he was pastor of the German Lutheran congregation of the Savoy Chapel in London. He had close relations with the Religious Tract Society and both the London Missio…

Steinmetz, Johann Adam

(272 words)

Author(s): Albrecht-Birkner, Veronika
[German Version] (Sep 24, 1689, Großkniegnitz in the principality of Brieg [now Księginice Wielkie, Poland] – Jul 10, 1762, Prester [now Magdeburg- Prester]). After studying at Leipzig (from 1709), in 1715 he was appointed associate pastor in Mollwitz, near Brieg (now Małujowice, Poland); in 1717 he became pastor in Tepliwoda (now Ciepłowody, Poland) and in 1720 senior pastor and inspector of schools in Teschen (Cieszyn), where he had the Jesus Church (Church of Grace) built as the first Protestan…
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