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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Stepinac, Aloys

(177 words)

Author(s): Unterburger, Klaus
[German Version] (May 8, 1898, Brezarić, Croatia-Slavonia – Feb 10, 1960, Brezarić). After studying at the Collegium Germanicum in Rome, Stepinac was ordained to the priesthood in 1930; in 1934 he was appointed coadjutor and in 1937 archbishop of Zagreb. In the new state of Croatia, he called for cooperation with the Catholic fascist Ustaše (est. in 1941), who would serve as a vehicle of the spread of Catholicism throughout the Balkans, although he condemned their genocide of Serbs and Jews. Convi…

Stepun, Fedor Avgustovich

(219 words)

Author(s): Ruppert, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] (prior to 1914: Steppuhn, Friedrich August; Feb 18, 1884, Moscow – Feb 23, 1965, Munich), Russian philosopher, cultural sociologist, and journalist. The son of an East Prussian merchant, he was confirmed in the Moscow Reformed congregation; in 1900 he became a Russian citizen. From 1903 to 1910, he studied philosophy in Freiburg and Heidelberg, with a dissertation on V. Solovyov’s philosophy of history, under W. Windelband. In 1901 he became co-editor of the international philosophical periodical Logos. He served as a Russian officer in World War I; in 19…


(159 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (Mecklenburg). Sternberg is a town north of Schwerin where pogroms took place after Jews were charged with desecrating the host. After a hearing and trial, the accused were burnt at the stake, a prelude to the expulsion of all Jews from Mecklenburg. In the years that followed, the miraculous hosts in Sternberg made it a popular pilgrimage site. Duke Magnus underwrote the building of a chapel of the Sacred Blood. An Augustinian monastery was also built, whose promoters included J. v. Staupitz and Johann v. Paltz. In his An den christlichen Adel, Luther called for the dem…

Sterne, Laurence

(166 words)

Author(s): Siebald, Manfred
[German Version] (Nov 24, 1713, Clonmel, Ireland – Mar 18, 1768, London), novelist and Anglican clergyman. Initially he published sermons and pamphlets. After his A Political Romance (1759), a satire on church politics that was immediately banned, the first two volumes of Tristram Shandy, his major work, appeared in 1760 (vols. III–IX appeared 1761–1767). Subjectivity as its dominant narrative stance eschews chronological and causal narrative coherence, elevates digression to a structural principle, and makes the reader complicit in cons…

Steuber, Johannes

(202 words)

Author(s): Wriedt, Markus
[German Version] ( Jan 16, 1590, Schickardshausen, Oberhessen – Feb 5, 1643, Marburg), Lutheran theologian. In 1614 he was appointed professor of physics at Gießen and in 1627 added Greek; in 1620 he was appointed professor of theology and Hebrew. In 1624, when the university was moved back to Marburg, he was appointed professor of theology and pastor of St. Elizabeth’s. In 1625 he was appointed university librarian. In 1627 he was put in charge of fellowships. At the behest of Landgrave Louis V, …

Steuchus (Steuco), Augustin

(178 words)

Author(s): Weinhardt, Joachim
[German Version] (1496 Gubbio, Umbria – Mar 18 [?], 1548, Venice), Humanist and expert in biblical languages. He was Cardinal Grimani’s librarian in Venice. In 1529 he became prior of San Marco in Reggio (Emilia). In 1538 he was appointed bishop of Chisamo (Crete). In 1542 he was appointed prefect of the Vatican Library. He participated in the Council of Trent. He wrote against Luther and Erasmus and defended the authenticity of the Donation of Constantine against L. Valla. Besides being a notable exegete, in his major work De perenni philosophia (1540) he elaborated on the thesis of…


(498 words)

Author(s): Christophersen, Alf | Steck, Friedemann
[German Version] 1. Johann Christian Friedrich (Oct 25 1779, Esslingen – Oct 24, 1837, Tübingen). In 1797 he began study of theology, philosophy, and Near Eastern languages in Tübingen. He also studied at Paris in 1808. In 1810 he was appointed deacon in Cannstatt and in 1812 in Tübingen, where he was appointed professor of biblical theology in 1815. In 1816 he was made senior of the faculty and superintendent of the Tübingen Stift, fighting for its continued existence. He lectured on the Old Testamen…

Stevenson, George John

(120 words)

Author(s): Saliers, Don E.
[German Version] ( Jul 7, 1818, Chesterfield –Aug 16, 1888, London), printer and author of Methodist hymns (Methodists), biographies, and histories. He became the first director of the Philanthropic Institute and the Southwark House of Correction in 1846; from 1848 to 1855 he served as director of Lambeth Green School. He was the editor and proprietor of the Paternoster series in London (1855–1884), the Wesleyan Times (1861–1867), and the Union Review. He was also ¶ the author of The Methodist Hymn Book and Its Associ ates (1869, 21883), according to J. Julian the most complete p…


(332 words)

Author(s): Seiferlein, Alfred
[German Version] is a tool for congregational development and growth (Church growth) that originated in North American churches and has been influential in parish life since 1900. On the basis of the biblical use of the term (e.g. 1 Cor 4:1; 1 Pet 4:10), an attempt is made to employ the gifts and talents of church members as effectively and efficiently as possible in the service of the gospel. The background of the conception is the problem of support for the Free churches in the United States. To…

Steyler Missionaries

(10 words)

[German Version] Society of the Divine World

Steyler Missionswissenschaftliches Institut

(151 words)

Author(s): Rivinius, Karl Josef
[German Version] Founded in 1962 as a comprehensive international institution to strengthen and coordinate missionary research throughout the world, it was restructured in 1998. It is now an institute run by the German-speaking ¶ provinces of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD); it continues to emphasize the international character of its members, cooperation with institutes of the SVD and other institutions, and study of the missionary situation in Europe and overseas. It sponsors regular study conferences and study weeks, especially for missionaries on leave. Karl Josef Rivin…

Sthen, Hans Christensen

(94 words)

Author(s): Friese, Wilhelm
[German Version] (Nov 25, 1544, Roskilde, Denmark – Apr/May, 1610, Malmö, Denmark [to 1658]). In 1565 he was appointed rector of the Latin school in Helsingør, in 1583 pastor in Malmö. He wrote several books of prayers and devotions that also included hymns, including En liden Haandbog (“A Small Handbook,” 1578) and En liden Vandrebog (“A Small Walking-Book,” 1589). In the century of the Reformation, Danish hymnody generally followed German models closely; in Sthen’s work, it gained originality and literary quality. Wilhelm Friese Bibliography J. Lyster, DBL 3 XIV, 1983, 107–109.


(181 words)

Author(s): Petzolt, Martin
[German Version] pl. stichera, a poetic hymn strophe in the daily office (Liturgy of the Hours: IV) of the Orthodox Church. It is derived from στῖχος/ stíchos, “verse,” because it is sung in alternation with consecutive psalm verses. At Vespers six to ten stichera follow each of the final verses of Psalms 141/142; at Orthros or Matins, they are used with the Lauds Psalms 148–150. In both services, there are aposticha with other psalm verses. On weekdays the stichera focus on the particular feast or saint’s day; on Sunday…


(176 words)

Author(s): Lang, Friedrich G.
[German Version] In antiquity, the length of prose texts was measured in στίχοι/ stíchoi, each line representing a hexameter. In Greek texts a stichos originally had 15 syllables, later 16, as in Latin texts. In manuscripts the subscription at the end of individual books often contains the number of lines (total stichometry) – for example in Papyrus 46 and Codex א (Sinaiticus) of the Pauline letters. Sometimes every 100th stichos is marked with a number in the margin (marginal stichometry), as in Codex B (Vaticanus) of 1–2 Samuel, 1–2 Kings, and Isaiah. Stichomet…

Stiefel, Esaias

(206 words)

Author(s): Ingen, Ferdinand van
[German Version] (c. 1560, Langensalza – Aug 12, 1627, Erfurt), inveighed against the church and its clergy and declared the Eucharist, confession, and infant baptism superfluous. He held gatherings in his home and composed Tractetlein with religiously offensive content. Frequently admonished by the ecclesiastical and civil authorities, he was imprisoned for the last time in 1624. Stiefel was considered a follower of V. Weigel; he attached great importance to interiority and dreams, insisting that Scripture was a dead letter. Mi…

Stiehl, Ferdinand

(278 words)

Author(s): Bloth, Peter C.
[German Version] (Apr 12, 1812, Arnoldshain – Sep 16, 1878, Freiburg im Breisgau). After studying theology in Bonn (K.I. Nitzsch) and Halle an der Saale, Stiehl was appointed director of the teachers’ college in ¶ Neuwied. From 1844 to 1848, he served as a lecturer; in 1853 he was appointed senior privy councilor in the Prussian ministry of culture, in charge of elementary schools and training colleges. He was ousted in 1872 during the Kulturkampf. After the 1848 church congress in Wittenberg ( J.H. Wichern, M.A. v. Bethmann Holl…

Stier, Ewald Rudolf

(204 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] (Mar 17, 1800, Fraustadt, Lower Silesia [now Wschowa, Poland] – Dec 16, 1862, Eisleben) was a figure in the post-1817 revival movement. His writing was influenced by Romanticism, and he drew on the patriotic liberalism of the Burschenschaften. In 1818 he came in contact with F.A.G. Tholuck and the revivalist group associated with H.E. Baron v. Kottwitz; he dated his conversion from that year. He was active as an academic teacher (e.g. in Barmen-Wichlinghausen). His primary interest was exegesis; he focused initially …

Stifel, Michael

(170 words)

Author(s): Schröder, Tilman M.
[German Version] (c. 1487, Esslingen – Apr 19, 1567, Jena), Augustinian Hermit in Esslingen who supported Luther in 1522, resulting in a literary debate with T. Murner and forced relocation to Wittenberg. In 1523 Luther secured his appointment as court chaplain in Mansfeld, as pastor in Tollet (Tyrol) in 1525, and as pastor in Lochau (Saxony) in 1528. He employed his interest in mathematics for apocalyptic calculations. His prediction of the end of the world in 1533 led to his dismissal. After fur…


(139 words)

Author(s): Germann, Michael
[German Version] is a corporation of canons or canonesses. It is sometimes substantively and terminologically synonymous with chapter, which can at other times be distinguished as the administrative organ, and can sometimes be extended also to spiritual territory. “Stift” indicates the maintenance of the canons by means of an endowment (Benefice). Such foundations were originally set up to support public worship, and later also served general cultural and social purposes (such as providing mainten…

Stifter, Adalbert

(548 words)

Author(s): Hurst, Matthias
[German Version] (Oct 23, 1805, Oberplan, Bohemia [now Horní Planá, Czech Republic] – Jan 28, 1868, Linz), Austrian writer and landscape painter. With a humanistic cultural ideal and anthropology rooted in the Enlightenment, he overcame Romanticism and designed a blissful utopian existence whose harmonizing tendencies contained an implicit criticism of the social reality of the 19th century. He discovered his interest in literature, painting, and natural science during his school years at the Bene…
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