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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Twelve, The Book of the

(10 words)

[German Version] Prophetic Books

Twelve, The (Disciples)

(1,216 words)

Author(s): Koch, Dietrich-Alex
[German Version] The Synoptic Gospels describe a circle of twelve disciples appointed by Jesus who accompany him at all times, and whom he also instructs to act in his name (Mark 3:13–19). However, this task assignment does not explain why there are twelve disciples. Although the “Twelve” are explicitly mentioned as companions of Jesus in a number of situations (Mark 9:35; 10:32; 11:11; 14:17; Matt 11:1; Luke 8:1), the specific role of the “Twelve” remains unclear (cf. Mark 6:7 [sending out of the…

Twesten, August Detlev Christian

(261 words)

Author(s): Christophersen, Alf
[German Version] (Apr 11, 1789, Glückstadt – Jan 8, 1876, Berlin). Professor of theology and philosophy at Kiel since 1814, in 1835 Twesten succeeded F.D.E. Schleiermacher in Berlin, having been a follower theologically. He published very little. His lectures on dogmatics in the spirit of mediation theology remained incomplete but attained classical status. In them he dissociated himself from rationalism and maintained a position independent of Hegelian speculative theology, nascent confessionalis…


(457 words)

Author(s): Vollmer, Ulrich
[German Version] As a relatively rare and (at least in the past) unpredictable phenomenon, breaking with the natural course of pregnancy and birth, in traditional cultures twins are surrounded by an aura of the numinous. Attitudes toward them and their mothers (and occasionally their fathers) are ambivalent, a mixture of fear and fascination. The spectrum of ethnographic evidence regarding the social treatment of twins ranges from killing one or both through exposure or temporary, ritually constra…

Two Kingdoms Doctrine

(2,873 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Dogmatics A discussion of the two kingdoms doctrine that wants to avoid mistakes must note two things. ¶ 1. The expression two kingdoms doctrine – like the doctrine of justification – is a product of reflection on the later designation of complexes of theological doctrine that were unavoidable even before this name was given them, because they deal with elements of the certainty of faith that are inescapable in any coherent explication of faith. The label two kingdoms doctrine, however, is not a product of the 16th century but of the debates in German Lut…

Two Natures Doctrine

(1,133 words)

Author(s): Nüssel, Friederike
[German Version] The starting point for the emergence of the two natures doctrine in the Early Church was the question how to understand and speak about the incarnation of the Son of God as the basis for human redemption from sin and reconciliation (Reconciliation/Atonement) with God. Against docetic positions (Docetism), it was necessary to emphasize the true humanity of Jesus Christ. At the same time, it was important to insist on the full divinity of Jesus Christ as the incarnate Son of God, so as to be able to understand him as a revealer of God (Christology: II). Important foundations f…

Tychon, Saint

(189 words)

Author(s): Lehmann, Tomas
[German Version] The vita of Tychon written by John the Almsgiver, the expatriarch of Alexandria, at the beginning of the 7th century in his home town of Amathus (Cyprus) survives only in an incomplete 11th-century manuscript (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, gr. 1488 = Usener, 109–149), an excerpt (Usener, 10–1154), and various synaxeries (Usener, 155–158). According to these sources, Tychon was consecrated as bishop of Amathus by Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis in the last third of the 4th century. Ty…


(157 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich
[German Version] (late 4th cent.), exegete. A member of the church of the Donatists (Donatism), he was condemned by the church’s head, Parmenianus of Carthage, because he taught that God’s promise of a universal church was not abrogated by the presence of sinners in the church. He made a fruitful contribution to Latin exegesis (V, 1) through his commentary on Revelation (possibly surviving in a frgm. on Rev 6:6–13) and his Liber regularum (surviving incomplete; “the first Christian exegetical textbook” [Alexander]), used intensively by Augustine of Hippo ( Doctr. chr. III 30–37); it…

Tylor, Edward Burnett

(151 words)

Author(s): Maier, Bernhard
[German Version] (Oct 2, 1832, London – Jan 2, 1917, Wellington), early theorist of ethnology and comparative religion, who began teaching anthropology at Oxford University in 1884. Under the influence of contemporary biological theories and philosophy of history, his Primitive Culture, a major work published in 1871, suggested that the history of religion also displays an evolution from simple to increasingly complex forms. He reconstructed this development on the basis of “survivals,” isolated cultural elements belonging originally …

Tyndale, William

(271 words)

Author(s): Rosengarten, Richard A.
[German Version] (1494? – Oct 6, 1536), first translator of the Bible into English. Educated at Oxford and Cambridge, Tyndale left England around 1522 when Cuthbert Tunstall, bishop of London, refused to support his projected translation of the Scriptures (Bible translations: II, 1.b). Settled in Hamburg by 1524, he completed a New Testament translation that appeared in 1526 and was vilified by, among others, Thomas More. Resident in Antwerp for most of the remainder of his life, Tyndale pursued h…


(169 words)

Author(s): Plank, Peter
[German Version] Until well into the 15th century, the term typicon, which in principle can mean any fixed order, was often used by founders of Orthodox monasteries to denote the structures and offices peculiar to their foundations. Since the 11th century, however, the term has been applied primarily to a collection of rubrics governing the course of worship throughout the year. Its beginnings can be traced back to the 7th century and the Sabas Monastery. From the 9th century on, the dominant typicon was …

Typology of Religion

(1,039 words)

Author(s): Hoheisel, Karl
[German Version] Typology of religion groups religions according to shared features. Unlike the phenomenology of religion, which studies variations of particular phenomena in religions, typology of religion studies religions as totalities to determine common features. I. Typical Singularities G. Mensching was one of the few notable students of religion who followed F.D.E. Schleiermacher in treating type as “ambiguous: on the one hand . . . a common feature within different religious organisms, on the other, what is ‘typically’ singular and peculiar …

Typology, Scriptural

(394 words)

Author(s): Ostmeyer, Karl-Heinrich
[German Version] Typology is the relationship between two elements in a semantic continuum that are equivalent with respect to some point of comparison. While allegory points beyond itself to a different semantic level, a type (τύπος/ týpos) and what it typifies interpret each other. Which of the referents plays the interpretive role is a question of aspect and intention. A model (Heb 8:5) can be called a τύπος, as can the copy of a model (Hdt. III 88). The τύπος is always something that points to something else or is intended to make it visible. This also applies to exemp…


(340 words)

Author(s): Knauf, Ernst Axel
[German Version] (in Phoenicia); Hebrew רוֹצ/ ṣôr, Phoenician/Akkadian ṣurru, “rock”; modern Ṣūr. Tyre was an island city off the coast of Lebanon with a maximum area of 50 to 60 ha and a population of 12,000–15,000 (swollen to about 50,000 by refugees in 332 bce); it was associated with the mainland settlement of Ushu/Palaityros. Settlement began in the second half of the 3rd millennium bce, with the colonial expansion of Egypt into the Lebanon (Hdt. II 44); it is mentioned throughout the 2nd millennium as a subject territory within the Egyptian sphere of …


(1,151 words)

Author(s): Riedmann, Josef
[German Version] Tyrol, historical crown land of the Habsburg monarchy (Habsburgs), since 1918/1919 divided into the Austrian (Austria) state of Tyrol (North Tyrol and East Tyrol) and the autonomous Italian (Italy) provinces of Alto Adige (South Tyrol) and Trentino (Trent). The area was Christianized in Late Antiquity; many places have a history of cultic continuity. The episcopal sees of Trent and Bolzano-Brixen (Bolzano-Bressanone) go back to the 4th and 6th centuries respectively. At the end of…

Tyrrell, George

(299 words)

Author(s): Schultenover, David G.
[German Version] (Feb 6, 1861, Dublin – Jul 15, 1909, Storrington, England). Educated primarily at Rathmines School, Dublin, Tyrrell moved to London (1879), converted to Roman Catholicism (May 18, 1879), and entered the Jesuit order. His childhood pattern of being the “odd man out” continued throughout his Jesuit years. He dissented from the constrained, semimonastic formation of the “restored” Society of Jesus and particularly post-Vatican I, ultramontane (Ultramontanism), ¶ neoscholastic (Neoscholasticism) intellectualism. Jesuit professors Thomas and Joseph Ri…

Tzschirner, Heinrich Gottlieb

(162 words)

Author(s): Sommer, Andreas Urs
[German Version] (Nov 14, 1778, Mittweida, near Leipzig – Feb 17, 1828, Leipzig), Protestant theologian. After appointment to a chair at Wittenberg, he moved to Leipzig in 1809, where he also served as pastor and superintendent. Tzschirner conceptualized a critical ethical rationalism, open to revelation, in which the substance of Christianity was deemed rational but its revealed form in the Bible supernatural. A noted preacher and successful commentator on ecclesiastical politics, he opposed the …