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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(1,125 words)

Author(s): Cordeu, Edgardo Jorge
[German Version] (Qóm). Cosmogony and ethnogenesis. In their own language, which belongs to the Guaycurú family of languages, the Toba refer to themselves as Qóm (“person,” “people”). Most of them currently inhabit the eastern strip of the southern and central Chaco region (Paraguay). Created by K’atá (“Our Father”, a kind of celestial deus otiosus) out of a mass of dust, the earth initially stretched out as an empty, dry, and dark landscape. When the sun emerged, it dispelled the darkness, whereupon the vegetation began to sprout and the animals …


(257 words)

Author(s): Herrmann, Klaus
[German Version] one of the leading aristocratic families in the Second Temple period. In the time of Nehemiah and until the mid-2nd century bce it at times played an important part in the economic and political life of Judaism (I), as can be seen from documents of the archive of Zenon, an official at the court of the Ptole-¶ maic King Ptolemy II Philadelphus (Ptolemaic dynasty). Joseph, Tobias’s son, was particularly influential: he contrived to turn to his own advantage a quarrel between Onias II (Oniad family) and the Ptolemaic king, and acted as a s…

Tobit/Book of Tobit

(669 words)

Author(s): Leicht, Reimund
[German Version] Reckoned among the apocryphal books (Apocrypha: II) of the Old Testament, the book of Tobit contains a didactic narrative with strong legendary traits. The first part (1:1–3:17) describes the law-abiding Tobit as he is led into Assyrian exile, where he suffers heavy blows of fate (loss of fortune, blindness). At the same time, the text also relates the story of Sarah, who lives in Media and whose seven husbands have been killed by the demon Ashmedai on their wedding nights. God an…

Tocqueville, Alexis de

(287 words)

Author(s): Zenkert, Georg
[German Version] ( Jul 29, 1805, Paris – Apr 16, 1859, Cannes), major French political thinker. He recorded his insights during an extended stay in the United States in a comprehensive series of studies De la démocratie enAmérique (4 vols., 1835/1840; ET: Democracy in America, trans. A. Goldhammer, 2004 [Politics: III, 3]), which immediately made him famous. In them he examines both the Constitution and the institutions of the country as well as the customs, beliefs, and manners of its citizens. The work is more than a description of co…

Tödt, Heinz Eduard

(209 words)

Author(s): Huber, Wolfgang
[German Version] (May 4, 1918, Bordelum, North Frisia – May 25, 1991, Hanover). Following labor service, military service, and a period as a prisoner of war, Tödt began to study theology in 1951; in 1957 he received his doctorate for a thesis on the Son of Man in the Synoptic tradition. After working for the Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst and the Protestant Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, in 1964 he was appointed to the newly created chair of social ethics at Heidelberg. He combined …

Todt, Rudolf Immanuel Traugott

(194 words)

Author(s): Bruch, Rüdiger vom
[German Version] (Feb 19, 1839, Mödlich, near Wittenberg – Oct 14, 1887, Brandenburg an der Havel), Protestant pastor and superintendent in Mark Brandenburg. Under the influence of A. Stoecker, he sought to derive Christian social reform from a constructively critical dialogue with the literature of socialism. Unlike the Stoecker movement, his book Der radikale deutsche Sozialismus und die christliche Gesellschaft (1877) met a very hostile response among the leaders of the church and the government. Together with the “professorial socialist” A.H.G. Wagn…

Toellner, Johann Gottlieb

(396 words)

Author(s): Beutel, Albrecht
[German Version] (Dec 9, 1724, Berlin-Charlottenburg – Jan 26, 1774, Frankfurt an der Oder). In 1739 Toellner was awarded a scholarship at the Francke schools in Halle. In 1741 he began studying philosophy and theology in Halle (encouraged and influenced by S.J. Baumgarten). After 1745 he served as a domestic tutor in Pomerania and Berlin; in 1748 he was appointed military chaplain in Frankfurt an der Oder. In 1756 be was appointed associate professor of philosophy in Frankfurt and in 1760 full pr…


(527 words)

Author(s): Alemdjrodo, Kangni
[German Version] a country (56 ,785 km2) on the Atlantic coast of West Africa, with over 5 million inhabitants. East Togo, formerly British, became in 1960 an independent republic with its capital in Lomé; at the same time former French Togo became part of Ghana. Togo is one of the least developed countries in the world (for its situation see Africa, map). Three great religions are widely followed: Christianity (42.6% in 2004), brought by the Portuguese in the 16th century; Islam (18.9%), and animism (37.7%), the ancestral religion practiced by most of the population. Togo became a Germ…

Toland, John

(261 words)

Author(s): Sullivan, Robert
[German Version] (1670, Inishowen, Ireland – Mar 11, 1722, Putney), variously a Deist (Deism), pantheist (Pantheism), republican, and monarchist. In Christianity Not Mysterious (1696) he exploited the hermeneutics of Latitudinarian theologians (Latitudinarianism), English Unitarians, and Polish Socinians in an effort to accommodate Anglicanism to Rationalism. Persecuted and endangered as a result, he turned to radical political writing. Toland edited or rewrote the books of many of the 17th-century English Commonweal…


(366 words)

Author(s): Herbers, Klaus
[German Version] a city and archbishopric in Spain, took on major importance in the 6th century as a “capital” and conciliar center. After the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, the importance of Toledo shifted. During the emirate (756–929), the city was often in competition with the central authorities in Córdoba; after the fall of the caliphate in 1031, Toledo enjoyed a new heyday. The extent to which Toledo was Arabized is disputed. It is clear that many Christians (Mozarabs) still lived in Toledo in the 8th and 9th centuries, but ¶ their influence declined in the 10th and 11…

Toledot Yeshu

(8 words)

[German Version] Jesus Christ: IV

Tolerance and Intolerance

(6,428 words)

Author(s): Dehn, Ulrich | Gertz, Jan Christian | Wischmeyer, Oda | Ohst, Martin | Kronauer, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Tolerance and intolerance must be defined in terms of their relationship to respect, coexistence, indifference, acceptance, and prejudice. In the public context, they ¶ correspond to the presence or absence of freedom of religion. They originate in the claim to exclusive religious truth or else collide with it. Tolerance requires insight into the human ability to err and into the limits of human cognition with regard to faith, whereas intolerance rejects this insight. Following Gerlitz,…

Toleration, Edicts of

(581 words)

Author(s): Bülow, Vicco v.
[German Version] are the expression of the right of political or religious powers to dictate the religion and rites of their subjects (Tolerance and intolerance), even through coercion. The motives behind such edicts are both of a religious nature and also determined by the secular interests of the ruling powers. The guaranteeing of various degrees of toleration by edict belongs to the domain of the “formal” differences to the “con¶ tent-related” tolerance (Mensching). The alien convictions are thus allowed to remain as they are, although this does not mean that t…

Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel

(179 words)

Author(s): Meller, Horst
[German Version] (Jan 3, 1892, Bloemfontein, South Africa – Sep 2, 1973, Bournemouth, England), English philologist, poet, and novelist. Tolkien studied at Oxford, where he was appointed professor of Anglo-Saxon in 1925 and professor of English language and literature in 1945. His first book was A Middle English Vocabulary (1922), his second Songs for the Philologist (1936). His essay “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics” (1937) was much admired by his colleagues. In the same year he published The Hobbit, a children’s book, in which the loveable hobbit Bilbo Baggins sets…

Tolstoy, Leo

(999 words)

Author(s): Fischer, Christine
[German Version] Lev (Leo) Nikolaevich (between Aug 28 and Sep 9, 1828, Yasnaya Polyana, Tula Province – between Nov 7 and Nov 20, 1910, Astapovo). I. Fourth son of Count Nikolai Ilich Tolstoy and Countess Maria Nikolaievna, née Volkonskaia. His father died in 1830 and his mother in 1837. From 1844 he pursued oriental studies and law in Kazan; in 1847 he left without taking a degree. In 1849 he founded a school for peasants’ children, and began to write in 1851. In 1852 he was almost killed in fighting against the Chechens. In 1857…


(169 words)

Author(s): Bohn Martins, Maria Cristina
[German Version] According to semi-legendary accounts, the Toltecs, coming from the northwest, established the city of Tula in central Mexico between 700 and 800 ce. They were joined by the Nonoalcas (800–900 ce), who introduced the cult of Quetzacoátl and many crafts. After 1150 Tula was destroyed and abandoned, probably because other peoples from the north were advancing into the territory. The site continued to have an aura of high status, which was one reason the Aztecs (Aztec religion) sought to legitimize themselves by claiming Toltec ancestors. The word totecatl was used to d…


(546 words)

Author(s): Kim, Yong-Bock
[German Version] was originally known as Ch’ŏndogyo. In 1905 Son Byung-hee systematically organized Tonghak as a religion. Origin and History. Tonghak, which was founded by Ch’oi Che-u after a mystical religious experience in 1860, started as a religious movement in South Korea. The officialdom of the Chosun Dynasty condemned his teaching as evil on the grounds that it was Western learning (Suhak, Roman Catholic teaching). Ch’oi Che-u vehemently denied any connection with the Catholics, saying that their doctrine …


(183 words)

Author(s): Rees, Wilhelm
[German Version] In Latin canon law, tonsure denotes the shaving of the hair of a (monastic) cleric as a sign that he belongs to God; it can also denote the resulting bald area. Unlike in the Uniate Eastern Churches (cf. Ius Orientale, De personis c. 38 §1, 1°: AAS 49, 1957, 448), as prima tonsura ( ordo ad faciendum clericum) it constituted admission to the clerical state (cf. CIC/1917, c. 108 §1; C. 12 q. 1 c.7 Liber Extra [X] 1.36.6; Incardination, Consecration/Ordination/Dedication). Even under CIC/1917 it was already being discontinued (cf. CIC/1917, c. 136 §1); postconciliar legi…


(5 words)

[German Version] Technology

Topelius, Zacharias

(186 words)

Author(s): Forsgård, Nils Erik
[German Version] (Jan 14, 1818, Nykarleby – Mar 12, 1898, Sipoo), Finnish writer who wrote in Swedish. Topelius wrote historical novels, novellas, poems, and hymns. His best-known work is the histori-¶ cal cycle Fältskärns berättelser (1851–1866; ET: The Surgeon’s Stories, 6 vols., 1883–1900), in which he presented the common history of Finland and Sweden from the 17th century to the beginning of the 19th century. In the historical adventure novel Planetarnas skyddslingar (1886–1888), he develops a teleological vision of the history of the Jews, expressing his conv…
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