Religion Past and Present

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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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Kaas, Ludwig

(183 words)

Author(s): Körner, Hans-Michael
[German Version] …


(204 words)

Author(s): Grabar, Oleg
[German Version] ( Kaʿaba; Arab. for “cube”). A stone construction measuring 12×10×15 m in the center of the great mosque in Mecca (II). A hall was built above it around 700 ce, and in the 8th century (there were further extensions later) a courtyard and colonnade were added; inside there is a windowless room with three columns. The story that it was built by a…


(321 words)

Author(s): Podskalsky, Gerhard | Congourdeau, Marie-Hélène
[German Version] 1. Neilos Metropolitan of Thessalonica 1361–1363 (baptismal name: Nikolaos; end of the 13th cent., Thessalonica – 1363, Thessalonica), was the uncle of the more famous theologian Nikolaos Kabasilas (2.). After the synod of 1341, he changed from a fervent admirer of Thomas Aquinas ( Summa theologica; Summa contra Gentiles, in the translation by his student D. Cydones) to a polemical adherent of Palamism which radically rejected the scholastic method (on the major points: filioque , papal primacy), and, consequently, was also elected as one of the …


(1,981 words)

Author(s): Kilcher, Andreas | Dan, Joseph
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion – II. Jewish Kabbalah – III. Christian Kabbalah I. Philosophy of Religion Since c. 1200, Kabbalah has been the designation for Jewish mysticism (III, 2). According to the name, the term Kabbalah means “reception” or “tradition”: the reception of an orally transmitted, esoteric knowledge concerning the “secrets of Scripture” ( rasin de oraita; sitre tora). The material that can be considered Kabbalah can be described in terms of (a) the philosophy of religion or phenomenology, or (b) history. A phenomenological description of the Kabbalah must first make clear that there is no homogeneous doctrine of Kabbalah. Rather, from the outset, Kabbalah has been a forum and name for a multiplicity of theologumena and philosophemes in the border area between mystical theology, esoteric ritual and the philosophy of religion. This medial position between mysticism and philosophy is already evident in the fact that Kabbalah has consistently appeared, not only in conflict with, but also in accord wit…


(257 words)

Author(s): Horstmann, Monika
[German Version] (born in the first half of the 15th cent.?) was a poet-saint from northern India. He was born into an Islamized lower Hindu caste of weavers in which the Tantric tradition (Tantrism) of the Nāthyogīs was cultivated. His activities are linked with Benares and Magahar (near Gorakhpur). Kabīr is considered the most significant poet of the Sant- Bhakti. A monistic ontology and the emphasis on human mortality and their being in need of mercy justified his claim of egali…


(5 words)

[German Version] Qaddish


(327 words)

Author(s): Na'aman, Nadav
[German Version] An oasis in northern Sinai, on the southern border of Canaan (Num 34:4; Ezek 47:19; 48:48) and a station on the way from Egypt to Beer-Sheba and from the coast of Philistia to the Gulf of Eilat. Its name is derived from the West Semitic root qdš (“holy”); the meaning of the second element (“Barnea”) is unknown. It is also known by the names En-mishpat (Gen 14:7) and “waters of Meribah”/ “Meribath kadesh”. According to the biblical tradition, Kadesh played an important role in the early history of Israel. After the departure f…


(5 words)

[German Version] Qāḍi

Kafka, Franz

(1,412 words)

Author(s): Reuß, Roland
[German Version] (Aug 3, 1883, Prague – Jun 3, 1924, Kierling near Vienna). The son of Hermann Kafka and Julie Kafka ( née Löwy), Franz Kafka grew up in a middle-class Prague family of assimilated Jews; his father's shop sold fashion accessories. He studied law at the Charles University in Prague, graduating in 1906. His earliest extant writings date from this period – letters describing his first job with the insurance firm Assicurazioni Generali in 1908, then his employment with the Workers' Accident Insurance Inst…


(720 words)

Author(s): Bassi, Hasko v. | Schröder, Markus
[German Version] 1. Theodor Christian Heinrich Mar 18, 1847, Loit near Apenrade, North Schleswig – Nov 26, 1932, Baden-Baden). Rooted in the cultural and religious milieu of North Schleswig and marked by the German-Danish border conflict at an early age, Kaftan studied theology in Erlangen, Berlin, and Kiel, began working as a home tutor and assistant preacher, and became pastor of the Danish congregation in Apenrade in 1873. In 1880, Kaftan moved to Schleswig, where he became a senior ¶ executive officer and school inspector. He was appointed provost in Tondern in 1884 and finally general superintendent for Schleswig in 1886. With his (confessionally Lutheran) Moderne Theologie des alten Glaubens [1905, Modern theology of the old faith], Kaftan developed an independent version of modern-positive theology. Kaftan's writings had a far greater impact on the pastors of Schleswig-Holstein than the impulses coming from the theological faculty in Kiel, which was intermittently of liberal or modern-theological or…

Kagawa Toyohiko

(284 words)

Author(s): Dohi, Akio
[German Version] (Jul 10, 1888, Kobe – Apr 23, 1960, Tokyo). Kagawa was baptized by an American missionary in 1904. In 1909 he began his own missionary work in the slums of Kobe, where he preached the gospel to people suffering from the dehumanizing results of poverty. In 1917, after studying at Princeton University and Theological Seminary, he led workers' and peasants' movements to establish human rights, with a view to putting the redemptive love of Christ into practice. In 1923, at the time of…

Kähler, Martin

(1,222 words)

Author(s): Nüssel, Friederike
[German Version] (Jan 6, 1835, Neuhausen, near Königsberg (Kaliningrad) – Sep 7, 1912, Freudenstadt). Kähler, the son of a Lutheran pastor, grew up in Neuhausen, near Königsberg, and after 1841 in Preussisch Holland (Pasłęk). At his father's request, he began to study law at Königsberg but soon shifted to theology. In 1853 he went to Heidelberg, where R. Rothe awakened his interest in systematics. He continued his studies in Halle with Julius Müller an…

Kahl, Wilhelm

(205 words)

Author(s): Landau, Peter
[German Version] (Jun 17, 1849, Kleinheubach – May 14, 1932 Berlin), professor of church, civil and criminal law in Rostock (1879–1881), Erlangen (1883–1888), Bonn (1888–1895), and Berlin (after 1895). His scholarly work initially included church law, beginning with a monograph on the important Temporaliensperre [1876, Suspension of temporalities] which was important in the Kulturkampf . His principal work on church law is the Lehrsystem des Kirchenrechts und der Kirchenpolitik [1894, System of church law and church politics], whose separately published first se…

Kahnis, Karl Friedrich August

(160 words)

Author(s): Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm
[German Version] (Dec 22, 1814, Greiz, Vogtland – Jun 20, 1888, Leipzig). Kahnis became associate professor in Breslau (Warcław) in 1844 and professor of dogmatics in Leipzig in 1850. He emerged as a proponent of a moderate Lutheran confessionalism which is evident from his major work Die lutherische Dogmatik historisch-genetisch dargestellt [Lutheran dogmatics presented historically and genetically] (3 vols., 1861–1868; 2 vols., 21874/1875). His theology emphasizes Scripture and confession. In opposition to K.I. Nitzsch, he was critical of union (Unions, …

Kaïris, Theophilos

(191 words)

Author(s): Papaderos, Alexandros
[German Version] (Oct 19, 1784, Andros – Jan 9, 1853, Syros), Greek Orthodox priest monk and a philosopher of the Enlightenment. He studied philosophy and natural science in Pisa and Paris, where he formed a friendship with A. Korais. He was headmaster in Smyrna and Kydonia, and took part in the Greek War of Independence (from 1821). He founded an orphanage on ¶ the island of Andros (1835), where he taught his scientific and theophilanthropic ideas. The political turmoils of his times, the spiritual and sociocultural controversies sparked off by the Enlight…


(432 words)

Author(s): Englert, Rudolf
[German Version] The Greek term καιρός/ kairós refers to the quality of a time: what it is good for (in contrast to χρόνος/ chrónos [Chronology], which also means “time” in Gk, but points to the quantitative aspect of time: to the time someone needs to do something). The quality of a time cannot be measured like the time of day, bu…

Kaiser, Georg

(264 words)

Author(s): Hurst, Matthias
[German Version] (Nov 25, 1878, Magdeburg – Jun 4, 1945, Ascona), wrote more than 70 dramas and is considered one of the most prolific playwrights of the 20th century. He was one of the most staged authors of the 1920s and an important representative of Berlin's literary intellectualism, but sank into oblivion after 1933. From a thematic and formal point of view, Kaiser's dramas are strongly influenced by Expressionism. In his two-part drama Gas (1918/1920), he denounces the exploitation and functionalization forced upon the human being by modernism and industrializa…


(444 words)

Author(s): Götzelmann, Arnd
[German Version] Kaiserswerth, now part of the city of Düsseldorf, is well known in church and diaconal circles for the oldest deaconess institute there, which was founded in 1836 by T. and F. Fliedner (Diakonia center). This cradle of the “female diakonia” became the world center for motherhouses and associations on the Fliedner model. Today's “Kaiserswerther Diakonie” in Düs-¶ seldorf with a total of 2,136 workers (as of October 1999) includes the motherhouse and its retirement homes with 175 deaconesses (166 of them retired), 112 diaconal sisters and…
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