Religion Past and Present

Encyclopedia of Theology and Religion

Religion Past and Present (RPP) is a complete, updated English translation of the 4th edition of the definitive encyclopedia of religion worldwide, the peerless Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (RGG). Including the latest developments in research, Religion Past and Present encompasses a vast range of subjects connected with religion. This great resource, now at last available in English, continues the tradition of deep knowledge and authority relied upon by generations of scholars in religious, theological, and biblical studies. Religion Past and Present indisputably belongs to the small class of essential reference works.

Key Features
• RGG has been a standard reference work since the publication of the first edition in 1908
• Strongly international, cross-cultural and ecumenical, written by over 3,000 authors from 88 countries
• Covers an unparalleled breadth of subject matter in theological and biblical studies
• Up-to-date research and bibliographies make it an indispensable resource for all levels of users
• Interdisciplinary articles cover a wide range of topics from history, archaeology, liturgy, law, bible, music, visual arts, politics, social sciences, natural sciences, ethics, and philosophy
• The 4th edition of RGG, the basis of the RPP translation, includes hundreds of new entries on Eastern religions and other religious subjects. The editors of RPP have added a number of articles and revised others for a global English-speaking readership
• Short definitions and cross-references enable quick and easy searching
• Over 15,000 entries and 8 million words
• 13 volumes and an index

The series was completed in 2013.
'Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (RGG), recognized as the most comprehensive and authoritative existing guide to the study of religion, has been the gold standard of European encyclopedias of religion and the standard of excellence in reference works in religion for almost a century. The way in which the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are reflected in the previous three German editions of RGG has not been matched by any other document in the history of religious and theological scholarship. It has carefully illuminated a vast range of religion-connected subjects for the German-speaking world.
The fourth edition of this encyclopedia, recently published in English under the title Religion Past and Present (RPP), is an extension within this tradition of German excellence and scholarship. RPP is a monumental piece of scholarship!
The publication of the new fourth edition of this encyclopedia in English finally gives the English-speaking world access to its wealth of information. RPP should soon become as essential for readers of English, as it has long been for those who read German. It should be regarded as an essential purchase for any academic library and would also be a worthwhile investment for many interested individuals. Unlike scores of other books, these volumes will permanently affect the course of scholarship in religion. We are sincerely grateful to every contributor.'

Dirk van der Merwe, University of South Africa Pretoria, South Africa RBL 2008

'One cannot fail to be impressed.......Using it as a reference source and 'testing' its qualities, the depth of scholarship, the frame of reference for assumptive knowledge, the clarity of discussion (it does not read like a translation), and the continual surprises at its adventurous coverage keep one going back and back time and time again....libraries will want to get the English version simply because it more successfully than ever opens up the rich resources here to a global readership for whom English is a lingua franca.'
Stuart Hannabuss, Philosophy and Religion, 2007

'The decision taken by Brill to publish an English edition makes the vast scholarship it contains accessible to a much wider audience.
..this will be a reference item that all serious theological libraries must possess. ..contains some extensive and breath-taking articles. ...Overall this is a highly significant reference work that will be widely used and cited."

Paul Foster, Expository Times 9, 2008

'For many decades successive editions of Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart have carefully illuminated a vast range of religion-connected subjects for German-speaking populations. Now with this translation and re-working of the new fourth edition, Religion Past and Present opens those riches to the English-speaking world. Learned writing from a great number of experts on all phases of Christianity - and also of other religions - along with painstaking preparation by a team of militantly careful editors has resulted in an indispensable work of reference. "RPP" should soon become as essential for readers of English as "RGG" has long been among readers of German.'
Mark A. Noll, McManis Professor of Christian Thought Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.
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